Classes have yet to begin and students are scarce so Dave chats it up with Food Services employees hoping to discover the one thing they love the most about their jobs.
Dave: Hey ducks! What do you guys love the most about your jobs?
Ducks: Quack Quack
Dave: Uh huh…
Ducks: Quack Quack Quack
Dave: Anything else?..Hmmm the one is chatty but none of the other ones are. They’re all pretty tight billed. HuhHuhHuh
Dave: And hello once again everyone I am Dave Blanks. Welcome back to another Dave by the Bell. It’s a beautiful summer day here at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina and on this edition of Dave by the Bell, since there are scarce few students to speak with we will be chatting with food services employees here on campus hoping to discover, “What about this gig in Food Services do you really enjoy above all other aspects. “ So then we’ll see where that leads from there. Hopefully the jump off point will lead to some cool discussions about…I’m assuming that students and interacting with students will be one really big part of what they enjoy about their jobs. Maybe they’ll have some cool stories about students at App and then their coworkers? Maybe having some cool co worker stories. So we’ll find out what they have to say and hopefully it’ll be entertaining and cool. I’m sure it will. I’m sure we’ll have an excellent time. We’ll start it out in Roess Dining Hall…that’s where I’m meandering toward now. Here we go!
Voice 1: I definitely enjoy dealing with students. I used to work at another fast food place in town. I guess college students understand what it is like to be in Food Service so they’re more respectful and more understanding of my side of it. I really appreciate that.
Voice 2: Getting to interact with people. I love people I’m a people person. Actually since I’ve come here, I’ve adopted a bunch of kids or they have kind of adopted me. We even have a secret family hand shake.
Dave: Man! How many people know this secret family hand shake?
Voice 2: There’s about six or eight of us and that’s it.
Dave: A select few…
Voice 3: It’s like a home away from home. It’s like a new home. All these different cultures and all these different religions. I met a guy that actually works here. He’s from India. He’s an immigrant from the 80’s. He’s a very wonderful man. He works two jobs. He’s hustling. He’s the happiest guy in the world. He opened the door for me to communicate and talk and learn from other people. I’m a whole new person coming here and I’m better for it I think.
Voice 4: The kids!
Dave: Oh yeah?
Voice 4: I love the kids.
Dave: Why do you love the kids?
Voice 4: I have two teenage boys so I feel like I’m at home mothering my own children.
Dave: Perfect! Do you dole out advice frequently?
Voice 4: Oh yeah! If they come in upset over a test or something like that…I had a kid come in one day that was sick and I made him get orange juice and he said, “I miss my momma. I said, “I’ll be your momma while you’re here.”
Voice 4: yeah
Dave: That’s great.
Voice 5: Talking to all of the students and all of the people that come through. They come into a place like this and see us as happy as we can possibly be and hopefully…you know…a smile is usually infectious. Whether you choose to be happy or not it’s totally up to you. I can just say we have some wonderful people working here and coming through here. I mean we’ve got some top quality people. We’re just proud of them.
Voice 6: The kids. Interactions with the students.
Dave: what do you get out of talking with the students?
Voice 6: Oh, they’re wonderful you never know what they’re going to say. They are the biggest blessing. They really are.
Dave: Are you one to give out advice or do you mainly just…
Voice 6: I try not to but, you can tell if they’re having a rough day. Maybe they just need a kind word or maybe they just need someone to talk to for a few minutes. You know…just a little encouragement. We all need that.
Dave: Yes we do.
Voice 7: Probably the coolest thing is all the people that work here. We are all a family and we all get along so well you know. Work hard but play hard too. You know?
Voice 8: The students. They keep me feeling young. They keep me one my toes. You know I’m a little bit older than most of them. So I don’t know what’s going on these days. Every now and then they’ll surprise me and I’m like, “Really???”
Dave: So this is like your news source?
Voice 8: This is my news source. Exactly. They keep me in line. Like, you know, “You need an iPhone. Not that flip top any more.” So you know things like that. Like I just learned to text a couple of years ago. These young folks taught me that.
Voice 9: ASU is my alma mater. It’s cool to be on campus again. For the most part everybody is here trying to learn. They do keep you young. It’s just fun. And there is a great meal plan here for us so…
Dave: Oh cool! I didn’t know that.
Voice 9: It’s all about the food really.
Dave: What’s your favorite food here?
Voice 9: The bake shop here is phenomenal. I had a cookie…so they make these cookies that are as big as your head. I had one like everyday.
Dave: But they’re prescription cookies aren’t they?
Voice 9: They are. My doctor wrote me a note for it. It’s very important. No so I had to quit eating them because I did, I gained a lot of weight. Seriously it’s no joke. They mean business down there man. Yeah. It’s good stuff.
Voice 10: I work at McAlister’s Deli in the student union.
Dave: All right so this is the McAlister’s gang here?
Voice 10: Yes. Hahaha
Dave: All right. So what aspect of your job do you like the most what do you think is cool about your job?
Voice 10: I love when we have regulars that always come in like every single day and you have an inside joke and…I love the closeness that we have with the students.
Voice 11: What I like the most is that we are all a family. Everybody at this table is family to me. I spend more time with these people than I do with my wife.
Dave: Wow! She needs to get a job at McAlister’s.
Voice 11: Actually we met at McAlister’s.
Dave: Ohhhh really!
Voice 12: So we get to meet a lot of different characters. A lot of them have been pretty close friends. I’ve been up there for a few years now and I still talk to quite a few students from my first year so they’re like second family.
Dave: Well, thank y’all very much for your time. I appreciate it.
Group: You’re welcome. Yeah man
Dave: What is your first name, sir?
Dave: Okay John, so what is your job at food services?
John: I am the assistant food service director for Sanford Commons.
Dave: What is the one aspect of your job that you enjoy the most? What do you like more than anything else about working for food services here at App?
John: I just love the kids here…great student base…very diverse. You can learn a lot from all of our students. If you take the time and talk to all of these kids it’ll be amazing what you’ll learn.
Dave: But your interactions are pretty brief aren’t they?
John: Yeah but it could be up to 14 times a week. It only might be a couple of minutes but I see a student and I can see theyre having a bad day and that interaction just the two minutes with them?..It might make their day a little better.
Dave: I’ve heard a lot of people saying that. “If I see a student having a bad day then I’ll interact with them and give them a smile.” Is that something that you try to ingrain in your employees or is that just something that the people that work here just all happen to have in common?
John: Everybody that works here really cares about what they do. Some people get up and two in the morning to come to work. Some get up at three. Some get up at four so you obviously care about what you do and you see these kids everyday. This is their home so they just need someone to care about them sometimes. You know we love our job and we love the kids too.
Dave: Thanks John
John: You’re welcome
Dave: Thank you so much to everybody at food services who allowed me to come into your work space, take up a little bit of your time and learn something about you and your life. I sincerely enjoyed it. I will talk to you folks next time. I am Dave Blanks and this has been, Dave by the Bell.
Thanks to: Angus, Chason, Jay, Zach, Mariette, Paula, Robin, Tony, Donna, John, Shanon, Sheri, Christopher, Erin and Misty.
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About Campus Dining
Campus Dining is owned and operated by Appalachian State University and offers dining services tailored to the campus community’s specific needs. With three dining facilities and daily catering events, Campus Dining provides opportunities for nourishment and also building and fostering relationships over shared meals and experiences. Campus Dining is committed to serving the Appalachian Community using sustainable practices such as local sourcing and contributing to campus composting and a constantly evolving partnership with the Office of Sustainability. Learn more at https://dining.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.