One Minot woman just celebrated her 45th anniversary working at JCPenney.
Irene Magnuson started working July 22, 1974, when JCPenney was in downtown Minot. When the store moved to Dakota Square Mall, Irene moved too. She started in the catalog department and now works on the sales floor.
But staying 45 years hasn’t been easy.
“Lots of changes. That’s probably the hardest for me, you know, like your register training and the older I get, the harder it is. I think that would be the hardest thing,” said Irene Magnuson.
Friends, family and old co-workers surprised her with a potluck to celebrate all of her hard work and this major milestone.
“Knowing that she’s been here 45 years is just absolutely incredible. It’s something she hates the attention, but she deserves it,” said Sarah Seney, granddaughter. “She’s such a hard worker and everyone loves her, so I’m really glad they were able to pull this off and surprise her.”
So what’s kept her around for so long? Customers who became friends – so much so that she’s almost speechless.
“I like the customers. And a lot of the older ones that I have worked with, not worked with but waited on downtown, they still yeah,” Irene Magnuson.
Are those customers enough to keep this 80-year-old around five more years?
“I don’t know. I always think I should quit, but I don’t know! Gets me out of bed in the morning. Gives me something to do!” said Irene Magnuson.
Someone else seems to think she will.
“When she enjoys something, she’s going to stay with it,” says Todd Magnuson, son.
Irene works three days a week. Her granddaughter says don’t be afraid to stop by and say hello or ask for help.