While working in food service has its ups and downs, working as a part of any on-campus dining option definitely is an interesting experience. Here are eight things that everyone working in restaurant operations has experienced:
1. Those Opening Shifts
Being at work at six in the morning on a weekday? Alright, if I have to... But 7:30 a.m. on a weekend? Forget it, but still drag yourself out of bed and into work, you don't want to lose your job! No one's up that early. Everyone's way too hungover to come eat until noon.
2. The People Who Come In Five Minutes Before Closing
Whether it's only 7:55 p.m. and you're closing the dinner line or 9:55 p.m. and you're closing down for the night, there is always that one group of obnoxious people who come in right as you're getting ready to close. You really couldn't come in any earlier?
3. Visits From The People In Charge Of Restaurant Ops
They literally just appear from thin air. And most times, with no warning. Turn around, and bam, right there. Looks like I need to clean everything and look busy during slow time in the five milliseconds before they turn around... Better change that dirty sanitize water too. And don't mind me over here, I'm just doing my job...
4. Always Being Short Two or Three People
No one on the grill or on salads? One server missing? Great! More work for me to do! Exactly what I wanted! No break for me today!
5. Semester Events
AKA complete chaos. Residents are getting sick of the same food being served every couple of weeks or so, and the minute people hear that something new is being served for a few hours, they all come rushing in. Not only that, but you realize how many people actually work for restaurant ops when they all come in that day and run around trying to get everything done in 20 minutes before opening. If you work that day, you're probably annoyed and wish you were home watching Netflix. If you don't, you probably pick up extra hours because you need the money that badly.
6. Being Late and Pretending You Got There On Time
We're all guilty at one point or another... admit it. You walk past the manager pretending you're not 15 minutes late for work and silently remind yourself to set an earlier alarm. Or you get the 'are you coming in' call right at the 30-minute mark, promising the student supervisor that you're almost there, while waiting for the city bus driver (who is really late) to get off break and get to your stop already.
7. The Fryer
This is the bane of your existence. Chances are, if you have a grill or serving shift you are constantly dropping fries or popcorn chicken and putting new ones out because someone grabs them all when your back is turned for a second. And when someone grabs the fries that are all the way in the back of the slide, you give them the dirtiest look. Thanks a lot, dude, now you possibly contaminated the rest of the food. Cleaning the fryer and replacing the oil? No thanks. Not only does it take forever, but if you spill any fryer oil while draining it, you're going to want to scream because now you have to clean it up. No matter how well you think you cleaned it, the floor will still feel greasy for about a week.
8. Having Awesome Work Friends That Make Going to Work Fun
Work friends are the best friends. You see them often and they make work more entertaining. The time goes by faster when you're all just hanging out and talking during the slow times. They're the ones you share the good news with first, as well as the people you vent to while eating a sample cup of the pasta bowl about the fight you got into with your boyfriend. You wouldn't know what to do without them and you're glad you get to work with them.