Cafeteria Worker Is Employee of the Year

Posted February 11, 2004 at 1:52pm

For 28 years, Doris Cherry has been a regular sight in the Longworth Cafeteria. Working the checkout lines for the past 15 years, she is the friendly face at the end of a long line of hungry staffers. This year, Guest Services has named her Employee of the Year.

“I am very excited and very happy,” Cherry said of the award, but in her now-trademark selfless attitude she added, “I am happy when my customers are happy. They come to the Food Court for a break. My job is to make them leave with a smile.”

Born in Clinton, N.C., Cherry came to Washington, D.C., as a child. In 1976, she started work in the Longworth Cafeteria as a line server before becoming a grill cook and deli server. After a decade of making food, Doris moved to the checkout line registers, where she became the warm and kind fixture collecting money from House patrons and in return giving them a smile and a hello.

Cherry’s manager, Eran Nuran, said she is a sweet person who genuinely cares about everyone she meets. “She is one of the most dependable team members here at Longworth. Customers will line up to 20 people at a time to get a chance to speak to Doris. Other registers will be open, but they think she is worth the wait,” Nuran said.

Cherry once received a letter from a regular customer informing her he was leaving his job. In the letter the customer confessed that even though his office had free coffee every morning prepared for the staff, he would come to the cafeteria and pay for a cup just so he could say hello to her.

Cherry and her husband, Reginald, have four children and seven grandchildren.