91-year-old cashier in San Clemente still serving with a smile


The great-grandmother was widowed at age 34 and has not slowed down. She can barely see above the cash register, but Claire Mushen is bigger than life to many regulars at the Jack in the Box in San Clemente.

"Every time we come through here, we stop here and we always look forward to seeing her," said Petra Newton of San Diego. "It's nice to see her smile on her face."

The 91-year-old has worked for the restaurant chain for more than 20 years.

"People who used to live here in San Clemente, they grow up, they marry and they have kids, they still visit Claire," said manager Armando Pineda.

She knows how many local customers take their coffee. She's quick to offer menu suggestions.

Whether it's helping out at the drive-thru or getting French fries ready, the great-grandmother says she's just grateful to be able to work.

"I was surprised they hired me. I was 64-65 when I started. I was very surprised," said Mushen.

Pineda says Mushen is a great employee.

"She is awesome. Claire is the best cashier. She never requests for any day off. She's never late. She's always early," said Pineda.

While her manager has to force her to take breaks, Mushen likes to play around too.

"The young kids keep me young. They teach me. 'Move it or lose it, Claire,' they say. And I like that," Mushen said with a laugh.

Mushen also says faith plays a big part. She prays every day before starting her shift at 6 a.m.

Mushen says she has no plans to retire. She looks forward to work -- it seems as much as her customers look forward to seeing her.

"She's just an inspiration for me. It's somebody that you know you're always going to see and that kind of makes your day," said Newton.

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