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Fingers, Fries, and A Side of Attitude: Dining Hall Staff Won’t Tolerate Disrespect

NOTE: General Manager Robin Fortado submitted a Letter to the Editor in regards to this piece and can be found here.

In recent weeks, Cafe Bon Appetit has been sounding off on students leaving the dining hall in deplorable conditions and bringing a nasty attitude along with them, making working conditions harder for the staff.

Recent reports from Atrium manager Kelly Jean Louis describe some students as “disrespectful” and that their attitude “disrupts students and staff” from getting work done. After working in colleges for eleven years she shared that “freshmen [at Emmanuel] have more respect than upperclassmen.”

Although most students entering the cafeteria usually come in smiling and “high fiving” the familiar faces seen at the grill, a select few have caused the largest impact on the dining experience.

According to Louis, there have been instances where students “threw plates at employees” because they didn’t offer a menu item they wanted. Yelling at the student workers and staff has become a norm at the grill and has, “caused [her] to lose eight employees.”

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Bon Appetit student workers are also aware of these recent behaviors. Judyth Lucien ’16, a Biology major, works in the Atrium cafe and has reported seeing students leave trash in the atrium and counters. Although the JYC is responsible for cleaning, the negligence of students to pick up after themselves has caused a mice problem.

As for her experience working with fellow students, she states that they “have all been friendly, especially the freshmen.” Although students seem to “treat her with respect” there are problems that exist in the atrium as well. After shouting an order to Chef Moussa, she stated, that it “annoys me when students come in expecting free food.”

Of all the people that come through the dining hall and Atrium, sports team members often have the most noticeable presence. And it’s not always positive.

In her interview Louis stated that the “basketball team likes to come in and blast their radio. They need to have common courtesy.”

She also stated that they leave their food, trash, and dirty plates on the table for the staff to dispose of after they’ve finished eating.

When asked to comment on the behavior expectations of sports teams, Athletic Director Alexis Mastronardi, stated that “our student-athletes are always students first, here at Emmanuel, so they would be held to the same standards as any other student on our campus.” 

Louis has a solution that would make for better environment for the workers as well as the students.

“We are together all year and should be respectful,” she stated, then gave a wide smile back to a student who waved to her from across the dining hall.

Posted by on September 22, 2015. Filed under Around Campus. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to Fingers, Fries, and A Side of Attitude: Dining Hall Staff Won’t Tolerate Disrespect

  1. Sara

    September 22, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Can we talk about the employees being disrespectful to the students? All semester I’ve been having a terrible experience with employees acting like I’m just some snotty kid, when I’m going out of my way to be nice to them it’s not fair I pay so much to eat there and have to deal with employees with a bad attitude worse than I’ve witnessed any student. Obviously the few students being jerks should be called out but that doesn’t mean everyone walking in should be treated badly to start. I work in food service, and if I acted to my customers the way the dining hall employees have treated me, I would have been fired.

  2. Alex

    September 23, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I’m actually appalled this article was written and the staff is bashing students for being disrespectful. The staff is the problem here. I completely agree with the comment below me that yes there are a handful of students that can be messy and inconsiderate, but that doesn’t account for everyone. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve stood in line after a long day of classes and lab and the worker at the stirfry line rolls his eyes at me and talks loudly to the other workers that he’s cutting off the line halfway and not take all the people in line when it’s 710 and the dining room doesn’t even close until 730. It’s not my fault I’m hungry and have to go to dinner late due to lab. The workers on multiple occasions have given huge attitude and made it such an unpleasant experience for me and other students. I feel like it’s my fault and that I’m doing something wrong by getting food, when in reality I’m literally paying for this and should be getting more welcoming vibes for how expensive Emmanuel is. My roommate is gluten free due to celiac disease and has had the worst time. Whether it’s not restocking the gluten free section or multiple times seeing bread that has mold or is expired. She can’t even eat at the grill anymore because the workers are so uneducated on her intolerance, despite the amount of times she’s told the workers they need to clean off a spot, use a separate spatula and not cook her food near anything with wheat in it. They are so negligent and definitely not allergy friendly, which makes her miserable to even have to live on campus, having her food selection so poor. Overall, the staff should not be saying bad things about the students when their actions are not nice either.

  3. Robin Fortado, General Manager

    September 24, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    The statements in this article do not reflect my personal experience or that of the rest of the Bon Appétit team. We are honored to serve the Emmanuel community each day, and we sincerely enjoy doing so. In my 10 years here, I have found Emmanuel students to be friendly, polite, and appreciative of our efforts to deliver delicious, healthy, from-scratch food. I hope that the students know that we respect them and we also appreciate their respect.