It was 1979 and Turner, who had just graduated from high school, was hired as a part-time employee with, as she said, no intentions of remaining long term with the company.
That was 33 years ago and, since then, Turner has been involved in almost every aspect of the store, including her present position with the personnel department, and remains the store’s longest-tenured associate still on the job.
“I don’t know what it was, but something has just kept me here,” she said, reflecting on her serving as an associate in just about every department of the store before being transferred to the personnel department, where she has spent the last two-and-a-half years.
However, Turner, who went to work for J.C. Penney to earn money for college as she was a student at what was then Clayton Junior College, said she was so well treated upon her arrival and early time as an associate that she opted not to return to college.
“I enjoyed it so much here that I decided to stay and work my way up the ladder here,” she said, which JC’s 5 Star officials said she has done with grace and persistence, all the while maintaining an ever-present smile.
Asked what department she has most enjoyed working in, Turner said every position has been enjoyable but her present position in personnel allows her to get better acquainted with fellow co-workers, or associates as they are known in the company, “and nothing beats that,” she added.
A Morrow native, Turner graduated from Jonesboro High School and said she loves the Clayton County area and the history associated with the county and, especially Jonesboro.
She is grateful to JC’s Five Star Outlet for allowing her to learn many new skills and abilities, but one stands above the rest.
“Before coming to work here,” Turner said, “I was not a very patient person.”
“However, being an associate at JC’s Five Star Outlet at Forest Park now and in past years, has taught me to be a more patient, understanding person, which I feel are tremendous traits to have whether I am here at the store on in the community.”
She added both characteristics had “come in very handy,” whether greeting and guiding customers to the right department at the store or working with the store’s 145 associates.