Longest-Serving Macy's Employee Retires After 73-Year Career

Rose Syracuse went to work at Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square when she was nineteen years old, and she stayed there until she retired. That’s unusual enough to us today, but that’s before you learn how long she worked there. She began work at the department store in 1939. She retired earlier this week at age 92 after a 73-year career behind the scenes.

Many of the jobs that she’s performed have long since become obsolete. Before the invention of the credit card, customers would deposit their money in Macy’s accounts, then use their accounts to make purchases. She later worked in mail-order, taking catalog orders over the phone.

Rose Syracuse, 92, Macy’s longest-serving employee, is retiring after 73 years [Daily News]


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  1. padarjohn says:

    “404 – Page not found”

  2. Walker66 says:

    It retired.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Would love to hear her take on how retail business has changed over that time period. Probably would tell you about all the benefits that have been lost, pensions, quality managers, quality training, quality employees, management losing sight of what makes Macy’s great, etc.

    • redskull says:

      Also about how at one point– probably around the 1950s or 1960s– an adult male could actually support his family on what he made selling shoes in the shoe department, or suits in the men’s dept.

      • pyrosf says:

        I’m fairly sure the people working at high end suits stores can still earn a good living in the large markets. But your right, outside of NYC I don’t think you can earn a great living doing that kind of thing.

      • Quake 'n' Shake says:

        She always worked behind the scenes at the flagship store, where she got her job after passing a math and typing test.

        Doesn’t sound like she was ever a sales clerk on the floor to me.

        • Chuft-Captain says:

          So? She worked there. She undoubtedly knew and was friends with countless sales clerks through her career…

      • Cerne says:

        Yah it’s total bullshit that the cost of consumer goods has plummeted so drastically. And all we have to show for it it’s a massive increase in quality of life.

        • Blueskylaw says:

          It’s also total bullsh*t that phones that were made decades ago cost
          $50.00 and lasted 30 years, but now cost $5.00 and last only 6 months.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            I have phones that were made 50 years ago. They still work fine, you just need a 4-pin adapter to get it into a modern jack.

    • nbs2 says:

      From the article, it sounds like she believe that management treats their employees better.

    • Wireless Joe says:

      “Would love to hear her take on how retail business has changed over that time period.”

      When she started, it probably resembled Grace Brothers from “Are You Being Served?” and when she retired, it resembled SavMart from the Robin Williams film “One Hour Photo”.

  4. Hi_Hello says:
  5. NorthAlabama says:
  6. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    What a fun, heartwarming story. I appreciate it when people are loyal to their companies.

    • scoosdad says:

      Me too. I hope to be working somewhere when I’m that age. I can’t imagine not working at something that keeps my brain occupied and a little extra cash coming in.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      I appreciate it when companies display loyalty toward their people.

      People will start showing loyalty again when they start getting it.

  7. Blueskylaw says:

    What Macy’s won’t tell you is that she was forced to retire after her
    health care premiums cost more than Macy’s entire annual revenue.

  8. Invader Zim says:

    Wonder what her starting wage was vs her ending one… Just curious.

  9. Chuft-Captain says:

    Give my big hearts to Maude, Dwayne. Dismember me for Harold’s choir. Tell all the Foys on Sortibackenstrete that I will soon be theeeeeeere…

  10. ATXag says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Jimmy John’s. To me their sandwiches are something I can make at home. All they are are cold cuts, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo and bread. There’s nothing unique to them at all. I prefer Quiznos in the sub restaurant genre. Their sandwiches have some variety and their bread is good.

  11. triana says:

    I’ve worked retail my whole life and have never been able to stomach any job for more than three years. I only survived a year at Macy’s. She must be damn good at signing people up for the Macy’s charge card.

  12. Peggee has pearls and will clutch them when cashiers ask "YOU GOT A WIC CHECK MA'AM?" says:

    Before the invention of the credit card, customers would deposit their money in Macy’s accounts, then use their accounts to make purchases.

    Um…why didn’t they just deposit their money into their wallets and use the wallets to make the purchases?

    • humphrmi says:

      Back then, it was called “budgeting”, you see with these budgets, you had a certain amount of money to spend each month, and (I know this is crazy but) you didn’t just spend what was in your wallet or bank account and then worry about what to do after your wallet or bank account was empty. Instead, you would put money toward a certain purchase, and once the amount you “saved” equaled the item price, you would make the purchase, and (again, this is crazy but) end up the month having only spent a certain amount of money – once again, called a “budget”.

      • FirePuff says:

        Honestly, I do that myself these days. At least with Starbucks. I had a bad habit of going far more than I should, so with the iPhone app, I budgeted $25/month for Starbucks, putting it on a rechargeable card. If I run out of money on the card, I’m out of luck until the next month. ;)

        • F1ll3rbunny says:

          That’s a good idea; I always nickel-and-dime my budget to death on random coffee-breaks. The rechargeable card would help a lot!

          • RvLeshrac says:

            The problem is that the stores with cards which don’t cost you money to fill are stores you shouldn’t be spending money at in the first place. Starbucks…

  13. FichenDich says:

    Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren earns more before lunchtime in a single day than Rose Syracuse will have earned in her entire life. Hooray for capitalism ! The only fly in the ointment is that now Rose will begin collecting her full Social Security. But they’re working on that !

    The original story has moved here:

    • mharris127 says:

      Actually once you turn 66 (67 for those that are born after 1962 IIRC) you can collect your Social Security no matter what your salary is. You still have the option to delay collecting to age 70 and receive more each month to (hopefully) make up for what you didn’t collect between ages 66-70. Medicare is also an option at 65 even if you are still working, it dovetails with your employee coverage at your job, if the employer has more than 20 employees the employer policy is primary (and Medicare picking up the rest of the bill), if the employer has 19 employees or less the insurer issues a Medicare Supplement policy and Medicare is primary.

  14. Bob A Dobalina says:

    “Before the invention of the credit card, customers would deposit their money in Macy’s accounts, then use their accounts to make purchases.”

    Macy’s used to make people pay *before* they bought something? Where was Consumerist when this was going on?