Meet Gaile, 70, convenience store cashier
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We talked to 10 people who roughly represent the 164 million-person U.S. labor force. Ten stories, one question: “Is the economy working for you?” Meet Gaile.
- Name: Gaile Harrell
- Occupation: Customer service, Royal Farms
- Based in: Ashburn, Virginia
- Daily commute: About 2 miles by car
- Age: 70
The numbers on Gaile:
- Gaile is included in one of the fastest growing segments of the labor force — workers over the age of 55.
- Her job falls into the broad category of “sales and office occupations,” along with the work of about 20% of the labor force. Those jobs include telemarketers, mail carriers, bank tellers, retail workers, receptionists and a range of others.
Gaile Harrell has been working the cash register at Royal Farms, a convenience store chain, for about two years. Before working for Royal Farms, she spent 29 years with USAA as a claims adjuster. On average she works 12-20 hours a week. In her spare time she volunteers for AARP, is active with the local Red Hat Society (an international women’s social organization) and helps take care of her 5-year-old granddaughter. She also works polls during elections.
What’s the hardest part about your job that nobody knows?
There’s really nothing too difficult about it. One thing I don’t like doing is counting all the cigarettes in the morning.
What’s the one tool you can’t do your job without?
I couldn’t do my job without a cash register.
When you were a kid, what job did you think you were going to have when you grew up?
I wanted to be a flight attendant!
What was your first job?
I got a job at the People’s Drug Store when I was 16 or 17 years old. It was kind of like a CVS. I worked the cash register that was in the back of the pharmacy.
Click the media players below to hear how Gaile’s story evolved:
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