Carol Silvia has been working at the Gorsebrook for the past four years. She is a favourite among students, and with good reason. When you go through your university experience you will have a few favourite professors, a favourite TA, info desk worker, or librarian. What we are incredibly lucky to have at Saint Mary’s is staff with such a strong sense of community and love for the students. Carol is everyone’s favourite server, and this is about giving her the thanks she deserves.
She works for Aramark, but serves at the campus bar, The Gorsebrook and was recently recognized by SMUSA at the Charter Day awards where she was congratulated by a long standing ovation and a long line of hugs on her way to the stage. The Journal thought of one other way we can give Carol the recognition that she deserves, and openly nominate her for Best Server in this year’s Coast, Best of Halifax. Carol tells The Journal that it’s the people who keep her coming to work every day.
“I come to work and I feel like I’m home. I’m a server; I have the best gig in the world. I’m happy when I arrive on campus.”
Carol is from Halifax and has worked over 30 years as a server. “The connection you can have in two minutes, I just love it. It’s not like a job.”
She estimates that she knows at least 1000 students on campus, if you stop by and watch the way she interacts with everyone you will see why. She knows everyone’s name, but what is even more impressive is how she remembers important things about student’s lives. Carol will ask you about class, your friends, work and in general show an interest in your life. On top of this, she is an absolutely BOMB waitress. She remembers all my favourite things that I like to order, and even knows my tastes when giving me recommendations or telling me what the daily special is. All I need to do is say hi to Carol and the kitchen will start working on my ever so delicious ‘spicy fries.’
When The Journal met with Carol, she talked about how special it was to be at Saint Mary’s.
“Saint Mary’s is a way of life. You know students when they start. You get to see them grow while they’re here. You know them from the time they start until the day they graduate.”
“I’ve loved the atmosphere since I started. Everyone just let me be me. Everyone makes you feel at home. The staff at Aramark and SMUSA have made me feel so welcome.”
Carol talked about how lucky we are to have students from all over the world, and the unique opportunity for learning that that provides.
The Journal wanted to get to know a bit more about Carol’s life. She had lived in Boston for a while, and came back to the Halifax area in 1999. She started working her first job as a server when she was 16. She says that when she was younger she was always looking for adventure. “One day you realize you’re living the adventure. You realize you have everything in front of you, and I’m just trying to share that with some people.”
Good people remind us what is important in life, and Carol puts every ounce of her goodness into her work.
“It’s about being kind, who you are, listening to everyone . . . It’s about treating people like human beings. That’s what I see every day.”
Carol is one of the wisest people all of us have ever had the pleasure of meeting. We should all thank our lucky stars that all we have to do to share in some of this wisdom and kindness is stop by the Gorsebrook and order a Husky Burger with Spicy Fries on the side. And make sure to vote for Carol on The Coasts Best of Halifax website.
By Neil Van Horne