Dishwasher is pleasant, hardworking and well-liked

Susan Shearin has been working with Appalachian Food Services for the past five years. Stephanie Sansoucy | The Appalachian

Andrew Clausen

Susan Shearin has been working with Appalachian Food Services for the past five years.  Stephanie Sansoucy  |  The Appalachian
Editor’s Note: The following is the third part of a four-part series about the behind-the-scene employees at Appalachian State University.

Five years ago, Susan Shearin walked into Appalachian State University Human Resources and made the decision to transition from her job of 20 years at Bojangles to a job as dishwasher for food services at Appalachian.

Shearin said she loves the students with which she works.

“They come in and I show them everything that would be helpful for them to do and they go right on and do it,” Shearin said.

She also loves working at food services.

“We have fun here at work and we kind of joke around a lot and we enjoy each other and everything,” Shearin said. “Overall it’s just a fun place to be and people are so nice. They’re working hard and it’s just a fun atmosphere.”

Shearin said that one day, when she was putting cans in the can crusher, she went to push a can that was stuck through and cut off part of her finger.

Shearin said the injury took about six weeks to heal but that everyone was nice and gave her time to rest and heal at home. She was able to go back to work as normal.

Shearin lives 30 minutes away in Mountain City, Tenn., and drives to Appalachian every day for work.

“I don’t mind it, I enjoy the ride,” Shearin said. “I like driving, especially in the mornings when it’s cool and you can turn on your radio and kind of enjoy life.”

In her time off, Shearin said she does a lot of yard and garden work, but she recently had to trade her flowerbeds for potted plants due to her health.

Manager of Sanford Commons Pam Cline said that Shearin is a pleasure to work with.

“She often brightens my day with a smile,” Cline said. “She is always pleasant, hard working, well-liked and respected among other employees. She’s very dependable in her attendance and work ethic, always going above and beyond in her job performance.  She is definitely an enjoyable employee whom I feel honored to work with and supervise.”

Cline said the importance of the dishwasher is often ignored, but it is actually a job with a lot of importance to daily operations.

“She is responsible for keeping the all of the trays, dishes and kitchenware’s clean, she separates compost and recycling materials, she also completes general housekeeping duties in maintaining the cleanliness of the entire unit,” Cline said.

Shearin said she hopes to stay at Appalachian until she retires.

“I have arthritis and back problems,” Shearin said. “Everybody has been wonderful. They help me in the dish room a lot. The student managers will come in and if they see me getting behind they will help me get caught up.”

Story and Photo: STEPHANIE SANSOUCY, Senior News Reporter