Behind the Hairnet: Be Appreciative to the Women who Cook Your Lunch

Put the "Mean old Lunch Lady" Stereotype in the Dumpster

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Behind the Hairnet: Be Appreciative to the Women who Cook Your Lunch

Working the Cash Register is no Easy Job

Working the Cash Register is no Easy Job

Anna Valls

Working the Cash Register is no Easy Job

Anna Valls

Anna Valls

Working the Cash Register is no Easy Job

Allison Woods and Anna Valls

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Anna Valls
Cafeteria Ladies Hard at Work at Their Respective Stations

In books and movies, cafeteria ladies are often portrayed as stereotypical wicked old ladies carelessly cooking up mystery meatloaf in hopes of sending kids home sick. But what is life truly like behind the snack cart?

At Harleton High School, you can take that cliche lunch lady stereotype and throw it in the garbage, because our cafeteria ladies are hard-working, considerate, and sweeter than the blue-raspberry applesauce they serve.

Though the few minutes students stand in the lunch line are brief, there is no excuse not to let these women know that they are appreciated. If you were to ask half of the students in line the lunch ladies’ names, you would most likely get blank stares in return.

Tabitha Morris, your local cafeteria lady, shows us that it is not all hairnets and oven mitts behind the counters.

“I’d say my favorite part of the day is serving the kids,” Morris states. “It’s hard to choose a least favorite part, but I’d have to say it’s paperwork.”

Many may not even have a clue that there’s an office behind those doors, but being a cafeteria lady is not just smiles and chatter. Brains and thinking are vital to being a productive food service assistant.

“I value nutrition, even when I don’t want to,” Morris adds. “I don’t agree with some of the laws passed on food.  Sometimes I just want to cook what I want – like scratch cooking or homemade enchiladas.”

Besides cooking and paperwork, cafeteria workers also have to worry about meal planning, maintenance, serving, food storage, record keeping, supply stocking, and health codes.

Most importantly, they want what’s best for the children, even if they do only get to see them briefly.

“We don’t get thanked very often, but we do occasionally. I don’t really feel underappreciated, though. I like to see the smiles on the kid’s faces.” Morris closes sweetly.

So next time you are standing in line, waiting for your delicious hamburger or mouth-watering Crispitos, take a few seconds to thank these oven-heat troopers and tell them you appreciate their services.

After all, considering the drab lunch gossip they overhear from us students and the various smells from the sweaty athletes, they deserve it.

About the Contributors
Allison Woods, Assistant Editor

Allison Woods is a sophomore and is involved in theatre and the fall play. She is also a founding member of the first Project LIt Harleton Book Club.  Ali...

Anna Valls, staff writer

Anna Valls is a sophomore and this is her first year on staff. Anna also participates in the HHS theatre department and competes in One Act Play.    

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Behind the Hairnet: Be Appreciative to the Women who Cook Your Lunch