There are more than 9,000 CVS stores in the U.S. But only one has Mary Jo Nolen. The 81-year-old Freeport woman has been with CVS longer than any other employee nationwide.
Mary Jo has worked as a pharmacy technician in the small town south of Houston for 62 years.
She's worked at three different locations in Freeport as pharmacy ownership changed over the years. Mary Jo has been the one constant for many customers.
“Sometimes, you’re the only person they see all day. Especially the elderly people,” Nolen said. “I like working with people, helping people. I like the people I work with.”
She’s taught her coworkers – including her supervisor – a lot over the years.
“Make sure you come to work on time – at least 10 minutes before time – not right on time. Take your vitamins, exercise and always be nice and positive.
"Being positive is the best thing you can do to live a long life like her,” said Rosemary Kavishe, another CVS pharmacy employee.
It's not always easy, she admits.
"Well, if you have a bad customer or something, I say, 'That’s it, this is my last day.' But the Good Lord says get up and go again."
Those cranky customers could learn a lesson about kindness from Mary Jo.
Now working part-time, Mary Jo keeps herself very busy outside of work too. She has no immediate plans to retire.
“Everybody says you know when. I guess it really hasn’t come down to that just yet, I don’t know,” she said.