Etiquette Guide: John Jay Takeout

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If only it looked that good.

For some first-years, John Jay takeout is the saving grace of our humble dining hall. It gives students the option of eating in the comfort of their own dorms, on the Steps, or at any other location where it’s acceptable to eat alone. However, as convenient and useful as this service may be, there are some flaws with the system. In the first feature part of a series on an etiquette, we outline some good ol’ fashioned politeness and common sense can fix these flaws:

1. The Swipe Line

This is chaos. People are trying to swipe in, get their cards back, get take out boxes, unstick plastic cups and lids, and grab plastic cutlery, straws, and mints—all in a tiny, unforgiving area. A few simple rules could make everyone’s lives better:

  • Have patience and yield to people already carrying food. This only makes sense; if they have an accident, everyone suffers. If you’re about to enter the dining hall and you see someone with take out food trying to get their card back, stop and let them get their card. We get how it sometimes takes them a long time, but this is better than them spilling everything.
  • Get everything at the start. A lot of the chaos in the line can be blamed on people lingering around too long. People getting take out should take utensils, straws, and mints at the beginning; getting these items is much harder at the end when trying to balance a dinky plastic cup on a dinky plastic box.
  • Avoid awkward path-crossings. Dining Services, listen up! The actual layout of the take out section contributes to the chaos as well. It makes no sense that the mints, which everyone wants, should be buried in the middle of all the table. Put them towards the outside and push over the take out materials, which only a few people need, towards the middle so there aren’t as many people crossing paths trying to get what they want.

2. Getting Food

Sorry, we can’t tell you how you can manage to get cereal and milk into those compartments, but here are a two rules people getting take out should consider:

  • Think twice about taking two or more cups. This only contributes more to the aforementioned balancing act. Sure, your dining plan probably entitles you to that coffee, but remember that you’re doing so at the expense of slowing down the system.
  • Get your drink last, after you’ve closed your box, to avoid any unnecessary extra juggling. Additionally, always take your cups with you; when you leave your cup somewhere and come back for it later, there goes another awkward path-crossing.

3. Going Back and Dining

After you’ve managed to make it out of the labyrinth, the work doesn’t end:

  • Be nice! Hold doors for our friends with plastic boxes, press that “Door Open” button, and just be mindful of the food they’re carrying. You’ll get a smile and friendship points in return.
  • Picking up afterward. If you’re eating in a public place, throw away your trash (we’re looking at you, Carman). If you’re eating in your own room, open up a window before or after you eat. The smell of beef does not treat a 200 square foot space well.

If this is all too much to bother with, you still have time to convince your future suitemates to try for a kitchen next week.

Photo via Flickr/justinhenry

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  1. people who take food  

    out are anti-social and do not deserve to be in the J. Why would you go to the J other than for the social time. You swipe for the experience, not the food. If you are going to get food to go, go somewhere where the food is actually worth eating. It seems ridiculous to me, and these plastic box carrying anti-social people get in the way of me getting my food and slowing down the time I can spend enjoying the J experience.

    Get rid of take out.

    • a person who takes food out  

      My last class ends at 7 pm, way after all of my friends eat dinner... As such, only half of the time I eat dinner do I have people to eat with. And to be honest, eating alone in my room (while doing work or chilling out) is a helluva lot less embarrassing than eating alone in John Jay. Not to mention that I have so much homework to do that I can't always spend an hour chatting with friends and having a good "experience." While part of the reason I'm at Columbia is this experience, the main reason is really to get an education and to get good grades. What about you?

      Why would I go to the "J"? Because I pay 1500 fucking dollars a semester for meals, and there, besides Hewitt (which is essentially the same situation, except take out is even more complicated), is the only place I can use them. Maybe I should get a life, idk. But I think that you should also stick your head out of your ass and realize that not everybody has the values or reasons--and that while to you, take out might be useless, to people like me it is not.

    • anon

      You're a moron. Any freshman "deserves" to be in a place with food a hell of a lot better than "the J," but unfortunately, freshmen are required to purchase a meal plan that includes meals. Hewitt ain't always convenient enough to fit into the hour or so between classes.

    • disgusted  

      "the j"? really? REALLY?
      people eat there because they have to pay for it, you moronic asshole. if your highlighted social experience really is based around "the j" then you are much sadder than i ever was as a freshman. and i was sad.

    • You, sir  

      are a douche. Go die.

    • Anonymous  

      "these plastic box carrying anti-social people get in the way of me getting my food and slowing down the time I can spend enjoying the J experience."

      you do realize that the world does not actually revolve around you...?

    • Anonymous  

      yeah, you're wrong.

      Freshmen are forced to buy meal plans, so it is not their choice - they have to use them or else waste money. Sometimes you just don't have anyone to go with, and it is WAY more embarrassing to eat alone.

    • Anonymous  

      lol everyone just got trolled.

  2. Anonymous  

    200 square feet? Where are these mansions?

  3. Do people really call it  

    "The J"?

  4. yes  

    athletes call it the jay. and please, for the love of all that is holy, follow the rule on opening windows when you're eating in Carman, or better yet, NEVER EAT IN CARMAN. seriously... the food smellls sooooo bad and when you leave it in the garbage inside the room it's even worse. eat in the lounge downstairs if you have to. wow.

  5. cc'11  

    nice one, bwog.

  6. Dude, it's the experience

    Like extreme sports, eating at "The J" is only for the upper eschelon.

    Get your head out of your ass.

  7. takeout  

    is great if none of your friends are there when you enter. And yes, people call it the "j", at least a shitton of athletes do, who tend to eat most of what that place makes anyway

  8. Anonymous  

    it's not unacceptable to eat alone in john jay, people are just insecure as shit

  9. Juststoppedlaughing

    Holy crap, the "J" ... wow. Oh I don't know- I do all my sick nasty experience gettin' in the But...oh you know..the library. You're missing getting it in the But? Oh man. You must be sad.

    Kudos to the second respondent for making a more cogent, lucid argument than I'm willing to make to that guy. I had no idea the Columbia experience involved playing NCAA sports on some of the worst teams in all of division I and then chilling in the J (Fencing, you get a pass on this...you guys still rock) while talking about it over craptastic food! Damn you little bookworms who don't want to sit around a table with 15 other bros talking about how awesome our pool hair is! NEEERRRDDDSSS!!!!

  10. I  

    go to the J and talk about kant with my homies. Don't hate.

  11. The idiocy  

    of the first post doesn't detract from how trite and "unnewsworthy" this article topic really is. Come on, Bwog.

  12. this

    would have made a shitload more sense in september. I'm pretty sure that by now everyone understands the subtle intricacies of "don't get in other people's way"

    (and is post 1 actually serious? I literally spit out my drink laughing.)

  13. the j  

    is dope as fuck, you all are haters, fuck you

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