Cafeteria Workers Cook Their Way Into The Heart And Bowl Of Students

Cafeteria+workers+Tom+Lou+%28left%29+and+Keivan+Saffron%2Fphoto+by+Aleah+Camacho%2C+9th
Cafeteria workers Tom Lou (left) and Keivan Saffron/photo by Aleah Camacho, 9th

Cafeteria workers Tom Lou (left) and Keivan Saffron/photo by Aleah Camacho, 9th

Cafeteria workers Tom Lou (left) and Keivan Saffron/photo by Aleah Camacho, 9th

Aleah Camacho, 9th

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Several students eat at school every day but know very little about the workers and what they do.

When it comes to the job that they do, Clairemont cafeteria supervisor Myra Brenal said, “Everybody knows what to do.” They help serve the food and coordinate the production. The employees also need to know the menu, prices, and reduced-price guidelines.

“They have to prepare the food a day before, put it into the walk-in fridge and heat it up the next day,” Brenal added.

The commitment that Brenal and other workers put into their job demonstrates their dedication to the job. Staff work anywhere from 3 hours to almost 7 hours. The earliest they can enter is at 6 in the morning. They are some of the first people to arrive on campus. “My house, it’s far. I live in Spring Valley … there is not a lot of traffic, but I have to leave my house like at five in the morning,” said Brenal.  

Some obligations for food-service workers are that they need to be 18-years-old or older, get on-the-job training and be able to handle cash. They have to reach specific health requirements. According to the online website The Balance.com, they need to wear aprons, gloves, hairnets, wash their hands and keep their working area clean. Doing this protects students from any food-borne diseases. The school wants to prevent any unsanitary situations. It is also essential to know the menus for the carts and cafeteria.

Being able to read, write, and understand English is another qualification, but being bilingual can come with its benefits. In some cases, students can feel more secure. Clairemont high school junior Noelia Mateos says that she feels safer when people speak to her in her primary language, Spanish.  

Staff members are required to take a test to handle food. “We have to take a test because we have to handle the food and we need to know the temperatures. We need to know all that stuff that comes with the work. We need to know how to work the computer, the paperwork, and everything,” said Brenal.

The online website Harvard Business Review reports, “Feeling genuinely appreciated lifts, people, up.”

With all of the work that they do, gratitude helps the workers feel more welcome at school. Noelia Mateos said, “It shows you…that they’re important to the school just as the teachers and the office ladies.”

“I feel like everyone should say thank you and have a nice day,” said Clairemont high school junior Caroline Castro.

Another way to say thank you are vacations. Brenal said, “We are blessed (when it comes to breaks).”

When there are days off for the students, the cafeteria workers are also on break, she added. Time off can help the staff relax. According to the online newspaper of The New York Times, people are more productive when they are relaxed

Students at Clairemont should get to know the staff members more and appreciate them since they are on campus every weekday.

 

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