Comments: 1129 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

Bigdaddyjim254 karma

Is your name Doris? I'm surprised nobody threw that one out yet.

lunchylady255 karma

No...and thank God for that.

Chxnce248 karma


lunchylady393 karma

Probably not. I was too busy slinging food and fantasizing I was on a beach somewhere.

charliebrown2417140 karma

Our school once found a rat in the fryer. Ever happen to you?

lunchylady341 karma

No.They took our fryers, anyways. Everything is baked. No rats in there, either. Well, none that I know of anyways. Actually, we've not had any mice or rats come to think of it? My guess is they see the kids and decide it isn't worth it. I don't blame them.

friedjumboshrimp127 karma

Can i get some Old Bay Seasoning to put on the Tater Tots, is that too much to ask?

lunchylady276 karma

No, it isn't. I'd like to have some flavor on my tots as well. But, God forbid they let us season anything...the Nutrition Police might come and arrest us for breaking the rules.

dkkotoluvsdnl125 karma

Do you ever just get tired of the little kids and them not being polite?

lunchylady359 karma

Very much so. I've seen some pretty bad, and on a lot of occasions, gross stuff go on kid-wise. Just the other day I watched a third grader pick up the top bun of his hamburger and spit in it before he'd even picked up his tray,simply because he didn't like hamburgers. Please and thank you is a foreign concept to a lot of them. It's gotten so bad that instead of picking out the kids who aren't polite, you pick out the one's that are because they are extremely few and far between. There are a lot of them that I wish would just pack so I didn't have to deal with the crap. And what I find weirdest of all is-maybe 1/3 of the 750 kids we feed know their fruits and vegetables. We can have a tub of apples sitting out and I will seriously have a kid say, "Can I have one of those peaches?" It's crazy!

aandwrootbear90 karma

How do you feel about the Adam Sandler lunch lady song? Are you ok with the term lunch lady? I think I'd prefer a different term, not sure what though.

lunchylady270 karma

Good question! I actually LIKE the Lunch Lady song! And I think the title Lunch Lady is pretty hilarious. It's no secret that hairnets don't scream sexy and running around with food all over you isn't much attractive, either. But, what can you do? I'm certainly not up to serving burritos in my Sunday best-I might get applesauce in my pumps. It doesn't bother us, really we joke about it a lot. But to be honest, we do prefer more accurate titles like Food Technician, The Mistresses of Mystery Meat or, if we're feeling sassy... you can just call us Badass.

slaughterhouse-six73 karma


lunchylady139 karma

Hamburger. It is absolutely the most repulsive thing you've ever seen when it is cooked in bulk. It comes in ten pound rolls (and probably just barely meets FDA standards for meat) and you have to break it up like you would at home when you cook it. The difference is, you're cooking about 50-60 pounds of it in this giant kettle and you literally have to get almost elbow deep in it to make sure it breaks up enough. We wear these rubber gloves that go all the way up almost to our shoulders to get it done and between the smell and the sounds? It has ruined me forever. I also hate hot dog wieners-they go in the same giant kettle to cook and when you drain the pot you end up with a face full of hot dog steam. It will certainly turn you off of a LOT of food.

hagger1350 karma

How much trouble will you get in for giving meals to staff?

Some days, my lunch just isn't enough, but I'm not going to pay 3.50 for a hot dog!

lunchylady128 karma

I'm assuming your asking what would happen if we just gave away a hot dog or two here and there? We'd probably get canned. I totally understand the outrage over the prices, especially considering the amount of food you get with it. It's insane to expect an adult to pay an adult rate and get a child's sized serving. Normally, we'll give the adults a larger portion, even though we technically aren't supposed to. It has something to do with the state not reimbursing the schools for adults meals? I'd have to check on it, but it is, as usual, money related. We do try to help out and give more, but we do so at our own risk if someone reports it. I know a lot of people think lunch ladies are jerks because of this very rule! I promise we aren't, and we do try...but we gotta do what we gotta do!

stepheatsnothing50 karma

What do you wish teachers or administration would/could do to make interacting with the kids more positive?

lunchylady72 karma

This is a good question. One of our biggest problems is behavior and because we're on such a tight timeline, we can't really address them like we could/should. Instead of simply dropping your kids off in the lunch line and then leaving, staying to help out with keeping them from bouncing off the walls while we serve would be awesome. Not only can we get done faster, but we can concentrate better on WHO we're serving individually, which in turn ensures that they get what they want. There have been occasions where they are so loud I can't hear anything or, just this past Friday, a little boy spent his time waiting in line busting chocolate milk containers into the milk cooler and we had to take the time to clean it up-which put us behind. It's craziness! I know teacher's are also on a strict schedule and staying interferes with their lunchtime, so I'm not sure how this would work, really? If they could just schedule five extra minutes in there somewhere for the teacher's to stay on until their kids are sitting and eating, that would be IMMENSELY helpful. That extra five minutes would give us what we need without taking away from the teacher...but with schedules it seems almost impossible! I really think this small thing would also keep lunch ladies from feeling so bitter towards teachers. While we know it isn't really your fault and you deserve lunch like everyone else, it's hard not to get a little annoyed when you're in a hurry! Plus, we rarely ever get a chance to actually TALK to the kids because of the constant rush, so this might allow us a little more freedom to get to know some of them!

USS_Slowpoke45 karma

Do you throw away leftovers?

lunchylady109 karma

It depends on what it is. Typically if we have leftover sauce for something like spaghetti, hot dogs or tacos, we can freeze it and use it again. Most other things like soups, anything chicken related, some fruits and veggies are thrown away. I cannot stress how much waste goes on in a school cafeteria, no matter how hard you try to keep from it. But there is an actual law, guideline or rule somewhere that says if it's leftover and perishable-you cannot take it home or give it away-it has to be trashed. I'm not really clear on WHY we can't, honestly. I wish we could. It's sick how many people you could feed in a year with all of the stuff you simply throw away!

chicken_ear34 karma

What goes into the turkey and gravy? I cannot replicate it all.

lunchylady87 karma

The turkey? The turkey is scary. When you open it up it is like this huge, slimy, shiny wad of meat. I often compare it to the part in The Gremlins where the guy feeds Gizmo after midnight and he ends up giving birth to those weird glob-like gremlin baby cocoons. It freaks me out. As far as the gravy goes, it's prepackaged, just add water stuff. I don't know what's in it, but I'm guessing it's a lot of stuff with names like Methyltrexane, turkey leg extract and Glucosomixethylphenidate.

boomerang8833 karma

What's one food you don't serve that you get asked for the most?

lunchylady61 karma

French fries! They took away the deep friers when the new regulations came out, so we don't serve them anymore.

nutsnmilk24 karma

Do you smoke cigarettes? also would you feed the same food to your kids at home? if you have them of course

Does the school ever allow you to create your own menus like restaurant chefs to do? If not who stops this from happening? Is it the corporate suppliers?

lunchylady50 karma

I am a non-smoker. And as far as eating at home it would depend on what it is. My son does like the pizza (I don't), so I would do that. I also like almost all of the soups-veggie and chicken noodle especially. Other than that? No. It's just become so flavorless! As far as menu creation goes, it's unbelievably monitored by the government now. Each meal has a cap on the amount of fat/sodium/calories etc. you can serve. Unfortunately, that eliminates a LOT of stuff. The cafe' managers used to have a lot more control over what they served because there wasn't really anything to stop them. Now they have to be submitted and approved by the state before you're allowed to use them. You can pretty well serve anything you want, but like I said all of the rules now kind of leave you without a whole lot of options. It sucks. They do come in about once a year (the government folks) and check to make sure we're following orders. I do not envy cafeteria managers...it's hard work.

WanderinPonderin23 karma

What food day do the kids love the best? :) I always loved pizza day best, when they served those rectangle, thin crust slices! Mmmm greasy goodness.

By the way, I feel your pain. I was a cook for a summer camp for a summer!

lunchylady42 karma

I LOVED school pizza. Now it just sucks because the crust is some kind of wheaty type stuff, the cheese is low sodium (eww) and the sauce tastes a little funky-overly tomato or something. That might be because of the brand we use, but when they took the grease the flavor went with it! And, God Bless you! I was a camp counselor in my teens and barely survived that, let alone cooking for them!

mason8920 karma

Do you spit in any food, or have even thought of it?

lunchylady59 karma

I've never spit in anything, no. Have I thought about? Yes. And more than once. We all have. Normally when we get annoyed at someone we will go out of our way to make sure that, instead of an adult portion, we give them a kid's size serving of whatever we're having. The bare minimum. You'd be surprised at how mad people get about that...especially since adults have to pay more than the kids do. As for the kids? We may get mad, but we don't mess with the food, period. I'd like to tell you it's because we're moral and good...but mostly it's because we're afraid of karma biting us in our asses or getting caught.

_bugz34 karma

You think elementary kids are bad, you should try a from scratch kitchen with three different restaurants serving to kids that dont eat the food we MUST serve. I worked for a state college, I served about 3000 a day in about a 3.5 hour period. It was more than once, that we had to have campus police come to our location due to students attempting to come behind our counter and TAKE what they wanted. It was a rare thing to hear a please or thank you.

As for spitting in the food, I agree with you on every level, you expect the same respect when you go out to eat, to eat in a place where the kitchen is clean, and food safety is followed. Thank you Lunch Lady, keep up the good work :)

lunchylady36 karma

You know, a lot of kids do try to steal and it amazes me! Thank you!

mason8917 karma

Haha, as a high schooler, it drives me nuts when there serving something like chicken strips, and they only give three small ones. Follow up, what is the meanest, or most disrespectful, annoying thing a kid has done?

lunchylady70 karma

Oh, wow. Where to start? I'd say the worst I've seen thus far is when a little girl (yes, girl) who is probably 1st-2nd grade, looked at my coworker and said, "I don't want pancakes. I want you to get your ass over there and get me three pieces of toast." It was so unexpected all we could do is stand there and stare at her for a minute because we weren't sure we'd heard right. When my coworker asked her to repeat herself she said, "I SAID GET OFF YOUR ASS AND GET ME SOME TOAST YOU BASTARD LADY!" I have to say....after we got over the shock we laughed ourselves sick. Needless to say, she didn't get any freaking toast. Also, this past Thursday I watched a little boy pick his nose (we're talking multiple boogs here) and wipe them in the milk cooler. We had to take everything out and sterilize it. It was disgusting.

MrsLeslie16 karma

How much ketchup do you go through?

lunchylady31 karma

Technically they're only supposed to get two packets a meal, which is ridiculous. We try to just set the packets out so they can get it at will. Typically, we'll go through about two cases of packets and I think there are around 1000 packets per case.