Dan and Whit's has a challenge for you
It will make you feel good and help the community too!
Below is a paragraph from a news story that VPR recently did on this challenge. Click on the link to see their story.
Many businesses struggling to find staff during the pandemic have offered signing bonuses and higher wages to entice workers. But one general store in Norwich is employing an entirely different strategy that’s not about money at all. They’re asking people to work there who might not need the paycheck, but want to help their community.
Now for some history and the rest of the story:
Recently, Dan Fraser asked the community through his List Serv postings to reach out and grasp this challenge to make a difference.
The challenge: Helping our LOCAL businesses and restaurants survive the
Here is the challenge in his own words along with all the facts and info:
Apply for a job- one shift 6 hours a week and donate your salary to your
favorite nonprofit, if you don't need the money. I guarantee this will
change your life and give you a totally new perspective on life in the
Upper Valley and a real life appreciation for working with the public. Eye
opening, realistic, and stunning! You will experience first hand everything
from entitlement to appreciation and absolutely everything in between. We
need YOU! Yes, YOU, even for one shift once per week, you will help keep
our local institutions going. I can not speak for all LOCAL businesses- but
we are at a crossroads- many of us are on the verge of locking the doors
and closing because we have NO help! I personally, do not care your age or
condition- we most likely can find a spot/fit for you!
The challenge to every single one of you: we know some of you do not need
the money, but imagine the stories! Work 1 6 hour shift and at the next
cocktail party, you will have the best stories/experiences to share. Have a
competition among your friends- who can donate the most earned salary to a
nonprofit! WIN/WIN and feel amazing!
Check this off your bucket list- apply today. No experience
required/flexible schedules, if 1 6 hour shift doesn't work for you- how
about 6 1 hour shifts. ~(Must be at least 16 years old).
As a parent you have a new appreciation for teachers/educators. Now step
up, apply and you will gain an appreciation for front
line/retail/restaurant staff (sorry medical community- most of us don't
have the training to help you all).
After our first, initial posting yesterday, we have had several
individuals step up (have any other businesses had any success yet?) and a
few more riding the fence trying to see if they are up to the challenge.
These are locals, faces you will most likely recognize (or will get to know
and recognize soon). They are not timid, first job high schoolers (who we
love too), but rather seasoned, professional, experienced people, with
previous careers, life skills, people skills and they are now revisiting or
trying out their retail skills. They will be showing up over the next month
as they finish previous engagements and commitments- some are exiting
retirement and trying something new.. Like all of us, all of them have
issues: Some are old (age is just a number- think fine wine and cheese- it
only gets better). Arthritis-(no problem, you can wash dishes in warm
water). Some have kids and need to work around their schedules (I think
they want to escape from them for a short break) Some are married and have
spouses (just grown up children sometimes). No problem, we can work with
and around all this. As a former SPED teacher, I have written many an IEP-
this is just adapting, which is easy when you get creative.
We are "Main Street ''- but some days it feels like Dr. Seuss's Mulberry
Street- Oh the possibilities! You don't have to imagine much, if you work
here on Main Street- you will experience events and see things you never
Believe it or not, here are a few things that have happened here:
People have snowmobiled here in snowstorms.
The lost horse- yup, had to tether one to the tree until the owner could
come down and get it. (that was once we figured out who the owner was).
The drive thru that never happened- well, if you confuse the gas and brake
pedal- the car ended up crashing into the front wall of the store, no one
was injured, but we did lose some glass bottles of milk.
You may even see Penny's lost sheep if they get out and venture to town
Like camping/living in the wild- maybe your shift will include a power
outage- romantic shopping in the dark with flashlights, no computers so
good old fashion pen and paper tallying.
We thought about tunneling to one of the banks, so we wouldn't have to go
out in the cold in winter to get change, but between the gas pumps and
septic tank there just wasn't a clean path forward (and we never got the OK
from the banks either- something about security issues). Now we are
thinking of a bridge to the Norwich Inn (It is a long story, but would be a
short bridge- really it is all about "red tape" which we are still sorting
out- stay tuned, honestly it could, and we hope, it happens).
And just today- a young family went up stairs and found a single sock- no
price on it (surprise!) they wanted to buy it because they had a matching
single sock just like it at home (who knew right?) We gifted them the
single sock because honestly, you can't make this stuff up.
We are accommodating: cleaning, stocking, register and all tasks in
between! General store/general worker is our other unspoken motto. Whatever
you can/or like to do-we need it done. Glamous? no. Reality-yes!
You will use muscles you didn't know you had and have aches and pains due
to your hard work that will make you forget about your headache, or
Do you have the best laundry detergent? This job will put it to the test-
exploding soda bottles, bacon grease, Moo Doo and other odd items and
You can drop your gym membership- (Sorry UVAC/RVC) reaching to the floor,
grab the can of peas, reach up, rotate, and repeat- 20? 40? reps, you won't
need to go all the way to the gym to do it, (and we pay you, instead of you
And speaking of peas- do you remember dodgeball? (Since banned, I know)
Well peas (for some unknown reason) seem to be the item of choice most
often hurled at us by angry customers (they must be tourists- the locals
know better than to do this).
You can cook? think big- breakfast sandwiches for 200, then burgers for at
least as many. We like to see how many days it takes to cook your weight in
bacon (we use so much bacon-artery clogging scary- no other way to put it).
You can unload trucks. (and witness the drivers who hit the building so
hard they knock items off the shelves).
Hot? You can restock the ice cream and frozen food.
Cold? You can restock the woodstove (which is by the way our ONLY heat
source- so dress in layers).
Do you like yoga? Well you can practice your deep breathing techniques with
the lady with the failing eyesight who wants you to get down every coffee
pot on the top shelf- breathe, reach, repeat for all 8 coffee pots. "No
that is not like the one I have" (and in your head you are screaming of
course not, that one was made in 1922). As she is unaware she is blocking
the 20 people who are trying to get eggs. I guess I will just take this one
she finally says. (And you know tomorrow she will return it, because well
"it isn't like the one I used to have").
Are you a puzzle person? Super-you can stack all the bags of grain,
fertilizer or wood chips depending on the season, so that they don't fall
The air hose- yes, we know it is broken, someone cut the hose and the
replacement is ordered but is stuck in one of the 200 cargo ships off of
California- (With no dock workers, no truck drivers,it should be here by
spring). Duck tape to the rescue until then.
Do you need your eyes tested? Well you can practice reading how many grams
of fat are in each type of bread, for the lady who calls every week to see
if it has changed.
Track Star? You can be here! As soon as you are as far away as you can
possibly be, the phone will ring (and in the days when we had high school
help- they can't hear it- it can ring 1000 times), and you can race back to
answer just as they hang up (repeat, repeat).
Perhaps in another post:
I will tell you about the ex husband who gave away his ex wife (and there
was the ring issue too) here at the wedding I performed. We have had
several weddings on site (and sadly a few deaths have occurred too). No
births yet, but anything is possible (and usually there is a doctor in the
"Johnny" in the toy corner
How Agnes always knew what day of the week it was
Or, you can come on down and experience what will become your own stories.
See what you are missing! You just can't make this stuff up- it is too
outlandish. Come experience it first hand.
It is boring, fun, unbelievable and exciting. It is so many careers rolled
Can I volunteer?
Well No! Yes? Maybe/sort of- it is so complex. Officially there are laws
against this since we aren't a non-profit, but we really like to think
outside the box too. However, we do things by the book and don't want to
give the State or Feds any reason to snoop around here anymore than
they already do. So here is the deal- we pay you, you donate the money to
your favorite non-profit (and VT has more nonprofits than any other state,
so your options are endless, but please keep it local).
You can think of this as perhaps the audition for Survivor, because if you
can get through this work experience you can do anything, trust me. The
people you will meet, the things you will do and the fun. If you don't
laugh, you will cry, so by all means laugh, it makes people wonder what you
have been up to. The line up of potential newly recruited employees is
exciting, it really is like a reality TV show, so come be a part and join
As an added bonus (and this is a limited time offer). Once hired, you can
participate in your very own private harvest of this year's crop of Dan &
Whit's dust (available, exclusively here!). You can choose from the soft,
gray batch that gathers on cooler tops and other high places out of sight
and reach of most people, or perhaps you prefer the heartier, darker brown,
grainy variety found in the corners and under display racks. Dust is
highly collectable and sells for $2.99 (here). No one (to date) has been
able to say they themselves harvested their own- you can be the first- a
real perk of the job! I haven't seen it yet on ebay, but then again I
haven't searched too deeply. And,we all know there is pretty unique stuff
available on ebay.
And if you act now, and apply today, you can cut to the front of the line
in our Facebook Monday Minutes- you can dance and be the next Star.
(Get it star & dust--- Stardust!)
Start lining up to pick up the job application today.
Thanks for keeping it local, because without you , there may not be an us
(the many "us-es" in town) for much longer.
If you stop in to Dan and Whit’s and should see one of these Senior Saviours, reach out and thank them for a job well done.
I thank all those who assist in this endeavor.
About Norwich is what it is all about.