“Kindness, it means everything to me… It means that we are just good to each other,” said Metz employee Mary Ann Frank.
Inside Pearson’s Dining Hall, people pass by greeters, station runners, and janitorial staff constantly. How can students better-interact with Metz employees, and what does kindness mean to them?
The staff is more open to answering these questions than students might expect. Many Metz employees agreed that, “Kindness is recognizing that you are dealing with another human being,” as Emily Peterson said.
Many of the staff understand that students, as well as faculty and other staff, have difficult and busy lives. “Yes, we are human beings, but, at the same time, we know we are serving human beings,” Peterson said. Metz staff try to be gracious with students, and to take the time to get to know them.
Chris Ridgel recalled a time he went above and beyond to accommodate a student in Pearsons Dining Hall. The student missed out on the last scoop of a batch of fries, and he tracked her down after he finished making more. “She had the biggest smile on her face!” Ridgel said.
This act of kindness, and many others, show that Metz staff really value students. Ezra Winters said, “Talking to [them] is the high point of the day.” Ms. Daisy Martin added that students being kind, “seems to make the whole day better.”
James Dulin, General Manager for Metz Culinary Management at Maryville College, also cares for students. His main concern has been, and always will be, satisfying the student body. He wants students to have a say in the food Metz serves.
However, with staffing shortages and supply-chain issues caused by COVID-19, Dulin faces some limitations. For example, Poblano’s, a popular restaurant on campus, closed in the fall and will not be reopening this school year. To help make up for this, without burdening staff, Dulin has decided to look into adding a new soup and sandwich combo to the menu at Isaac’s Cafe–most likely broccoli cheddar soup and grilled cheese.
Despite challenges brought about by the pandemic, Metz Culinary Management works hard to keep students happy and healthy. A little kindness can go a long way.