News: Service with a smile
Story by Airman 1st Class Alexxis Mercer
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. - "Subsidium omnis generis: full spectrum support. Enable Air Commando combat readiness through unrivaled combat support and community service."
As the emblem and mission statement for the 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron states, members within the squadron provide a vast range of support to the 27th Special Operations Wing and Special Operations Forces as directed by the Secretary of Defense.
While each member within the 27 SOFSS is expected to contribute to the wing's critical missions, provide world-class service, continue professional growth and make a difference, certain airmen within the squadron go above and beyond to surpass expectations and stand out as Air Commandos.
"Our job is really customer service oriented and to me, customer service is putting the needs of others before your own," said Airman 1st Class Jessica Dunn, 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron. "Even if I'm not having my best day, it's my job to come in and do the best I can because my work affects countless others."
Dunn works in the Pecos Trail Dining Facility which provides a critical base service 365 days-a-year to airmen stationed at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M. airmen working in the facility directly impact half the base populace and pride themselves on providing superior customer service and improving quality of life for base personnel.
Yearround manning, long duty hours and strict cooking guidelines are just a few challenges 27 SOFSS food apprentices deal with while working behind the line.
"We have to follow pretty strict recipes that dictate how we prepare each and every meal within our facility," said Dunn. "During my training, I remember being told that if something tasted bland, we probably did it right; but who likes to eat bland-tasting food? We've come up with mild variations to enhance our products and please more of our customers."
Dunn believes that customer satisfaction is essential to continued success within the dining facility. When people are pleased with the overall appearance, quality and taste of their food, they are more likely to come back for seconds.
"For me, an eating experience starts from the moment I'm greeted in any establishment," said Airman 1st Class Chris Sygney, 27th Special Operations Communications Squadron.
"Everyone has bad days, but Dunn never seems to be in a bad mood! She consistently has a smile on her face and something as simple as a smile and her upbeat attitude always makes my day better."
Along with customer satisfaction, Dunn stresses how critical close attention to detail is in her line of work.
"I remember being fairly new to the base and coming in to work having to prepare some chicken," she said. "We typically spray the pans we use with non-stick spray to season them. I was on my third or fourth pan when I realized I wasn't spraying non-stick, I was spraying steel cleaner. I had ruined several servings of chicken by not paying close attention to what I was doing. Mistakes like that cannot happen in our facility."
Airmen who frequent the dining facility take notice of Dunn's overall positive disposition.
"It's nice after a long, grueling shift to be greeted first-thing by someone with a smile like hers," said Airman 1st Class Ryan Partin, 33rd Special Operations Squadron. "You might be extremely tired or in the worst mood, but you can't help but smile back and that's uplifting."
Patrons are encouraged to bring questions, comments or concerns to the attention of the facilities staff to improve operations.
"We have comment cards available to gage what people on base think of what we are offering," said Dunn. "If suggestions or comments are realistic, we do everything we can to implement changes or make adjustments."
"I love my job and I love being a part of Cannon," she said. "I always do my best to put on a smile and enjoy what I'm doing. If my positive attitude can make even one person's day or eating experience better, then I accomplished something. Keeping our airmen happy and motivated is essential to keeping our mission going here."