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Food for Thought: Meet one of the workers of Birdsong Café

Caitlyn Scherger '22

Features Editor

Although many students order food from Birdsong Café on a daily basis, because of their busy lives, few students really get the opportunity to get to know the hard workers who help prepare and make their food. This, however, is unfortunate as many of the workers at Birdsong Café are amazing individuals whose hard work often goes unnoticed and unrecognized.

To hopefully change this, I was given the opportunity to talk with Ms. Eugenia Marks, one of the workers at Birdsong Café, to better understand her story and why she decided to work at R-MC. Ms. Eugenia has been employed at the café for almost seven years. She is one of the many smiling faces who works during the lunch rush each weekday and is most commonly known for remembering not only students’ faces and names, but also their orders, and often isn’t afraid to crack jokes and bring out smiles from everyone she interacts with.

Before coming to R-MC’s campus, Ms. Eugenia held a variety of jobs. She commented that she used to work as an Administrative Assistant, Legal Secretary, Doctor’s Assistant, and Library Assistant. “I’ve done some type of office work most of my adult life,” she said.

However, this all changed in 2013. While trying to find a new job, she remembered that she wanted something that was close to her home, which is in the Richmond area. This ultimately led to her discovering R-MC, especially as other factors began lining up.

“Some friends work here and suggested [that] I apply,” she remembered. She decided to listen to those friends, and soon afterward, she landed a position at Birdsong Café and was officially ushered into the Randolph-Macon family.

Once she was hired, she was able to find her place on campus, easily interacting with students and faculty alike, and directly creating more of the family atmosphere that R-MC prides itself for having. In fact, she mentions that the “best part [of her job] is meeting and interacting with the students and faculty,” and working in the dining area is the perfect way to achieve this daily, especially since this dining option is located in the hub of student activity, Brock Commons.

But interacting with students while ordering and making their food isn’t the only way Ms. Eugenia connects with the campus. She also is fairly active on campus, when she is not working of course, and enjoys displaying her Yellow Jacket pride whenever possible. Her favorite events on campus to attend are baseball and basketball games.

Besides attending sporting events, she also likes helping out students more directly. “I also enjoy participating when the students are raising money or have various events,” she said. When students have stations set up in the Commons area, she often drops by and helps out whenever there is a lull in food orders.

At the café, she seems to have found her calling because some of Ms. Eugenia’s favorite activities are cooking and reading. This job has given her those opportunities and also adds some clarity on what she wants to do or would like to achieve in the future. When asked what her dream job is, she mentioned two very different possible careers.

“[I’m] not sure if I would want to have my own restaurant,” she mentioned, “or maybe proofread manuscripts for publishers.” Both of these jobs show their roots within her interests outside of work, and working at the café has definitely put her one step closer to achieving her dreams because she now has direct experience with working in a restaurant.

Ms. Eugenia is only one example of some of the amazing, hard-working individuals that help feed not only students, but also faculty, staff, and anyone who visits our campus. I, unfortunately, did not have the chance to speak with everyone who works at Birdsong Café for this article, but I personally look forward to interacting with each person the next time I grab food.

Each of these workers is an important piece to making this puzzle known as R-MC work, and they are always around to talk with. So, the next time you have a couple of minutes, or even when you are standing in line for your food, say hello and get to know some of the staff that help keep this campus running with full energy!

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