As I stood in line this morning waiting for my breakfast (which is coincidentally my favorite meal of the day) I eagerly watched the cook as he cracked my eggs I had just ordered.
I stood tapping my foot impatiently while watching his every move, wishing that he could move faster because I was already in a rush — not to mention I tend to have a hearty appetite in the morning.
My wait in line this morning lead me to an epiphany. The Zorn Dining Commons staff work so hard to feed us efficiently and they try to make it as appetizing as possible, given their limitations. As I took a look around the ‘DC’, I noticed countless workers in their blue and red shirts, replenishing stacks of clean plates for us to take, constantly refilling silverware at all the different stations and most of all, cleaning up after our messes.
What really struck me was how so many of them did this with a smile. They did this while making sure they greeted us asking how we were doing today, sometimes even making small talk about upcoming campus events or how the weather is.
All too often I hear students complain about the ‘DC’. I hear comments such as, “The ‘DC’ has no good options” or, “the ‘DC’ needs to be open later,” among many other negative remarks. I believe the student body should be more sympathetic for the amount of hard and oftentimes thankless work these kind people do for us on a daily basis. I understand that sometimes it is frustrating when you come into the DC, take a lap around the entire building and find that nothing strikes you as appealing. I can truthfully say I have felt this way many times, so I am absolutely guilty of this. However, I soon realized how good we truly have it.
Nearly every single day you can count on having pizza, pasta, burgers, a full salad bar, a minimum of two different soup options, a vegan meal, wraps and sandwiches, a large selection of cereal, a yogurt and fruit station, a bread station, among many other things I am sure I am forgetting right at your fingertips.
If you honestly cannot find one of these food options to be of interest to you, the problem isn’t the dining commons — it’s probably you. Although these options may not be your first choice or what you’re exactly in the mood for at that particular time, it is a meal and you should feel grateful that you have access to a warm meal every day, since many people in the world are unable to say that for themselves.
Now, I acknowledge the fact that we pay a large sum of money to dine in this facility, so it is understandable that we have expectations and want to get our money’s worth. However, a very bad habit I see many students doing is leaving a mountain of plates, food, napkins and cups all over the table. It is common courtesy to clean up after yourselves and bring your plates to the dish room.
It really is a simple task that does not require much effort at all. I always feel infuriated when I see the ‘DC’ workers cleaning up after a huge group of people who decided they were entitled to leave their mess behind.
The dining common workers are here to tidy up and make sure all the tables remain in an orderly fashion and are cleaned. They are not our waiters and waitresses. I see it as a sign of disrespect to assume that someone else will take care of your mess. Personally, I love the atmosphere of being in the ‘DC.’ It is really a beautiful facility when you take the time to look around and really appreciate it.
The staff is made up of hard working individuals who do their best to feed us with a variety of meals each and every day. I believe that we need to give both the DC itself and its workers more credit. Every time I walk out of the DC, not only am I well-fed, but I am also filled with appreciation for what these individuals do for me each day, for every single meal.
Sabrina Lapointe can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org