Friday, February 23, 2018

The unsung heroes at Trinity College: Chartwells employees

By: Immanuel Adeola ’14

There are so many people that contribute to the Trinity enterprise. The Board of Trustees, President Jones, the Deans, Professors, and other administrative workers in financial aid, admissions, career services, registrar’s office, student accounts, mailroom, library, bookstore, counseling center, help desk, and campus safety all play important roles in keeping the College running. These are the people we usually hear about. I do not dispute their great contribution to the college, but the list is not complete. There is another group of amazing people that do not always hear enough praise for the great work they do at Trinity. We come into contact with them more frequently than the people just mentioned, and while some of them go unnoticed, their work can be seen all over campus. Some of us might even dismiss them, which is a huge mistake. The entire Chartwells staff might not be the figureheads of the College, but they play an important role as the unsung heroes at Trinity.

The Mather staff has some amazing people, all of whom have unique stories to share, often touching on themes of hard work, perseverance, and hardship. They all either work long hours on a daily basis at Mather, or have multiple jobs that require them to spend 15 to 18 hours each day working. I cannot say I know all of them on a personal level, but I have had the pleasure of becoming good friends with many of them. I think Rashima and Naomi are two employees whom many students know quite well. Their cheery attitudes make waking up for early morning classes less depressing than it could be. They always have something funny to say, and even on days when I wake up on the wrong side of the bed; I can count on their humor to start my day on a positive note. Fonzie is another energetic Chartwells worker whose positive attitude can be contagious. Our fist pound greetings have taken a toll on my knuckles, but I will never go a day without stopping by his corner. Roger, Tony, Benito, Mike, Joyce, Olga, and “Cowboy” are also part of a star-studded cast that makes up the morning and afternoon team. The whole staff brings so much enthusiasm to what they do, and they never seem fazed by the intense and demanding aspects of their respective duties.

The folks at the Cave are just as incredible. They also offer insightful stories that help remind me to put things in perspective. We often hear that the Cave is awesome. Have you ever stopped to think about what makes the Cave great? These hard workers take our orders, which some of us give with rude and nasty attitudes, and produce amazing meals. Again, while I can’t name everyone there, I do know that people such as Mr. Vincent, Marisela, Maria, Amy, Mary, Jackie, Tehran, and Al all bring great enthusiasm to their work. You can always count on a spirited sports discussion with Al, or a political discussion with Mr. Vincent, and sometimes a status update with Marisela. They enjoy working in a college setting, and while you might not always notice it, they always try to reach out to students.

The Bistro tends to get more recognition, and I am happy that the start of “Bistro late night” has made more students appreciate the workers’ willingness to come in and work. I can say the same thing about the people at Buildings and Grounds, and our two shuttle drivers Wayne and Maggie. I call them “the weekend heroes” because you can always count on Maggie and Wayne to maintain their cool when confronted with drunken loud students yelling “Call Me Maybe” and banging the shuttle like wild animals. The people from Buildings and Grounds still puzzle me. They take a campus that has been riddled with beer bottles, solo cups, vomit, and spilled food, and return it to what it should look like in less than a few hours on Sunday mornings, and they do so without any anger or frustration. I walk by as they mop the floors of my dorm and they’re smiling at me or greeting me cheerfully. I can’t think of many people that can do that while cleaning a dirty toilet bowl or removing a pool of vomit from a sink.

I know they get paid, and I understand that when all is said and done they are employed to do these different things. However, that does not mean we cannot appreciate the work they do. After all, the Board of Trustees, President Jones, the Deans, and the Professors are all in the same boat. I don’t agree with the argument that their duties are “more important” than those of a cook, or a garbage collector, no matter how you spin it.

The most shocking part is that they are no different from us. They care deeply about their families, have hobbies, and like any one of us, they have aspirations and goals for their respective futures. Some of them had to juggle a wide range of responsibilities at an early age; others did not have the opportunity to receive a college education. Some might be wondering why I’m making friends with them, and I know many of you are thinking it’s a little much to have such a relationship with them. I’m not saying you should be their best friend, or know what their horoscope sign is. It is important however to remember that they do so much for us, and it’s not too much of a hassle to ask them how their day is every now and then, or be more polite when we pass them by. They too play an important role in the Trinity enterprise. They are the “behind the scenes” people, the ones who we don’t know but whose presence we feel through their work. They are unsung heroes, whose praises we should all sing, as high as we can.

Leave a reply