A little appreciation goes a long way – so, when you have the appreciation of the entire College of Charleston community, there’s no limit to how far you’ll go.
With the celebration of National Food Service Employees Day on Sept. 25, 2019, and of National Custodial Worker Day on Oct. 2, 2019, the College of Charleston is showing the campuswide appreciation it has for Dining Services and Custodial Services staff members every single day of the year.
“Our custodial and dining services employees play a vital role on our campus,” says Amy Orr ’95, director of business and auxiliary services at the College. “The impact of their work extends far beyond keeping our buildings clean and providing meals to students and employees. Through daily interactions with our students, they contribute to a welcoming and supportive campus environment that powers student success.”
Between Dining Services, Aramark, Custodial Services and ABM (the College’s custodial services contractor), there are some 700 hundred hardworking and dedicated food services and custodial staff members on campus – each one of them providing an immeasurably valuable service on a very large scale.
“Our custodians clean, on average, about 30,000 [gross square feet] each day. This is equivalent to about 15 average sized houses,” says John Morris, vice president of Facilities Management. “These spaces often have several thousand people using them every day. Imagine trying to clean your house every day after 1,000 people used your restroom, ate in your kitchen, walked on your carpet and sat in your living room. This analogy often helps our customers understand the challenging work our custodial staff perform on a daily basis.”
And, of course, our Dining Services employees serve up tasty meals and good customer service to thousands of students, faculty and staff at the College’s six main dining facilities and restaurants – breakfast, lunch and dinner.
These stewards of the College have an impact on – and the gratitude of – every single member of the CofC community. Below we highlight just two of these unsung heroes.
Name: Willette Watson
Title: Lead Baker at City Bistro
Years at the College: 40
Where she’s worked: First at Craig Cafeteria as a line server, then at the salad bar, then as a server in the faculty dining room; next at Liberty Street Fresh Food Company; then at Hungry Cougar as a cashier; now at City Bistro
“When they built the City Bistro, they needed a baker, and I was chosen by my manager,” says Watson. “I love what I do, I really do. And I love my coworkers. We’re just like a big family. Everyone gets along. I love it. I really do love it.”
“She’s a great representation of our dedicated staff,” says Megan Corcoran, marketing manager for Dining Services. “She takes so much pride in her work and loves creating beautifully displayed desserts for you every day.”
Name: Brandi Gladden
Title: Custodial Worker
Years at the College: 17
Where she works: Towell Library (Alumni Affairs), Craig Union (Dining Services, Office of Admissions), Farr House (69 Coming Street, Higdon Center for Student Leadership and Fraternity and Sorority Life)
“It’s a big task. People see me doing small tasks, but that’s just one of the things I’m doing. I have different roles every day. Some days things are calm, but then there are big days, and I’m in a busy building – like Admissions during orientation days,” says Gladden, adding: “Every day is a perfect day. I’m a go-getter. I enjoy doing my job and making people happy. All the people in all the buildings I work are nice, good people. Everyone is very friendly. I like working with the people and to get things done for them. I’m a people pleaser.”
“Brandi’s work ethic is inspiring to us all,” says Ann Looper Pryor ’83, vice president of Alumni Affairs. “She is careful and detail-oriented in her work. She communicates clearly with our staff and with the Facilities Management staff to keep our building in top shape, often anticipating problems before they occur. She takes personal pride in how the building reflects upon the College with our nearly 3,000 visitors each year.”
To all the staff members in Custodial Services and Dining Services, the College of Charleston thanks you!