Julia Haines/Old Gold & Black
Julia Haines/Old Gold & Black

Deacon Profile: Rosalyn Commodore

Rosalyn Commodore is somewhat of a campus celebrity, known for her friendliness and positive demeanor.

She has worked at the ZSR Starbucks as a barista for almost six years and is known by students on campus as “Ros,” and “Foxy Roxy.”

How do you stay so positive all of the time?

I don’t know; I think it’s just my character. Maybe it’s because of my sign — Virgos rock. I was just raised to stay positive. My mom was always a positive person, so I think I get it from her.

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How do you respond to being so well-known on campus?

When students come in and know my name and say ‘hey,’ it makes me feel so good. That’s because it shows that they know me and that they like me. The fact that they wanna take time just to come and say ‘hey,’ makes me feel special.

Sometimes, when I miss a day, students will come and tell me that they missed me.  I didn’t think anybody would notice when I wasn’t at work.  This week, after I was out sick last week, everybody has been asking where I was. That makes me feel good to know that I come to work to thrive and move the line fast. To know that I’m doing well, making the students feel good; that makes me feel good.

What advice do you have for students to stay as energetic as you?

I know Wake Forest is called ‘Work Forest,’ but if they’re feeling down and out, they just have to remember that no matter what they’re feeling bad or sad about, somebody else is probably even more down and out than they are. The students have just got to keep their heads up and stay positive.

I tell everyone to just stay focused. I know y’all are busy-bees and y’all do a lot here — that’s a fact — but I’ve just got to think, ‘at least you’re in school, because some kids can’t go to college.’ It’s a blessing that y’all get to come here to Wake Forest. Stay positive and stay in school because everyone needs an education.

What part of the job do you like the most?

The students make my day. My favorite part of the job is just being there, being good at customer service, being fast on the register and being friendly. Just being fast and friendly. I know I’ve got to be fast because all the students have to get to class.

One student told me that he doesn’t come to get coffee, he comes to see me, and I didn’t even know that until he told me, so that just makes me feel so good. I guess I’m a blessing in disguise. Everybody needs an angel to watch over them. I’m everybody’s angel. I’m motivating them, making them feel good and making their day.

I like the students. All of them tell me that I make their day, and it makes me feel good to know that I make somebody’s day and that I make someone feel good. They’ll come in just to say ‘hey,’ just to see me, and that makes me feel good, because I actually make somebody’s day.

You wouldn’t usually think that you’d go make somebody’s day just by coming to work, but people thank me just for being here. Some people even thank me just for coming into work and getting up to come in at 6 a.m.

I think that’s so sweet, and they make me want to cry sometimes. It’s just a blessing that I can get up and come to work everyday because some people can’t get up everyday to go to work.

How long have you been at Starbucks, and what did you do before?

I’ve been working here for almost six years. For one year I worked at a little Starbucks coffee cart down in the Scales Fine Arts Center, and we mostly just sold hot tea and coffee. But they ended up shutting that down since it didn’t get a ton of business.

Then they moved me back up to the library location because they needed me there. It’s the busiest location on campus and I work the register and I move the line really quickly. When I’m not there for a day students will come tell me that the line was longer. I pretty much know how to do everything; I do the barista, the pastries, the register and the condiment bar. Before I worked here I was a breakfast manager at McDonalds for ten years, but I left there and I like it here better.

Everyone is so positive here. I like it for the students, and because I have a set schedule, I come in Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. until 2 in the afternoon.

What do you like to do at home?

When I’m at home, I kick back and watch movies on Netflix. I like to go out of town and visit my niece in Atlanta, too.

I’m a chill person at home. I just like to relax. I’m on my feet here all day long so when I’m home I just like to sit on my couch and watch movies. My friends come over sometimes and we’ll play cards.

I’m going to be a grandmama/ ‘glam’mama soon. My daughter, Joslyn, is due to have a girl in April, so I’ll get to spend time with my grandbaby when I’m off on the weekends. I’m so excited to be a ‘glam’mama.

I don’t feel like just any grandmama, that’s why I’m telling everyone that I’m going to be a ‘glam’mama. 

My son, Shaquan, graduates this year from Carver High School and is planning on going to the National Army Reserve.

What music do you like to play in Starbucks and when you’re at home?

I’m an all-the-way around kind of girl when it comes to music. I like reggae, roots, rock n’ roll, jazz, old jazz and beach music. I listen to 90.1 because on Fridays they do throwbacks, to music from the 70s and 80s. I can’t understand what they’re saying in today’s music a lot of the time. That’s why I like to listen to throwback.

What’s your favorite item on the Starbucks menu?

I like the hot tea and I just drink decaf everything. They have two kinds of tea that I like a lot: Mint Majesty Herbal Tea and Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea.

I get decaf because caffeine makes me feel all jittery, and the world knows I’m already a hyper person.

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