Editor's note: This is the final installment of business-submitted columns to celebrate Bennington's Career Week.
If you like animals - of any kind - you'll love Whitman's Feed Store!
Whitman's is really two different operations. For those interested in small animals and fish, the retail store is where people come in every day looking to make their pet healthy, happy, and playful. Most customers will admit that these pets are as important as any member of the family! So, it sure helps that you, too, are a pet lover and can relate to the concerns and needs of these customers - whose only family may well be their pets.
The retail sales clerks need to be knowledgeable in all aspects of the business. Not only does Whitman's cater to small house pets, but also the backyard farmer with his chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, beef animals, and let's not forget the horses! There is an entire area in the store dedicated to that four-legged creature!!
If you enjoy the hands-on approach to animals, there is a grooming service area in which cats and dogs are bathed and given haircuts to their owner's specifications.
But wait -------- if that doesn't keep you busy or peak your interest, spring is right around the corner! Whew! Customers come streaming in the door just knowing we are full of good advice and can sell them the products they need to make their lawn the best looking in the neighborhood.
Then comes the vegetable and flower garden; the staff can sell the seeds, fertilizers, plants, and tools to make our customers proud of all the time they spend on these endeavors.
There is still one more aspect of the business that becomes the most visible as you drive through town. You will see the elevators and storage bins that are connected to the feed mill. To make this part of the operation work, we need another whole group of employees - salespersons out on the road talking to farmers about their operation, analyzing their forages and balancing feed rations with computers to maximize production, mill operators who can understand the complexity of the operating system that makes all the augers and elevators work together, and the truck drivers who have a special talent for handling big trucks with long augers that must be maneuvered around barnyards and farm equipment.
And of course, there is the mechanic who keeps motors running in the mill and keeps the numerous trucks and trailers on the road in good working condition.
So, to keep all of this operating in a somewhat orderly fashion, Whitman's has a behind-the-scenes office staff trying to keep orders straight, invoices computed and mailed, accounts payable attended, and payroll covered.
Whatever your interest or special talent, there is certainly a place for you at Whitman's Feed Store. Above all, as with any job serving the public, you need to like people and be able to work well with them and for them.