Breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night snack. Students are always hungry, and at one time or another, they're able to pull themselves out of the cave of their dorm to make the trek for food. They swipe and punch and roundhouse kick (or however the youngsters are doing it nowadays) into dining halls to sit down with their glorious plates of nourishment. They devour it all, or not, and then send the dishes back on a conveyor belt where they will all become magically clean again in about an hour. It wasn't before I got into working in a buffet-style dining hall that I realized just how much labor and teamwork was involved, and how oblivious some people are to all of it. I thought, what if I could create a PSA for those people, us employees are not scrubbing tomato sauce stained floors in vain?
For those students getting in working hours at school in a dining hall, mad props, this one's for you:
Dear Dining hallers,
First off, thanks for choosing this dining hall! We're more than happy to serve you. But to ensure you have the best experience possible, I request a couple of things:
-Please don't laugh at my uniform. Or my hairnet. It's part of my job, and it's not my food that's at risk for hairs.
-Please try not to act like you were raised in a barn. Growing up, I was taught to clean up after myself. I get it, we've got staff to help clean, but that doesn't mean you can just leave your entire place setting sprawled out on the table and that turned over cup of milk dripping on the seat. I was also taught how to use the "magic words" effectively.
-I'd appreciate it greatly if you could put your phone down when you're ordering food. It'll take 2 minutes of your precious time, and then you can go back to your seat, chewing AND texting to your heart's content-- what could be better?
-Please don't whistle/snap your fingers at us. I'm sure waiters and waitresses get this at one time or another, but, from personal experience, just... don't do this. It's not respectful, and we're not dogs.
-Please realize that I'm a person too. I may have had a bad day, you may have had a bad day. But when we're face to face and I'm about to serve you some apple pie, l will smile at you. You don't have to smile back, or even say anything, but just let us be human to each other. I wont take the day's trouble out on you if you don't take yours out on me. (:
-Please (please I beg you) talk to us. Honestly, we're just here to get paid. The work is boring and the tasks are mundane, so a little bit of small talk over the serving of mashed potatoes is like a hidden treasure. Many days we are on our feet for five hours at a time, or completely cut off from civilization in the back, scrubbing dishes. We have name tags, and contrary to popular belief, we won't burn you with our laser eyes so you can feel free to look at us or even approach us with any questions so we can help you!
Your devoted dining hall employee