For the love of a job

Work life: Still on the job, local woman was one of first McDonald’s employees

Brenda Aucoin has been working at McDonald’s for 27 years.

Brenda Aucoin has been working at McDonald’s since 1989. One of the first people hired when the Campbell River location opened, the number on her timecard is three.

The day she applied for the job she was mad at the friend she was working for at a restaurant across the street.

“I told her, ‘I’m going to go across the road and get a job at McDonald’s’,” she remembered with a smile. “She said ‘sure thing,’ so I came storming across the road and asked for an application.”

At the time, Aucoin had a young son, so she wasn’t really thinking full time and she wasn’t thinking long term.

“Twenty-seven years later and I am still here,” she said.

She was supposed to retire at the same time as her husband, but he has been retired for around 20 years already.

“I’m still quite young, I still can’t do nothing yet,” she said.

In 2014 Aucoin battled cancer. She was away from work for 13 months recovering.

“I really missed work when I was off all that time,” she said.

Mary Roliniski, co-owner, said that Aucoin was desperate to come back to work and miffed when Roliniski wouldn’t let her.

“We couldn’t let her come back until she had clearance from her doctor,” she said.

Aucoin came back to work in November and has been flipping burgers full time ever since.

“I don’t believe in just a little bit of hours,” she said.

Though she is in the kitchen now, Aucoin can do it all. She worked the front counter for 20-some years, and this year she sold socks on McHappy Day in the restaurant. She has also worked in all three of the McDonalds locations in town.

“You’ve got to be a certain type of person [to work here],” she said.  “It’s not meant for everybody.

“I am a people person…I don’t care what walk of life you come from, you are treated with respect.”

Aucoin loves her job.

“If I didn’t enjoy it I wouldn’t be here for that length of time,” she said. “As soon as I walk in the door, I can be tired in the morning and walk in here and it’s different.”

She is high energy and a non-stop talker and the people love her.

She has regulars that come to see her sometimes twice a day.

“When I was off for that year on medical leave and they didn’t see me they were all quite concerned,” she said. “Some of them just thought I retired.

“Not yet. I’m too young.”

Aucoin works the morning shift Monday to Friday. When she isn’t working she is doing yardwork or square dancing.

“I don’t just go home and rest, I come to work to rest,” she joked.