Students learn important lessons from jobs in food service


Photo by Ciara Cooper.

Senior Michael Pierce hands a to go order to regular customers, Wes and Tawnya Conner. Pierce has worked at R&R Restaurant out in Tightwad since August.

  Working in the food industry is hard enough, but sometimes customers can make it far worse. Students who work in food services learn how to deal with difficult people and how to treat people.

  Many students must find work while still in high school because they pay for all of their stuff. Senior Haleigh Kennedy work at Applebees in Clinton to pay for what she needs for graduation, things for work, gas for her car, and more. She needs as many hours as she can get at work to have a little extra spending money.

  Kennedy, along with other students who work, have had to deal with difficult customers.

  “One time a customers came in and their sandwich was made wrong so they yelled at me and then proceeded to throw the sandwich at me as if it was my fault but I don’t control what happens in the back,” senior McDonald’s employee Tommy Reffett said.

   When employees are hired they are normally told that the customer is always right. No matter how angry an employee gets, they have to smile and tell the customer that they will fix their order or remake it. But, when a customer throws food or hot coffee on the worker, they are normally kicked out of the restaurant.

  “One time there was a storm, so everything got shut off.  Everyone was yelling at me and telling me I didn’t know how to do my job, because the system couldn’t turn back on so no one could pay for their stuff. It was bad,” junior Kyra Kleihauer said. She works at Subway.

  Student workers are better customers because of their experiences in food service. Senior Johna   Newman says that she always cleans up after herself because it makes it easier on people. She works at Casey’s Pizza.

  “It’s fun because I get to work with a lot of friends and I have made some new friends like managers and stuff. Not fun because there are a lot of rude customers and it gets really busy and that’s really stressful,” Reffett said.

  Working can be fun, but sometimes it can put a lot of stress on someone. Reffet says it’s fun because when they are closing they can listen to music. Kleihauer says that it is cool getting to meet new people  every day.

  Junior Destiny Lee had a bad experience with someone throwing hot coffee on her when she was working at McDonalds.

   “Blisters started forming on my chest because their coffee was fresh so one of my coworkers went to the break room with me and applied burn cream on it and I got sent home early,” Lee said.

   While working at McDonald’s Lee has had multiple bad experiences with customers. She once had a few people come in while they were under the influence. Lee said that she hurried to serve them so they couldn’t harass her anymore.

   Other than working with the customer, working students also have to deal with problems that arise with their coworkers. With new people always coming and going while working, it makes it harder for student workers to get their jobs done.  

  Senior Johna Newman said that two people have quit working at Casey’s since she started working there in June.

  “People just up and leave in the middle of their shift and say that they are gonna quit because they can’t handle it,” Newman said.