A father and daughter tandem went viral online after the dad took a part-time job at his teen’s workplace to help her and spend more time with her.
James Culp, a retired Marine living in Newport, decided to work alongside his daughter, Astyn, at the Food Lion Grocery Store. Astyn was usually working alone and with additional responsibilities since the business had a hard time hiring reliable staff.
“I knew I could bring some stability to her work life and reduce some of the stress she feels by having to cover shifts by herself,” shared James, 42.
I knew I could bring some stability to her work life and reduce some of the stress she feels by having to cover shifts by herself. —James Culp, retired U.S. Marine
The director of a child development center at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, James happily wore the apron and took charge of the bakery and deli counter at the grocery. He now works 25 hours a week with his 19-year-old daughter. He’s responsible for stocking food, making sandwiches and salads, doing dishes and keeping the area clean.
Astyn welcomed her dad stepping up to lend a helping hand. “I was ecstatic,” she said. “My dad and I are best friends so it’s really awesome working with him.”
The North Carolina dad was retired from the Marines when his wife got pregnant with Astyn. He became a stay-at-home dad to raise their daughter and this created a special bond between them.
“Being around the military, in a way, we weren’t near family at all…and I wasn’t working, so I wasn’t really making friends where we were. It was really was just [me] and Astyn,” he said in an interview with Fox News Digital.
James and Astyn are both “goofy and obnoxious” and these traits make their work less stressful.
“We’re able to joke around, but also ensure all of the cleaning and packaging things and tagging items gets done for the night,” said Astyn. “I feel like it’s a weight off my shoulders when I’m working with him because I know I can rely on him to get stuff done.”
James works at the child development center from 5:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. and then goes to Food Lion to start his shift at 3:00 p.m. It’s a tight schedule, but he looks forward to being with his daughter in the grocery. “As long as they’ll have me, and I can work the same shift as Astyn and help her and make her life easier, I’ll be there,” he said.
People may be confused why a retired military man is working two jobs, but James points out that it’s all for his daughter.
“When people think [the second job] is about money, they look at me like I’m crazy, but when I tell them my daughter’s working there and this why I’m doing it, everyone understands immediately and is very supportive of it,” he explained.
James shared a picture of him and Astyn working together on Reddit’s MadeMeSmile page and it quickly caught the attention of many, receiving almost 13,000 upvotes.
Some of the viewers commented:
“Super dad!” wrote tlf123456.
“If this isn’t one of the best things I’ve seen on the internet in a long while,” said Quick_Movie_5758.
“You’re an amazing dad,” wrote chippin_out. “Your daughter will absolutely cherish the moments she spent with you when she gets older.”