Robinson at Chock Full O'Nuts

 

In December of 1956, Jackie announced his retirement from baseball. Just a few days earlier, the Dodger management had also announced that they were trading Robinson to the New York Giants. The double shock shook the sporting world, and especially the Dodgers fans. Jackie went to work for Chock Full o'Nuts, a fast food chain, as the vice president and director of personnel. His family welcomed this job because they wanted to have Robinson home with them more often, and not out on the road.

Chock was one of the first companies to emphasize hiring black employees, in fact almost three-fourths of the workers in the chain were black. Jackie's job was to work on the problems of absenteeism and quick turnover. He would be a role model, and would attempt to improve employee satisfaction. Jackie was pleased with this job, because he did not want to merely be a figurehead, but wanted challenges, responsibilities, and opportunities to have an influence on actions. Thus in his new position as a businessman, he went into the office in the morning, and then out to different Chock restaurants in the afternoon to talk to the employees. Robinson was able to relate to most of the employees because they were low-income workers with large families, the same situation out of which he had pulled himself. He encouraged them to work hard and succeed, because they all had the ability to improve their own lives.

However, his job at Chock was not the only activity Jackie pursued after baseball. He also had a radio show, wrote a column for the New York Post, and got involved in politics and civil rights. This activity later made his position at Chock difficult, for he felt that he was losing touch with the company policies and decisions. He resigned in February of 1964, and went to work with Governor Rockefeller.

 

Opening a Chock Full O'Nuts branch with his boss, Bill Black.

 

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