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When Rhonda Fluegel was hunting for a job while at Fike High School, she never thought she’d still be wearing the same uniform 33 years later.
“It seems unbelievable,” she said. “I have to remind myself I’ve been here that long because I really don’t think about it.”
Fluegel was just 16 when she started as a cashier for Pizza Inn on Ward Boulevard. She worked part time throughout school and while attending beauty college but soon decided to go full time at Pizza Inn. She said as a newlywed, Pizza Inn offered flexibility that just wasn’t possible as a hairstylist.
“Overall the restaurant is very family-oriented, and that is what I’ve loved about it,” she said. “It has stayed pretty consistent over the years.”
She worked her way up over the years, working as a hostess, a server and a floor manager. Fluegel said she’s seen lots of staff turnover through the years. The next employee in order of seniority has less than half her years at the eatery.
“What has been cool is I’ll work with some people, and then years later, I’ll work with their kids,” she said. “The customers and the people are really what I love about Pizza Inn.”
While she’s never worked as a cook full time, she has dabbled in the kitchen with her favorite experiment tasting, like nachos on a pizza with cheese sauce, beef, jalapeños and cheddar cheese.
“People think of Pizza Inn as a hometown place,” she said. “We have so many people who move out of town or to another state, but any time they come back, they want to come here because they miss Pizza Inn.”
Fluegel said she loves to catch up with customers she’s come to know through the years and doesn’t see slowing down anytime soon.
“I love being with the people, and I love staying busy,” she said. “Being active is important to me. I don’t think I could work a job where I sit still all the time.”
A2Z Trucking Academy is having a job fair from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. The school at 2801 U.S. 301 S. will have several trucking company representatives on-site to talk about opportunities for long-haul and on-the-road drivers. Visit www.A2Ztruckingacademy.com/ or call 252-888-7371 for more information.