The story of Gay Schrell, an employee of the McDonald’s on Millertown Pike in Knoxville, Tennessee, is charming all on its own. A nice, sweet, local news story about a cheerful drive-thru worker with a flock of regulars who regularly show up to take in her latest costume choice and update her on their lives? Give it to us straight, no chaser. But as reported by NBC affiliate WBIR, it’s even more delightful. Just trust us, and click that play button:
How can you capture that “HUMP DAYYYYYY” in print? You cannot. Words could never do it justice.
Schrell has been on the roster at the Millertown Pike McDonald’s for almost a decade, and started donning costumes for her drive-thru shifts several years back. The get-ups are unpredictable (“If I wear a normal hat, they wanna know where my hat is!”), with the exception of Wednesday, which is the day she wears a camel hat and yells “HUMP DAAAAAYYYYY” a lot. Other than the camel hat, she never wears the same get-up twice. Schrell told the network she always puts out her costume the night before, and gets up early to get ready: “You gotta put effort into everything,” she said.
Lois Bomar, Schrell’s supervisor, said customers now come specifically to see her, and Schrell seems to cherish that:
“I’ve gone through births. I’ve gone through deaths. They become friends, and that’s why they keep coming back... I feel like I belong here. I feel like it’s my purpose.”
Cheers to Gay Schrell, drive-thru delight. Cheers to all the people who call McDonald’s to compliment her work. Cheers to the younger McDonald’s employees who affectionately call her “Grandma.” Cheers to whichever WBIR producer decided to shoot her interview from outside the drive-thru window, because that is charming as hell and a nice framing device. Cheers to nice folks who work at fast food restaurants who are nice to others.