Last week, friends and co-workers in Evansville, Indiana, threw a party for Loraine Maurer, in celebration of her 44 years of service at area McDonald’s locations. Maurer is 94 now and didn’t plan to stay when she started the job in 1973—her husband had retired on disability—but here she is, four decades later, still happily working two days per week.
There’s a lot of things you could say about Maurer. “Role model,” one customer told the Evansville Courier & Press. “The sunshine of this place,” another one raved to ABC News. “Wish I had like 50 more just like her,” restaurant manager Whitney Klinock confided to the paper. Those are all very nice sentiments. But fine, I’ll be the one to go there and drop this truth bomb: This hard-working, dedicated woman is making the rest of us look like slackers.
Do I rise at 3 a.m. for my 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday shifts? No. Do I attract a loyal following of eager customers to my place of employment? Also no. Do I put off retirement because I would simply miss seeing the members of my community that I’ve cultivated over the last 44 years? Hell no. So yeah, you can bet your patoot I’m worried that my bosses are going to read about Loraine Maurer, friendly Indiana great-grandmother, and wonder why I seem so unproductive and sulky in comparison.
Maurer is a member of the Greatest Generation, or people born before 1928, and according to the Pew Research Center, not even a statistically significant percentage of them were still working in 2015. Can you say “showoff”? It’s people like her who are ruining the con of “gainful employment” for the lazy ne’er-do-wells that actually make up the majority of Americans. We want to barely earn our health insurance, malinger through two weeks of vacation a year, and retire the second we’re eligible so we can start draining the Medicaid and Social Security coffers. Loraine Maurer, how could you ruin such a purely American scam-tasy for all of us? Millennials have been coddled far too much to compete with the likes of this. Still, maybe there’s a silver lining in the fact that Maurer didn’t even start at McDonald’s until she was around 50. Life is long; your greatest adventure could be yet to come. And it may even come with a Happy Meal toy.