On Dec. 20th, Maria Rodriguez looked down at her bills and shook her head in awe, “There’s just no way we can stay in business, Lackmann charges us too much money in rent and supplies.” The defeated manager dropped the bill into the puddle of tears that had formed on her desk, ” We’re done, I have to file for bankruptcy.”
But it’s not just Maria who’s feeling the pinch this time of year, many of the businesses around the omelet station are considering the same move, “Lackmann doesn’t care about us feeding our families, they only care about fattening their own wallets” says a station owner that wanted to remain anonymous. But are these owners’ claims true? Are the Lackmann executives getting rich off of these poor, blue-collar workers? They just might be.
Throughout the first semester, the executive’s greed was seen first-hand. It all began on Sept. 20th, when a Lackmann employee was seen inserting an $100 bill into the snack machine and after multiple attempts, he was then seen beating the machine with a bat until his bag of Cheetos became dislodged from its compartment. A couple weeks later, on a quiet, October day, the Lackmann CEO received a $50 fine from Public Safety when he landed his private jet in a spot labeled “Faculty Only.” After the whole scene, the outraged CEO, accosted by the paparazzi and prompted for a comment, responded with a succinct “bite me.”
But from all the greed and heartbreak, a chord was struck with the Hofstra student body and on Jan. 3rd,2011 “Occupy Lackmann” was started outside the Student Center by the six students left on campus. “We may not look like much, but, honestly, what else is there to do on campus during Winter Break? It was either this or watching the “Hofstra Cats.” Another one of the protestors shared the same sentiment: “I don’t know man, it’s really sad about the whole greed with Lackmann thing, but the Hofstra Cats have been sparse, I think I even saw one pack it’s things and go home to its family in Southern Long Island, there’s literally NOTHING to do on this campus.”
Despite the overall boredom of the six protestors, many of them picketed for days outside in the frigid cold, with temperatures reaching in the single digits. Eventually, school officials started to take notice, Stuart Rabinowitz, President of the University, spoke candidly, ” Yes, I’ve definitely noticed the “Occupy Lackmann” protestors outside the Student Center. One day I tripped over one of their long boards. I cursed, grabbed my foot, cringed and limped through the sliding doors, so I’ve most certainly noticed the protests.”
After a week of solid protest, Lackmann caved into the protestor’s demands, they were each given five bottles of “Naked Juice.” When questioned about their seemingly greedy demands, one of the students defended their actions: “What? Do you know how expensive these things are? Like six dollars a bottle! I’m not made of money.”
So maybe the idea of greed in a capitalist society was lost on the young protestors, but when students started filing back to the dorms, they were in awe. One of the returning students labeled them “geniuses” where another had this to say, ” Those guys are like, heroes, man, do you know how expensive those things are?”
Maria and countless other food stations were forced to close their doors in the weeks following the protest and many students failed to notice. The only people who shuddered when they returned were the Hofstra Cats. Felix the cat shed a tear when gazing at the closed down stations. “Maria used to make me the best omelets, I hope she finds a way to get back on her feet.” And just as quickly as he came, Felix purred, coughed up a fur ball and disappeared, eerily reminiscent of the countless food stations that once filled this bustling cafeteria.