Saturday, April 02, 2011

Is it just me?

So I was at this party last night, chatting with a friend. I asked her how work was going. She has two jobs. By day she is the cook in the lunchroom at the local elementary school, and in the evenings and weekends she is one of the chefs at an outstanding restaurant.

As a former teacher, and student, I don't have such great memories of school lunchrooms. I asked my friend what it was like for her, working in the lunchroom. She said she LOVES it. She said that she way prefers that work to her job in the restaurant.

I said, "yeah, I suppose you don't get complaints from students like you would in the restaurant."

She then launched into the following story:

"Well, some times I do. Take the other day for example. One of the kids came up to me and asked if he could have a little more salt for his spinach. I told him, NO! I decide how much salt goes on the spinach, and it's just right. But then, a second kid came up to me, again asking for some salt for the spinach. Suddenly I had some doubts, I mean, if TWO kids ask for more salt for their spinach. So I asked one of the teachers. I said to her, 'how do you find the spinach today? Is it a little bland?' And she said, 'well, maybe just a little.' So I knew then that I hadn't put enough salt on the spinach! I had to immediately go around and put extra salt on 45 kids' spinach."

Last night, while listening to my friend tell her animated story we both had a chuckle about her mistake with the salt. But then this morning, when I woke up and remembered her story, I realized how very far from my grasp of normal this was. I mean, upon reflection, well, there are a few pieces of the story that just don't fit into my puzzle of how the world works. For example:

--the lunchroom cook is also the chef at one of the finer restaurants in the area.
--they serve spinach to elementary kids...and they EAT it.
--an 8 year old kid knows when spinach needs more salt.
--a second 8 year old kid knows when spinach needs more salt.
--two 8 year old kids care enough about eating their spinach to ASK for more salt.
--the lunch lady cares enough about the food she serves to individually salt 45 plates.

Does any of this strike you guys as odd?


  1. I just say that the lady you met is really cool!

  2. Perhaps it just shows what sophisticated palates those Italian bambinos have !
    On another note, I should add, I was a little bothered that the chef/cook felt she must salt the spinach and not allow the children to do it for themselves ? How did the chef learn how much salt is needed, without some experimentation ?

  3. Odd maybe but nothing that quells my urge to drop everything and move to Italy. The dentist story on the other hand...