Biolans should rethink how they treat service staff
The Biola Caf is a pleasant place to enjoy a meal. The Caf is a place hundreds of hungry Biola students come and go on a daily basis. With the rush for lunch and the quick dinner bite, it is easy to forget the proper thankfulness and etiquette that should be expressed to the Caf staff. I have stood in long lines waiting patiently like everyone else for the food that is so graciously served to us. However, I have silently observed ungrateful attitudes towards the Caf staff from individuals around me. A common “thank you” can go a long way when receiving a plate that was just fashioned for you. Instead, I see people being angered that the food was not to their specific specifications and are demanding, in a way, for it to be changed. Not only is that impolite, it is inappropriate to treat someone poorly who is serving you.
I have also seen this attitude expressed toward the cleaning staff in the dorms. The janitors have a big space to clean and it is not an easy job to keep up with the messy lifestyle of the average young adult. They clean our community bathrooms, vacuum our hallways and make sure the stairway stays clean and smells fresh. Yet we walk right past them without a smile and a “thank you.” In fact, I have seen more of a mess made in the bathroom and an attitude of carelessness just because the cleaning staff was in the room to clean after them. Not only is it disrespectful to leave behind messes, it wastes their time. It is much easier for us to clean up after ourselves than for them to do it all. Just like with the Caf staff, I have seen a brush-off, ungrateful attitude towards the cleaning staff.
I am by no means saying that I am perfect. I forget to express my total gratitude toward the staff. But I would like to see the Biola campus as a whole become more grateful to those who have the hard jobs of direct service. I think that if everyone smiled and said “thank you” to those who handed them a hot plate of food, it would dramatically change the atmosphere in the Caf to become more pleasant than it already is. In addition, if we said “hello” and “thank you” to those who clean our bathrooms and vacuum our floors, I think we would see an attitude shift that would become contagious all over the Biola campus.
As a whole we are already known as a wonderful Christian community. But what would it look like to go just one step further and appreciate those who serve us daily? I think it would make the workplace better for those who are working in the staff and I might even argue that it would make us better servants ourselves. It is never a bad idea to take that extra step in appreciating what someone is doing for you, regardless of what the situation it is.
Basically, my argument comes down to one point. It brings us back to the “golden rule” that almost everyone learns as a toddler. In Luke 6:31 Jesus says, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Apply this concept to how we interact with serving staff and it will change the campus.