The inside scoop on working at Sodexho

Who would want to wear a floppy hat in public? Who wants to chisel sauce stains off of countertops? Who wants to cut vegetables?

I do. And for more than 100 Eastern students, this is just part of the routine.

A friend of mine recently said that she would never work at Sodexho. I beg to differ.

I’ve worked for Sodexho in the Dining Commons for all five semesters I’ve been at Eastern. I’ve even earned the title “veteran” from Floor Supervisor Leonard “Doc” Carr.

And while there are certainly ups and downs to the job, the good always makes up for the bad.

But theft is a huge problem for student workers. Only twenty lockers are available for all 100 Dining Commons student employees. Only if employees bring their own lock with them can each student lock up his or her valuables during a shift.

According to Mike Kenis, the director of operations, it is unknown whether the thefts are by Sodexho employees or others who know the employee entrance. Thankfully, the door to the employee entrance will be locked to prevent future thefts.

And many student workers also complain about the uniforms.

They are old and stained and, at times, a little smelly. But the uniforms are improving slowly. We can now wear baseball caps rather than the goofy floppy hats, and the pants no longer have pinstripes.

And while most of the dining students are courteous and pleasant, there are a few sticks in the mud. I am referring to the concoctions left on tables accompanied by notes saying things like: “Thanks for cleaning up after us.”

A few semesters ago, the Sodexho management made a sign for the downstairs dressing area telling employees that they needed to pick up after themselves. Maybe the same thing is needed in the Dining Commons to deter messy consumers.

Please be courteous and clean up after yourselves.

But these few negatives do not surpass the importance of what Sodexho has given me the past five semesters.

Student employees agree that Doc Carr is a great boss, and we are not just buttering toast. It takes a very special person to maintain friendships while still being respected by student workers. Doc Carr has this balance down to an art.

Not only is Doc awesome, but so is Retail Supervisor Adam Deering and Production Manager Tony Jenkins. Cashier Carol Robinson is a wonderful greeter on a tough day, and the list keeps going.

I have also made many great friends at Sodexho. And not only do we gain friends, but we have one of the highest paying jobs on campus.

Sure, we have silly uniforms and dirty tasks, but we also have a great community. And although I’ve worked in the Dining Commons for five semesters, my goal is to make it eight.

Chelsea Zimmerman is a junior majoring in communications.

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