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St. Francis Opinions: The Problem with the Tuck Shop Line

Updated: Mar 20, 2019

(this is certainly more entertaining than trigonometry)

You select what you want. You now crave it even more and are anxious to have it, and then your daze is broken by the sound of thunder. Rain pours down, banging on the windows of the classroom. Class is over, but no matter how much you run to pack your things, the moment you are downstairs, the line is extending into the rain and you have no umbrella. Your options are either not having a snack or drenching yourself in the rain to buy something. No matter what you chose, it’s a lose-lose situation. But what if there was some new solution? What if we could fix all these issues to make the canteen experience more pleasant?

Lastly, the handling of the credit card system slows down the line. It takes time for a canteen worker to see each student’s number, type it on the computer, then write down the student’s order, print out the receipt, and finally hand it back to them so they can give it to the others in the production line. There can also be confusions regarding the printing of the receipts as sometimes students are handed the wrong papers, which causes further confusion and slows down the line even more. Another problem with credit cards is that students aren’t always aware of how much money they have in them until they get their turn. Sometimes the individual doesn’t have enough balance and needs to borrow money from their peers, causing more confusion and delaying the line each time more. Overall, the system is just too complicated and time-consuming.

Still not convinced? Hear it from others!

“Very unorganised and awfully messy!!” - Anonymous

“I stopped going down to the tuck shop, I’ve lost hope.” - Manon Zarvos

“Students aren’t aware of the price of snacks” - Luisa Salles

“Chaotic. The credit cards end up making the line take longer and lower secondary cut.” - Anonymous

“When it is my turn, the snack I wanted has sold out” - Pepe Caselli

“Way too long and senseless, it needs more people managing or another system” - Anonymous

“Ridiculous, it takes too long!! We are barely able to buy food and arrive in time for classes. Besides printing paper receipts is a total waste of paper” - Anonymous

“People in the tuck shop should write down your order on the computer and then swipe the credit cards” - Jose Alvaro Santos

“There should be more than two attendants” - Kim Stroeter

“The line becomes too big because the system makes no sense.” - Lucas Suzuki

What annoys people in the tuck shop line:

“The enormous line” - Raquel Legher

“The slow system” - Bruno Silveri

“You miss your entire break waiting in line and you can’t buy with someone; the credit cards aren’t effective ” - Anonymous

“Younger students trying to cut the line” - Gabriel Moraes

“The line reaches the end of the patio” - Kim Stroeter

On the bright side, the tuck shop lines have been improving a lot since they first started. A milestone has been how well it was able to adequately adapt to new changes with the merging of students from both campuses into one. They have tried to stop the lines from being cut by sorting out credit cards with identifications on them, and even forming proper lines with organizer rather than just leaving students to randomly organize themselves, which are all good efforts. However, it isn’t easy to manage the large masses of students and they have done so. Still, there is always space for improvement.

Some possible solutions for the situation include:

1) Allowing DP students to leave during break-time as well, so lines would be shorter and DP students would be able to eat something in the Padaria on Rua Conego Eugenio Leite or anywhere else that satisfies them, as long as they are back in school by 10:05.

2) Pupils should inform themselves on what they want while they are in the line, so instead of waiting to ask the canteen workers what today’s cake is or how much is a sandwich, they could ask other peers or even question the canteen ladies whilst standing in it (politely). A more efficient way to solve this is by having a large price chart put up somewhere visible on the shop so students know the prices of snacks and thus decide beforehand what they want.

3) The most important and obvious solution is to ask people to stop cutting the line and wait for their turn. Assembly speeches, anyone?

4) Some interviewed students also suggested that it would be faster if instead of typing in the number of the credit card, they could just be swiped. Others also stated that there should be more attendants in order to, in general, facilitate and quicken the buying and delivering process.

5) A more definite resolve would be acquiring a machine from Nutrebem which could be located outside the4 tuck shop. The system works so that the “cashier” is the machine and students can select what they want from the options displayed, pay automatically with a card and a receipt is printed out. The student can then deliver the receipt to the workers at the canteen and get their order much faster. This a new solution to consider, that could help improve and organize the tuck shop at school.

In conclusion, there is still much to be done in order for the line to satisfy most people and to make it as fast and effective as possible. What we, students, can do to improve it is start by organising ourselves and respecting the line, being an example to others, and being fair to our peers facing the same problems as us.

Co-written by: Henrique Ankerkrone Caldas


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