Many of us have had the pleasure of interacting with Sodexo’s Pat Eslinger, the front cashier of the dining hall for nearly every day of the week. She is dedicated to her job and welcomes hundreds of students with a smile. Many diners have started to be on a first name basis with Pat, where light conversations are exchanged. She enjoys working with the Colorado Mesa University student population, and says that the interactions “just happen” as people stop by to say hello. These connections and interactions are one of the best parts about her job. “There are so many freshmen who are far away from home,” Eslinger said. “I’d like to consider myself as a motherly figure for them.”
Eslinger has been working for Sodexo since 2012, and will make five years at the end of this semester. Prior to being a cashier, she was serving food and cleaning the dining area. Before Sodexo, she worked as a Certified Nurse’s Aid for Traumatic Brain Injury Patients at Hilltop for 12 and a half years. She said the job was very rewarding but was too physically demanding, and started looking for other avenues to serve others and found herself at CMU after a job recommendation from her friend, Theresa, who is also currently working with Eslinger in the University Center dining hall.
The Colorado native is a Grand Junction local, who was born at Unaweep Canyon. Her mother was a stay at home mom, and her father was a uranium miner. “My parents instilled strong moral values to their kids,” Eslinger said. “We were very independent growing up.” Eslinger was the second youngest among four kids: two brothers and two sisters. She now lives alone in Clifton with her dog.
During her free time, she enjoys working reading and spending time with friends and family. “I also love being outside,” Eslinger said. “I like to walk my dog around the neighborhood and do some garden work now that the weather is nice.” Pat rarely watches TV or spends time on the computers as she’s found more pleasure in outdoor activities.
The cashier works every weekday during the breakfast and the lunch hours. She welcomes conversations with students and enjoys the work that she does. “Enjoy every moment and enjoy today,” Eslinger said. “Life is too short to be disappointed.”