The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

Cafeteria Ladies Assist School Lunches


Cafeteria workers scrambling to finish preparing the meals along with the aroma of food that will soon be served in the serving lines both contribute to what happens in the cafeteria right before the first group of students arrive to eat lunch. Workers go back and forth between the kitchen and the serving lines as they set up the food.

With everyone doing what his/her perspective job description entitles him/her to do, everything works like clockwork. By the time the bell rings, signaling for lunch to start, cafeteria workers are in their perspective positions ready to serve the students who buy lunch. Lunch ladies go through tiring days just so that students are able to enjoy a meal.

One of the people who helps out in the cafeteria is Linda Wosel, the cafeteria manager. She got into this profession because she loves seeing kids every day. She had previously worked in elementary and junior high schools, but came to Tompkins because she got offered a promotion and that was a good opportunity for her. She wanted to be able to spend time with her kids at home while also spending time with students at high school. She also loves the students at Tompkins as well as the staff she works with.

Cafeteria manager Linda Wosel helps out, serving students’ lunches. PHOTO BY LAUREN YEE

“I love the staff I work with because they are a very good team. We work well together and they are very supportive. They love what they do and are excellent workers. I love seeing the children because I love interacting with them. They will joke and laugh with me. All of the students here are very nice, so I enjoy that,” Wosel said.

Wosel has a busy schedule from the moment she enters the school building to the moment she leaves campus. She begins her day by starting all of the equipment and getting everything ready for breakfast. Then, she gets paperwork ready for the day. There is a lot of planning involved in being a manager. For example, as part of her job, Wosel regularly makes detailed records of daily menus so that the correct food deliveries come in at the right time. She also orders inventory, helps in the kitchen and helps in the serving lines if needed. At the end of the day, she assists with counting the food, balancing the money and making sure the kitchen is closed down.

“I’m in charge of work orders, planning, equipment and how many meals to serve. I’m also responsible for all of the employees,” Wosel said.

Another person who helps out with school lunches is Lisa Rubio, Wosel’s field specialist. At times she replaces Wosel by performing Wosel’s duties. Other times she writes a report of Wosel, making sure that she is following the rules and is doing what is required. Some of the duties that she performs are working on her report of the manager, observing breakfast, checking on the work that gets done in the kitchen and observing the cashiers.

“I’m here to help. My role is to be here for the manager and the staff if and when they need me,” Rubio said.

There is a lot of work that gets done in the kitchen that Rubio and Wosel have to observe and manage. For example, on delivery days, about four of the cafeteria staff workers spend about an hour and a half putting away heavy boxes of food in the freezer room. The cafeteria kitchen is broken down into different sections. Different foods get cooked in different parts of the kitchen and the staff is always busy with either handling food or serving the students in the serving lines.

“The staff here is very responsible because they prepare everything that has to be prepared on time. Before lunch starts, they have the food set up in the serving lines, and are ready to serve the students with a smile,” Rubio said.

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