Every morning, beginning at 7:30, I start doing two worker's jobs, preparing and then delivering enough breakfast foods to feed 200 7th and 8th Graders. From 7:30 -7:55, (after my freezer/cooler stocking duties,) I load up a large rolling insulated cart we call a, "Cambro," (like the folks use in hospitals) and roll it, loaded down with juice, milk, and whatever breakfast entre we shove into the oven that morning and head for the gym. Today, for example, it was 210 chicken biscuits and 200 packages of apple slices, 210 juice and 50 milk, (yes the rumors are true: Middle Schoolers hate milk,) and off I go. I head from the cafeteria kitchen, down the hallways, saying hello to the fine school staff, etc., as I go, sometimes stopping at a classroom or office here or there to say, "hey" and drop off something, because Alex is a nice guy and he believes in the magic of networking. But I'm headed outside, first along a descending sidewalk that passes under a large outdoor pavilion which end at the stairs to the gym. I ascend the winding wheelchair ramp, my cart laden with about 100 pounds of stuff for the kiddies some of whom will hold open the gym door. Most days, they don't and I manage on my own. Welcome to Middle School lack of civility. AKA: My World.
I go into the gym and take my spot along the edge of the muti-purpose sports court and one of the teachers screams once I stop: "Seventh Graders! Get Your Breakfast!" and we're off to the races.
They get in line, (the way folks get politely in line at Black Friday sales, ) and I start handing out the goodies at rabbit speed making very short work of it. This amazing act of artful efficiency will take no less than fifteen minutes but feeds roughly 100 7th graders, and is then repeated for the 8th graders. Said 8th graders are summoned to my goodie cart by the same brilliant phrase delivered at the same jarring decibel strength by the same brilliant teacher. On cue from me. It's a thing.
This ritual repeats itself each morning five days a week. I'm used to it. Sometimes one of the teachers will try to help but, honestly, is there anything worse that having that well-intended person "help" you in a way that just makes you want to hit them with something heavy?
So now imagine six people needing to make 600 sack lunches. Imagine being the person a teacher came to with, "Oh, by the way, we're going to need sack lunches on testing day. Who do I talk to?"
"For the whole school. Who do I talk to?"
God, lady. Talk to God. It's called prayer.
I mentioned we needed X form filled out with two weeks lead time. And -- as if by divine providence -- an email came from the Principle a few hours later. What are the odds?
Much scrambling was begun by management to secure enough victuals to stuff 1,200 sacks to include among other goodies -- everyone's favorite -- celery sticks. Oh yeah, that will teach 'em.
Now imagine instead of having only one 1/2 hour for one person to get 200 breakfasts ready six people will have four hours to get 600 sack lunches ready. Then imagine some clod co-worker complaining and looking at me and me just laughing. because, well, 200 kids for breakfast...Every. Single. Day. Now imagine having to repeat those 600 sack lunches two days in a row. Thrilling, I know.
You can thank Star testing for all of this, Because, in the state's infinite wisdom, they do not want the kiddies leaving the classrooms on testing day. So, instead of 600 Middle schoolers descending on the cafeteria between 11:00 and noon on testing day, they will get to stay put like good hostages and have lunch slid to them under their dungeon doors, along with a wooden pale of water and a ladle.
I am soooooo glad I am way past the age of attending Jr. High.
Anywho, I promised you drama, but I apologize if I let you down. As a penance here's some high drama that may make up for it: Enjoy.
Or you may want to stab at your eyes with knitting needles. Your call.
Nevertheless, here's hoping you're working it for your smoke-free day.
Peace and gratitude,