Overworked and underpaid, Crave Town employee leaves mid-shift, causing student retaliation

By Mikayla Silcox

Elm Staff Writer

In between studying, after a long day of classes and back-to-back obligations, or when the dining hall disappoints, students order food at Crave Town, which offers comfort meals throughout the evening.

However, on Jan. 30, one worker was left to prepare orders, which led to one anonymous student jumping over the counter and helping them prepare food.

The next night, it is no wonder that this worker felt the need to abandon ship and quit mid-shift on Jan. 31. Hungry students then took matters into their own hands, jumping behind the empty counter and taking food and making it for others.

“The students were angry and upset,” freshman Emilie Gottbrecht said. “They ordered food expecting to come and get their food, yet when they arrived, they just saw it sitting there.”

The hangry students meant no disrespect to the Crave Town employee in their retaliation: they just wanted the food they ordered.

“I believe it was low staffing because they had to work two nights in a row by themselves, but we’re not 100% sure because they left everything on and there was food visibly sitting out on the counter,” Gottbrecht said.

Even dining staff employees do not look at the incident as a fault of the students, or the overworked Crave Town employee, but rather blame the systematic management issues.

“It stemmed from a lack of employees. There are a lot of people being underpaid and overworked,” Java employee junior Breakthrough Fouefack said.

Through adequate staffing and payment, employees would not need to leave mid-shift.

Evident by their constant innovations to keep up with dining food complaints, working on allergen free options, and their constant positivity, the dining hall and food service staff work hard and care deeply for the students, so it is no surprise to find that more internal issues are to blame here.

“I mean I look at it this way, they’re not on our time, we’re on the students’ time. They have to be in class, they have to be in some kind of engagement, they have to be at work,” Chef Sarah Beth from the Rooted station said.

Beth, like other Dining Service employees, understands the hustle of the students and her obligation to help them as quickly as possible.

Yet dining service workers like Beth deserve the same consideration and respect that she works to give to the campus. While she and other food service employees work tirelessly to ensure that students can eat well and efficiently, the school should work just as hard to make their job as easy as possible.

“Just speak out in the most respectful way you can,” Fouefack said.

While the campus is generally pleasant to the hard-working staff, students can help repay employees for their kindness by helping fight for the fair conditions and payment of the staff, so that next time, they do not need to make their own food.

Raise complaints about low staffing – seeing the same employee running a station alone for hours every day should not be the norm.

Take the time to show extra appreciation and care for the staff to let them know you understand their efforts and struggle – something as simple as patience and small talk, or a quick thank you would go a long way.

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