Not all superheroes wear capes. One of our own Harvard superhero wears an Annenberg apron and a name-tag that reads: “John.” When the p-set woes have got you down and you finally decide to treat yourself to a much-needed Berg break, who else could brighten your day like trusty John S. Martin? We headed over to the Berg to get the scoop on the man behind the smile. Here's what we found out:
For seven years, John has been welcoming hungry Harvard freshmen at the Annenberg, and at Leverett House for the previous six.
What's your favorite part of the job?
"That's easy—you guys".
How do you remember names so quickly?
“It comes naturally. If I don’t remember their name, I’ll remember their last name, or that they’re from Chicago, or what sport they play. I do it to make myself feel comfortable, and to make you guys feel comfortable.”
What is your trick to help a freshman having a bad day?
"I like to come up with something cheesy like “Smiles are free today!” because everyone would rather laugh than cry, right?"
What is your least favorite part of the job?
“Definitely tourists. It’s just really frustrating because there are signs outside in like 6 different languages. It also poses a security threat. There should be security guards here. Sometimes you guys, students, don’t feel safe. Some days I wish I had a taser.”
Any last advice?
“Treat other people the way you wanna be treated, right? You can tell who’s having a bad day.”
So next time you come across someone who seems down, think to yourself, “WWJD: What Would John Do?”