CU behind the scenes: Student workers at the Alferd Packer Grill

Contact CU Independent News Staff Writer Noelle Coultrip at Noelle.coultrip@colorado.edu.

Andrew Brickman, a junior at the University of Colorado, stands with a group of his coworkers in the vacant Alferd Packer Grill in the University Memorial Center, the lack of people signaling the end of the grill’s Thursday night hours. Brickman’s experience working at the Alferd Packer Grill for the past year has been a positive one, giving him experience dealing with the rush of ravenous college students between classes and the chaos that comes with it.

Unfortunately, with the good always comes the bad, and Brickman is no stranger to the occasional uncooperative customer.

“The number one thing people get mad about is the wait time,” Brickman said. “We have fresh, uncooked burgers and we have to wait like 10 minutes for them to cook all the way through, and some people don’t like to wait in between their classes. Some people just have a notion about what they should be getting, and if they don’t get it, they get angry.”

Brickman says that the UMC’s Alferd Packer Grill is very important to the CU campus as a whole because it acts as one of the main sources of food for people, as does the C4C. For people living off of campus, the grill is the main hub for breakfast foods or anyone looking for a quick meal without resorting to fast food. The Alferd Packer Grill also provides catering for special events, something that sets it apart from some of the other food hubs on campus.

The work that Brickman and his coworkers put in is not always met with respect and appreciation, and sometimes the treatment manifests as utter disrespect.

“Sometimes some customers treat us without the respect they would give to somebody at a higher class restaurant, even though we are creating their food with as much care as they would,” Brickman said.

Brickman’s experience at the Alferd Packer Grill is different to him from other bigger food hubs on campus because of the connection he is able to form with his coworkers, something that he says would be harder to do if it weren’t for the smaller staff the grill is accustomed to.

“I love all the people I work with now,” Brickman said. “I know them all by name, and we definitely try to make the most of our shifts by laughing, joking and just talking a lot. At places like the C4C and some of the bigger dining halls, you don’t get that opportunity.”

For the most part, Brickman said, the students are really respectful and play a part in making his shifts pleasant.

“Most students are very knowledgeable about what it’s like to work as a college student,” Brickman said. “They’re most of the time really respectful and nice to us, and so are we to them.”

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