By Jake Kivanc
Nader Abdelati punches in from Monday to Friday and doesn’t miss a beat. Neither does his smile, which, like him, doesn’t seem to take a break.
The son of two Egyptian immigrants, Abdelati, 28, is a married man with two kids. His day is surgically-organized from start to finish, yet he describes himself as a person who feels weightless to the worries of the world.
“Why stress?” he said. “Stress kills you faster, I’m happy to just be here. The staff is always nice, I meet all kinds of great students. I try not to have a temper, y’know? I’m always calm.”
Abdelati has been working at Ryerson Eats for nine years now. Hired on when he was 19, back during a time when he said that Pitman Hall still opened on weekends, Abdelati has been doing it all: maintenance, organizing, cashier. You name it, he’s done it.
Before committing to Ryerson full-time, Abdelati was going to school for business but decided to quit when he realized that academic life wasn’t for him.
“I learn by experience. If someone teaches me something once, I don’t need to see it again. I pick things up very quickly,” he said.
And it’s not just him working at Ryerson: his father, Walid, works at the Hub and his mother, Azza, works at an on-campus Tim Hortons. Family ties are strong and Abdelati says that he owes a lot of his hands-on approach to that aspect.
“My grandfather taught me a lot,” he said. “He was a chef who knew how to speak a number of languages. He showed me how to get things done.”
Currently, Abdelati takes care of all of the non-Coke vending machines on campus by stocking them, collecting the machine’s money and making sure they are in working order.
And that’s just in the morning. On the weekdays, he manages the shipment of goods to Ryerson Eats and works the cashier till in the mornings and afternoons.
Abdelati attributes his ability to multitask all of his roles at the school with the strong time management skills he’s developed.
Some of his days start as early as 5:30 in the morning, but all of them end before he needs to pick his daughter up from school. Abdelati said he likes to keep things practical in order to avoid “complicating things.”
“I don’t worry about breaks,” he said. “I worry about getting my job done efficiently, effectively, and then get out of here.”
After all of the day’s work is done, Abdelati said that he likes to kick back on his couch and play some videogames. Some of his favourites are series’ like Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil, although his dreams are to someday create his own.
“I’m working hard to manage my time even more so I can study video game design,” he said. “I love playing video games. Whenever I’m stressed out, I don’t take it out on anything. I just go down to the basement and play for a few hours. I think it’d be a good suit.”