10 Questions with Chris Serroni
As food service receiver for more than 20 years at Cape Cod Hospital, Chris works hard to make sure the food operation runs smoothly despite supply shortages and delivery delays presented during COVID.
Chris Serroni, who started at Cape Cod Hospital in 1998 as a pot washer and dishwasher after graduating from Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, worked his way up to his current position of Food Service Receiver. In this role, Serroni is responsible for ordering and receiving deliveries, from soda and snacks to pudding, ice cream and a variety of meats. He says on average, they supply food for around 270 trays a day for visitors, patients and employees. “Everything you see here comes through me,” says Serroni. Since COVID-19 started, Serroni says he faces many challenges with supply shortages and delivery delays. “It’s a lot more difficult with COVID. You have to be creative.” Right now, for instance, it’s very challenging to get paper products, explains Serroni. “You might get the cup, but not the lids. Or sometimes patients might have to eat their food out of a bowl instead of a plate.”
On a typical day, Serroni may start as early as 3 a.m. and sometimes stay as late as 3 p.m. “I’m here until the job is done because if I don’t finish it, there’s no one after me to pick it up. It’s one of those jobs that you kind of own it.” We sat down with Serroni recently to discuss life outside of work, his love for animals and his favorite sub sandwiches.
1. What was your first job and what was your big takeaway?
Working for A&P supermarket in Dennis Port and South Yarmouth. It taught me the best ways of doing everything. Back then, nobody wanted to clean the back rooms and I was the guy in the back organizing. The company taught you the old-fashioned way. I was a teenager and sometimes I didn’t want to go out in the rain to get the carriages! And they would say, “Yes, you are.” The harshness kind of worked because it taught you a good work ethic and that’s one of the things I pride myself with. I will work until I’m done. I dedicate myself to the job. I never went to college, so my thing was, if you’re not going to college, I am going to work hard.
2. If you could eat one food forever, what would it be?
You could put me in D’Angelo’s all day with a BLT and everything on it. It sounds so simple, but I’m not a fancy food person working in a kitchen all day. You want something convenient. My wife and I both love D’Angelo’s and Papa Gino’s.
3. What are you most excited about these days?
There isn’t too much to be excited about, but I would be excited if this pandemic would end. I didn’t make my teens, 20s and 30s too easy on myself (I had kids when I was very young) so I’m looking forward to things settling down a little bit. I met my (second) wife, Elizabeth Serroni, here at Cape Cod Hospital. She’s a diagnostic tech. She’s wonderful to me and she changed my attitude on life and made it positive. Most of the time, I just look forward to relaxing. I’m a quiet person.
4. What is next on your to-do list?
To see my family in Florida. They are all from up here [Quincy]. I am the only native Cape Codder. But they moved to the Cape when they had me. My father, aunt and uncle are in their 70s now and they retired to Florida. Before the pandemic, we would make sure we visited them down there. They live in Inverness (North/Central Florida) and my wife’s parents have a part-time place south of Sarasota.
5. Favorite time of day?
Right around dinner time because that means I’ve gotten out of work, I can kick back, put my feet up and just relax.
6. What do you keep an emergency supply of?
Since the pandemic, everything that we ran out of last year: toilet paper, hand sanitizer, extra masks. I haven’t had to use any of it, but at least it’s there for a rainy day.
7. What is your favorite movie?
I’m not a big movie buff, but I am an ’80s and ’90s guy. If you stick me in front of comedies like “Dumb and Dumber” or “Road Trip,” I’d be pretty happy.
8. Name something you can’t do.
I can’t drive a stick shift, I don’t write in cursive very well, and I have horrible balance. I can’t roller blade, ice skate or skateboard. I can ride a bike with no hands, but I can’t roller blade.
9. What do you do in your spare time?
My wife and I really love our two dogs—both rescues. We are big animal people. We have a Border Collie Lab mix, who is going to be 16, and a Terrier Spaniel mix. We also have a black cat. I’ve had a black cat my whole life. It’s my good luck charm. At Christmas time, my wife puts together donations, including blankets, for our local animal shelter. I have always liked animals, but she got me into them even more. We wish we had a different style house so we could have more animals.
10. If you didn’t live on the Cape, where would you live?
Probably Florida, north of Tampa, where my family lives. It’s rural, calm, peaceful, private and features more open space. But I could never picture myself leaving the Cape completely. In a dream world, I would have two places.