Chaiya Jeffries: Managing

231 471 Ellen Ensher
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Chaiya Jeffries holding a cat in Greece

Greece has been transformative. To go into depth, I now have a greater understanding of the restaurant industry in Spetses because the concepts discussed in this course allowed me to make real-life connections. As a food industry employee, I will have a different mindset than when I left. Being able to make connections has caused me to reflect on my experience as an employee at Hopdoddy.

Firstly, I found their Training Process to be different from what I was used to. When I first started working at my job, I had to watch some online videos and obtain my Food Handlers Permit. Once I had that, my bosses threw me in quickly, and I got to work. I learned as I went and participated in ‘on the job training.’ Somedays, I had a trainer, and I would watch them. Some days, they would watch me, but most of the time, I had to figure it out and ask questions. I was only trained like this because they were short-staffed and needed me, but I preferred this anyway. When interviewing for my project, the Gyro restaurant employees said it was straightforward to train a new employee. There were not many things to do, and they were not hard either. At other restaurants, there is more of a training process with organizations. I observed that the restaurants took pride in their food and wanted everything done right, so proper training was necessary. However, they didn’t need prior experience, and since I had no previous experience in my job, maybe I could work at a Gyro restaurant one day!

When I think of Employee Benefits, I feel lucky to have my job at my age. I get paid very well, and I make tips. Additionally, I choose my days and hours. My bosses are incredibly respectful of my school schedule and outside life – they are letting me have over a month off to be here. I also appreciate that my friends and family get a discount on their food, just like I do. The benefits here are much different as they have their pros and cons. I see the same workers daily standing outside in the heat for hours, and I feel horrible. Luckily, I work inside and can take a 10 min break as needed.

People here are paid much less than in America, as the minimum wage is lower. However, living wages are cheaper here, and employees have national benefits. Whether it is universal health care or more extended vacations, it makes up a little. Learning about benefits helped me appreciate my situation and be thankful for what I have.

I am pleasantly comforted when I compare my training and benefits at Hopdoddy to the workstyle here in Greece. Here in Greece, there is a more official training process. Employers want to ensure their workers are prepared before they begin working. At Hopdoddy, I just needed a general base and the rest I could learn. I preferred this because it allowed me to make mistakes and learn how to do them correctly. Instead of trying to remember everything I learned in training, I was just building a new habit. The culture is different in America, so it is more socially appropriate for an employee to make a mistake, whereas, in Greece, there is more of a prestigious culture in the food industry. The benefits in Greece are better on a standard level. I wish Hopdoddy covered my healthcare, but I would not trade it for the flexibility and respect I get. I know if I had a health crisis, my bosses would care about me on a personal level, and they would not only allow me to do what’s best for me but always try their best to support me. Also, at my age, since I still benefit from my parents, free healthcare would not necessarily help me, but it would be more for my parents. Though these are not huge differences, they still matter.

This was my first time in a management course. After being exposed to all these concepts, I realize how apparent they are in my everyday life. Knowing that I know more, I can do more to be a better employee and know how things should be regarding pay, benefits, human resources, and a relationship with my employer.