Columns & Commentary

Woes of a Salad Maker


 

I’ve been working in dining for almost two years, and the experience has taught me I should never work in customer service.
Dominique Stewart Major: Magazine journalism Year: Junior Fun Fact: I have never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Follow Dominique: @Dom_Stew

Dominique Stewart
Major: Magazine journalism
Year: Junior
Fun Fact: I have never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Follow Dominique: @Dom_Stew

The realization has nothing to do with working in dining itself. The hours are flexible and the location is within walking distance of my house. It’s the customers that ruin a four-hour shift with their bad vibes.

It’s not every customer, but when you’re food and sleep deprived because of the demanding life of a journalism student, encountering a condescending customer is the last thing you want to deal with. Remember: we’re students too.

So before you order your next salad, read these don’ts of the salad line. Who knows, you might get a little extra on your plate.

Don’t pity us.

This is a job, not a career. I don’t plan on making sandwiches and tossing salads after graduation. None of us do. We might be working to pay the rent and to help fill the fridge, but we’re out once graduation comes. So save the pity eyes. We’re getting paid to be here.

Don’t get mad at me for not having a specific food item.

I’m an employee. I don’t order or decide what food is available that day. My responsibility is to smile, keep my hands clean and not drop food. So yelling at me for not having strawberries in the middle of winter will not make them appear. You’re an adult now. Temper tantrums are not OK.

Don’t talk on the phone when ordering.

Talking on the phone or having a side conversation is not just rude to me, but also for everyone who has to wait on you. It tells me that you value your time over others, and I’m inclined to skip you and serve the next person. Sorry, not sorry.

Manners, manners, manners: Don’t forget them.

It surprises me how rude people are toward someone who handles their food. Haven’t you seen the movie “Waiting?” And I get it: You’re hungry, you’re in a rush, but I know your parents taught you better.

Don’t forget to say hi.

This is fastest way to make a server dislike you. If I say hi, don’t just start ordering. Take a breath and say “hi” back. One extra word won’t kill you. I promise.

-•••-

This might sound like a bitter worker complaining about her job, and it is. But it’s also common courtesy to treat your peers the same way you want to be treated.  I mean, it’s the least you can do.

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