Students volunteer to help at lunch line

October 19, 2009 — by Tiffany Tung

As a way of getting more help, the cafeteria staff decided to try something new this year: have “student volunteers” do their part to put out the school’s meals.

“Los Gatos had student volunteers for five years and we decided that we’d try it here,” said cafeteria manager Pam Carlino. “They’re doing a good job.”

Two weeks have passed since the first announcements were made, and since then, two students, freshman Andy Fang and senior Layla Daryan have volunteered to help the cafeteria ladies out.

“I initially signed up because I wanted to serve the school,” said Fang. “The community service hours [were also an important factor in my decision].”

Because the students are still new to working the cash registers in the cafeteria, they are observed by one of the working lunch ladies to ensure they don’t make mistakes in giving change.

“They have to be very accurate since they’re doing the cash register,” said cafeteria manager Pam Carlino. “They make mistakes, but we all make mistakes.”

Fang works at the lunch line on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and Daryan works on Tuesday and Thursdays. They go to the cafeteria immediately after class, and work during the initial rush period , which is often the first 20 minutes of lunch. After the line dies down then they can leave. For their efforts, they get an entrée, a drink and a side.

Lunchtime may be the time when most people interact with their friends, but Fang has not seen this as a major problem, saying he still has time to hang out with his friends on Tuesdays and Thursdays and after his work.

“The lunch ladies are nice, and it’s OK, since it’s only half of lunch,” he said. “Although my friends wouldn’t choose to do what I do during lunch, the benefits of helping the school outweigh my spending of time with my friends.”

Because Fang lacks experience in the job, one of the cafeteria workers will watch over him to make sure he does his job correctly until he is able to do so himself.

“The first day, one of the lunch ladies watched me while I gave change to the students,” he said. “I still don’t know all the prices for the food, though.”

As of right now, Fang does not know how long he will keep his position, but he hopes to keep it as long as possible. Since he began volunteering, another student has started to help out as well.

“I plan to work as long as I can,” said Fang. “I’ll [try] to do this next year as well.”

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