Food Services… Or Disservices

It’s been just over 3 weeks since Sodexo has implemented “Trayless Tuesdays” and I think it’s about time for an all out rant on the state of affairs at Eickhoff. May I submit to you, all ZERO of my readers, that the responsibility of a dining services provider is to feed its patrons, while maintaining fairly respectable levels of service. It is with that belief that I will now begin to judge Sodexo.

• Of primary objection to the students of TCNJ is the food. We have it down to a science. We know what meats can be classified as a form of medieval leather (any sort of “roast”), which wrap/sandwich person to avoid when getting in line, and which “Stir Crazy” concoctions to treat like the plague. Granted, we get by on a day to day basis, and the quality isn’t all that far from that of any other college, but there is still A LOT of room for improvement. If you look at some of the “Balanced Way” plates they’ve prepared as an example of healthy eating, I guarantee you, one eyebrow will rise above the other. Many times, their combinations are absurd, like Green Beans and [insert unspecified starch here], or [insert fruit combination of the day] and [insert non-filling food].

Not only that, it’s hard to make a good beverage choice aside from water if you’re trying to be healthy. Half the the time, orange juice comes out a tad too close to a shade of Radiation Suit Orange. I haven’t even bothered trying the apple juice after my first week of school. Iced Tea is maybe 80% consistent, and soda seems to have a particular taste depending on which machine you get it from. Oh, and can we actually get a clean verdict? Is that really Premium Water most people are gravitating towards? Or is it just tap water like the others with a different label?

By the way, I love the nutritional facts labels for the Assorted Cookies. 0 Calories for the win!

• Now, onto other matters, namely this Trayless business. I’m sure, that at this point, even their employees dread it. All it brings is 2 things: Inconvenience and mess.

I’ve gotten fairly good at balancing things. I can take a plate and a smaller dish in one hand, along with a handful of utensils, and a beverage in the other. It’s not fun, but I can manage to get most of my meal items in one trip.

But once at my table, where do random spills go? I’m no 5-year old (Michelle would argue against that), but I still do lose the random tomato, or spill a little of my drink on occasion. What happens then? If I had a tray, I wouldn’t leave any residue on the table. Hell, even the little bits of crumpled up napkin would stay with me. But instead, table cleanliness becomes a factor of how lazy you and the previous diners have been.

And now, you face the third daunting hurdle: How to rid yourself of your dishes without turning the tray-return side of Eickhoff into a swamp. They provide bins for you to empty out remaining liquid in your cups before placing them in racks, but you inevitable end up dribbling a teaspoon or more of drink onto the already drenched table cloth when you put it in the rack. The raspberry-coke-milk is just oh-so delightful. Finally putting down your plates onto the racks is a relief because it means you can leave the area before your shoes stick to the floor permanently.

• I was told this by Pete, and I’m dearly hoping it’s not true, but apparently Sodexo was using Styrofoam plates and cups today in tribute of Earth Day. I’m sorry, but are they trying to save water at the cost of A LOT OF IMPOSSIBLY UNDEGRADABLE GARBAGE GOING INTO LANDFILLS?

So thus illustrates the regular happens in Eickhoff. I will save the discussion of specific food items for a later date.

And P.S.: Larry is the most kick-ass card-swiper there.

Leave a Reply