Featured Employee: Oscar Robinson
Happy 2020 everyone! We at J&L Wines wanted to start the new decade off with a bang; we thought collectively what we have been missing all these years and at seems like unanimously we shouted BLOG! Next came planning of what we would want to talk about. Of course we said that we wanted to be educational, informative and talk about all things wine & craft spirits but that isn’t 100% of what makes J&L, well, J&L!
J&L Wines has been in business for almost 40 years (if you can believe it!) and we feel the reason for our long lasting foundation is that we provide excellent customer service, we work with top brands in the marketplace and most of all we value our employees like family.
It seemed only fitting that our very first blog post is about our family, so we will be doing a featured J&L employee every quarter; starting with our very own village elder, Mr. Oscar Robinson.
Oscar has continuously been employed at J&L Wines since 1997, one of our most indelible employees to say the least. He started at J&L in the warehouse part time, as he had another job at the time, but quickly was pulled up the ranks to driver within 6 months of employment. Oscar drove the Coast Route, arguably the most sought after route we have here at J&L, with Pacific views, sea breeze in the air, and easy beach-going vibes. He drove for 17 years and loved building relationships and getting to work with incredible people, both accounts and coworkers alike. When asked what the most important thing he has learned over the years, he replied, “Having respect and equally being respected by the people you work for. Lorraine has especially treated me better than any boss I have ever had, and it makes me have tremendous respect for her. You just don’t get that normally.” Oscar now works in the warehouse again, part-time however he may certainly be the most knowledgeable warehouse employee we have. He knows where everything is by heart, which isn’t an easy feat given our warehouse is filled with over 100 different brands and spans 40,000+ sq. ft.
Oscar moved to California in 1959 from a place called Magazine, Arkansas where he was born in a cabin 14 miles from the actual town of Magazine, populated by only 835 people today. His father was in the service which first brought them to California and after being in the state for only one year Oscar’s father was transferred to Camp Roberts, so the family picked up and moved to San Miguel in 1960. You could say that Oscar knows the Central Coast well; being that he has lived here longer than many current J&L employees have been alive! Oscar has 5 children, four girls and one boy, twelve grandchildren and twenty-three great grandchildren. Although Oscar has only met a handful of his grandchildren and great grandchildren, they live throughout the South to Midwest portion of the U.S., he has a big heart and love for all of them. He says, “They (Oscar’s Children) keep telling me a different number every-time I ask.”
When Oscar isn’t working at J&L he enjoys playing golf two days a week. His favorite course is a tie between Chalk Mountain and Morro Bay. He loves to go out to breakfast and catch up with people he knows, most frequently visiting Joe’s in Templeton and A-Town Diner in Atascadero. Oscar doesn’t drink, which may be the secret to staying as sharp as he is at work! When asked if he had a personal favorite brand that J&L carries he said that he never really got to liking the taste of alcohol, he tried to drink when he was much younger and said he carried on for about 3 years until he woke up one day and said this is “stupid.” So up until his recent J&L Wines anniversary party, where he surprised us all by taking a big swig of some fine Champagne, he never touched the stuff.
Towards the end of our interview Oscar was asked what his favorite part of his job was. He said, “The people, I would probably still come by and bug everyone even if and when I fully retire...The people make the difference here.” Our VP of Sales, Peter Michel says, “Oscar is the epitome of a loyal conscientious employee. He is a pleasure to work with and is always looking for the company’s best interest.”
Even with his dry sense of humor, we are most certainly lucky to have Oscar as a fellow employee here at J&L Wines. He is very dear to us and we hope that if anyone is ever visiting us, picking up or dropping off wine in the warehouse, they take a minute and stop to say hi to Oscar, you won’t be disappointed!