Residents take their seats in the dining hall at Highland Path in St. Paul. Dishes and silverware clink as tables are set. The smell of roast beef and mashed potatoes wafts through the air. At 5:00 p.m. sharp, a tall server with styled, tousled hair approaches one table after the next, interacting with residents and making small talk.
For the last four months, Marlon Cruz has been serving smiles and meals to residents at this Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) community. Marlon, 15, serves food from the kitchen and buses tables. He enjoys chatting with residents before reading the menu and taking orders.
“We have a friendly conversation right before I serve food because I like talking with them,” he said.
This is Marlon’s summer job. For about five days a week, he works in the kitchen as a server. Compared to his last job working in a Mexican food truck, he appreciates how stress-free his current job is. In addition, teammates are willing to collaborate with him. Marlon is very content with his work, even telling friends they should get a job at PHS.
“I don’t see why not to work here,” he said.
His relationships with residents are his favorite part of his job. His short conversations with them before taking orders make a difference. One kind-hearted resident prays for Marlon, gives him hugs and asks him about his testimony. The mutual bonding has had an impact on the 15-year-old. Residents will thank him for serving them, and Marlon knows he brightens their mood.
This is all meaningful work to Marlon. As he prepares to go home at 7:00 p.m., he feels fulfilled, knowing the residents at Highland Path are happy.
“I know they’re going back home full,” he said.
Interested in a PHS career?
Like Marlon, you could also help enrich the lives of older adults, working at a PHS community near you. We always have a wide range of positions open in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, for a variety of careers. Whether you’re starting out, at mid-career level or looking for a post-retirement career, we encourage you to apply to join our team at preshomes.org/careers and follow our blog.
More articles and videos:
WATCH: A Day in the Life of a Server at Presbyterian Homes & Services
Meet Rodell Smith, a cook/server and recipient of the 2022 CROSS Award for Christian Ministry
From server to leader: Mary Kluthe’s enduring vocation at PHS