By JESSICA CRAWORD
• Daily Leader
This past spring, Clint McKim was hired by Dillon’s to manage the Liberal location of the mid-western franchise. With his youth and new ideas, he has managed to bring to the associates a newfound joy for getting up and going to work each day.
Born and raised in Wichita, this is McKim’s first time to experience Southwest Kansas. He has come to appreciate the hometown attitude of his Liberal patrons.
“I have been working for Dillon’s for a couple years, but I have been in the grocery business for about 10 years,” McKim said. “Other than that, this is my first time out here in Western Kansas. It’s quiet, this is nice. The pace of life is much different, but it is a nice change of pace.
“Everyone out here has been super receptive,” he continued. “What you get here that you don’t get in Wichita is people asking you about your life. I moved around to different stores in Wichita, and they treated me like, ‘OK, another guy with a tie, I will go ask him a question.’ Here, people really care about where you are from and what you have done. So, that has been a nice part about it.”
McKim said remodeling efforts are currently underway in an effort to make the atmosphere at Dillon’s a bit more pleasing to the eye.
“Right now we are doing some updates to the store – painting, remodeling bathrooms, remodeling in produce,” he said. “Dillon’s is trying to spend their resources here in Liberal to update the store for the customers because it is something that they haven’t done it in the past. They are just trying to make it nicer for the customers.”
As nice as the remodeling may be, McKim knows firsthand that the attitude of his employees will effect the success of the store in a much more dramatic way. With that in mind, he encourages his staff to enjoy what they do.
“I try to spend a lot of time helping the people take pride in what they do and have fun at work,” he said. “That is what I want to do everyday. If I don’t do those two things, I don’t feel like I have accomplished anything that day. I have been really trying to push that with the associates and I have heard a lot of really good comments about the store now.”
Inside the store, McKim is in familiar territory. However, when he steps out into that Southwest Kansas wind, it is all new to him. The move, he said, has been an exciting new experience that he is glad he braved.
“It has been a great opportunity for me,” he said. “This store is the same size as a lot of the stores in Wichita, so it was something I was familiar with. I just thought of it as a new opportunity and something different than what I have been used to my whole life.”