Cafeteria work

The bright spot in my day in Junior high was lunch. The Cafeteria manager had been our neighbor when I was in elementary school and she had babysat me for one of my mothers semesters of school. She told me that they allowed kids to help serve food at lunch time. I forget how, but I was able to be one of those student helpers for eighth and ninth grades. It was a wonderful escape from the teasing and the watching my former friends enjoying themselves while refusing to include me. I felt privileged. And I didn't need my lunch tickets (free lunch program) because I got free meals for working in the cafeteria, so (even though I don't think I was supposed to), I gave my ticket to someone almost everyday (different people), even though I knew it wouldn't change anything. These people who begged me for food, still were not interested in being my friends. But I couldn't let someone go hungry, even if they didn't like me… guess I am weird. Maybe that was enabling them to continue to be mean, or rude, but I wasn't so concerned about that… I figured there was food available and people who would eat it.
MD the manager (different than the MD mentioned earlier), was a sweet lady. She let me have soup from the teachers cafeteria when my newly tightened braces made my teeth too sore to eat the food the kids were being served. She never made me go out to the main eating area after we were done working. I was allowed to stay and help, or watch the ladies clean up after lunch. It was an oasis in the midst of a miserable time of life.
The school had an "adopt a student" day every year. Where a faculty member adopted a child or two and stayed after school to play games and stuff. Every year MD adopted me and one other girl…
That was so cool that she would stay after school with us, even if it was only one day a year…
I am not really sure how I was able to stay working in the cafeteria even though my grades were not passing… in anything (except for Office TA, in 9th grade where I did manage to get an 'A'). But I am thankful for it. I had a safe place to be, a friendly place where I was liked and accepted.


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