Name: Thamires Mattos
Class Standing: Sophomore
Interviewed by: Rachel Arner
Where do you work?
I work at the Gazebo.
Where are you from?
I am 100 percent Brazilian, which means my ancestors are from everywhere around the globe. I was born in the South [of Brazil], next to Argentina and Uruguay. My hometown, Porto Alegre, is closer to these countries than to Rio de Janeiro, probably the most known Brazilian city.
That is so cool! What is your position at work?
Officially, I am a front-line worker. That means that I am one of the workers responsible for making smoothies, salads, subs and burritos. However, this job is not just about making food! The job also entails replacing ingredients in the line and cleaning. When I say cleaning, I really mean it! When I’m responsible at the grill I’m making Philly Sandwiches, BLTs, Gazebo Burgers, French Fries, Quesadillas, Grilled Cheese and other hot meals. Sometimes I also need to wash the dishes, bowls, cutlery and cutting boards. I must admit that at first I thought washing dishes was going to be the worst part of the job, but I love it! It’s fun because we listen to the online radio station while we work.
That sounds like fun. Why is this job important to you?
This is actually my first paying job. Previously, I worked as a freelance writer, but the salary was not stable. Earning my own money is something that makes me very happy and grateful, even if this job is not related to my field of study. I love my job even more because it’s not related to my field of study. I usually don’t like being in the kitchen unless the food is already prepared and ready to be eaten. So, in my first weeks working at the Gazebo, I went through a hard time learning how to make everything. Now I feel more confident about my abilities in the kitchen. At least I can make a really good smoothie and a decent burrito!
Impressive! Any other reasons why this job is important to you?
My parents are spending a lot of money for my education. I think it is my responsibility to help out with a personal job. That way, I can buy things I need for myself without asking them for help. I do not want to bother asking for money to go out, travel, grab something to eat with my friends, spend on clothes and accessories. They are already doing the best they can. At least I can avoid spending more of their money. I think this is the beginning of my adult life. I turned 20 in March, and I’m planning on graduating soon. So, I need to maintain certain responsibilities to grow as an adult. Holding this job is helping me grow and become more mature.
How long have you been working there?
I am a transfer student, so this is my first semester at Andrews University. I started working at the Gazebo my second week of school. I’m not working as many hours as I was in the beginning of the semester. Life has become much busier so I needed to work fewer hours. I think students understand that.
What is your favorite aspect of your job at the Gazebo?
I think I have more than one favorite. The first is when the customers get creative and decide to make very unusual orders. I usually stay at the Smoothie Station during work, which allows me to see plenty of people that like to have very different drinks. One time I was talking to a friend that also works at the Gazebo, and he asked me which smoothie was my favorite. My answer was, “None! My favorites are modified versions of the Hawaii 5-Oh-So-Good and of the Tropicoolada.” I told him my recipe, he told another friend and now it’s a common occurrence. Don’t be afraid to ask for a customized smoothie! Second, I just love when a customer says “Thank you” like they really mean it. It makes everything worth it!