Russell Offen tidies up after Mosgiel shoppers. Photo by
Russell Offen is something of a minor celebrity in
People say ''gidday'' to him wherever he goes, children wave
and shout ''hello''.
''You can't get into too much trouble here, everybody knows
you,'' Mr Offen said.
He has even won an award for being an all-round good guy.
The 59-year-old New World Mosgiel car-park supervisor or
trolley boy - he does not mind being called that - reckons it
is all just because he makes the best of his job.
''A job's a job and it's what you make of it. I like to have
a smile on. If you get around all grumpy, that's going to be
a long day.''
Mr Offen goes the extra mile, and has been doing so for the
12 years since he started at New World.
He helps mothers dealing with young children and a full
trolley by taking the trolley to the car, he helps older
people with their trollies, and has the trollies ready when
the resthome buses roll in on Thursdays.
For some lucky children he might even have a collectable game
card ready at hand for a swap.
''I get on with the kids, that's half the fun of the job.
They call out to me from the playground [across the road from
the supermarket], and give me a big wave. That makes your day
a bit better.''
It is all part of making the best of what you have, Mr Offen
says, and is all part of being a member of the Mosgiel
When he is not tidying up the trollies and sweeping out the
entrance to the supermarket, Mr Offen prefers to spend his
time at home, where he lives with his 88-year old mother
Agnes and their cat. He is never idle.
An avid collector, he collects shipping photos, and spends
much of his spare time putting his extensive collection onto
his computer. He has 850 cat ornaments at home; some on
display, some still in boxes.
He collects game cards and die-cast models, although he gave
away his model aeroplane collection to local children when he
and his mother shifted in 1980, because he thought it was a
good time to have ''a bit of a clean-out''.
In his holidays he prefers to stay at home in Mosgiel,
because, he says, he has seen all he wants to see, and
everything would have changed too much since he travelled
''I can't be bothered going anywhere, I just potter along.
I'm happy here.''