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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lessons from the lunchlady: the final chapter of 2013

The kitchen is closed and the lessons have all been taught.

The trays are stacked and cleaned and soon the freezer will be emptied and turned off. My first year as manager has come to a close. I must admit that the transition from part time to full time was a lot harder than I expected.

At times I felt like I simply couldn't do all that needed to be done. The funny thing about summer break is it always comes just when you need it.

Here's a few things I learned this year.

Kindergartners are simply my all time favorite. There's been much talk in my district about returning to half day kindergarten and I truly hope they do not. First and foremost, I think this would be a HUGE step backwards and not in the best interest for our district. But the second reason is simply selfish. I would miss those little buggers in the lunch line. Who would ask me for baby grapes (blueberries)? Who would tell me the white broccoli is the bestest? Who would eat the bananas without peeling them?

Lunch participation is a hard thing to predict. I'd like to figure out why my free kids aren't eating. I'd like to figure out why some kids come to breakfast and others don't. I'd like to increase participation. I'd like to make sure the kids that are hungry are getting enough to eat. I'd like to figure out how to do that.

Ordering food isn't as intimidating as I thought it would be. When I first had to do the ordering, I thought I'd never get it down. But as the year progressed, I got a little better at it. Sure, I forgot to order pickles and I sometimes had way too much pineapple but it all worked out.

It's best to be over prepared. I planned for about 300 people at VIP breakfast even though only about 55 RSVP'd. That turned out to be a pretty good estimate. Apparently RSVPing isn't all that fashionable.

Most days, I love my job. Since accepting my position as kitchen manager, I've been offered two other jobs, both which paid significantly more. Turns out, I truly like what I do. Sure, some might not think it all that important. Some might think it beneath them. But in the long run, it only matters what I think. And I think that doing something you feel passionately about makes a difference.

And isn't making a difference what life is all about?

4 random thoughts:

Enfys said...

Well done on your first year, now relax and have a great summer x

Jon DeepBlue said...

Working full time AND raising three kids.

Give yourself a nice pat on the back. You well deserve a break. ;)

Have a fabulous summer


kisatrtle said...

Thanks Jon!

kisatrtle said...


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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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