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Health and safety at the kiosk

March 19, 2012

A month ago, Amanda discussed the appearance of cleanliness at the on-campus dining location New World Tortilla.  But, an uncleanly appearance is not a problem limited to this one facility at UVM.

Like any food service enterprise, FeelGood has a health permit and is thus required to maintain certain health codes.  Lately, I’ve noticed that we have been a bit nonchalant when it comes to upholding these standards.  And, it’s not just me.  A member commented on our very messy work space the other day as well!

Now, before I say more, I want to put it out there that nothing gross happens at our kiosk.  Cheese dropped on the floor is not recovered and put into a sandwich and no creepy crawlers lurk around our bread supply.  The standards I’m talking about are trivial–excessive crumbs on the floor, flip-flop clad feet, and food consumed too close to the kiosk.  Little things.

But, when FeelGood is at risk of being shut-down if we do not pass health inspection (which can occur at a moment’s notice!), the little things matter.

FeelGood is unlike other food-service establishments in that we are entirely student-run.  Go to Friendly’s (my former place of employment) and you will find a classic system of power: a manager and employees.

At FeelGood, we are all students and are all friends.  Yes, there is a group of officers, but we make every effort to blur that member-officer distinction.  For this reason, rule breakers are not held accountable for their offense.  No one wants to correct their friend and risk embarrassing her for something silly like forgetting to wear close-toed shoes!

When I worked at Friendly’s, we were freed of this responsibility of correcting our friends and fellow employees; that was the manager’s job.

I think that at FeelGood, we need to get a bit bolder and a bit tougher: bolder in our willingness to correct the mistakes of our friends and tougher in our ability to accept criticism from each other.

FN 3/19

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