Southampton shopkeeper retires after 38 years after taking no days off

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A shopkeeper from Southampton England has retired after working every single day at a local convenience store for 38 years, including official holidays such as Christmas Day.

Roy Kharbanda, 62, has been running ‘Testwood Stores’ in Shirley since he was 24, on 4th October 1982 after taking over from his father-in-law, adding up to roughly 13,416 days of non-stop work.

Over the last 38 years the grandfather of three has even served five generations of one family, even opening to serve customers for at least an hour.
Upon this retirement on 16th July, a crowd of 150 people gathered to cheer and clap Mr Kharbanda off on his last day.

“People think I’m bonkers, he said. “I worked every day for 38 years. At first it was run down, it had no stock. I slowly built it up.

“It’s not a shop, it’s a community shop. My only purpose was to help other people along with earning a little living as well.”

The 62-year-old’s dedication to work meant that he was able to send all three of his daughters to £13,000 a year Gregg private school.
Mira, 34, is a now geneticist, Natasha, 33, an engineer and 29-year-old Justine works as a lawyer for Microsoft.

The retired shopkeeper joked that he is looking forward to finally getting to know his wife Shashi – with whom he is planning their first ever holiday together – after 39 years of marriage.

“Me and my wife don’t know each other,” he joked. “Since 1982 I’ve been at the shop and she’s been at home. We’re just going to live day by day. Time will tell.”

“I have lived for my children. My view is that everything comes and goes. You can have holidays but they come and go. Education is forever. That is the mantra of my life,” he said.

The convenience store is now run by his nephew.