Connie Crupi has been a friendly face to thousands of customers at the oldest mini storage in the Bowie-Crofton area for nearly 20 years. She will retire on Thursday December 31, 2015, after paying into the Social Security system since the 1960’s. She leaves her office on New Year’s Eve to start a new role as a loving grandmother to her grandchildren in her home in Davidsonville where she and her husband, Larry, have resided for 35 years.
The customers who have entrusted their precious belongings to Connie Crupi over the past two decades have found a serious, no nonsense, professional who was always polite. “I will miss my customers, but I look forward to spending more time with my grandchildren,” she said. Her work at her office was more than managing the units that housed valuable property. Crupi also showed true concern for her property owners. For example, when your customer service journalist was looking for the perfect place to store a decade of recordings of Howard University literature lectures. Crupi provided the perfect place.
The lectures that began a quarter of a century ago were kept in excellent condition, free from water damage, and other elements until they were shipped away when the journalist left America to eventually became the chancellor of a journalism and communications program in Bamako, Mali, West Africa. Crupi helped with the difficult relocation and recommended the school all boys school that provided four years of excellent service to his son. Her role as the manager of Crofton Mini Storage often exceeded renting storage units because Crupi cared about her customers.
Her retirement on December 31, 2015, will be an occasion for her loyal customers to remember a professional who gave great customer service while protecting valuable property. Her retirement is a great loss to the customers who have come to depend on Crupi to keep their valuables safe. However, retirement is a very private and personal decision. Thousands of students pleaded with the present writer not to retire from his American teaching to move to Africa. But after being named Professor of the Year by UGSA and Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year by HUSA he told the student body in the Bison Ballroom that he would end his college teaching career at Howard. He kept that promise. Now it is time for Connie Crupi to retire. She plans to keep her promise to be with her family.
Retirement should never be associated with being lazy or sleepy. It is a track change. It is earned from decades of hard work. Crupi will be very busy taking care of and teaching her grandchildren. Her days will be as active in retirement as they were before. She ran her small business with precision and excellence. Her grandchildren are in for a great blessing to have her order their lives in much the same way that she ran her small business.
When asked about the most memorable aspects of her long career she gave the following reply, “Dealing with my tenants, working with my tenants, and any time you work with people, all different kinds, you serve the public. I think that’s my best memory. I enjoyed the people that I worked with at my company. It has been a good company to work for.” she said.
Crupi has been a good neighbor in her community near the Y Worry Farm in Davidsonville, Maryland, for nearly 40 years. “I love our community. We are in a rural community that is close to the Annapolis Mall. Davidsonville is still somewhat rural because of the building codes and so forth. But we are a few minutes from Crofton,” she said.
As the 10,000 mile move back to Africa was being planned and storage was being arranged, Crupi was always prepared with helpful suggestions and advice. Her years of experience in moving and storage was a great asset to her customers served at Crofton Mini Storage. The back to Africa shipments took a year of planning and Crupi was ready to assist when needed. Her years of customer service will be remembered by her loyal customers
The plans for her retirement include one of the most important tasks on earth. “I plan to spend a lot of time with my grandchildren and family. We have done a lot of travelling over the years so we are not in the market to do a lot of travelling. It is going to be a low key retirement,” she said. On December 31, 2015, Crupi will drive away from the Crofton Mini Storage for the final time as manager. Although Shakespeare was right and parting is such sweet sorrow, her retirement means joy for her grandchildren and her loving husband.
Happy retirement to a woman who did her job well and gave her customers great customer service. As the new year of 2016 approaches it is a time for change and resolutions. Remember retirement does not mean the end. It is the beginning of a new role. Happy New Year and Happy New Beginnings.