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MT. ARLINGTON, N.J. — While many workers look forward to time off around the holidays, for employees of convenience stores any holiday is just another day of the work week.
That's also true for one senior vice president at QuickChek Corp.
Mike Murphy, senior vice president at the c-store chain, continued his Christmas tradition of working in a QuickChek for the 40th consecutive year. This year, he punched his card at the company's Mt. Arlington location.
"If I'm going to have people work that day, then I've always felt I should be there, too," said Murphy, who is based out of the fresh convenience market chain's support center in Whitehouse Station. "I work in different stores every year doing what I can to help out."
Murphy worked in the company's new Mt. Arlington store from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Friday, serving up consumers coffee, including the company's hugely popular "Kris Kringle" flavored coffee. He also handled other responsibilities, including cleaning inside and outside the store.
"Whatever the store leader needs me to do, I'll do," Murphy said. His boss that morning: his son Mike.
"My sons Mike and Matt are store leaders in Mt. Arlington and Independence. They fight to see whose store I'll be working in because I'm free help for the day," said the senior vice president with a laugh, noting that Mike won out again this year.
Like most of the company's vice presidents, Murphy began his career working in a local store. He notes that the first thing consumers want on Christmas is their morning coffee, followed by more batteries.
Over the past few years he has seen an increase in the sales of QuickChek's signature bakery products from their in-store ovens, freshly made breakfast sandwiches to go and custom-made espresso-based drinks, he added.
"We have customers who come into stores in their pajamas, which is fitting as we've been their neighborhood shopping destination all year long," Murphy said.
Among the convenience items that customers come to QuickChek for that they may not be able to get elsewhere on Christmas Day is gas, a must for those who need to fill up during their holiday travels.
Most QuickCheck's 143 stores were open Christmas Eve until 10:30 p.m. and then re-opened Christmas Day from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Most of the company's team members' shifts were limited to four hours on Christmas with those working receiving additional pay, according to the retailer.
Except for the guy serving coffee in the morning in Mt. Arlington.