Today, I ate in the dining hall for the first time since school started. I’ve been apprehensive towards the dining hall because at Temple, it was a very bad place for me. I also don’t have any friends to sit with! Which is a little awkward, but I’m used to it.
In terms of “healthy” food, all they really offer is the salad bar. The only other options I noticed were pizza and fries. Not that I looked too hard, mind you, but at first glance, it seemed obvious that there was only one section containing the color green. I was quite nervous, so I stuck with safety:
A salad composed of mixed greens, spinach, mushrooms, red bell pepper, cucumber, broccoli, baby carrots, hummus and chickpeas. Topped with champagne vinegar and olive oil, and paired with an apple. I guess I can’t really complain; the variety of vegetables was right up my alley. I also loved the champagne vinegar!
Instead of finishing the meal with my apple, I saved it for later and settled on this little jewel:
Yes, that is pecan pie. And it was pretty good, too.
After this meal, I felt a little full, but also completely satisfied. I got a mix of both the green and the white (sugar, that is), and it kept me happy for several hours. I would’ve ended my dining hall experience on a completely positive note, had I not felt flustered and ridiculed when I returned my dishes. Not knowing that the silverware and dishes belonged to two separate “windows,” I placed them both in the “dishes” window. A guy working there promptly said, “Other window,” to me, and not understanding, I just gave him a look. He took away my plate but pointed at the silverware, that was on top of the grimy, wet, window counter. “Other window,” he said to me again, and I felt his rudeness so thoroughly that I just walked away, as he called after me, “Miss! Miss!”
Now, as I walked away, I felt very, very bad. Guily. I felt like the privileged little white girl turning my nose down at the big black man. As if I were better than him. As if he didn’t deserve my attention, or time. I do not feel that way at all, but I understand this perception, and I understand how he must have perceived me. Rude, arrogant, little white bitch. I’m positive that’s how I came off. And I feel horrible. I would hate to have that man’s job, and I would hate to serve college students. I know, the majority of them have no respect for their surroundings, or for their parent-paid provisions.
I am trying to make this right in my head, what happened. I did feel violated, and embarrassed, as I’d returned a dish earlier without anyone saying anything. But did that give me ample reason to ignore him? Is my insecurity enough to warrant feigned ignorance? Or should I, and my grandparent’s $26,000, expect better service than that?
I honestly don’t know, and I’m not sure how to make sense of it. The class I had just before lunch dealt with humanity’s basic sense of good and evil. Did I even achieve a common good with my actions? Was there a purpose to it? Were my actions, to him, evil? And where do I stand in all of this? What is the line between respect and self-preservation?
I truly believed that, as I went through the errands of my day, that my actions would come back to haunt me, that karma would kick my ass. But instead, the employee at the Apple Store decided almost immediately to replace my track pad, and on top of that, to replace my cracked screen…for free. Sometimes, I really just don’t know where I stand.