BENDIGO woman Joy Tappe has been a retail assistant at Myer for more than 40 years.
What started as a casual job to help with saving for a family holiday has seen Mrs Tappe and her family through both happy and hard times.
This week is filled with both emotions, for Mrs Tappe. She's retiring.
"I just think it's time," she says.
Her daughters were seven and nine years of age when she first started working at the store.
"We told them we would take them to Disneyland," Mrs Tappe says.
Three years later, they were on a plane destined for the United States of America.
"That was the start of everything," Mrs Tappe says.
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There was a bit of travel in the years to come. Then, the job helped support both Mrs Tappe's daughters through university.
Today, the Myer stalwart values her role as much for the opportunities to see and interact with people as anything else.
"I've been very blessed. I've worked with a lot of beautiful people," Mrs Tappe says.
She reminisces fondly about her customers, too. Throughout the years, she's seen families enter the store with young children who returned years later to make use of the bridal registry, and then came back with children of their own.
"A lot of people you get to know," Mrs Tappe said.
"That's what I'm going to miss, just seeing those people."
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Though she started off in homewares, Mrs Tappe has worked in practically every department Myer has offered in Bendigo throughout the years.
She remembers when dockets were hand written, and "the days when we had a lift where you had to use a crank."
Mrs Tappe was very much involved in the gift registry, as it's now known.
Things have come full circle, of late - the Bendigo Advertiser found Mrs Tappe hard at work in homewares, surrounded by kitchen appliances and homewares, serving customers with a smile.
"I'll be back in. Even just to say hello," she says.
But, for now, she's looking forward to lavishing attention on other aspects of her life, like the garden.
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