Delphi Questions: Speeding at FL, cafeteria hygiene, lunch crowds
From the Delphi archives
Delphi coordinator Janet Evans found this previous Delphi question, submitted
in October 1979, very similar to Question 447 below, except that the cafeteria
options available to staff have increased. In an upcoming issue of Staff
Notes Monthly, Janet will provide a look at Delphi history.
The NCAR cafeteria has a lot of guests and visitors at lunch time who
take advantage of the reasonable prices. So why can't there be a designated
time for them to have lunch? Some of us get 30 minutes to eat, and almost half
our time is spent standing in line, especially when the senior citizens group
As the writer points out, NCAR has many visitors who eat lunch in the
cafeteria. When large groups are to be here for lunch, whether it is the
senior citizens or a group attending a scientific meeting, every effort is
made to schedule the lunch hour for the group at either 11:30 or 12:30, before
or after the noon-hour rush. There seems to be no way to enforce a hard-and-
fast eating time for visitors and guests who come for lunch without
sacrificing our "good neighbor" atmosphere.
The cafeteria has eased the lunch line problem to a great extent by
offering the soup and salad bar and other easy-to-get choices for a quick
lunch, and we will continue to make every effort to schedule groups for lunch
at either 11:30 or 12:30 so that the noon-hour lines will be kept as short as
--Rose Bridgewater, Office Services manager
Question #445 (received 22 March):
It appears that speeding in the Foothills Lab parking lots is getting out of hand. It's
only a matter of time until a pedestrian is hit or a collision occurs. The posted limit is ten
miles per hour, and absolutely nobody goes that slowly. The most egregious violators
appear to be government vehicles and the Ryder rental trucks. Take a look at the curb
southwest of FL3--the black marks are from the tires of speeding vehicles that bounce off
the curb. Recently, I saw a Ryder truck knock some big branches off an FL tree.
Therefore, I ask:
- What is UCAR's liability for accidents and injuries that occur on UCAR grounds
due to a lack of enforcement of UCAR's policies?
- Does UCAR have to enforce the 10 mph speed limit, or do the speed limit signs
just absolve UCAR from liability?
- What happened to the speed limit sign on the southwest side of FL3?
- How can speeds be reduced? (The only workable solution would appear to be
- Why does UCAR allow a private company (Dave Taylor rental) to use UCAR
facilities for their private profit (i.e., parking their Ryder rental fleet in the FL
parking lot)? How does one go about getting approval for one's company to use UCAR
facilities? Perhaps I can make some money with the IBM SP computer. If the thought
behind allowing this company to use UCAR facilities was that the empty space in the
FL parking lot was going to waste and that the trucks would be unintrusive, I argue
that the trucks are dangerous, noisy, and damaging to UCAR property. Thank you.
Response (10 April):
First, let me say thanks to the questioner, as she or he has provided
valuable information concerning traffic issues. Now that we have the
information, we will take appropriate action. In the future, the questioner
can speed up the enforcement/abatement process and help improve traffic safety
by immediately reporting traffic violations to Security at ext. 1139.
UCAR is responsible for enforcing its rules, policies, and procedures.
When we detect traffic violations we immediately take enforcement actions. Our
security staff routinely monitor traffic into, out of, and around all of our
facilities, both by camera and by personal observation. However, they cannot
monitor all facilities at all times. Consequently, they rely on reports such
as that provided by the questioner. I can't emphasize how important it is to
report these unsafe traffic conditions. Our intent is to maintain a safe
environment, and enforcement is one tool that we can and do use.
Regarding liability, that is dependent upon a legal process and
interpretation. Rather than wait to find out how much liability we may or may
not have, we'd prefer to prevent an accident. We will step up our surveillance
and enforcement, which we hope will reduce the violations observed by the
questioner. We do not know what happened to the missing speed limit sign, but
we will replace any missing signs and review all signs to ensure that they are
adequate. Finally, we will investigate this entire issue to determine whether
additional steps are needed, e.g., speed bumps.
UCAR reached an agreement with Taylor rental that allows them to park
vehicles in unused portions of our lot for a fee. This was done solely for the
benefit of the many employees who felt their safety was seriously jeopardized
by the way the trucks were parked along Mitchell Lane. Although the trucks
were legally parked, many employees considered them a significant safety
hazard. More than three dozen complaints were lodged. Our lease agreement
simply solved a very serious safety problem for dozens of UCAR employees. We
will contact the rental company to assure that they observe all traffic rules
--Steve Sadler, Safety and Site Services director
Question #446 (received 28 March):
In the Foothills Lab cafeteria, the service is always good and the
employees friendly. However, in the mornings, there is generally only one
person working on the line. This is understandable, in order to keep labor
Nowadays people are educated about food safety, and food workers
frequently wear gloves. However, lately I have noticed that the morning
cook/server will be wearing a glove on only one hand. After making the food,
she goes to the register to ring the sale, without removing the glove. Then
she goes back to preparing the food, without washing her hands or changing the
Cash is very dirty. I am sure that ID cards are also dirty--at the very
least, they were in the hands of the person paying for the food. If the same
person is going to be handling food and cash, surely she should be washing her
hands and changing her gloves every time. And both hands should have gloves,
not just one. I realize that this would create extra work, but isn't
cleanliness in the kitchen worth it?
Thank you for your assistance in answering this question.
Response (14 April):
Sanitation and food safety are our top priorities in operating this food
service. Our servers need to conscientiously make sure that hands that touch
money do not touch food and that gloves and serving utensils like tongs are
used as needed. We have reminded all servers of this important requirement.
--Velma Ryan, Food Services and Special Functions
Question #447 (received 3 April):
I have a question about serving lunch. Very large groups have meetings
at the Mesa Lab, etc., from time to time, and when they go to lunch in the
cafeteria, some employees have to readjust their lunch time or stand in line
for a while. I was wondering if we could have, say, employees at 11:30 a.m.-
12:30 p.m. and the public from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., or something like that. I
know as spring and the 40th anniversary progress, we will be having this
situation more and more. Thank you for your consideration.
Response (13 April):
We appreciate your question, as UCAR does indeed have various groups
that use our cafeterias in addition to our regular staff. These are often
conferences or symposia that support some aspect of UCAR business, or
education and tour groups that provide outreach to the public.
We try to address the situation in several different ways. First and
foremost, we make every effort to schedule the lunch hour for any group at
12:30 p.m. or later. The Education and Tour Program is really great about
following this guideline and usually has one of their staff with the group to
help them find things and speed up the process. Despite our urgings, however,
this doesn't work for all meetings as the organizers may want to have the
break earlier to fit the program, or the meeting may run long or short. There
really is no way to force visitors and guests to have lunch at a certain
Second, we try to communicate with the staff, either by e-mail or by
signs, if there are likely to be significant extras in the cafeteria on any
given day. You have probably all seen some of these communications. When we
are aware of a large conference, we will put this footnote on the on-line
menus. Our staff gear up for the extras by providing additional servers and
another cashier, and by adjusting production or choosing menus so there is
limited waiting in line. We also offer groups a way to charge for their entire
party, thus speeding up the line.
The best time for staff to come, particularly on these busy days, is
11:30 p.m. to noon, as everything is on the line and ready to go. After 1:00
p.m. also works if that fits your schedule better. High noon or shortly
thereafter always seems to be the time of choice for people to eat, despite
our best efforts to adjust this. And of course, using your debit card not only
gives you a 15% discount but also speeds up the transaction and line at any
Third, we can offer lunch alternatives to groups. In the past, this has
included everything from special catered lunches served in the Damon Room or
on the second floor of ML and in the meeting rooms or in the cafe atrium at
FL. We also offer a variety of box lunch selections and outdoor options which
some groups have taken advantage of, particularly those using the tree plaza
(as well as some functions at NOAA that are catered by NCAR). The cafeteria
has also opened early, at 11:15 a.m., to allow some groups to get through
before regular staff. We will take this one step further and offer individuals
a pick-up or prepaid lunch or even hold one late for you if you have a major
conflict. Just contact Debbi Naugle (ext. 1147, firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself
(ext. 1193, email@example.com) and let us know.
Again, thank you for your question--we will continue to try to provide
you with the best service possible.
--Velma Ryan, Food Services and Special Functions
Questions and suggestions from the staff to management may be submitted in
confidence to the coordinator, Janet Evans (ext. 1114, ML room 517). They
should be submitted in written form, preferably via interoffice mail in a
sealed envelope marked confidential; they must be signed. Detailed procedures
for submitting questions are given in the
UCAR Policies and Procedures Manual,
section 4-1-2. Questions and answers of general interest to staff are
submitted to Staff Notes Monthly by Janet. They may be edited for
publication. For more information, including links to questions and answers
published in Staff Notes Monthly and a log of all questions submitted
since 1995, see the Delphi Service
Edited by Bob Henson,
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall