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Getting to Know: Kia of Café 212

Photo by SNC

Another member of campus staff has generously given Bwog their time. Sarah Camiscoli sat down with Kia of Café 212 to give students another perspective on their daily coffee and baked delights.

Bwog: What are the strangest things students are swiping for?

Kia: “An apple turnover with cream cheese. Some lady comes and gets it every day…but we have to smile. She says, in ‘our country we eat it.'”

“Oatmeal with coffee…yes, in the cup together…they are just crazy.”

What are the most wasteful things students spend money on?

“The large fruit cup. They ask, ‘How much is that?’ I say, ‘Too much.’ I tell them to put it back. You could buy your own bushel of grapes for $1.50 up the block.”

Jump! You won’t regret it.

What is the best deal?

“Oh, the cupcakes.”

Can you talk about the caffeine crazies?

We have customers that come in for 12 cups of coffee, 4 red bulls, another comes everyday for 7 cups…she buys more at night. We have another one that gets 2-3 large lattes every morning, and one that drinks 6-8 shots of espresso, [this is] for years. These people are killing themselves.”

Who has the absolute worst eating habits on campus?

“You can tell the freshman from any other grade. I say, ‘You’re a first year, because you’re buying every damn thing.’ They’re just so happy to be away from their moms.  They blow up, but by the time they are a senior they get it off.”

Is there competition with Café East?

“Yeah, they try to take away business. Now he’s got pastries. He says, ‘Kia I’m getting some pastry, you have to try some.’  I say, ‘Be my guest.’”

What are the rudest things students will do when ordering?

“If I don’t hear them the first time, they will say, ‘CAN – I – HAVE – A – CORN MUFFIN.’  I say, ‘I understood you the first time…I was born in Harlem Hospital. I understand everything you’re saying.’  Also, if we don’t have a pastry, they want to know why.  They are pulling on the gates at 7:30 when we open at 8.  They ask, ‘What am I going to do without my cah-fee?’  I say, ‘What am I going to do without my wine?’”

When are students most amusing?

“When they ask for a bagel with cream cheese and butter and when we say you have to put it on yourself they say never mind.  They tell me, ‘We’re not brought up to put it up on ourselves.’ It’s not about being spoiled though, I was brought up in the Bronx and I won’t put cream cheese on my own bagel if I’m paying for it.”

When do you question the quality of the education here?

“When I ask ‘Is that all?’ and they reply with, ‘Yes, and a bagel too’…I tell my daughter who’s going to college next year, ‘You better get it right when you go to the cafeteria.’”

What is most bizarre about us?

“When students dig up their nose, cough in their hand, dig in their eye, scratch their hair with the card, and then hand you the ID.  I call it nasty.  The other ladies say it’s weird.”

What is your favorite thing about students?

“That you all come from a whole bunch of different places and that a lot of customers appreciate me and how I look out for them.”

What advice would you give?

“To know what you want before you get to the register. Then maybe the line won’t be outside the door.   Take your iPod out of your ear.  Hang up the phone.”

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I love these interviews!! Keep it up Bwog!

  • mouse says:

    @mouse love the picture. Also, no joke, these are the people who make Columbia bearable. If I thought Senior Fund would go to the food services staff and security guards, I’d donate.

  • i love... says:

    @i love... KIA! She is the bestest!! Smooches to her!!

  • I agree... says:

    @I agree... … awesome post Bwog!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous this is one of the best things i’ve read all week

  • Yes!!! says:

    @Yes!!! Kia is AMAZING!

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Bwog should do more of this sort of thing!

  • Kia says:

    @Kia is so sweet. She always remembers me and knows my usual order. Plus, she’s always cheerful :) Three cheers for Kia!

  • graduating senior says:

    @graduating senior Kia is the best! My sophomore and junior year, she always greeted me with a smile and knew me by name… she was the friendliest person on campus. Kia, if you are reading this, thanks for everything! :)

  • KIA says:

    @KIA Kia, you are the best! Your infallible happiness always makes me smile. Seriously, they should put you on the admissions material. Come here for this woman!

  • obg says:

    @obg i’d hit it

  • sarah says:

    @sarah quite hilarious – more of this please. great questions too btw.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous KIA. you the best.

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