Easygoing, caring, humorous–these are the three words that best describe one of the Irvine Commons’ most well-liked employees: Lucy.
For many students on campus, many of which were far away from home, Lucy’s amiable nature afforded them a sense of camaraderie in their new environment. First-year student Tony Huynh shared, “One thing that stood out about Lucy was that she always greeted you with a smile and a ‘Hello Mijo!’ You always felt like you belonged. She was always positive and spreaded it vigorously.”
Lucy was cognizant of how a negative attitude or a positive attitude could impact the lives of others. In an interview with the Redlands Bulldog back in 2016, Lucy recalled the abuse she suffered at home and how it impacted her outlook on life and how she would come to treat others. Because Lucy believed that no person should ever have to suffer the degradation of abuse, she encouraged others to respect all people–she seemed to uphold the notion that a simple kind act can help someone feel loved and less alone.
The example Lucy set for students each day in the cafeteria was impressionable; sophomore Matthew Ryan added, “What made Lucy a great employee was the energy she brought everyday. I thought that her positive attitude really influenced the other workers and students. She always said, ‘Have a great day!’ or ‘Godbless you!’ [People had] more of a personal connection with her, [for example] she would always say ‘mijo’ so she was personable and [overall] a very cool person.”
Indeed, the Irvine Commons seems quieter without Lucy’s cheerful greetings. Having received a job elsewhere, Lucy resigned from Bon Appetit after the fall semester ended. Though she is no longer working in the Commons, she created a lasting impact on students as she exemplified the importance of making connections with others. Lucy’s acts of goodwill were small, and she touched the lives of many students as she created a sense of conviviality within the Irvine Commons.
Sophomore Evelyn Thomas said, “Lucy was a great employee for many reasons. First, she always greeted you with a smile on her face and always had to compliment something about you, whether it was your dress, makeup, or hair.” Thomas continued, She was very generous too. Whenever there would be [not enough food] on my plate, she would go back and add more and would say ‘You need to eat more mija.’ She was always worried about anyone whether she knew them or not and was always willing to get to know them.”
Her zeal for life and her generous heart made the Commons more than just a place to get a meal.