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School year sees shakeups at Tea Shop

The 2006-2007 school year marks the start of new careers for former Tea Shop cashier Timothy Emerson and newcomer Richard Fernandez.
Mills students were greeted in August with an unfamiliar face when instead of Emerson, known to students as “Tim the Tea Shop guy,” greeting students and welcoming freshwomen, there was Richard Fernandez learning the ropes and settling in along with the rest of the Mills community.

After he was asked to assist in Conference Services over the summer, Emerson was promoted to a permanent position at the start of the school year. His duties now include conference set up and deliveries to President Janet Holmgren, along with other various tasks asked of the Conference Services Crew.

After working at the Tea Shop for 5 years, Emerson said he misses it because he loved the environment and the student friends he made. Although his new career in Conference Services does not allow for much socializing, Emerson’s decision to take the new job was influenced in part by his three children.

“Let’s just say I get paid way more,” said Emerson, who hopes to continue moving forward in his career at Mills and being a part of its “great environment.” For now, Conference Services provides Emerson a full time Monday through Friday job with occasional weekends that call for extra pay.

Emerson said Tea Shop employers were sad to see him go, but once they heard of the advancement he would be making both financially and professionally, they encouraged the decision.

The newcomer at the Tea Shop is Richard Fernandez, a recent transplant to of the Bay Area.

Fernandez described his journey to Mills as an “interesting story.”
Fernandez said his roommate had applied for the job first, and when Steve Deresh, dinning services manager at the Tea Shop, called to set up an interview, Fernandez told Deresh his roommate was no longer interested.

“I then asked what the pay was and what the benefits were, and told Steve I was interested,” said Fernandez. “So I faxed my resume that day and had my first interview with Steve the next day. . . two days later I got the job.”

“I liked his energy and his forwardness,” Deresh said. “He took an opportunity that didn’t exist for him and he made one, and I liked that.”

Fernandez began working at the Tea Shop on Aug. 21 after “vagabonding” up and down the West Coast and settling in the Bay Area because of its diversity. Fernandez said he loves the benefits and accommodations that come with the job: along with other Mills employees, he’s allowed to take a free course at Mills every semester and have unlimited access to the library and internet.
“Plus it’s a college,” said Fernandez. “And you can’t beat the Mills environment.”