Sometimes I wonder whether they transport the lettuce in from city dump. Every regular Chartwells diner I know understands the importance of the backup meal. You certainly can’t count on Terra Ve, Dish, or Origins to have an appealing meal. Before begrudgingly committing ourselves to the meal plan, we optimistically expected we could at least count on a satisfactory bowl of salad. Unfortunately, we must surrender to the fact that Chartwells and optimism never belong in the same sentence.
I feel a pang of pity for the woman at the front who with a pained expression swipes my Cane Card. Not sure what I can do to help her. The Chartwells employee must be treated delicately. They almost all have short fuses. After they slop sour cream on your Mexican burrito bowl (after you specifically asked them not to), you must smile curtly and move on. Do not look back. Just walk away. You may find that your shoes stick the floor as you leave. That isn’t your revulsion for what’s on your plate. Don’t look down. You can clean your shoes later.
I’ve learned to only entrust the stir-fry guy at night. The “cooks” at lunch give the vegetables and chicken only a brief moment to get acquainted in the frying pan before dumping the raw mixture into a bowl. Do not raise an eyebrow. I’m sure in certain parts of the Far East raw vegetable/cold meat stir-fry is a delicacy.
This is my third year on the Chartwells diet. I call it a diet because after losing my freshman fifteen, I lose weight every time after returning to campus from break. This is the first year where I cannot even count on ice or forks. Students expect at least the bare essentials for $2,000 price tag each semester. They expect the rumble of the ice machine to be followed the by satisfying plops each ice cube makes as it falls into your plastic cup.
Well, for now we’ll have to contend with this provider of prison food. Oh, and remember to mind the guards…you cannot take that half-a-sandwich with you outside! Bon appetit.
Josh Kornfield is a junior majoring in international studies and political science. He may be contacted at