Lacey Murphy

  • Age: 20 /
  • Born: St. John's
  • OCCUPATION: Cashier and Supervisor, Mary Brown’s /
  • Hours: 40 PER Week /
  • Salary: $12.25 per hour

Murphy says her parents liked the idea of her getting a job four years ago when she was still a high school student. “It’s good to feel independent. It’s good to have your own money so you don’t have to go to your parents and ask for $20,” says Murphy. But not all young people are mature enough for the job. “They can talk back or be saucy, which isn’t right ... That’s what gets them - immaturity. Sometimes [they swear]. You hear them throwing their little fits.”

Landed the job

“I actually knew someone who was working here and told me they were hiring.” She handed in a resume and got an interview on the spot.


Preparing and marinating chicken, working the cash, drive-thru, monitoring staff. “It’s a lot more work being a supervisor, making sure everyone else is doing what they are supposed to be doing, making sure they are doing it properly. Making sure all the staff is not fighting,” says Murphy. “You want to make sure you’re making the working experience the best you can.”

Monthly expenses

Cell phone, social activities with friends. Still lives at home with her parents.

Best part

“It’s a pretty chill place,” says Murphy. “A lot of the staff is nice. I don’t mind it. I like coming to work ... I see most of these people here just as much as my family so it’s good."

Most challenging

“Dealing with the public,” says Murphy. “Sometimes you get a customer that is really nice and it makes your day a lot better if someone is complimenting you. There are some times people get mad or frustrated. I guess that’s challenging, you start to feel bad.”

Enjoys earnings

“I love online shopping. I go on eBay all the time and just, 'I’m bored. It’s four in the morning and I’m going to spend all my money on eBay,'” says Murphy, laughing. "I buy a lot of clothing, boots, shoes, makeup, perfume.”


“The way the economy has been growing in Newfoundland, our business has been going along with it, and our staffing requirements have been becoming more and more difficult. There’s no question about it,” says Michelle Maher, who got into the fast food chicken business 19 years ago. She now owns four Mary Brown’s restaurants in the St. John’s area and employs 87 people.

“Basically right now, we can’t be too picky in the workforce,” says Maher.

“We used to be very choosy. We used to have a lot of policies in place and letters of conduct from the police and whatnot, but we just found we weren’t getting any applicants." She says, right now, restaurants have a “hire and hope it works out,” approach.

She says the company pays above minimum wage and offers benefits to full-time staff. Workers also get free meals and free uniforms.

“Sometimes we’re lucky if we even can get two weeks out of individuals now. The way the workforce is going, people know they can leave here and get a job across the street or up the road or wherever.”

Foreign workers being considered

“We have investigated it, so it is certainly on our radar. I would prefer to hire people locally. We are a Newfoundland company,” says Maher.

She says the pressure to meet staffing requirements is becoming harder and harder.

“It’s not unlikely that we have to source that out in the near future. We may have to go that route.”

Young workers’ work ethic

“I have some really good young people that are here 100 per cent and work to their fullest capacity. And then there are others who come through the door, and there is nothing but attitude and complaints.”

“They want money. They don’t want to work. That’s the bottom line,” she says. “Some are great. Some not so great.”