A call to all: forgive the lunch ladies for your “trashworthy lunch” and blame someone else

Disclaimer: this article is a rebuttal towards the “Trashworthy School Lunch” article published in the Opinions section written by Lisa Yi last issue of the Wolfpacket. It is intended to uplift and defend our lunch ladies rather than bring down an issue that they cannot control.
As the bell rings at exactly 12:52 P.M. on a Thursday afternoon at Claremont High School, the central quad is filled with long lines of students waiting from all sides of the outside foliage. It is typical to see these students in groups or by themselves, awaiting a much anticipated lunch from the Wolfpack Quick Cafes. Though lines are long and crowded, they usually speed by with quick work from lunch ladies that hand out various foods and drinks. However, it has come to many’s attention, including mine, that the lunch students waited in line during their 30 minute lunch break may not exceed their expectations.
And this, my friends, is what I call b*llsh*t.
What were you expecting, really? A McDonald’s Happy Meal with a four-piece of chicken nuggets and a toy inside? Maybe a Wingstop six-piece boneless with a Dr. Pepper? I understand and hear your disappointment when you look at the calendar posted outside of meal carts and see chicken sandwiches or breakfast for lunch; however, that does not justify the rude behavior and ignorance that is behind our actions and reactions to our lunch ladies. Do you think that it is their fault that they are serving such things? Do you think they want students to be unhappy with the food given to them (not to mention, for free)? Truthfully, I believe it is completely ignorant with these opinions swirling around the campus, saying that “our lunches are trash,” “we need something better than this,” and “it’s inedible.” Now, is it really inedible or are you just used to organic, non-GMO lunches from Whole Foods?
It is imbecilic of us to complain about these foods we get for free, these lunches that we no longer have to pay a mere three dollars and 50 cents for. As I said before, I understand that some lunches may not be what you perceive as five-star quality, but let me ask you a simple question: how do you think these lunch ladies feel? How do you think they feel when you complain about the food you are receiving after they spent countless hours before actual meal time, prepping the food and making sure everything is clean and safe to eat? How do you think they feel when you treat them as below a human being, when taking the food they spent their time and energy on and not even having the decency to say thank you? Do you think you are above them, to treat these hard-working people with such disrespect and criticism over something that they cannot control? Let us step out of our white Air Force Ones for a second and step into their shoes: prepping different varieties of food each day in the kitchen without complaining or remarks, standing behind their carts, making sure everyone is wearing a mask over their nose before serving food, giving out food as quickly as possible to ensure no complaints, and getting a rude response in return. The bottom line is, these lunch ladies deserve better.
I myself have gotten lunch from the ladies for the past few weeks and when I get to the front of the line, I respond with “please,” “thank you,” and “have a nice day.” Every time I say these things— which are out of basic human respect for the deserving worker in front of me— the lady in front of me replies with a shocked “thank you,” as if it was so rare for a student to say something so nice to them. Is this the point we are at, CHS, where our own lunch ladies are surprised that we thank them and tell them to have a nice day?
Perhaps you had not even realized that you were being so rude or ignorant to these ladies, or maybe you had and you did not care all that much. Regardless, our actions need to change. Instead of complaining about the lunch you are getting, look on the other side or be happy with this free food you can eat with your friends on a sunny day (and not leave on the ground for others to clean up, for that matter). If the food you are eating truly is that bad and you are unhappy with it, Doordashing or packing a lunch yourself in the morning is always an option. But do not go ahead and blame our hard-working lunch ladies for the food you are unhappy with. It pays off to be a nice person and it would not hurt to start off with these ladies.