The first thing one should note, when thinking about the staff in any establishment, is that they are first and foremost strangers who are showing us kindness.
Though they serve your food in Slayter or clean your bathroom in Shorney, they are deserving of equal respect to that you would ask for yourself, if not more.
This is not a revolutionary idea nor an original one, we know that students are consistantly posting the trash that students leave on the Facebook Denison Student Body Page.
Even though we pay a substantial sum a year to go to Denison, it does not enable us to take the people who provide us with a nourishing meal and a clean place to live for granted.
Moreover, the staff here often go above and beyond what is necessary to complete the jobs they are paid (and sometimes not within their responsibilities) to do.
The cleaning and maintenance staff do not need additional responsibities like repairing a water fountain ripped out of the wall, or picking up the trash and food left on tables.
Most importantly, Denison staff members are caring.
Every time we get a kind greeting from Lynne upon entering Curtis, or we speak to Torrell and the other Slayter chefs and cashiers who know our names, in that moment they remind us that we matter.
Sometimes their small greeting or a brief encouragement is one of the only positive moments we experience in an otherwise dismal day.
Without our parents, a kind staff member can help us feel just a little bit more at home when our original homes are hundreds of miles away.
Sometimes someone may not hear your order correctly. Sometimes cooks are rushing to complete a complicated order.
If we make a complicated request, it makes a difference to the cook when we apologize for adding something to his or her already overly busy shift.
If we compliment Chris on one of his pop-ups, it truly warms his heart. He is a special member of the staff at Denison who does his job because he enjoys making creative meals and giving us access to a homemade-style dinner outside of normal dining hours, or a fun sundae bar when without their efforts, there would otherwise be none.
It is not a large hassle to remember your next cashier’s name, to ask about her kids. It is not a huge step to rinse your whiskers down the sink after a shave, or to put your garbage in a trash can. Between intentional kindness and careless disrespect, you choose your virtues by representing it in your action. Additionally, your actions tell people a great deal about who you are, and this rests only in your hands.
Service workers are part of our community, so we should all treat them with the same kindness they show us — and we should encourage others to do the same.
Please go out of your way to show kindness to a staff member today.
Together, we could attempt to return the endless kindnesses that they have shown the Denison community.