One of the most recognizable workers in the University Center Dining Hall is known as Mustache Mike, who stands out because of his big beard and outgoing personality. He works nearly every day, serving hundreds of students with a joke and a smile.
Michael Reuss has been working for the catering company for two years as a server and a cook. He first started cleaning tables and working in the dishroom, and then eventually rotated through several other positions until he found his niche as a food server.
“I’ve done [almost] every station here at Sodexo,” Reuss said. “In fact the only position that I have not done is the register.”
Reuss loves his job and said that students are what make his day.
“The students are number one in my book,” Reuss said. “I love talking to them and teasing the kids sometimes.”
Before working for Sodexo, Reuss worked as a semi-truck driver for nine years, and has traveled through all 48 states of the continental U.S. Before that, he was an active duty soldier in the U.S. Army, which also took him from place to place. The veteran has also lived in different areas of the country, as well as other areas of the globe.
“Believe it or not, I was born in a town called Orleans in France,” Reuss said. “I traveled everywhere and settled in Boston, Mass. for a few years. I then moved to Utah and then came to Grand Junction, Colo. I love this state; it’s beautiful here.”
When he’s not working, Reuss enjoys spending time with his wife and his dog, Pistol. He enjoys playing golf on his time off, relaxing and watching TV, as well as completing a couple of house tasks.
Reuss is known and easily recognized for his mustache, and there’s a reason behind why he likes to keep it.
“I’ve always had a ‘stache’ since my teenage years.” Reuss said. “The only time I didn’t have it was when I went to basic training for the Army, where they require you to shave all your facial hair off.”
Reuss has had his mustache for 11 years to date, and grooms it five times a day.
“At one point, I’ve had it halfway down to my waist,” Reuss said.
Reuss is always seen working hard during his shifts, and is never caught without the smile that comes from his enthusiastic personality. People may know him as the funny joker in the cafeteria, and even his co-workers get a good laugh from him.
“I just want to make the students laugh,” Reuss said. “I want to make them forget about the rough day they’ve had at school.”