The following story was written by senior Jordan Oliver and published in the March 27 edition of the Campus Chronicle.
6:30 a.m. That’s what time my alarm goes off. After a few thoughtless hits of the snooze button, I roll out of bed and dart for the caff—my only motivation for leaving my warm sheets to begin with. My first class doesn’t start until 11:45, which means this caff place must be pretty darn good.
7:15 a.m. By now I’m standing in the omelet line, but my wait won’t be long. Ms. Lisa started cooking my usual egg-white order the moment she saw me walk in. That’s the kind of place this is—the kind of atmosphere that both High Point University and its contracted food service company, Aramark, have created in each of our dining facilities on campus.
After chit-chatting with Ms. Lisa—joking how she knows my order and talking about Easter break plans—I think to myself how blessed I am. This isn’t a typical school cafeteria where food is simply served by cooks who merely cook. This is a place where each staff member warmly welcomes students to his or her kitchen table, not only serving them, but sharing in the coffee table talk afterwards.
Thinking of Ms. Lisa and all the others who have made this place my home away from home, I realize that this is why I’ve adopted 7 a.m. caff visits into my daily routine. Along with the much needed coffee (and hands down best french vanilla creamers), it is the homey environment created by those who truly care, that wake me up an hour earlier to greet the day in such a place.
As both a High Point student and member of the HPU Aramark Hospitality Team, I’ve had the unique opportunity of experiencing both ends of our food service; and what a blessing that has been.
The day I walked onto this campus as a freshman in the fall of 2009, I had been instructed my first assignment—and classes hadn’t even started! Mom’s direct orders: find a job.
After taking a month to get adjusted, I set out on the job hunt. Thanks to the brand new University Center, I had many options for possible employment, particularly within the food service run by Aramark. I was preparing for an interview with 1924 Prime when one, fateful call changed the course of my HPU working career.
Still sporting my uniform for The Point (the on-campus sports grill) three and a half years later, it’s hard to believe that I just submitted the date for my final day of work. As the only student worker who has been there all four years, I have seen many people come and go but have made lasting relationships with Aramark workers all over campus.
Last week, Aramark held their first Employee Appreciation Day. Along with receiving a plaque of recognition and a delicious Sweet Shoppe cupcake, Aramark employees heard many kind words of appreciation from each dining location supervisor.
All I could think about while sitting there was how fortunate I have been throughout my college career to have been given the chance to work for such a great company—a company so accommodating and conscientious of my role as both a student and a worker.
It’s about a month until graduation; man, time really does fly. There is no way I could leave without expressing my gratitude, as well as that of a few others, so that you too, Aramark, can know how much you are appreciated.
Here’s what some fellow student workers would like to let you know:
“At the end of my shift, I am always told thank you by someone and it makes me strive for an even better day on my next shift. We were just given an Employee Appreciation Day by Aramark, so I just wanted to say thank you to Aramark for acknowledging not just the hard work by everyone at the Point, but by everyone in dining services at High Point University.” -Kayla Kucerik, Student Worker at the Point
“At Aramark I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great people. Everyone there is friendly and helpful when I’m on the job. The managers are especially helpful by working with the limited availability I have as a student to make sure I still get plenty of hours in. It’s the best work experience I’ve had yet by far!” -Jonny Gonzalez, student worker for Catering
“As an employee of Aramark, you can tell they care a lot about your safety and welfare. It has been the only company who I have worked for that gives us rewards for doing small deeds. When working for a company, the small things are the ones that count.” -Steph Rubendall, former student worker at The Point
So maybe Ms. Lisa knows my omelet order, and maybe Assad over at the pizza window asks about my boyfriend every now and then. Maybe we should all say a prayer of thanksgiving for being kept in good hands while living far away from home—and for our stomachs being kept in such good hands as well.
Then again, maybe I’m biased. I am a member of the Aramark team after all.
But maybe I’m not. Maybe other students feel the same.
And maybe, just maybe, that’s the reason that the High Point University Aramark location has been No. 1 in the country for the past three semesters; I couldn’t be more proud and more thankful to have been a part of such success.