Long-time Team Member Pat Wolcott has been with SAGE since 2002, and with Calvert Hall College High School since 2016. In this interview, Pat talks with us about her love of math, how she keeps her cool when things get stressful, and what she does in her spare time.
How did you find your way to food service, and to SAGE?
I earned B.S. in Secondary Math and taught school for five years before starting to waitress at a local Best Western hotel. I loved waitressing, so I did it full-time for 20 years. When I met my second husband, we moved to Maryland, where I waitressed for 15 years. I started working with SAGE in 2002 part-time at Loyola Blakefield, and I enjoyed it so much I quit my waitressing job and came to SAGE full-time. I worked there for 15 more years before transferring to Calvert Hall.
What do you do daily?
I’m head cashier. I’m at my post all day long, because we never close. If the boys have a free period, they can come in and buy whatever they want. We serve breakfast from 7:30 until 9:30, and then lunch from 9:30 to 2. I stay for the afterschool program, which is from 2:45 until 3:15 for students waiting for their ride or going to a game or practice. All in all, my day is from 7:15 until 3:45. It’s very busy—the time goes by very quickly, and I really enjoy it.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is keeping my cool during a busy lunch period when I have students coming down my right and left sides with money or their debit card or both. I have to go at a steady pace or everything’s going to snowball and the register won’t come out right at the end of the day. It’s mental stress—counting money and making change and dealing with 600 boys all day long.
What’s it like being out in the dining hall when the rest of your Team is in the kitchen?
I’m not a cook and I hate to cook. I don’t even like to be in the kitchen, around the knives and the fryers. Math is my thing—counting money, making change. Just put me at my computer and let me take money all day and I’m happy.
What do you do in your spare time?
My husband and I travel frequently to visit family, and we love to camp. Last summer, we took my stepson and our family dog, an English bulldog, to Colorado in a camper we towed behind the truck. We drove four days across the U.S to reach Colorado Springs, camped out for a week, and drove four days across the southern states to get home.
What’s your favorite SAGE recipe?
The salmon with the pineapple topping is delicious!