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A Day in the Life of the Cafeteria Staff

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A Day in the Life of the Cafeteria Staff

Eva Dempsey, Staff

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Right after the lunch bell rings, students pour into the cafeteria with stomachs rumbling, eager to get their first bite since breakfast. Long lines of students that wrap around the room start to grow shorter and shorter as their needs for a delicious meal are satisfied by the hard work and careful preparation of the cafeteria staff. Throughout the day, they are constantly on the move to make sure that each student and teacher is able to get a meal that will make them hungry for more.

A long line forms around the cafeteria, awaiting their second meal of the day.

6:00 AM

 

The first to arrive every morning, Mrs. Rhonda Lyons (Faculty) comes to the school to set up everything necessary for that day. She uses about ninety minutes of her early morning time to prepare all the food for the breakfast bar that is served in the auditorium lobby as students arrive to school. Lyons also makes sure that all workstations are clean and ready for the rest of the cafeteria team.

 

“Myself, I do the odds and ends, the early stuff in the beginning,” said Lyons describing her morning duties. “Getting stuff ready for the girls before they come in because I’m in there the earliest.”

 

8:00 AM

 

After other staff members have started arriving to work, students begin coming off their buses and into the school, hungry for the many options offered at the breakfast bar. The staff as a whole enjoys seeing their hard work pay off in the positive reactions of the students.

Diane Crowe (Faculty) rings up Jaden Pabon (9) at the cash register.

“Probably the satisfaction when the kids compliment and kids are happy with the food we’re making,” said Lyons referring to the most rewarding parts of her job. “And they seem to enjoy the meal and look forward to certain things that we make.”

 

8:45-11:00 AM

 

When the breakfast bar is put away and the lobby is cleared, the real work begins in the kitchen. Chopping up fruit and putting toppings on pizzas, the cafeteria workers continue to get busier and busier as the minutes fly by. It takes a team effort to make sure the lunch lines have enough hot items, sides, and many other meal options to successfully feed the hungry students of James Buchanan High School. These two hours and fifteen minutes are definitely the busiest times of the day for these diligent workers.

Staci McCulloh (Faculty) chops up oranges into slices in preparation for the lunch periods.

“A typical day at work is usually pretty busy and just different things coming at you from all directions,” said Director Adam Carlson (Faculty).

 

11:30 AM-1:30 PM

 

The bell for the first lunch period rings over the school and students rush into the cafeteria with their mouths watering, waiting for a good hot meal. Two staff members take their positions at the cash registers while two more take their positions in the lines, preparing to serve the hungry students. This is the point in the day where the activity in the kitchen slowly dies down. The hard work of preparation has been completed and now all that needs to be done is the serving of meals. The staff hopes that all students are satisfied with their meals and feel confident in their ability to prepare them.

Judy Woodward (Faculty) stays very busy as she serves up deli bar to the hungry students.

“I’m hoping it just makes a positive impact in the students’ day,” said Carlson. “No matter how bad their day is going, they can rely on having a good hot meal from us.”

 

1:45-2:30 PM

 

When the final bell has rung and the cafeteria has emptied itself, the staff works as a team to prepare everything for the next day. Working together, they accomplish tasks such as washing lunch trays, putting everything back in the refrigerator, cleaning up the scraps from the lunch lines, sweeping the kitchen floors and much more. The cafeteria staff members leave at 2:30 PM feeling confident and proud that they have filled hungry stomachs and satisfied cravings. They hope to be constantly learning and trying new things as chefs and workers.

The kitchen after it has been diligently cleaned up by the staff.

“Just being able to be creative in the kitchen, creative with the menu and getting the staff on board with doing new things,” said Carlson. “And increasing everybody’s ability to cook.”

 

Overall, the day consists of constant business, being up and moving, focusing on their goals, and trying to accomplish everything that they have set out to do for that day.

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