MARYSVILLE – It’s pretty rare nowadays to stick with a job for 35 years.
It’s even more rare in a high-turnover job like a waitress.
But Laverne Moen retired Wednesday after 35 years as a waitress for The Village Restaurant. And she was a waitress for 10 years before that at the B&M Restaurant where the Safeway is now.
Why did she stick with it so long?
“The customers are so great,” she said. “They love hearing my stories.”
She told a story of a grumpy old guy she was apprehensive about talking to but she decided to “for for it.”
When he left he thanked her and said she uplifted him.
“Life is precious and short. Why be grumpy?” she said Wednesday. “I get high on life.”
She tells stories of fishing and flying expeditions with her husband, Ron, whose been a pilot for about 18 years and owns Marysville Taping Co. Lately she’s been talking about the retirement home they are going to “start from scratch” and build near Spirit Lake in Northern Idaho. “It’s going to be a hangar with living quarters with our own runway strip,” she said.
Moen, who recently attended her 50-year class reunion from Lake Stevens High School, said she watched Marysville grow from a small to big community. She’s met so many people, and she’s good at remembering their names.
She said she had a tough time when the old Village Restaurant burned down a few years ago.
“It was heart-breaking,” she said. “I wondered where would my customers go.”
When The Village moved across the street, Moen decided to return and not retire yet.
“We got all of our old customers back,” she said. “I make them feel at home.”
Even though the new restaurant is beautiful, Moen said she misses the old one.
“There’s something about that old, darn building,” she said. “Maybe because of all the years I’d been there.”
She has been honored in the past for her work. In 2002 she received an award as the Best Waitress in Marysville. She also has been featured as a “Treasure in Snohomish County.”
On her last day, she received cards galore, along with flowers and presents. The entire restaurant was decorated to honor her.
“I didn’t expect this,” she said. “I guess I am loved.”
Moen enjoys working the breakfast shift.
“I’m a morning person,” she said. “It’s a great experience every day.”
Customers often compliment her.
They say: “You really make us feel good. We’re gonna come back.”
If they do, she won’t be there anymore.