For some stupid reason, the Pause has decided to enforce new rules on their employees requiring them to wash their hands before working in the kitchen. While unsurprising, this move has been met with mounds of controversy. Pause executive member Jamie Briggs ’20 remains firm in his decision to “make hygiene and cleanliness a priority,” as stated in his formal address to the St. Olaf students via mass email.
This focus on “hygiene” and “cleanliness” reads as an egregious assault on the freedom of the Pause kitchen staff whose blood, sweat and tears go into their stuffed-crust pizza. If St. Olaf students minded fingernail gump in their food, they would have eaten through Bon Appétit.
“Every single one of my pizzas has a story. Every rugby loss, Target run, hangover and bathroom break is smeared onto the dough, tossed with my bare hands, and baked in the Pause oven,” veteran Pause pizza maker Adrian Caldin ’21 said while cleaning up used napkins from his work space. “That’s what I love about my job. When someone eats at the Pause, they’re eating a part of my life and I think that’s a beautiful, intimate thing.”
Caldin brings up an incredible point. Eating at the Pause comes with a certain unparalleled experience. This experience includes connecting to your cook in a way that you would not be able to do at the Caf or Cage.
Forcing employees to wash their hands before and during shifts prioritizes health over heart and that is not the experience I signed up for with my cheesy bread.
Alexia Nizhny ’22 is from New York, N.Y. Her major is English.