McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

December 25, 2013

The show goes on

ENID, Okla. — After her Christmas Day afternoon shift at OnCue Express, Karen Ayling just planned to eat her Christmas dinner and relax for the rest of the night.

“Yeah, my husband does the cooking,” said Ayling, who lives in Enid with her co-worker Kelsey Newby and Newby’s two children.

But while everyone else is able to stay home and relax all day, someone has to do the work on Christmas Day.

At the 1623 S. Van Buren location, all the OnCue employees worked four-hour shifts, Ayling said.

“Pretty much everyone works the holidays so we can spend time with our families,” she said. “They keep us all on short shifts.”

A man buying groceries later said to Ayling as he was picking up his bag, “Sorry you have to work today.”

“Nah, it’s all right. We don’t mind,” she replied from behind the register. “It’s short, little shifts.”

Retail and food businesses in Enid reported open on Christmas included convenience stores such as OnCue and Walgreens, iHop, Oakwood Mall’s Oakwood 8 Starplex Cinemas and Chen Garden, Winchell’s Donut House and Family Video.

At Winchell’s Donut House, 308 S. Van Buren, 17-year-old Aroldo Lopez was manning the register Christmas afternoon as part of his family duties.

The Lopezes own and operate the Enid location of the doughnut franchise. Everyone in his family worked Christmas Day, as they do every year, Aroldo Lopez said.

“It’s just, like, in shifts. My grandma works in the mornings, and me or my cousins work after,” he said said. “And it was my turn this year.”

His “pretty big” family, stretched between Enid and southern California, is used to the holiday work day schedule.

“When my shift is over at 7, my mom, sometimes my aunt, my uncle and my dad — they come and they make the doughnuts. In the mornings, we just open our presents. Last night, we had our Christmas dinner,” he said.

Family Video, 204 S. Van Buren, opened at noon on Christmas Day. The company keeps its stores open 365 days a year, shift lead Caleb Cabrera, 19, explained Wednesday night, the slowest time of the day for the store.

Cabrera, an NOC student from Mustang, said he thinks people already shopping just want to spend all the gift cards and money they got for the holidays as soon as possible.

“They’re burning a hole in their pocket,” he said.

“Which is great for us, because we get paid extra,” clerk Jared Wheeler, 31, added from his register next to Cabrera’s. Four employees worked at the store Wednesday, including Wheeler and Cabrera, who was working two four-hour shifts to get extra cash.

“We get paid decent,” Wheeler said. “[The customers] aren’t cranky or anything, they’re just out trying to get movies ... and spend time with their families.”

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