‘I love working’ Meet Ms. Marie, a 90-year-old Chick-fil-A employee

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A 90-year-old Chick-fil-A employee’s willingness to work stands in stark contrast to the job market after the pandemic began.

“I came to Chick-fil-A after I retired because I couldn’t sit at home anymore. I love working,” said Chick-fil-A Ambassador Charlotte Pike, affectionately known as Ms. Marie. “I came to Chick-fil-A and applied and they hired me that day and it’s been 11 years and I’m still working for Chick-fil-A and loving every minute of it. .”

She is one of the company’s longest serving employees and the third longest serving at the Charlotte Pike site in Nashville.

“My children don’t like me working since I was as old as I was but I still love work and as long as God gives me strength I will work,” Ms Marie said.

She used to work an 8-hour shift, but the company recently reduced her hours.

“They thought I was getting too old to work eight hours, but I could still work eight hours a day,” she said.

She was the restaurant’s main hostess and is now the store’s main ambassador.

“I’m sitting here at this table and I welcome all the customers and tell them to come back. And I take care of my little kids, I give them like keep me stuff on my table coloring books and little cows and everything and I take care of all my kids who come here,” Ms. Marie said.

Claire Kosky

Chick-fil-A on Charlotte Pike’s Mrs. Marie greets guests at the door and offers children items to keep them entertained.

According to the Tennessee Department of Labor, Tennessee’s unemployment rate hit a record high of 3.2% for the second consecutive month in April.

Unemployment across the country also remained unchanged in April at 3.6%. A year ago, the national rate was 6%.

The department reports that “the number of Tennesseans in the workforce also hit new highs in April. the preceding month.”

Nearly 8,000 non-farm jobs were also created between March and April, with the hospitality industry registering the highest number of new jobs. Other industries experiencing significant job growth include mining, logging, and construction.

Over the past 12 months, employers across the state have added 145,600 non-farm jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector created the highest percentage of these jobs, followed by the trade, transport and utilities sector and the professional and business services sector.

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Claire Kosky

The Peugeots became regulars at Chick-fil-A on Charlotte Pike years ago and said they couldn’t imagine fast food without Mrs. Marie.

Mary Ann Peugeot and her husband made going to Chick-fil-A part of their weekly routine years ago.

“People know your name. They know when you’re gone. When you come back. It’s like ‘where did you go?’ It’s just that it’s a part, it’s a part of our world,” Peugeot explained.

She said their restaurant experience wouldn’t be the same without their visit with Ms. Marie.

“Marie has been a part of our lives since we arrived because she is so loving. She is so many people’s grandmother, or just so many people’s friend,” Peugeot explained. “She can come here and you might be having a bad day, but she can turn that into a smile.”

Marie’s advice to those struggling to return to work after years of working from home or unemployment? “Keep the career you made and keep working.”

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Claire Kosky

Ms. Marie greets guests and fills any beverage needs they may have.
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