For a lot of students, the third term is synonymous with House dances, fun and partying, but staff at late night restaurants, cafés and fast food outlets often find it challenging to do their job this time of the year.
According to Khudakwashe Chanaiwa, employee at NY Slice, he often has to deal with drunk students. “The worst thing I have experienced was a drunk student that bit me. There was a fight and when I tried to stop them, I ended up being bitten. I still have the mark,” Chanaiwa said.
He also said that customers’ belongings often get stolen in that area around The Square, especially when the clubs and restaurants are overcrowded. “The thieves will enter when it is really full, pretend to be a cleaner and then they pick customers’ belongings and go out. We try to remember the thief’s face, but when we chase them away, they call us racist.”
Chanaiwa also said that the customers have accused him of stealing their belongings because they cannot remember where they have lost it. “It was very busy one evening and I told the customer I don’t have his order at the moment so he just has to wait five minutes for it to be done. He didn’t understand it and started speaking in Afrikaans. I told him I couldn’t understand, and when he still refused to speak English, I asked him how he would feel if I talk a language that he doesn’t understand in my home language, Shona. He became so angry that he wanted to hit me,” he said.
Chanaiwa said that although it can be challenging, he still likes working for NY Slice a lot and that he likes making new friends and always recognise regular customers.
Noma Nkombi, KFC night shift supervisor, also finds it challenging to work night shift. “You need to really love your job to be able to do this. It is difficult to deal with the booze and customers. You need to keep calm in all situations, but it is not always easy. Customers often fight andshout at you when somethinggoes wrong and it is difficult tokeep calm and explain to them in a way that they can understand if they are intoxicated. It is also long hours and when you get home you don’t have the energy to do anything else,” he said.
According to Ali Malik, employee at the Bokdidya Café, it is nice to work night shift. “The students sometimes fight with eachother outside, but I have never felt threatened to work here. Students are very friendly in Stellenbosch, and the town overall has very friendly people,” Malik said.