Local Hero: Joan McVinnie

Mike Paulus |

Heroism comes in many forms. Some heroes run into burning buildings to save lives. Some heroes leap in to raging rivers to save puppies. And some heroes gather up all of the world’s nuclear weapons, fly into space, and hurl them into the sun. But Joan McVinnie? She works at the McDonalds in Chippewa Falls next to the Pizza Hut. And she’s done so for 30 friggin’ years. From the Chippewa Herald

  • Yes, that’s right, McVinnie has worked at McDonald’s for three decades. She reported for work last Thursday to start her fourth decade.
  • “We have such a great bunch of people here. Everyone gets along,” said McVinnie, who was somewhat embarrassed at the fuss being made over her when she returned to work.

Wow, hats off to Joan. Obviously, she’s lovin’ it. (I’m assuming the name is just a coincidence.) The first job I ever had was a summer landscaping gig. And I did it for about seven years. I planted a lot of the Chippewa Valley’s grass in that time, not to mention a respectable amount of charming shrubbery.

I haven’t held a lot of jobs in my lifetime (four), and I liked all of them. But when I was landscaping, there were days I spent with my nostrils caked with dirt, dehydrated from the hot-hot sun, with 150,000 gnats swarming around me like a living blizzard of evil. I do not believe these days strengthened my character. I believe these days strengthened my arsenal of dirty angry swear words.

What’s the worse job you ever had?