Contact CU Independent News Staff Writer Noelle Coultrip at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pauline Florez, a sophomore at the University of Colorado, left her four-hour shift at the WeatherTech Café looking lively and chatting with a friend, feeding off of the energetic and fast-paced nature of her place of work.
Typically, Florez works around 13 hours a week, weaving her shifts in between her various academic obligations. During those shifts, prepping the front and back of the kitchen, making sure everything is in stock, putting down or stacking chairs, making sure everything is clean, making food and working at the register are among the list of responsibilities Florez commits to when working at the WeatherTech.
Her idea to work at the WeatherTech came from her early days as a freshman when she would hang out in the café. For her, it’s the perfect atmosphere, keeping her moving and busy throughout her shift.
“When I say I work at the WeatherTech, I feel like it’s an ‘uh, whatever’ job, whereas some people have like desk jobs,” Florez said. “But in reality, the WeatherTech keeps you busy and it [pays], whereas some people have desk jobs where they just sit there bored…so I really like the WeatherTech for that reason.”
Florez says the WeatherTech Café is the ideal place for professors and faculty to eat when they don’t want to bring their own food, or for students to hang out late at night, especially because it is open until 2 a.m. — much later than most restaurants and dining halls on campus.
Contrasting the laid-back vibe of Florez’s shifts are the customers that complicate her job.
“When I make salads, there are definitely those customers that try to micromanage you as you put the ingredients in there,” Florez said. “They’re like, ‘Can I have more blue cheese?’ or ‘Can you fill up the dressing to the very top of the cup?’ But in the end, you have to do what they say.”
Although Florez has worked her fair share of night shifts — she worked until 2 a.m. every Friday last semester — she undoubtedly prefers to work the day shifts.
“For me personally, I have to walk to work, so having to walk after work is kind of sketchy at night, and during the day, it’s more relaxed for the most part except for the night rush,” Florez said.
Looking at her job as a whole, Florez acknowledges the work she puts in and the occasional negative reactions she faces, but is still a fan of it.
“[I enjoy my job] because the management is really cool and it’s a pretty laid-back job.”
The unseen people on the CU campus, such as Florez, who work behind the scenes to make CU great, deal with long hours, pesky customers and other various hardships, but continue to push forward to maintain a high quality of life for members of the community — despite the lack of appreciation they get.