Blimpie’s employee goes the extra mile

Melinda White makes a delicious turkey sandwich. She is known by students for her good humor.

Eating lunch at Main Street NKU students cross paths with many people. Fellow students stand in line to make their purchases and fill the tables in the cafeteria. But students also deal with a variety of Sodhexo employees as they make their selections and sit down to eat. For some it’s just a job, but for one employee at Blimpie’s it means more.

Melinda White has worked at Blimpie’s as an employee of Sodhexo since August of 2001. Over the course of this time she has affected students in a positive way.

“I love the kids,” White said. “I’m on a first name basis with a lot of them.”

White said she enjoys her job most of the time, although everyone has bad days. On these days she tries not to let her mood reflect in her work.

“Kids have tests and things. They don’t need to see me down in the dumps,” White said. “I try to make it a little fun for them.”

Observing White, this is quite obvious. She usually has a smile on her face and often jokes around with students as she prepares their sandwich. White also has her regulars, whose orders she has memorized.

“I like the fact that she doesn’t act like it’s a big deal to help you,” said senior journalism major Betsy Sutton. “Not only that, but she actually seems to care about how your day’s been going.”

Sutton’s not the only one who thinks White stands out among the crowd. Campus fraternity TKE awarded White with the Faculty of the Month Award for the month of November.

“They gave me a certificate in a nice frame and published it in the Northerner,” she said.

As for White’s interests beyond her job at Blimpie’s, she claims to be a very family oriented person. She has three brothers, one in California, Chicago and Cincinnati, and two sisters that live in Cincinnati. She is the second oldest. White also has nieces and nephews and said she is “the fun aunt.”

“They’re my favorite people in the world,” White said.

Her brother Eugene Norman attends NKU and lives three blocks away from her. White said she is closest to Norman.

“He brought me a flower the other day because he thought I was in a bad mood,” White said. “He loves unconditionally.”

In addition to spending time with family, White has some musical interests. “I’ve always loved trying to sing,” she said.

White said she loves karaoke and goes to the Cottage Bar in Southgate every Thursday. Some of the student body drop by occasionally to hang out and listen to her sing. She can also play the tenor saxophone, which Norman taught her how to do.

White is a Cincinnati native but lived in Sacramento for 12 years, following her divorce. However, in 1998 her mother became very ill. She moved back to Cincinnati so she could be there to support her.

Prior to working at Blimpie’s, White worked as a manager at Subway for two years. She said this gave her excellent experience for Blimpie’s. After quitting Subway, White worked in the catering business. When catering got slow in August she decided to look for another job. Blimpie’s happened to be hiring and she had the needed experience.

As for the future, White said she is very excited to be marrying Ronald Moore this September. Other than that she said she’s just happy to get up every morning.

And as for her favorite sandwich at Blimpie’s: “roast beef and swiss, heated up,” she said.