Woman becomes local legend after working at KFC for 41 years

‘I started with a friend of mine called Roz who worked at East Reach in the old KFC’, she said.

‘She was a bit nervous of going into the old building because it was creepy.

‘She asked the general manager, Mr Walker, if it was OK for me to come into the store and work with her. He agreed.

‘I worked for a few months with Roz and when she decided to work on the front serving customers with her sister, Rose, I did the cleaning temporally.’

After initially becoming a cleaner, Pauline became a cashier at the front and took hungry customers’ orders before helping to cook the food.

She recalled how cooking methods were different nearly 40 years ago, remarking: ‘We cooked the hot wings in the pots in those days and breaded them all up and put the BBQ sauce on.’

During her employment, she worked her way up to becoming a manager for two-and-half years.

When the East Reach branch closed, she moved to the current KFC on East Street and decided to take it a little easier and become a team member.

Pauline explained how a typical shift sees her serve customers, prepare orders, look after the diners and clean the restaurant.

She said she always aims to ‘help them out to the best I can’.

She said: ‘A lot of people say, “don’t ever leave”.

‘They say you know what you’re talking about, you help me out, and you’re always friendly.

‘I always make sure I get peoples’ orders right. I think that is a good thing for the customers.

‘I love my job. Customers I have always spoken to and I have been friendly with and I have always tried to help as best I can and this job has always suited my life.’

Pauline said she would do ‘anything’ for customers and recalled a time where someone said she felt ‘intimidated by some youngsters’ and couldn’t enter the store.

To help her, Pauline received her order and hand delivered her food outside of the branch.

The customer’s reaction touched Pauline, as she recalled: ‘She thanked me very much. She sent a letter to say thank you.

‘The next time she came in, she gave me a box of chocolates which meant a lot for me.’

Her constant presence at the East Street store over the years has earned Pauline celebrity status in Taunton.

One of Pauline’s many talents is the ability to remember customers’ orders to either remind them of a previous meal or pre-prepare an order for a regular diner.

She says she’s able to do this due to the fact she’s always working.

After 41 years of loyal service to the fast food joint, Pauline has said there are a range of reasons why she isn’t thinking of retirement yet.

‘I love my job,’ she said.

‘Customers I have always spoken to and I have been friendly with and I have always tried to help as best I can and this job has always suited my life.

‘I do want to say thank you to my customers that I have been friends with and I really appreciate it.’

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