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50 years later, 'I like the work'

February 04, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

To her customers and colleagues at the CVS Pharmacy on Wilson Boulevard, Edie Seal is a prime example of the ideal employee - cheerful, friendly and above all, committed to doing a good job. After all, Seal has had 50 years to get it right.

"I remember walking into the old Peoples Drug Store at Jonathan and Franklin Street back in 1954 and asking for a job," Seal said. "I was hired on the spot ... never even filled out an application."

Seal, 82, reached the 50-year milestone on Jan. 19. There was little fanfare and Seal said she preferred it that way.

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"One person congratulated me on the day," she said.

Seal said she has no thoughts of retirement. When the traditional retirement age came and went 20 years ago, she decided to keep on working.

"I enjoy people, it's that simple," she said.

Seal lives alone, doesn't drive and never has been active in clubs or organizations. When she isn't working, she cleans, works in her garden, and spends time with her three children and her grandchildren.

Seal, a pharmacy service associate, works mostly at the drive-through window, handing out prescriptions to motorists who don't want to come inside the store.

"It gets a little chilly this time of year, but I wear a heavy sweater under my smock," Seal said.

Seal puts in a four-hour shift every Tuesday and Thursday, another from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and works for a couple of hours every other Sunday.

During her first few years at the old Peoples Drug Store on Jonathan Street, Seal worked at the fountain, also known as the counter.

"It was all right, but I never liked making soft-boiled eggs," Seal said.

When Peoples opened a drug store at the South End Shopping Center, Seal went there to work. When she stopped working at the counter, she moved to the pharmacy side.

John Williams, now head pharmacist at CVS on Wilson Boulevard, started working with Seal around 1984 at the old Peoples in the South End Shopping Center.

Williams said he and Seal relocated to the Wilson Boulevard store when the shopping center store closed about five years ago.

"She is dependable and great with the customers," Williams said.

Seal said she has had to learn a lot of new things and new ways to do old things. But she said she adapts easily and knows that customer service is important.

"It's nice having her around," said Danielle Strite, who has worked with Seal for three years.

Terri Pheil, who has been a pharmacist for 18 years, echoed that sentiment.

"Having Edie around is like having another grandmother," Pheil said. "Working here keeps her young and active."

Seal agrees that working is good for her.

"It may have been 50 years, but I like the work. I even still have my original name tag," Seal said as she hurried away to wait on a customer.

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