YHS Students Continue To Work Through Covid
December 22, 2020
Seniors Bella Kruskopfs, Steven Rojas, and Amanda Sinishtaj, have all remained at their local jobs despite the effects of Covid. Working at Little Sorrento, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Mima’s Pizzeria, the three have all seen the ins and outs of the restaurant industry.
YHS Senior Isabella Kruskopfs works at one of Yorktown’s favorite restaurants, Little Sorrento’s. Her main role is to facilitate the many tasks that must be completed with ease to make a restaurant run smoothly. She interfaces with the customers in a myriad of ways: manning the phone, taking delivery orders, bagging food, hostessing and bussing. “In a restaurant,” she said, “you usually help out wherever you can if you aren’t swamped at your primary job.” That means even making a home delivery when needed.
Isabella considered applying to Little Sorrento’s on the recommendation of Sam Armstrong, a YHS student who graduated in June. Working there since March of 2019, she has seen first hand the challenges that Covid has presented to those whose livelihood relies on a profitable family owned restaurant. The family owns and manages Savannah’s, also located on Route 202. “I have respect for the owners who want to stay open and do their best to run their business safely.” In the early stages of the pandemic, the only service that was permitted was curbside pickup. “I know that was very difficult for them, said Isabella. “Now, we might be facing orders from Cuomo soon that indoor dining will not be available, so it’s scary for the business considering a lot of revenue is made this way.”
For Isabella the main challenge to her work experience is rude customers “who yell at me for mistakes I didn’t even make.” Isabella has learned how to deal with them over time and working in a friendly atmosphere with an “entertaining group of people” and being served a delicious dinner at the night’s end is a treat. “I love that part of working there,” she said. “I have a lot of sympathy for the restaurant industry right now, and I hope people will continue to place take out orders to help Yorktown’s local restaurants survive.”
The chain “Dunkin Donuts” first opened in the 1950s in Quincy, Massachusetts and now has 11,300 stores worldwide. A student at Yorktown High school, Steven Rojas, just started working there in February. Steven says that the best part about working at Dunkin is “being able to gain certain skills on how to communicate with real people that you can’t really learn from just going to school and can only learn from real life experiences”. He hasn’t just gained knowledge from the job — he has also gained friendships.
Steven says he has been able to adjust well with completing school work and working three days a week. Being provided free coffee from Dunkin definitely helps. However, one of the biggest challenges he has faced while working has been having to start a new job after already mastering his old one. Steven decided to work at Dunkin because one of his friends told him to apply, he has already worked at Mcdonalds and Party City. Steven also said that Covid changed his job very minimally. They wear masks and gloves and change their gloves every hour. Steven also recounted some of his funniest memories, recalling “I once threw a paper ball at my friend while working and I turned around and a customer was just staring at me and it was one of the most embarrassing and hilarious moments while working here.”
Yorktown has no shortage of pizzerias, and when YHS Senior Amanda Sinishtaj was looking for a job and found an opening at Mima’s in the center of town, she didn’t hesitate to accept the offer. “I thought I would like the job,” she said, “ because I knew what it would require since many of my friends also work in pizzerias/restaurants.” Amanda works about 8 hours a week and still babysits from time to time, a job she has been doing since middle school.
Like all jobs, it has its ups and downs. “I’ve learned,” she said, “that people can be a lot more difficult than I previously thought. I’ve always been someone who goes with the flow and has a kind approach, but some people will just be straight up rude and there’s nothing you can do to prevent that.” Customers will complain from time to time about their orders being messed up and looking to blame the hired help. “Some customers,” she said, “only complain to get free food.” She does appreciate her boss’s kind gesture of ordering coffee and hot chocolate from the Dunkin next door for her and her friends when they arrive at work.
Amanda feels fortunate that she has the opportunity to make money for herself. Many businesses, especially restaurants, have faced economic hardships. “My place of work has remained open,” said Amanda, “and for that I am also grateful.”