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February 22, 2005

The Uncommon Interview - Connie Cohen

For this issue's Uncommon Interview, the Maroon wanted to capture the perspective of someone who is an essential part of the undergraduate experience. Along these lines, it would be nearly impossible to find a person at this school who has not eaten at Bartlett Dining Hall at least once. The staff at Bartlett is a critical, yet sometimes overlooked, body that does nothing but enhance our daily experience at the University. We stopped to chat with a member of the Bartlett staff, Consuelo Cohen, affectionately referred to as Connie.

Chicago Maroon: Where are you from? What was your childhood like?

Connie Cohen: I'm originally from Chicago, Illinois. My childhood was pretty good, pretty normal. I had mom and dad home, it was good. School was good. I graduated from high school, went to college. I then went to cosmetology school. I never had any problems in school. It may be hard to believe, but I really just never had any problems. It was all just smooth sailing.

CM: What exactly is your role here at the University of Chicago?

CC: I'm one of the cashiers that work here at Bartlett Dining Hall at the University. I basically manage the money and make sure the prices are right. I'm just trying to give good customer service, really.

CM: What led you to working here?

CC: I found that they were accepting applications, and I applied. I'd been working at a hair salon for 6 years and after September 11, things started to get really slow. So, I needed an immediate job—you know, money I could depend on. So, I applied and they accepted me.

CM: How long have you been working here?

CC: I've been working here for three years.

CM: What is your favorite part of the day at the University?

CC: My favorite part of the day is the lunch rush because it's so busy. You know, it keeps me busy. The worst part is when it's slow, it gets boring! To be honest with you, I look forward to seeing some students here that I've gotten to know.

CM: I was about to ask about that. What kind of relationship do you have with the students that you see each day?

CC: I have a bond with a lot of students. We get along really good. We talk about personal things sometimes, we're really honest. Sometimes they come to me for advice and I'll help them out. Really, there aren't any students here that I dislike. We just have a great relationship.

CM: What do you do in your spare time?

CC: In my spare time, I have three kids at home. They range from six months to five years old. I tried to spend time with them because I work a split shift here, so I'm away from home for a long time. So when I'm home I really try to spend time with them. You know, we rent movies and pop popcorn and have a great time.