3:30 pm, UW-Madison Gordon Dining and Event Center

3:30 pm, UW-Madison Gordon Dining and Event Center

How do cashiers at the new Gordon Dining and Event Center occupy their downtime between the lunch and dinner rushes?

“I think about stuff,” says student worker Noah Sevett, who’s manning a cash register for his 2:15 pm to 5 pm shift.

He’s isolated from many of his coworkers — and, at times, even customers.

The Gordon Dining and Event Center, which replaces the old Gordon Commons, is the main food hub for thousands of UW-Madison students living in the Southeast dorms. Thus, cashiers have their hands full during prime lunch and dinner times. A “flood of students” creates a constant line, Sevett says.

But that’s a hard scene to picture at 3:30 in the afternoon. Only a few hungry students are trickling into the extensive complex, which offers 12 dining venues and seats 600 people.

3:30 pm, UW-Madison Gordon Dining and Event Center

Management doesn’t allow their workers to pull out a book and study to pass time, Sevett says. Cell phones aren’t allowed, either.

Once in awhile he shoots rolled up receipt papers into a cup, but even that isn’t very satisfying. He can only dream of the possibilities on this slow Friday shift.

“Sometimes I fantasize about putting Pac-Man or Sudoku [puzzles] on here,” Sevett says, pointing at his cash register’s screen. “But that’s never going to happen.”

– Preston Schmitt

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