Thursday, December 31, 2015

8 Guidelines for the Customer this New Year

There’s a saying about how everybody should work in customer service sometime in their life so they know what it’s like to be on the side of the employee. And I agree.

New Year’s is coming up and change is on everyone’s mind. Since the whole customer service worker experience might not happen to everybody, below, I’ve submitted eight guidelines to follow when a student is waiting for their food. I include both the good and the bad. We are peers, and I want to point out the bad that I hope promotes change, but also the good that I am grateful for and hope continues.

We Might Be in a Bad Mood if There’s a Rush

It’s nothing personal. We’re in work mode and if we’re hit all at the same time, it’s frustrating and our stress levels go up. Our job is customer service and we need to keep a smile on our faces. One time I didn’t even say anything to a person, but I did give a look, and this person was like “geez, I’m just asking for …” I wanted to apologize, but I didn’t even get the chance and this person walked away. For all the workers who keep up a good mood during a rush, these people are STRONG. These rushes are the starting point for when people usually get impatient and rude. To those who keep calm, thank you.

1. Stop staring at us.
It’s rude. And it makes us feel rushed. It’s not like we’re going slow on purpose. We’re getting paid to do our job, and we want to do our job well. Especially since we eat from the same place you do, some of us are students, too.

2.  Keep saying please and thank you
This is something that you many of you do and it’s very much appreciated. Sometimes, we feel at the cutoff point. Our foreheads sweat from the heat of the oven, our feet get tired from standing around, bagging fries. Then someone says thank you.
“Manners matter.” ~Queen Clarise (Julie Andrews), from Princess Diaries

3. Stop checking your food every single minute when you just put in your order less than 10 minutes ago.
This is the same as staring. We’re working. Let us work in peace, please. It’s not like we want you to wait on your food forever. And if there’s a mistake, it’s an honest mistake. This and staring leads us workers to actually make more mistakes because we feel nervous and not at ease. The most time it takes food to be cooked well at the Underground is usually 10 minutes. If it’s any more, it’s understandable to worry about the food.

4. Keep having a smile on your face
It brings positive energy. And when you do, my fears of making the food incorrectly lessen. Thus my actual mistakes also lessen. Confidence helps work ethic.

5. Stop coming in 5-10 min before we close
You are the customer. You have the right to order what you want when you want. But we appreciate when a person does not coming around closing time. I’ll explain.
This is when we’re all cleaning up. If we’re expecting it, like if someone calls ahead and lets us know that there’s an event getting out late and there might be a rush of students coming in. Okay, we understand. We might be a little depressed, but at least we’re prepared. Usually, however, people come in and order without giving it a thought. I get it if your class goes on till late. But right before a late person came in, a few amount of people were ordering, we had already started cleaning up. You coming in this late, might add an additional 30 minutes cleaning up.
We also have homework we have to work on or a meeting with a study group right after work. A shift is usually 5-10:30 PM. That doesn’t leave much room for homework, studying, papers, etc. It makes a difference if we might want to check something at the Learning Center really quick, which closes at 11. There’s many factors. I can only speak for the student workers. But the adults also have lives outside of work. They’re also our peers. They feed and talk to us every single day.

6. Keep being specific
This year I learned that ‘plain’ can mean plain burger or plain cheeseburger. The first time someone corrected me, I was frustrated. How am I supposed to know? One, I have to ask. Two, you have to tell. And the process goes a lot quicker when you let me know in the first place. 

7. Do Not Bully the Worker (this includes cyber bullying) 
While I’ve gotten frustrated several times during work. I never really got so angry at our customers (peers/classmates) until I found out that some people yik yakked and tweeted about one of my co-workers. I don’t have yik yak and don’t keep up with Twitter, so I had no clue. But supposedly these college bullies said many negative things and were making fun of this worker in front of her and behind her back. She was working the grill, which is probably the hardest station to work in the UG, it was one of her first times working there, she’s super sweet and works her hardest to serve. It was rush hour meal time at the UG. People got impatient, made jokes to her face, tweeted negative comments about her as a grill worker, and yik yakked about her as well. Took pictures! Shared it as a joke. This is called bullying, people. And of course, she had yik yak and read the posts after work when she was already feeling down about herself after people made fun of her in front of her face.

8. Keep writing us up
Comment on the comment cards, tell us something we do right, something we do wrong. Propose an improvement. We appreciate the feedback as long as it’s not nasty. Write on the food order tickets. Draw a picture, anything positive, any effort. Many of you do this, and when you do, not only does it lift our moods, it makes us pay attention. I begin noticing who writes/draws what. That recognition helps me focus again on that specific food order was made.
The recent bullying incident was really what inspired me to speak out for my peers. That and this New Year coming up. Now that 2015 is in the past, 2016 is coming with new goals and wishes and dreams. I’ll set up my goals as well. I want to be a harder worker, I don’t want to complain at all when I go into work. And sometimes, I’ll mess us, but when it comes to treating people nicely and fairly, that’s always my ultimate goal, for this year and years to come.

CONCLUSION: Workers are people, too.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Questions to Consider: Flipping the spotlight from the presidential candidates to ourselves

The third democratic debate in New Hampshire occurred less than an hour ago on the ABC station. The three candidates for the Democratic candidacy included Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Senator of Vermont Bernie Sanders, and Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley.  The presidential race trickles down to the few candidates in which the people have taken an interest.

However, I honestly had never heard of O’Malley’s name until this debate. But then again, I also hadn’t really paid much attention to the debates in general while I was in school. I guess this holiday break will be my time to catch up.

Since my return from school, my dad and I have taken as much time as we can catching up and discussing new things we’ve learned and debated new and old things we had different perspective on. Recently, we got on the topic of stereotyping, racism, and profiling. Little did I know the debate would hold questions concerning the same topic.

But it made me think of how often we need to discuss issues and how we cannot depend on our political leaders to analyze the choices our country makes. We are the American people and our younger generation will be the voice of the future. So I thought, what if we ask ourselves the questions the candidates are asked. Are we able to respond?

I tend to have the perfectionist attitude and usually don’t feel comfortable talking on a subject I don’t have much knowledge on. Yet, this is what we ask of from our country’s leaders. Shouldn’t we hold ourselves to the same standard?

Below are some of the questions I caught. What do I think of them? How would I respond to them? What else do I need to research to better answer this question?

How would you find would-be terrorists?
No clue. I would hope our technology and intelligence department has enough resources to find the terrorists.
Is profiling ever good?
This is what my dad and I had a debate on recently. I was really quick to judge; the word itself has a bad connotation to me. So I argued that profiling is wrong. But there are different factors to finding the criminals in a situation. The problem I found I had with profiling is the actions and thoughts when a person takes the stereotype of one person and treats or thinks of them differently even though there’s no evidence to prove it.
What is profiling? According to Google:
“the recording and analysis of a person's psychological and behavioral characteristics, so as to assess or predict their capabilities in a certain sphere or to assist in identifying a particular subgroup of people.”
So the analysis of a person’s characteristics isn’t bad.  But in my opinion, what is bad is the judegment action taken when one small trait of a person makes other think this person deserves less opportunities. There should be in no way a fear of Muslims because of the recent terrorism, in my opinion. Same as how, just because I’m Hispanic/Latina, people shouldn’t assume that I am undocumented or a drug dealer. This I don’t consider profiling, this I consider fear, and letting fear control your thoughts and actions. You know, be a decent human being. But this is just what I think off the top of my head.
Would you discourage people from buying guns?
Eeesh, gun control. A sticky subject, But it shouldn’t be. Since I hadn’t really heard of O’Malley, I looked him up and I like his stance on gun control. Rather than going on one extreme, he seems to focus on gun violence and reducing the illegal selling of guns. I don’t like guns in general, but I do know that people like to hunt. And though I’m not researched on the subject, I’m at least not going to go down one extreme.
How do you raise incomes for middle-class families?
So I might go off topic a little on this issue. I don’t know much about money and how to budget and change the economy. But I do like what a friend recently told me. This friend said, ‘the conservatives and republicans fight for the rich, upper class. The democrats and liberals fight for the middle class. But who out there is fighting for the poor?’ (Not word for word, but the idea is there). Good point. I don’t know. Who out there is talking about homelessness? So far, no one I know.
*Should corporate America love Hilary Clinton/Bernie Sanders/Martin O’Malley (you)?
Corporate America, hmmmm. Like I said before, I don’t know enough about the economy to comment on it. But I do know that if I want to lead the people of the United States, shouldn’t I listen to all sides of the story? Why should one group love/hate their country’s leader? Shouldn’t all people be listened to?
What’s broken with Obamacare? And how do you fix it?
Honestly I do not know. But I remember the TV said something about how more people are covered now but the people who had it before have to pay more now? What are your thoughts? What is broken? What needs to be fixed? And how do we get there?
How do you bridge divide between civilians and law enforcement?
Education? I feel like that could be the answer for everything. I took the lazy route on this question.
What would you do to combat heroin epidemic?
Just drugs in general….education again. We all need to learn more about the benefits and negatives of drugs. I mean, I have actually heard a lot of good things about marijuana. So I know I need to look up more what the bad side effects are.
What I did like about this topic was that it was fresh and all the candidates showed their compassion on this topic.
How much responsibility does Secretary Clinton bear for Libya?
I keep hearing about all these scams? What is Clinton doing? Why haven’t I heard about it? What is Bengazi? And since it was a question, why didn’t Hilary answer it. Everybody needs to own up to their mistakes. What did Hilary do?
Hmmm, just realized how ignorant I am on this subject.
Is it time to change the role of a president’s spouse?
Well, I am all for equal treatment.  Again, I liked O’Malley’s response. Him and his wife are so cute. Who is this guy?

What are your thoughts? How would you answer these questions?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

What eez dis? Senioritis at its finest.

The usual thoughts of senior year involve jobs, graduation, senior thesis, gettig the year done and over with. And while I'm ready for the adventure which awaits me, I've decided to live in the moment and proactively provoke social and political changes around me. After all, it's my senior year: might as well go all out.

Pay for school all on my own, have five jobs and counting, have four major classes plus orchestra, plus cello and piano lessons. Lets be editor of our school newspaper, lets handle discussions in our diversity group, lets read and submit poetry for our poetry magazine, let's provide experienced support to the new dance organization we created. Let's talk and dance with friends til 3 AM every other weekend to provide intellectual and cultural stimulation outside of the classroom. Then let's keep close to professors and help each other stand strong in the constant battle against administration.

I meant to write this post on the pressing issue on campus and explain my thoughts, but that'll be for another time. For now, I'll follow my heart and give in towards the concerns holding strongest in my mind.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Soul Searching

Today my sister asked me how my relationship with God was going.  Just recently I asked her, so it was a fair question. While I am in a confused phase at the moment, I realized when I answered my sister that I'm not falling apart. I'm actually picking up the pieces and figuring out a new picture to my belief system.

My ideas have risen up from different philosophies, including Ayn Rand, Taoism, and Christianity. A few speckles of Islam, Judaism, and communism also align my views. However, I am now accepting  my questioning state of mind. I figure it's alright to question.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


In episode 1 of Sherlock's first season, Watson's therapist suggested keeping up with a blog. Then Watson replies with the fact that he has nothing to write about since nothing is going on in his life. Of course, there's always something going on in everybody's head. Watson was just a pessimist.