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Dear Editor,

I simply want to express my appreciation to the staff of the Bldg. 31A cafeteria. Each morning they stock the food bars and prepare the hot meals so NIH staffers and visitors can find nourishment and comfort to make it through the day. Their shift starts very early. They have to deal with coldness from preoccupied customers, entitlement attitudes over butter and jam and misdirected frustration. On the other hand, I have observed that when customers acknowledge their humanity, these hard-working people respond warmly in return, which makes life more pleasant for everyone. It's so easy to lose sight of the fact that although the cafeteria is a permanent facility on the property, it takes real people to run it. And without those real people faithfully showing up for work, we wouldn't be able to focus our attention on the events of the day as we rush through the food displays and order up what we want. Getting food would become another task on our daily "To Do List."

Although Bldg. 31 has the convenience shop (and they deserve our thanks as well), that isn't enough to meet the daily demand for food in the building. We need the cafeteria staff and it doesn't hurt for us to be reminded of this once in a while. It wouldn't hurt us to say "thank you" as we move through the lines either.

Nina T. Holden,
NIAMS

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