Saturday, January 28, 2012

Issue with Food on Campus

I attend College.

The food on campus ranges from "meh" to great.  But that's not the issue.

It is a buffet style cafeteria, also not the issue.

On weekdays we are served 3 meals a day, and on the weekends we are served 2 meals a day.  Still not an issue.

We are given meal plans, of which we pay for at the beginning of the year.  This is the start of the issue.  There are 2 meal plans to pick from,  nineteen meals a week, or ten meals a week.  Nineteen gives you every meal possible, and ten leaves you, well, nine short of all meals possible. Each meal plan comes with extra money, called flex dollers, which are either used, or lost at the end of the semester.  Here is where I think the issue starts.

Say I have the ten meal plan.  One week I use 8 meals, and the next I want to use 11?  As a freshman, the common mistake is to think that they roll over.  You miss a meal, you have an extra to use some other time.  Not the case.  You only eat 9 of your 10 meals, sorry, it is gone, can not get it back.  But we paid for our meals, so do we get refunded for unused meals? No.

So here is how I see it.  We have to buy a meal plan if we live on campus.  We pay them up front.  And we either use or lose what we paid for.  The service does not have to be good.  The food does not have to be good.  In fact, this business makes the most amount of money, if no one eats there.  They are paid upfront, if no one comes to eat, no cost on food.  If no one comes to eat, sent workers home early.  So for them, there is no incentive to provide a good service.  None.  They have their money, why would they want anyone to come eat?  I do not see why they would care, except for the fact that they might want to keep the contract with the school.

And this ladies and gentlemen is what I call a racket, and a fairly good one.  Don't get me wrong, they provide a decent service, but they do not have the same incentives as a normal establishment to provide an extraordinary service.  I do not have a good solution, to pay the cost of eating there per visit would be out of my ability to pay.  So this is here as more of an education, or advice to keep an eye out for things that seem unfair, even if you do not want it to change, because the change might be worse that what you already have. There is no need to be ignorant or naive, be aware of your surroundings, and remember what "they" say, "Knowledge is Power."

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