As of Nov. 1, my calculations show that my current level of Flexi will allow me to spend only two dollars a day for the rest of the semester. This will reduce my diet to bagels and toast. Thus, I have deemed purchasing anything from Crossroads a privilege, not frugal.
Why, you may ask, would I ever consider a purchase from Crossroads a privilege? Let me enlighten you. It is 10:30 at night and I’ve just finished toiling over physics problems with my study group for five hours. I’m tired, but more than anything, I’m hungry. The on-campus cafeteria closed their doors hours before and my tiny dorm room offers half a jar of crunchy peanut butter or a package of ramen whose flavor packet has been lost to the abyss. Thus, Crossroads is my only option.
Secretly, I actually like the middle sauce at Crossroads. You know, the mixture of the white and red sauces; thus, fittingly deemed the middle sauce. For some reason unbeknownst to me, the combination of the two creates a tasty topper for my raviolis. When I finally determine I won’t be able to sleep unless I eat something, I break down and purchase the $5 container of pasta.
This is my first mistake; my second is consuming it. I spent my precious flexi on Crossroads pasta and the pasta is inedible. I don’t mean inedible in terms of taste, but in terms of the physical ability to chew. The pasta I receive is uncooked and I am literally unable to eat said pasta.
I first ask myself why I ever justified spending Flexi on this crap? I next wonder why it’s so hard to make pasta? Honestly, pasta is the one dish I thought everyone could make. You turn on the stove, you boil the water, insert the pasta shells and eventually drain the water. Voila! Pasta! Obviously, this task requires steady concentration and the utmost skill.
Assuming that pasta may be one of the tougher recipes to master, let us move to another situation. It’s Friday. I’ve just shelled out mega-cash on new magazines from the bookstore. I’m in my sweats. All I want to do is sit on my bed and read my magazines while sipping an iced latte and watch “Sex and the City” reruns. Very fair for a Friday afternoon. So I bite the bullet and decide to spend that extra $3.20 on an iced latte from Crossroads because, well, I deserve it.
I ask for a small iced latte with the tinniest pump of caramel. Not even a whole pump, maybe even half. The barista gives me a dirty look. I assume this means she understood the first time. I stand and watch in horror as she makes my Friday treat. First she steams the milk. I ask her if she is making my iced latte. She gives me another dirty look and concurs. She then pours the steamed milk over the ice, puts in the espresso shot and douses the drink with three large pumps of caramel.
Apparently making an iced latte is just as hard as making pasta. I asked for a single pump of caramel and got three, and she also poured steamed milk over ice. This, as I’ve been informed by a Starbucks barista, is a serious no-no and an actual health code violation (apparently milk must either be below or above a certain range of degrees or it runs the risk of allowing bacteria to form).
These two situations beg the question: what is wrong with Crossroads employees? OK, maybe I shouldn’t generalize. Some employees are nice and actually competent, but more often than not most of them seem to mess up the simplest tasks. Not only are they rude about their ineptitude, but they simply don’t care.
What can be done about this? I’d guess absolutely nothing. Unless Crossroads decided to actually train their employees on the basics of making the drinks they advertise, or how to cook a successful batch of pasta, I’d say everything will stay the same. Maybe if the students who ran the café realized that their attitudes don’t belong in the workplace, as with any moneymaking establishment, service would improve. Until then I’ve concluded that my pasta will undoubtedly be under cooked and my rare iced lattes will be served without a smile and with an inevitable amount of bacteria, mine free of charge. And for any of you who still question my qualms with Crossroads, I suggest looking up the establishment on Yelp. Happy reading.
Heather Spellacy is a sophomore business major.