Friday, March 24, 2006

WTM's Guide to Lunch Duty

That's right. Lunchroom duty. In the elementary schools where the children all dress like identical little plaid clones of one another, complete with matching headbands, scrunchies and socks that come at least two inches above the tops of their shoes (can't show those sexy ankles!), there is no money left in the pot at the end of the day to pay people to run the lunchroom. SO - once again, it falls to the parents. And let's just call a spade a spade here - the moms. Yes, I'll admit. There are a few browbeaten dads who stand the post now and again, but for all intents and purposes, it's the moms who bask in the glory of this oh, so coveted, volunteer position. Remember, my white trash comrades, about a month ago, when I swore off all volunteering for the rest of eternity? Well, here's the thing. As you may or may not know, you sign up for these little joys at the BEGINNING of the school year, so, as luck would have it, they've got you for its entirety. If my WT calculations serve me correctly, there are exactly 37 days of school left, and come May 25th, I am sooooo out of there. I can't even tell you how out of there I am. It's quite liberating, really, counting down the days until my volunteer days are done. After my last "shift", I never intend to serve in this capacity again. But until can only claim so many cramps, migraines and hangovers before being discovered the true slacker that she is. Let me just enlighten you as to why being a cafeteria lady was never one of my career aspirations, even as a small girl. Here, just a few of the reasons...
  • The HAIR NET - um net. We have to wear them. My children look on gleefully as I dish out the pears while sporting this piece of 1950's history. Just call me June Cleaver .
  • No samples - not even one little crumb! In the old days, we could scarf down the deformed brownies in between shifts of students but no longer. They literally make us COUNT the packages of crackers that we set out, and we can't even have one of those.
  • We are made to ration out the food as if we may run out at any moment. You would think we were living in the Depression, really. Like it would kill us to give little Bruiser that extra green bean on his tray.
  • We have to go around and collect the reusable plastic spoons and forks as the kids finish eating (so they don't accidentally throw them away). If they do throw them away, either we have to make the kids rifle through the trash for the 7 cent spoon (and how disgusting is that?), or we have to do it ourselves (as if...).
  • Cleaning the tables - have you ever cleaned up after 75 first graders ate chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, gravy and canned fruit? Not pretty. And don't even get me started on taco day...
  • Cleaning the "cold table" after lunch is finished being served. Don't get me wrong. We have the latest tools available - 1 ice scraper. know...the kind you used to scrape the windows on your '76 Datsun? That's the one. You scrape it down until all the ice is gone, sanitize it and dry it until it sparkles like a Lexus. Apparently, purchasing more than one scraper is out of the question.
When I got my bachelor's degree, low these many years ago, I have to say, I never thought this was how I'd be using it. In fact, I even had enough hours for two degrees (don't ask...sixty-five year plan...). Some days the old income and even the panty hose and headaches of daycare for my little cherubs sound good in comparison to Volunteer Hell. But then, I remember that we only pass through once, and even if all I get is the occasional hug from someone else's kid in the lunchroom (while nary a glance from my own...), I'm there for my children when they need me. And from time to time, they do. And it sure does feel good when they do need you, doesn't it? Even if fleetingly? How Pollyanna does that make me sound? So if you ever have to serve lunch duty, just remember these words for the person in charge, and you'll do just fine..."I don't think that's in my contract." Delivered with a plastic smile, how could they object?! Oh! And remember to bring your own WT apron from home, 'cuz' what's the fun in wearing that stupid polyester one that they give you there? Go easy here, though, ladies. The muffia is everywhere, especially the lunchroom. And what better place for them to eat you for lunch than the school cafeteria?! Chow!!


Blogger ^starshine said...

Um yeah...that is definitely a "job" I wouldn't want to volunteer for. How do they work with the health department on that plastic reuseable silver ware?

Back in my chain food restaurant days I had to clean the plate chiller and it always had a layer of ice. I would try to defrost as much of it as possible first with a towel rinsed in hot water.

If I were you, I would get a fashionable do-rag to wear ontop of that hair net. I say, "What works for Axle Rose can work for White Trash Queen!"

3/24/2006 8:18 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

I cannot believe they make you recycle the spoons and forks! That is so disgusting! I used to work at a diner that tried to make me "recycle" the rolls we put out in the basket. If people didn't eat them, we were supposed to put them back in the bread warmer. When I refused (for obvious reasons) they basically told me I had an attitude. The job went downhill from there.

3/24/2006 9:55 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh wow. You broght me back to my Catholic school days. (shudder!) In eighth grade, two kids were picked each week to help serve lunch. This was a cool thing because you got out of 30 minutes of class each day for a week. And you got a free pint of milk those days. (Thus saving yourself a whole .15 cents!)

3/26/2006 9:49 AM  
Blogger NeverEnough said...

Aww - that was sweet.

3/28/2006 11:53 AM  
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