By Social Media Editor: Cassie Bondie
When we were in elementary school, students used to be released from the cafeteria for recess based on whose table was the cleanest. Lunch ladies would wander around the room and point out trash that we missed. We were told to recycle our milk cartons, and be polite to those working in the cafeteria. And, for the most part, we were.
Middle school was a bit more difficult. In middle school, they stopped telling us to clean up and asking politely. They would make us stay in for recess and clean our own table if we left trash all over it. After all, we were preteens and teenagers, and there were about fifty trash cans in the room. Even if we were too tired to walk to a trash can after our hard morning of schoolwork, we could at least throw our trays in the general direction of the garbage in a pathetic attempt to make our lives easier. Even if we missed and left a huge mess on the floor, at least we tried, right?
Are you detecting a hint of sarcasm here?
Then high school hit. No more second chances. No more recess to save us. You clean up your mess, or you get detention. We are well into our teenage years now, and we should be much more mature than we were in elementary school almost ten years ago.
Apparently not. Elementary school students would never trash their table on purpose, leaving destroyed white trays, half empty milk cartons tipped on their sides, shredded lettuce tossed all over the surface, and nachos crumbled up and sprinkled on top. In fact, elementary school students would probably have had the dignity to clean that up, even if it wasn’t them who made the mess. They wouldn’t have laughed or stared or found it amusing. No, the seven- and eight-year-olds would have found it in their hearts to make the lives of the lunch ladies around them easier.
We are not so dignified.
Middle school students wouldn’t have left a giant refrigerator holding milk half-opened and tipped over on a cart, where it could have fallen and injured someone, unmentioned and left for the lunch ladies to notice on their own. Middle school students would have spoken up and told someone, even if they were a whole two feet away. And they wouldn’t expect it’s okay to leave a mess, because, after all, that’s why the school has custodians. Middle school students would have known better.
We are not so smart.
And, most importantly, any elementary school student or middle school student would ask politely when the food they wanted was not currently available to be taken. They would have waited patiently without glaring or calling the lunch ladies names for their food to be ready. They would have given the lunch lady a smile and they would have thanked them for their service.
There’s a reason lunch ladies get paid, and we do not.
When you see a lunch lady almost in tears during A-lunch at HHS because students have already been so horrible, it really tugs at the heart strings. So let’s take a minute out of our day to be kind to the women who spend all morning getting food ready for us. Food that we probably don’t even deserve.