Some People Should Not Work With Children

, , , , , , | Learning | February 24, 2019

I work with kindergarten students with special needs. A majority of the students I work with are on the autism spectrum, and because this school is small, every staff member who has been around for a long while knows my students. The cafeteria staff is also well aware, and knows most of the students by name, especially kindergarteners.

I was in line with one of my girls on the spectrum, who normally is very self-sufficient and doesn’t need me one-on-one very often. I just happened to be with her for lunch due to my other students being out of school, or not in lunch at that time.

Lunch was hot dogs, with optional chili and optional cheese. Unbeknownst to me, students weren’t allowed to get cheese unless they had chili. My student only wanted cheese, so she poured some melted cheese onto the hotdog, just in time for the lunch lady to yell at her from across the room, “No chili, no cheese!”

My student started bawling for fear of being in trouble.

The lunch lady then took the hotdog off her plate and placed a plain one on it, mumbling about students not paying attention and wasting food.

I had another member of cafeteria staff make fun of one of my boys on the spectrum, who is self-sufficient and will get his own items, even if it means returning items an adult placed on his tray. When I mentioned that he had OCD, the staff member rolled her eyes and proceeded to mock him.

Both students were six years old at the time of these stories.

Sometimes, I have to remind myself that prison orange is not my color and that these students need me more.

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Calorie Bombs Are Explosively Delicious

, , , , , , | Right | December 21, 2018

(I am a customer grabbing a quick lunch in a hospital cafeteria. I see that they have a self-serve salad bar, so I make myself a salad, but I realize they are out of croutons. I notice an employee filling up the empty bin of tomatoes, so I approach her.)

Me: “Excuse me, miss, when you get a chance, would you be able to refill the croutons? It seems you’re out, and I love those things.”

Employee: “Sure thing! I can do those right now; just give me a sec…”

(Another customer standing nearby interrupts her.)

Customer: *in a very angry tone* “Don’t you dare put any more croutons out; those are like little calorie bombs! They are so bad for me; they will kill me. My mom is already in the hospital and now you are trying to kill me.”

Employee: “Well, ma’am, you don’t have to put any on your salad if you think they will make you sick, but other people…”

Customer: *interrupting again* “WHO GIVES A FLYING F*** ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE?! THEY ARE CALORIE BOMBS AND THEY WILL KILL ME!” *turns to me* “And they will kill you, too, if you’re not careful. CALORIE BOMBS!”

(She then literally ran out of the cafeteria while the employee and I just stared at each other. She refilled the croutons, and I put some on my salad, but I have to say I now think twice every time I use a salad bar when loading up with “calorie bombs.”)

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Marketplace Disgrace

, , , , | Working | October 18, 2018

Me: “I’ll have the turkey, lettuce, and avocado sandwich, please.”

(The employee makes my sandwich and writes the cost for a turkey sandwich, extra for avocado, on the wrapper.)

Me: “This is a ‘Marketplace sandwich,’ without the Swiss cheese. Why are you charging more?”

Employee: “How did you order it? Did you order a Marketplace sandwich?”

Me: “No. I see what happened. I ordered the components… but it’s exactly the same, except the cheese.”

Employee: “You should have ordered a Marketplace sandwich.”

Me: “Okay, yes, I understand, but can’t you just rewrite the price?”

Employee: “I can’t charge you for a Marketplace sandwich if you didn’t order one.”

Me: “But it’s the same thing.”

(The employee then THREW AWAY THE SANDWICH and proceeded to make a Marketplace. I was speechless.)

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The Director Is A Bad Apple

, , , , , | Working | May 11, 2018

(I am working as a prep cook in a cafeteria that serves over 1000 people daily. For some reason, I am occasionally asked to recycle old food from other stations through my station. For example, I was once asked to make breakfast yogurt parfaits using crushed stale cookies and fruit that was starting to turn. I refused. I am at my station when the director comes walking through the kitchen:)

Director: “Hey, [My Name], can you do something with this?”

(He sets a single apple — rotten on one end — down on my cutting board.)

Me: “Yes, sir, I can!”

(I wait until he has left the kitchen, and then I nudge the apple off my cutting board into the wastebasket.)

Me: “Done. Easy.”

(No one ever came back to check what salad I made for over 1000 people with a single half-rotten apple.)

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Making A Veal Out Of It

, , , , , , | Working | May 11, 2018

The manager of the cafeteria for the dorms I lived in was notorious for picking the cheapest food he could get, regardless of whether students wanted to eat it.

One such food was breaded veal cutlets, which few students wanted. His “solution” to this problem was to not allow students to take other foods unless they took the veal, as well. Of course, this meant most of it went straight to the trash. To add insult to injury, the cafeteria was full of posters with quotes about how students should not waste food and how people in other countries were starving.

One day, when veal was served for the fourth time in a month, I went around and asked everyone for their veal. I ended up with a tray with a two-foot high mountain of veal that must have weighed about 20 pounds. I then wrote, “No More Veal,” on a napkin, pinned it to the top of the pile of meat with a knife, and sent it through the dishwashing line.

Apparently, the message was received, as we did not have veal again for about three months.

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