By Nicolette Audino
Mother Teresa once made the statement, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
I can distinctly remember one Wednesday in early October when my day wasn’t going too well. Defeated by a horrible exam and a terrible cold, I set en route to Dutch Hollow to grab a Buffalo chicken wrap to make my stomach stop rumbling and to make my taste buds elicit positive vibes throughout my body.
As I walked into Dutch Hollow, my attitude was instantly altered and my mood was suddenly lifted because of what I heard and what I saw coming from the wonderful ladies that work tirelessly within.
Not only did they smile at me, greet me by name and ask how I was doing, but I also received compliments—such as on my new boots—that seem so small, but on that bad day meant so much. Within moments, just simply from a smile, my day shined a little light.
I have been a part of the Union community for a long time. For me, Union has always been a second home. Since I was a young girl, I can remember going to work with my dad on “bring your daughter to work day,” and him taking me to a dining hall and eating with him.
I remember going to Union football games as a small two-year-old with face paint on my face, pom-poms in hand and cheerleading uniform on. Fast forward some years and I can remember visiting my sister in her dorm room when she became a student. Now, as a junior here, I have independently experienced living on campus for three years.
In those three years, I have been treated so exceptionally well by the staff in the dining hall, in Dutch, in O3 and even the convenience store. No matter how long the line is, or if maybe they are dealing with their own troubles, they seem to be able to make me feel joyful and positive each time I walk up to the counter and place my order or check out in line or swipe my friend in with a guest swipe.
The staff works so incredibly hard. As an observer, I have watched them work as a team, constantly pull together and, in turn, put out a wonderful finished product. It is such a beautiful thing to be able to walk into a campus center and have such terrific people working so hard, yet still make you feel as if you are not only a human being but a special human being.
Your experience when dealing with these terrific women goes from a normal experience to a personal experience. This experience is the warm, homey feel that I have always felt at Union.
In today’s day and age it is rare to find individuals who have beautiful hearts and warm capabilities. The ability to make someone’s day better, even for a slight moment while ordering a sandwich, in any way—whether it be with a smile, a friendly hello or a compliment—is such a special quality that these ladies possess. I can honestly say I have never walked into Dutch Hollow and not been greeted with a smile.
Ladies like Yvonne and Dawn, who many students know by name, make Union a little brighter. But, there isn’t a single lady that doesn’t have this same effect.
Whether you’re a freshman just getting to know these special ladies or a senior who has been lucky enough to have them around for four years, it would be so great to thank them for all the hard work they do. Sometimes in college, or in life, it is easy to forget those who go unrecognized because of our own crazy lives. Our exams, our personal lives, our social lives all prevent us from remembering to recognize those that make our lives slightly brighter without even realizing it. Not only do they provide us with whatever food or help we desire, but they also make the campus a little more of what it should be—a second home, a place filled with friendship and a place filled with warmth.
So when you are going to Reamer, maybe having a bad day, and you are ordering your own comfort food, just remember that it probably isn’t only the food that made you feel better, but the ladies behind the counter, who provided you with their own kind of comfort. They are truly special women.
Thank you to all of those ladies who have made my personal experience at Union that much better, sometimes just simply with a kind smile, and I am sure you have impacted many others along the way.