Longtime VCNB employee Alice McCloud is giving herself the gift of retirement this Christmas. In fact, Christmas Eve will be her last day as a teller in our Wilkesville branch. “I don’t think it has really sunk in yet that I won’t be coming back after Christmas. It doesn’t feel real yet,” Alice said.
Real or not, the day is fast approaching and Alice said that she is excited even though she will miss the people she works with and many of her customers. “I enjoy my coworkers and how we all get along. We help each other out and no matter what comes up, we work together. It’s fun being a part of that,” she said.
She also talked at length about her customers and what they mean to her. “Our customers are all so great. They make you feel like part of their family because they kid with you, they joke, and stand and talk to you even when they’ve finished their business. We have so many wonderful customers that I’ll miss,” she said.
She talked about helping regular customers and getting to know their needs. “You get to know them, you remember their account numbers and sometimes I know what they want before they tell me. That makes them feel good,” she said.
While she will miss the people she encounters at work, she looks forward to having more free time and to doing the things that she enjoys best. “Family. I want to see my family more. I’m looking forward to having more time for my hobbies and crafts too.”
She has a grown daughter and two grandchildren who she hopes to see more. She enjoys needlepoint, cross stitch and reading as well. Alice also hopes to do some traveling in the form of day trips. She enjoys getting out to hike and sightsee. “There are a lot of places I would like to see that are close but I could never get around to visiting. It’s hard when you work all day, all week and you try to fit everything into a weekend,” she explained.
Alice is a self-proclaimed homebody who likes to call herself “a plain old person.” However, there is a part of Alice’s life story that isn’t at all boring and that is actually inspiring.
After the end of a “not so great relationship,” Alice went back to school and got her degree from the University of Rio Grande more than twenty years ago. ‘I always told my daughter that school was important and thought I should act like it,’ she said. The single mom was older than most of her classmates and sometimes even older than her professors. “The first time I walked into a class and my teacher was younger than me, I wanted to turn around and walk out,” she laughed. “It was a lot of work and it was hard to get back into the swing of studying and doing homework but I’m so proud of myself for doing it.”
She saw a number of life changes while pursuing her education. It was during this time Alice met Keith, the man who would become her husband. She also started working part time at the bank. “When we started dating, I told him that I wasn’t looking to get married or anything until I could take care of myself and stand on my own two feet. That was important to me that I be able to do that for myself.”
Today, the pair have been married for 22 of the 29 years they have been together. She says he’s a good guy and a great cook and that she looks forward to spending more time together when she retires.
As for that degree, she never actually put it to use. “I went full time at the bank at about the same time I graduated and didn’t really want to leave. The bank has been good to me, it’s like a big family here, and I have always enjoyed what I do,” she said.
With her last day fast approaching, Alice said she will miss working but has much to look forward to in the future. “I will miss it. Coming here every day is like being part of a family but I’m looking forward to having time for myself.”