Columns / Discourse / May 13, 2015

Lessons from the caf

Did you ever imagine working in a college’s cafeteria 10 hours per week before coming to college? Here at Knox College’s cafeteria, anyone who is interested in working in a cafeteria is able to work there. We all know the fact that our students can work for Knox College, gaining some practical learning while helping your financial situation.

However, it can also make more stress for you and make you feel strained in balancing your academic and work schedule. Even if you need to sacrifice a bit of yourself by working in a cafeteria, it can be a unique experience for you to meet the school workers while learning how to support students’ food services directly. It’s definitely possible for anyone to work in a cafeteria as long as they are interested in working in a cafeteria.

Working in a cafeteria is a valuable working experience for you because you interact with workers including supervisors and other chefs. This group of professional workers understands Knox students. Many have worked at Knox College for a number of years; they know what Knox students want and what Knox students need in terms of helping their health. As hard as the staff works, you would be surprised just how much they enjoy their work, even if it seems to be difficult sometimes. For example, when I didn’t know how to deal with broken plates in the dish room, they quickly tackled the problem professionally, as they do for all problems that happen in a cafeteria. Their commitment and devotion for giving the best food service for Knox students should be rewarded and praised by Knox community.

Experiencing work in a cafeteria is helpful in training yourself to be more self-disciplined, especially in terms of time management. Working as a student worker in a cafeteria is a responsibility that doesn’t stop, even if you have a lot of schoolwork such as exams and homework. A sudden absence during your working time in a cafeteria can make for a brutal gap for the other workers. Your responsibility is one big part of the whole working process. For example, if you really need to do your school work or study for tests instead of working your shift days, you should tell supervisors earlier in order to be absent for that shift. If you can’t work for whole week for the busiest academic schedule, you should get an approval from the dining services’ office.

Sometimes, it can be overwhelming to manage your time and work in a cafeteria. It can even, sometimes, make me feel like I’m wasting my time. But in order to be a more practical person we should be able to overcome time limitations, because working means sacrificing our time and effort. My experiences working in a cafeteria have made me more self-disciplined and more devoted to both responsibilities across my life, from work shifts to studying. For example, I usually tell supervisors about my academic schedule so that there should be no time conflicts between working hours and studying hours. Having met professional workers in a cafeteria, I have been inspired to feel like I should also become a professional worker in the future in my own field.

Working in a cafeteria can be more meaningful for Knox students than just working for some money. It can be one part of learning life in the Knox community as a student worker. It certainly can be a challenging experience for us, but it is worth it.

Josh Ji

Tags:  caf cafeteria discipline jobs responsibility study time management work work ethic

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