Gallery Furniture works toward recovery

May 23, 2009 5:46:00 PM PDT
It's back to work for Gallery Furniture warehouse employees after a devastating fire less than 48 hours ago. They're in a new location, and having to do things differently. But, workers at the Houston institution are making due.There's been a steady stream of customers at the Gallery Furniture Westheimer location. Many of them say they're there to support Gallery Furniture. That's keeping employees busy, but they wouldn't have things any other way.

Saturday was supposed to be Camilo Menjivar's day off from work. But this time, there's nowhere else he'd rather be.

He said, "I love it. I love it. I love my job and I love Mack and Linda because they give me the opportunity to work."

The El Salvadorian immigrant told Eyewitness News that "Mattress Mack" gave him a job at his Gallery Furniture warehouse 20 years ago. So, it's important he be here now when Mack needs him most.

Workers are busy stocking shelves at the new warehouse in Sugar Land, replacing the one lost in a massive fire Thursday night. Just as quickly, they're sending shipments to their showroom on Westheimer, which has now doubled in size to accommodate more furniture.

Jim McIngvale "Mattress Mack" said, "Being out here working is great therapy for all of us after what happened the other night."

Still, the focus here remains squarely on the customers. But, without a computer, delivery workers are taking down orders by hand and they're two to three days behind schedule.

A worker explained, "I don't think there's one customer that's said anything bad about the situation. They're actually saying, take as long as y'all need."

Customers may not mind, but the workers do. Almost every available employee has shown up to help, saying they'll be here as long as it takes to catch up.

"Is no matter it's 9, 10, 11, 12, 1:00... It's no matter. I'll be here," Menjivar said. "I'm happy."

McIngvale is touched by the outpouring of well wishes and has asked people to support him simply by continuing to shop at his store on Westheimer at Post Oak.

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