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Some longtime ARA managers work hard to keep good service

After having read Taki May's letter ["ARA cannot keep competent food service managers," March 4], I feel compelled to point out that not all ARA food service managers are incompetent fools.

I work with a gentleman who is, quite simply, astoundingly competent. Paul Bragger, the manager of McCormick Dining, has held his position for nine years. Paul was here long before ARA took over, and ARA hasn't run him off in the same way that May claims it has other people. He is right here, weathering these financially difficult times with the rest of us.

Paul's job has not been easy, especially of late. McCormick has lost quite a bit of money, and as a result, two full-time employees(not 1.5, as a related Tech article claims), have been laid-off. In addition, I have worked with Paul to decrease our student payroll.

Despite the need to tighten the financial belt, Paul has remained committed to running an efficient operation while keeping his customers happy. At least once a semester, Paul conducts a survey of his customers' preferences, and he can easily be reached during most hours of operation to discuss his customers' concerns. Concerns and suggestions are heard and implemented, if immediately feasible; Paul also investigates all other suggestions to make them more feasible.

It is not the fault of managers at each dining facility that they cannot balance their budgets. Business is down, and unfortunately, the dining halls cannot wage "price wars" to attract more business. A manager can only use the tools he or she has within, along with the ones handed down from his or her superiors.

In short, I wouldn't claim that ARA is running off all the competent people -- there are still plenty around, trying their damndest to do their jobs and keep us happy.

Elena Koutras '90->

Student Staff Captain->

McCormick Hall Dining->