MECHANICSVILLE, Va. -- Monica Hollomon just may have put the fast -- in fast food. Watching the the 51-year-old woman work the drive-thru at the Mechanicsville Burger King at breakneck speed leaves you breathless.
Each shift she brings boundless energy.
"I say, 'Ms. Monica, When do you stop?' She says, "about 10 o’clock at night,'" colleague Linda Allen said.
Monica has honed her skill wearing many hats, but her guests really do come first.
"One hundred percent. I love my job. I love my customers. My customers are wonderful. That is what makes me get up and want to come to work every day. They’re so kind,” Monica said.
Monica has been a fixture here since the King was a Prince, first punching the clock in May 1989.
"Oh yeah. We always joke that she was part of the construction crew and when the building was finished, we put her in the drive-thru," District Manager Chip Davis said.
Guests may have it their way, but Monica always serves up something you won’t find on any menu.
"Give somebody a kind word. Love. It doesn’t take anything," Monica said.
In this increasingly crass and curt world, where courtesy seems like a lost art, Monica always delivers a side of sugar with every order. She learned from her mother and grandmother to treat people with respect. A comforting word or smile goes a long way.
"Sometimes when they come through, I recognize their voice I know what they want,” Monica said.
But her gift goes beyond knowing orders by heart, she knows when her customers may need a boost.
"Sometimes it’s the expression on their face or if it's someone that comes in all of the time, I can tell the way they talk. Or they look like they’re sad or something," Monica said.
In 2011, Elizabeth Chandler’s grandmother Joyce visited the restaurant while battling terminal brain cancer.
"Ms. Monica was at the window and explained what was happening," Elizabeth said. "She still had to get lunch and see Monica. That makes me smile. Yes.”
Monica gave Joyce a cross with a prayer inscribed on it.
"Monica gifted it to her and she kept it on her nightstand till she passed away. Our family looked at every day," Elizabeth said.
Seven years later, Elizabeth and her family still cherish Monica’s gesture.
"During a terrible time it brought a lot of comfort to all of us," Elizabeth said.
“It just made my day to see her when she came through to see me. Even though she was feeling bad she still came through," Monica said.
So, if you are ever driving through Mechanicsville, there is a place that satisfies your hunger and soul. Behind the counter at this Burger King you'll find the Queen of kindness.
"She is one of a kind. She is amazing. She is absolutely amazing, and I hope she knows that. Thank you so much. God bless you sweetie. If you ever need me you know where to find me. Always."
If you know of someone with an interesting story to tell email Greg McQuade.