Adventures of a Lunch Lady

Lunch Lady Land

Ok, you know how in my about page I tell you my life is like a movie? I always hear, “only you would get yourself in that situation.” Well, put another tally mark on the ol’ excel spreadsheet I know you all are keeping track on!

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning and we’re off to sign Lil’ bear up for Pee-Wee baseball (aka T-ball) and I see a big yellow banner. It says, “Child Nutritionist.” Ok….I went to school for a health related degree. I took a few nutrition classes. I have a child. I took down the number and called on Monday.

punchin' the time clock

I passed the “personality test” (phew!!…that was kinda nerve wracking…my personality isn’t my best trait!!!) On to the next step. I go in for an interview and she says, “You know this is for a “child nutrition professional” position, or what used to be called, “lunch lady.”…………………………………………………(que the sound of dripping water from a faucet)……………………………………………………………..(pick my right hand up from its lady like position on my lap and slowly push my lower jaw back up to meet the top jaw)………………………………..

I say, “oh, pssshhht, ya, of course,  that’s cool.”…………………..Um what? Why did I say that? What would the alternative have been? “Oh really? Well that sucks, peace out girl scout!?” I don’t think so! I think what went through my mind during the time that the faucet was running and my jaw was hanging was, “ok, I haven’t worked in 5 years; I could put down “child nutritionist” on my resume and look super cool; it’s a no brainer job; I’d be busy and not bored; I’d get to see all the cute lil kids eating their sloppy joes.”

Let’s be honest. We all know I’m not the brightest crayon in the box…there is NO way I thought of ALL those things in that short amount of time, (but I think I sort of did!) It sounded fun. It sounded like a great way to close the gap on my non working status. I thought I could make some extra casholi for the fam and feel more independent. I didn’t really care so much about the adult interaction as one would think. I like my adult convo’s to take place online or through text…or at a pub. I can talk better when the lights are dimmed:)

so scared of working after so long!

Scared! I hope they’re nice!

So I show up in my lunch lady shirt, pants, approved non-slip sneakers, hair net and name tag. It was a great first day. I stayed busy. I helped kids. I scooped Sloppy Joes and tater tots. Nope. I’m not even kidding. I actually served Sloppy Joes on my first day of lunch lady duty! I couldn’t wait to get home and tell Big bear! “I know you kids like ’em extra shloppy!” We had joked about this quote from Billy Madison many a times! I actually broke a sweat mopping the floor. It’s not all fun and games people! I had to wash out a vat of sticky, hardened on, smelly broccoli and cheese soup. I wiped bean burritos off the floor. I actually wanted to try one of the tater tots! I loved those when I was a kid.

thumbs up to work!

I got this!

At the end of the first day I went to pick up my son, Lil’ bear. It was so exciting. I couldn’t wait to hug him! He was asleep on his lil blue nap mat, drooling like said faucet from my interview. It felt great to hold him. He had to stay after school for a couple of hours, which he normally doesn’t do.

Well folks, let’s just say I wasn’t bringing home the bacon I thought I would. Between the cost of after-care for Lil’ bear and what I was getting paid, it was a break even kind of situation. As much as I loved seeing if I could beat my time on putting on those latex gloves, I had to bid my dream of being a workin’ girl goodbye.

After 3 days of serving Shloppy Joes, bean burritos, fruit cocktail and milk cartons, I hung up my hair net and returned my super suction cup sneakers, name tag and shirts. I will always remember my fellow lunch ladies. Some of them have worked there 30 years! They are hard workers, were very accepting and helpful and I have so much respect for what they do day after day. Those ladies are tough, smart, and know how to make the students and teachers happy, happy, happy!

* I’ll let y’all in on a lil secret. I think that part of the reason I was accepted so readily was that I purposely went in there looking a “hot mess.” I know girls are catty and never like a blonde, let alone a beauty like myself, so I put my hair in a messy, no makeup, no chapstick and left a stain on my yoga pants. If I was to waltz in there looking all Marilyn Monroe, I’m sure they would have stuck me on dish duty all day long and then sent me in the back to sort through the tater tots. *

So there you have it. I have a Master’s Degree and the first job I take after a 5 year hiatus is as a child nutrition professional lunch lady. The things I get myself into…Chalk up another Adventure to Goldilox’s life!

This was me: (click the pic)

shhhloppy joes extra shloppy!

8 Comments on Adventures of a Lunch Lady

  1. Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry
    March 3, 2014 at 4:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Awesome! I love this…:) when our kids were still in elementary school, I was the “lunch/yard duty” mom…I was not behind the counter serving and having a “uniform” but was on the other side walking around tables, opening milks and packages for kids and finding myself telling them to finish their lunches {not to waste food} OR caught myself telling some kids to let their parents know that packing processed food or soda was not healthy {ooppsss Oh yes I did} anyway good for you on this new venture :) I am sure we will hear more about it LOL
    Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry recently posted…Lorna Jane Week Three Move Nourish BelieveMy Profile

    • Dawn
      March 3, 2014 at 5:17 pm (2 years ago)

      It was a very eye opening 3 days!! I now know the process my son will go through when he goes to kindergarten and I can prepare him a little bit! That’s so funny you told them to tell their parents to not pack processed foods and soda! Go you!! How long did you do this job?

  2. Cara
    March 3, 2014 at 6:24 pm (2 years ago)

    Case loves the picture of you on the way to work! I was reading this & he saw you & died laughing! Took me a while to read because he kept saying, “back up! back up!” until I scrolled back to your picture & he would laugh. Girl, you are so funny!
    Cara recently posted…Making a Fashion Statement | By Cara McBroomMy Profile

    • Dawn
      March 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm (2 years ago)

      I might have to upload that video! Omg, Case, you make my day all the time!!

  3. Kate
    March 3, 2014 at 10:23 pm (2 years ago)

    haha! I would have responded the same way, only I just would have gone home then called and left a voice message politely declining the position lol I do love Billy Madison though, that movie always cheers me up!
    Kate recently posted…Menu Plan Monday #41My Profile

    • Dawn
      March 4, 2014 at 6:32 pm (2 years ago)

      I should have. I talked myself into thinking it would be great and fun and perfect! I really wanted it to work out! I nearly died when they said, “today we’re serving sloppy joes!”

  4. Tom
    March 5, 2014 at 3:15 am (2 years ago)

    I would just like to say, you are kind of awesome, not totally awesome, but well on your way. I love you and keep up the good work!

    • Dawn
      March 5, 2014 at 3:20 am (2 years ago)

      Well, you are my better half, so you are the totally awesome one…I aspire to be totally awesome like you :)


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