Etiquette Guide: John Jay Takeout
Written by Bwog Staff
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