Today, we interview Shayna Hartman, the cook supervisor and team lead at a retirement community dining facility.  As we learn more about the details of her job, you will see how Shayna uses math each and every day to serve meals and oversee her team.

Can you explain what you do for a living?

For the past fourteen years, I have been a cook in a retirement community.While much of my job involves measuring, another part of my job is to handle the schedule for more than 20 people. This includes conducting interviews, ordering, keeping inventory and taking care of disciplinary problems when needed.

When do you use basic math in your job?

In my job I have to use math skills to be able to convert recipes from a small amount to an amount that will feed a hundred people. Also, I have to make sure no one goes over their 40-hour work schedule.  Another facet of my job is budgeting.  For example, when a new department opened, I was in charge of the $150,000 budget.  This involved me looking at many different details.

Do you use any technology (like calculators or computers) to help with this math?

I use technology in my job when using math. It would take a lot longer without a calculator to add up labor, inventory costs, and many other things that come with running the department. If I didn’t use a calculator, my workload would be immensely increased.

How do you think math helps you do your job better?

Math helps me do my job better because I can stay under budget and adjust hours so my employees get equal amounts of working time.

How comfortable with math do you feel?

I am very comfortable doing any type of math. I enjoy using math in my job and personal life. Math comes easy to me. I use it in any situation that I can. Math is what I enjoy, and I like to learn.

What kind of math did you take in high school?

In high school, I took Geometry, Algebra 2 and Pre-Calculus. I feel like I am very good in math, but when I get to a huge problem, I quit. In Pre-Calculus I was doing great.  I quit trying when I had a two-page problem, and I didn’t need the class to graduate.

Did you have to learn new skills in order to do the math you use in your job?

I went to college to learn the skills that I need to do my job. So, I learned my skills in both high school and college.

Can you imagine increasing a recipe so that it feeds 100? Shayna is more than willing to give you some pointers.  For more information from Shayna, ask in the comments section.

Photo Credit: SkyFireXII via Compfight cc

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