Matriarch Still Ringing Up Those Sales

14th January 2011

Supermarket checkout girl, Gladys Smith of Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, intends to continue in her job for at least another decade. Not impressed? She’s 90 years young.

Gladys is the most senior employee at Sainsbury’s in Hatch Warren, and undoubtedly the oldest till operator in the UK.

From Gladys: “I needed the money to pay for Christmas presents and have been here ever since. I hope to work for longer because it keeps my mind going – working is good for you. The best thing about it is the customers. I have my regulars and they are lovely.”

Mrs. Smith began her career in 1988 at the age of 68. While most people of her generation were retiring, she looked forward to beginning her second career.

Before her recruitment into the checkout girl position, she had other eclectic jobs such as a publisher and undertaker.

After 20 years on the job, she says she remarks on the publics’ change in habits. “People are buying different types of food. Chinese food sells like mad now, but there used to be a lot less of that. They are buying more wine now, which used to be a luxury.”

With her ever-growing family, her buying habits are also changing. In addition to her two daughters who are 52 and 63 and a son, 55, she also helps take care of her fourteen grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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