Home Bird: Q&A with Collis Employee Falcon Wright
Falcon Wright is one of the Dartmouth Dining Services workers at Collis Café. He was in the stir-fry line before the winter term but has since been moved to Collis Late Night. He is 22 years old and is passionate about cars.
Falcon, what is your role at Collis?
F.W.: I’m a line cook at Collis Café. I prep food, cook in the line, make the stir-fry [and] make baked goods. Essentially everyone does everything, whatever needs to be done. I can step into any position really, depending on the need. Also, if they need us to do anything downstairs, say, take care of a baler or do dishes, it’s really one giant ecosystem that we’re all just trying to maintain, and I think we do a pretty good job of it.
How long have you been working at Collis?
F.W.: I’ve been here for almost four years now.
How do you like it here? How’s your relationship with other Collis staff members?
F.W.: I love working at Collis; the students, staff, everybody is one giant family. Everyone feels included. Like any family, we do have quarrels, but at the end of the day everything works out. Everyone is very happy to help each other — I’m lucky to have such a great team to work with, especially our management. They are knowledgeable and willing to go out of their way to make sure we are all happy and taken care of. Like any job, there are things I don’t like doing, things that I consider tedious or uninteresting. Working the smoothie bar is one of my least favorite positions to be put on. It’s either ridiculously busy or horribly slow, and you don’t have time to interact with the students in the way that I like to do.
My relationship with the management team is one that I’m very thankful to have because they are willing to always accommodate you, talk to you, ask you how your day was — they genuinely care.
Steven Moretti, most commonly known as Collis Steve, one of my coworkers, has become one of my closest friends through working together for the last four years. We were complete strangers, and now I know I can trust him with anything, which is a crazy thing to think about.
Your brother and dad work here too. What is that like?
F.W.: The fact that I get to work with my brother Brett and my dad on a daily basis is a blessing. Being able to see them and have someone to talk to if I am feeling down or need advice or need help with anything — it’s a constant support network, and I don’t think I would see them nearly as much if I didn’t have them at work. My brother is one of the nicest people you could ever meet and is just always looking out for me, making sure I’m okay, and I love him infinitely for that. My dad is a “give you the shirt off his back” kind of guy, so I could never complain for one second for being able to see his smiling face when I come into the building. He always greets me with a hug, and even if he’s got a line of customers out the door, he will ask how I am and make sure I’m all good. And even though he can sometimes be embarrassing or share stories about me that aren’t so flattering, I love him and am happy to have him here.
You were recently moved to Collis Late Night. What has that transition been like?
F.W.: The transition from the day shift to the night shift initially was very upsetting because I was so established in the day shift and I had my entire life rooted around that time frame.But after this last term of being on the night shift, I have grown to enjoy it — maybe not to the extent that I enjoyed the day shift, but I’ve learned that you have to roll with the punches and see the positive in every situation. It’s all about a positive mental attitude.
Not having my weekends off anymore and coming to work so late has definitely taken a toll on me. It wasn’t an easy transition at all. My body is acclimating to this new shift. I am going to have a lot of time in the mornings and afternoons to be productive, so I am happy to have my day to myself even if my night is long and sometimes stressful.
What’s your favorite memory and favorite part about working here?
F.W.: My favorite memory is all of the graduations. Being able to see all the people you’ve grown to know move on with the rest of their lives is pretty awesome. You’ve seen the entire culmination of their experience at Dartmouth come to this one moment. It’s very emotional, and there’s hugs and tears and laughter, and it’s just a very genuine moment with all the students that we’ve grown to call family.
Interacting with the students is by far the best part of the job. The people that come in day after day — we know their orders; we know who they are; we know how to interact with them, how to joke with them; we can sense when they are down or stressed or when something is wrong in their life. I am glad to say that I have definitely made some lifetime friends while working here, and relationships that I will be developing for years. I have become a better person and have learned a lot about myself being surrounded by such intelligent, outgoing people.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.