This past week, I completed my first 5 days of my food service management rotation. Overall, I think the rotation went pretty well. I attended a lot of meetings and in-service trainings, so I was able to meet most of the staff that I would be seeing throughout my rotation. It was very interesting to see the dynamic among the food service workers in the schools. A lot of the employees had strong bonds and cliches with other employees of their specific school. I could see the vast amount of support both the food service workers and managers had for one another. That is something I will come to appreciate even more throughout my tougher weeks of my internship.
I found myself having a lot of time to work on assignments and plan/prepare upcoming projects and studies. It was definitely helpful for me to bring my laptop, assignment binder, and resources to pull ideas from.
Before leaving for the weekend, I received some unexpected news from my preceptor and the general manager. I was super nervous before the 3 of us sat down for the meeting. My preceptor had said, 15 minutes before, that her and the boss needed to speak with me about something. I don’t know about anyone else, but, my immediate thought was, “Uh-oh, what did I do?” After stopping my train of negative, rash thoughts, I reminded myself that it was my first week, and it was probably something un-related to me.
Much to my surprise, I was informed that my preceptor would be leaving that next Friday to join the Navy as an RD! While this was very exciting news for her, I was a little worried about the rest of my rotation. Who would become my preceptor? Did they know all of the work involved? Would I be able to complete everything that was required of me?
Again, once I calmed myself from my racing thoughts, I came to realize that I could do this. It was just another bump in the road. Plus, I not only had the support of the management team and staff; however, I also had the support of my internship director and fellow interns. Having an RD for food service management wasn’t a requirement for my program, so I was lucky enough to have one as my preceptor. It was decided that the general manager would be taking over the position as my preceptor. He is quite knowledgable and understands that I have a lot of different assignments required of me.
My current preceptor and I sat down this week to plan out all of the school nutrition assignments and set up meetings with who I needed to speak with. My preceptor is much more informed on not only general nutrition, but also nutrition education in schools. That being said, her and I worked together so that she could continue to be a resource to me for the last week of her working there.
Next week will definitely be a change with the school year up and going. Not only will management be down a staff member, but I will be working with a new preceptor. This situation reminds me of something that my internship director had said to me. It went something like “You can plan out what you want to do for food service and how you want your assignments to go; however, there will be some days that everything will just go completely off plan. You need to be ready to deal with whatever is there and be flexible.” That statement has never been so true!
On a final note, I received an official badge from the school district I am working in. Under my name it says “Support Staff.” Boy, do I feel important :):)