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On the Job with Mac Hare

Photo by Barry Levine

Photo by Barry Levine

"On the Job with...." is a regular feature of Sunday Inc. Today's article features Mac Hare, owner of Moe's of Albany.

Q. If you were a young adult fresh out of college, what would you do first in searching for a job?

A. My suggestion for anyone searching for a job is cut your hair, shave, remove any body jewelry from your ears, nose, eyes, lips and tongue. Dress appropriately, making sure your pants don't hang lower than your underwear. Apply to as many businesses as you can. Accept the first job available, as the opportunity of another job might not become available for awhile. You can receive an income while you pursue your endeavors. How many people actually retire from their first place of employment?

Q. What do you look for when hiring employees?

A. Need I say more??? Look at preceding response.

Q. What was the first thing you spent money on when you received your first-ever paycheck?

A. My first paycheck was from Golden Glow Dairies. My mother got me a job washing trucks and helping with home milk delivery. I went to Phil's Saxon shop at Lake Park shopping center and bought a pair of plaid bellbottom pants and a shirt.

Q. What was your first job?

A. My first paying job was cutting grass in the neighborhood. My dad leased the Gulf station at the corner of Slappey and 13th when I was in the eighth grade. I was paid $25 per week. Every time I got a coke and a Moonpie or cheese crackers, my dad made me put a ticket in the register for that amount. I even had to pay retail price. At the end of the week, he would deduct these from my $25. On a good week, I might have taken home $5.

Q. What led you to your current position? Why did you want to operate your own business?

A. The company I had been working for in Memphis shut down and I moved back to Albany. A friend of mine asked if I wanted to help him in opening a business. He had a son that lived in Atlanta where Moe's originated, and his son loved Moe's so he suggested to his dad that we check it out. We went to Atlanta and decided we wanted to open a Moe's. Shortly thereafter, our different work ethics began to clash, so we made a decision to part company. He was unable to buy me out, so I did and here I am.

Q. Do you have a role model or mentor in your career?

A. As a young man I worked with my brother-in law, Bubba Bowles. We went to school together, played football together, married sisters and worked at Georgia Pacific box plant together. For 25 years he would never let me do less than my best. He believed in working hard to accomplish his goals, and he expected the same for me. Between Bubba, my dad, and my older brother Bob, they taught me that you only got out of something what you put into it.

Q. What is the biggest lesson you as a business leader learned from the recent recession?

A. You have to go with the flow when times get hard. You have to make sacrifices and possibly do things at work you normally don't do. Hopefully, the cycle will come back around soon.

Q. If you could turn the clock back on one aspect of technology - examples e-mail, automated phone systems, cell phones, PDAs, etc. - what would you most like to see go away?

A. I tried to think of something since everyone says automated phone service, but I have to agree. They are very aggravating.

Q. What is your favorite work-related gadget?

A. My frozen Margarita machine.

Q. I'm up and going by? And what is your morning routine?

A. I am up at 6:30 a.m., drinking my coffee and reading The Albany Herald. I am usually going, on a good day, by 8:30 am.

Q. Favorite hobbies or activity outside work?

A. Sitting in my favorite chair, watching TV, through my eyelids.

Q. If you could take back one business decision you made in your career, what would it be?

A. I went to Cambridge, Md., in 1996 to help build a box plant from scratch. I had been there about five years when an old boss called and wanted me to come to Memphis and help him do the same. I did and after nine months they closed and I had no job; although it did get me back to Albany and here at Moe's.

Q. Best thing about your job?

A. I can come and go as I please, and I have met some great people over the years at Moe's.

Q. Worst thing about your job?

A. It's a 24/7 job.

Q. The most beneficial course I took in school was?

A. Political science was probably, not most beneficial, but it must have been my favorite because I had to take it three times.

Q. What would be your dream job if you were able to pick a position outside your current career path?

A. King.

Q. Finish this thought: "On the first anniversary of my retirement, I see myself...

A. Crown Hill. unless I hit the lottery, I will always have to work.

Q. What is the one trait a strong business leader cannot afford to be without?

A. A strong desire to succeed.

Q. Crystal ball time: What's your call on when the economic recovery for our area will be in full swing?

A. Hard to say. One thing for sure, we need to support our local manufacturing companies. If we lose another big employer, Albany will be in serious trouble. The city of Albany has to be more small business friendly and work with owners.

Q. What kind of music might I find on your list of most played on your iPod?

A. Classic Rock and classic country. By the way, what is an iPod?

Q. What do you think is the biggest change Albany will see in the next 10 years?

A. Hopefully, Albany will continue to grow and prosper. To be honest, if we can't get our city leaders to listen and work for the taxpaying public, I am afraid Albany could become a ghost town. I was born and raised here and lived here most of my life, and I am proud to be an Albanian. Hopefully, our leaders will listen to our concerns and build on the needs for all citizens and not just a few.

Q. What was the best vacation you've ever taken? Why?

A. All the vacations we took when my kids were young. You don't realize how good they really were until you get older and your kids are not kids anymore. Time goes by too fast. Enjoy every minute of your time with your family.

Q. What are the biggest changes you have seen in your specific line of business over the past few years?

A. The cost of goods continue to increase and minimum wage increasing by 40 percent over the last three years have made it hard to maintain our prices and has hurt a lot of the fast-food industry.