SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - In 10 years, where do you see yourself? In 20 years? What about when you’re 91-years-old?
Salvatore “Sal” Laurie never thought at this age he’d still be working, but not only does he clock in 40 hours a week, he does it willingly and with a huge smile.
“The VA doctors, they say, ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing, don’t change anything,’" laughed Laurie. "Another doctor said, ‘He’s gonna die pumping gas!’”
Laurie has been working for Sam’s Club since the 1980s and currently works as a gas station attendant in Bradenton, helping customers fuel up their cars. For Laurie, time is funny.
“It just goes by so fast,” Laurie said. “I was only gonna stay 30 days, and it’s been 31 years!”
Hired as a temp when founder Sam Walton first opened Sam’s Club, Laurie quickly realized that each position he held felt more like a hobby than a job.
“Sam Walton was right, have fun," Sal said. "So I’m still here... It’s a joke. I can make a movie out here, full length. It’ll be the biggest comedy of the year.”
He laughs through every shift, never taking anything too seriously, even when the unthinkable happens, like the pumps stop working.
“Try to make fun out of it," he said. "That’s why I say it can be a comedy out here. "
When asked if people get worked up waiting in the long lines, Laurie answered, "Oh yeah, they say, ‘One more time and I’m going across the street!’ So I say, ‘Boy, I hope it works.’ They say [they’ve] had it, I say, ‘I don’t blame ya.’”
Don’t get him wrong, he’s 91-years-old - the job isn’t always easy.
“Yeah, the first couple of hours, I know what no pain, no gain means,” Laurie said. "But after a couple of hours, circulation kicks in, ya know. I walk around, talk to people.”
Filling cars with gas and people with inspiration.
“I tell them all they gotta find something that they like and have fun," he explained. "If you’re working at a job and you’re not having fun, get out of that job and get something that you like. That you’re having fun doing.”
It’s his secret to life, along with constant prayer and he doesn’t see himself quitting any time soon.
“Doctors’ orders," Laurie laughed.
He prefers not to accept the food stamps or subsidized housing from the government, instead choosing to serve as motivation to every one our parents and grandparents who may be feeling like their life is winding down.
His message to them: It’s never too late to get out and find something you love.