Hanson says much has changed since starting at New England Drug

For the past 25 years, the town of New England has seen a familiar face when paying for a prescription, picking out a greeting card, or buying a gift.

Diana Hanson (RGB)
Diana Hanson stands behind the counter at New England Drug. Hanson has been a fixture at New England Drug for 25 years and doesn’t forsee stopping anytime soon.


By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

For the past 25 years, the town of New England has seen a familiar face when paying for a prescription, picking out a greeting card, or buying a gift. This past December, Diana Hanson celebrated 25 years with New England Drug.

Hired by Emil Zueger in 1989, Hanson started with the business and has enjoyed her time since, though she admits she didn’t know she would be with the company so long.

Hanson had applied for a position a few years before she was actually hired. One day Zueger randomly came to Hanson’s home. Though she wasn’t there at the time, Zueger had a message relayed to her. He wanted her to come work for him. She didn’t even interview or meet, Zueger just said ‘come to work’.

She started that following Monday.

“I always say he hired me because I owed him money,” Hanson said.

When Hanson started there were three employees, so she started out as a part time member of New England Drug.

As the years passed, Hanson took on more duties. The increased amount of work also coincided with Zueger’s declining health.

Jodi Doe purchased the business in 2002, Hanson stayed with the company.

In 2006 Hanson increased her workload and became a full-time employee, something she said is opposite of what usually happens with long time employees.

“Most people go part time, I went full time,” Hanson said.

Over the years Hanson has seen the business evolve into what it is today. When she started, Hanson said the store had more floor space. Though they haven’t remodeled, they have partitioned a portion of the business and turned it into storage and office space.

Hanson also has seen the business go from one mode of business management practice to another.

Hanson said when she started Zueger had an old cash register that he kept for a long time, and kept using it. The register could only ring up $8 at a time. She was there when they used hand written prescriptions and implemented the store’s first credit card machine and when they became a tele-pharmacy in 2002

And she was there when they recently implemented the use of a computer tablet.

Hanson said her favorite part of the job has been the interaction with the people.

“You know I’m a people person, and I just like to help people,” Hanson said.

Being at the front desk of a well-trafficked business also has its sad moments, as Hanson has seen patrons pass away after years of coming in.

Though it’s been a long time, Hanson said time has gone by fast and it doesn’t seem like 25 years.

“No, it definitely doesn’t seem that long,” Hanson said. “Everyday when I go and switch on the lights I think about the first day that this lady was teaching me everything, I thought I will never remember all this, but I think about it everyday.”

She may cut down her hours in the future, but she doesn’t see her time and New England Drug ending anytime soon, and she still enjoys the interaction she gets everyday.

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