Pandora Avenue McDonald's Restaurant employee Sharon Sailor cuts a cake in celebration of her 35th anniversary with the company

Pandora Avenue McDonald's Restaurant employee Sharon Sailor cuts a cake in celebration of her 35th anniversary with the company

Longtime Victoria McDonald’s employee still lovin’ it

Customer service big part of the work experience for Sharon Sailor

For end-of-the-week regulars at the Pandora Avenue McDonald’s, Sharon Sailor provides consistency.

Whether it’s greeting customers stopping in for a morning coffee, wiping down tables or keeping an eye on children horsing around in the restaurant’s play place, the tall, smiling lady in black makes people feel welcome.

Sailor has plenty of experience at this sometimes forgotten craft. For the past three-plus decades, she has been a fixture at this fast food outlet.

Last week, restaurant owners Bobi and Glen Bishop honoured her with a cake and a gift of a wristwatch to mark her 35th anniversary with McDonald’s – all at the same location.

“She really cares about people in the restaurant,” Bobi said, “and she brings a lot of high energy to the store.”

Sailor, 55, started the year after she graduated from St. Margaret’s school and has missed very few days of work since 1978.

Glen Bishop, who along with his wife also owns McDonald’s locations at Douglas and View, Hillside Avenue and Hillside Mall, values that stability.

“I think it’s great that the customers get to see her on a regular basis,” he said.

Several people who shared in the cake offered congratulations or noted they always see her cheerfully working away.

Asked what she likes most about her job – she works Thursdays and Fridays – Sailor said, “It’s fun. I like coming to work and being happy.”

She enjoys visiting with customers, but drew a blank on memorable people over the years. She did, however, bring up the only period when she didn’t come to work on Pandora Avenue.

“I remember the fire in 1994,” she said. The blaze destroyed the original building and Sailor found herself transferred to the McDonald’s at Douglas and View streets for six months. “The day it reopened was the same day as the opening of the Commonwealth Games.”

Sailor’s mother, Joyce, who lives with and cares for her daughter in Saanich, was also on hand for the presentation.

“She’s always enjoyed it and never complains,” Joyce said, joking that she tells Sharon she’ll have to keep working to be able to take care of her mother.

A fan of TV shows Jeopardy! and Match Game and monthly trips to the library to replenish her book supply, Sailor plans to keep clocking in at McDonald’s for a while yet.

“I guess it depends on my health,” she said.

ddescoteau@vicnews.com