Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2005


LAPLACE -They joke with Lois Guidry at the LaPlace McDonald’s, suggesting she might turn into a crispy chicken sandwich one day.

That’s because Guidry has had one of the McDonald’s sandwiches practically every day since she has worked at the store, since she says it is her favorite food there.

And that goes back 28 years since the longtime LaPlace resident began working at the Airline Highway restaurant.

Guidry was recently honored by McDonald’s for passing the 25 year anniversary with the national chain, and takes it all in stride, even though she may be one of the most recognized people in the area.

“Everyone in LaPlace knows me,” she said with a laugh and a smile. “But that’s why I have stayed here in this job for so long. I get to talk to people every day, and I like that.”

Guidry was born in Raceland, but moved to LaPlace 38 years ago after marrying. She had three children, and now has six grandchildren. But as the kids grew up, she was ready to go to work, something she had never really done in her adult life.

“I was always a stay home mom,” she said. “But when the kids were older it was my idea to go to work. I wanted to have some of my own money.”

The LaPlace McDonald’s had been open for two years and she came right to the store, getting hired immediately as the lobby manager.

“I have always worked 7 to 3 so I could be home when the kids got home from school,” she said. “I’ve done the buns, French fries and some other things. But mostly my job has been the same for 28 years. I keep the place clean.”

What’s the biggest problem she has had to deal with?

“Mardi Gras Sunday around here is crazy,” she said. “The bathrooms are always full and you can’t get in there to clean them.

“But otherwise the biggest problem I’ve dealt with over the years has been teens tearing up salt and pepper shakers, and even tearing up the bathrooms sometimes,” she said.

She said the McDonald’s today is much like it was when she started.

“Things don’t change at McDonald’s, other than the food and the people,” she said. “But that’s why I like it here. I just like working and I’ve hardly ever thought about quitting.”

So was there a time she thought about turning in her golden arches hat?

“The only thing I really didn’t like over my years here was when they brought in Playland. I almost got beat up a few times by parents when I kept telling them to get their kids to put their socks on. They take it personal, like I was insulting their kids.”

And she says the worst thing about Playland was when the little plastic balls were part of the playground.

“I hated those things,” she said. “They were always all over the place. I had some people come in after they took them out and tell me, ‘I wish they had the balls back.’ I always told them, ‘well I don’t want them back.’ ”

With her husband retired, Guidry says she is actually thinking of calling it quits, maybe in a year or so.

But for now, she is probably better known in LaPlace than most public officials. After all, who doesn’t go to McDonald’s?