Listen to a conversation between a student and a food service manager.
[Upbeat, energetic, confident]Excuse me, Mrs. Hanson? My name’s John, uh, John Grant.
I work as a waiter in the campus dining hall, in the faculty dining room.
What can I do for you, John?
Well, I work weeknights, except, uh, for Friday.
I was, uh, wondering if I could, uh, switch from working the dinner service to working at lunch.
[matter-of-factly]That’s gonna be a problem. I’m afraid we don’t have any openings at lunchtime.
A lot of students want to work then, so it’s really rare for us to have an open spot at that time of day.
[disappointed]Oh . . .[perks up]You see, I’ve joined this group . . . the, uh, university jazz band... and the band’s practice time’s right around dinnertime.
You know, it’s so hard to get into this group—I must’ve auditioned like ten times since I’ve been at the school—so I’m... Anyway, so I was really hoping to have the dinner hour free so I can go to practice.
Well, we do have other open times—like breakfast.
That won’t work... I’m sorry, I mean that I can’t work that early—I have this really important music class I gotta take and it’s, like, first thing in the morning.
Well... if you don’t mind working in the kitchen, we’ve got some pretty flexible hours for students doing food prep work.
Anything from early morning to late afternoon.
What’s, uh, prep work?
You prepare food for the cooks— you know, like cutting up vegetables for soup or cleaning greens for salads.
[mildly disappointed]Oh . . . That doesn’t sound . . . I mean, being a waiter, I get to see a lot of the professors, like, in a different light.
We joke around a little, you know...
In the classroom they always have to be pretty formal, but...
[cutting off the student]Well, the money’s no different, since we pay students the same amount for any of the jobs here in food service—so it’s up to you
[lightly, more reflective than complaining]Oh, man, I always thought that sacrificing for my art—well, that’d mean working long hours as a musician.. for, like, no money.
I didn’t think it’d mean peeling carrots...
Let me see... I’m offering you something that has the hours you want—it’s right here on campus—and you make as much money as you did being a waiter. Quite a sacrifice.
[apologetic]I’m sorry. I know you’re just tryin’ to help.
I guess, uh, I guess I should look into the food prep job.
[briskly]OK then. I’ll tell the kitchen manager that you’ll stop by tomorrow to talk about the job and schedule your hours.
And, I’ll let the dining hall manager know that he needs to find a new waiter for the evening.
[a bit taken aback]Oh . . . OK. I guess that’s it. Uh,thanks, Mrs. Hanson.