Our View: Consideration goes a long way
Food, napkins and silverware piled high on plates. Students whining about the food. Trash left on chairs or the floor rather than in the garbage can two feet away. Bathrooms where the toilet is not flushed and paper towels somehow miss the garbage can.
These are the sorts of things that student workers in Food Service and Housekeeping have to deal with every day.
It is true that we have housekeeping to clean up and that Food Service is there to cook food and clean the plates, silverware and glasses. They are paid for their work.
But do we have to make it so hard on them?
Leaving the Corum and other buildings on campus in a mess shows that the student body has a lack of respect for housekeeping and the work that they do. Many students do not appear to realize that when they make a mess – whether it be not stomping their feet before they come inside or leaving their garbage lying around – someone has to clean it up.
Anyone who has worked in the dishroom, or even put their plate on the conveyor belt during busy times, knows that students often leave enough food and napkins on their plates to feed a Third World country and provide enough recyclable material to print the week’s Grand Rapids Press.
This makes an already busy time in the dishroom even worse. They have a hard enough time keeping up with the dirty plates and glasses without having to stop to try to pry a lemon wedge or wet napkin out of a glass.
Of course, the pinnacle of disrespect is to insult the work that a person is doing when they are standing right there. How many times have you walked through the lunch line and heard someone say, “Ewww, that looks gross. What is it?” Usually, there is at least one Food Service worker in earshot.
Considering that Food Service has to cook for more than 1,000 people every day, they do a pretty good job. Let’s see those who complain do better.
How about a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T, to quote the great Aretha Franklin?
It does not take much to help out the workers in these departments. Throw away your trash, do not use 10 napkins and then pile them on top of your plate. When you see someone cleaning the hallway or picking up garbage in the Corum, stop and say thanks once in a while, rather than giving them looks of annoyance or pity.
The student workers in housekeeping and Food Service are fellow students, after all. They are just doing their best to make a little extra money to avoid debt in the future. Some of them could not even come to Cornerstone without their job.
Don’t be a hater. Give them a break. We claim to be a Christian institution, so how about we start acting like one within our own family?
Of course, there is something that the administration could do to help cultivate a little respect for these students.
Make a period of volunteering in both Food Service and Housekeeping mandatory. If students see what it takes to keep this school clean and fed, maybe they will have a little more respect and patience.
If you don’t want to have to do that, just be considerate; it is the least you can do.