She walked into Room 106 in the Ezra Lehman Memorial Library like she has the past 16 years while working at Shippensburg University. As usual, she wore her black pants and black shirt with a green Starbucks apron covering them up.
She had a huge smile that brightened her face and she was amazed when she walked into her surprise retirement party.
The only thing different about her was the silver bow she wore on her apron and dangling earrings she was not allowed to wear on a daily basis at work. Who was going to tell her she could not wear them on the last day of work?
Caroline Weaver has called it quits after working at Starbucks for the past eight years .
“It’s not a choice I wanted to make, but a choice I had to make,” Weaver said several times in front of her retirement party. With tears slowly leaving her eyes Weaver said, “I’m leaving with a broken heart.”
She wants to advise to everyone that when you are close to retirement, make sure you hate the job you are leaving. She explained it will make it easier when you leave. She was heard saying this multiple times, and it shows how much she loves Shippensburg.
“I love my job, and leaving it is the hardest decision I’ve ever made,” Weaver said.
Weaver was known for her smile, which she wore 24/7. She did not have to say a word to brighten your day. The unanimous statement that was said all day long at her retirement party was, “She’s the sweetest lady you will ever meet.”
Weaver has been working for Shippensburg University’s food services for 16 years. From the dining halls to the CUB to Starbucks, her smile and friendliness always went with her. Nick Iula, director of dining services, has worked with Weaver for many years.
“She’s full smiles,” Iula said. “I’ve never seen her without a smile on her face.”
Iula could never have imagined meeting someone so nice.
“The first time I met her I told myself: nobody could possibly be that sweet.”
Sure enough after a few weeks he said, “It’s true, she is the sweetest lady you will ever meet.”
Words really can not describe how wonderful Weaver has been to everyone in Shippensburg.
“She’s going to be missed by everyone but is more than welcome to come back and visit.” Iula said.
Weaver not only loved her job, but she also loves life and the people who surround her. Weaver said, “I wish I knew everyone more than what I did.”
It is crazy to think that one day Weaver was “shy and backward,” but she now loves to tell everyone she is “loud.”
Joe Brubaker, who worked with Weaver for three years at Starbucks said, “She’s bubbly all the time, even at 7 a.m. when most people wouldn’t be.” In fact, Brubaker made sure he did not have class Tuesday mornings just so he could work with Weaver.
“It’s just amazing how she could go every day of her life being so sweet and helpful,” Brubaker said. Even if you did not know Weaver, you knew about her and how nice she was to everyone. She would not let one person get her down.
She was so well known for her hard work and her great attitude; she even saw people she never would have imagined to see during the last week of work before retiring. The regional manager for Starbucks drove hours to see Weaver and wish her the best since he could not make the retirement party.
Even the vice president of Chartwells visited on Wednesday to say thank you and to wish Weaver the best. Many people showed up at her retirement party including President William Ruud, students, friends and family. All Weaver could do is say thanks and give out thousands of hugs in appreciation.
The retirement party was not just filled with tears; it was filled with laughter and memories. As many people came and went, stories were being told all afternoon. Sitting in the back room in the library eating cake, chips, pretzels and sipping on some ice cold punch, the smile that Weaver always had on her face never left for a single second.
“I’m no different from anyone else,” she said several times during the party. Someone once told her she was too nice. Weaver responded like she always did saying, “There’s no such thing as being too nice, I’m just being myself.”
Starbucks will never be the same without Caroline Weaver. Sure, the majority of people will still go and purchase their usual coffees, teas and frappuccinos, but Weaver will be greatly missed. Her smile, dedication and friendliness will never be forgotten. As Brubaker put it, “She gives the caffeine you didn’t get in your coffee.”