I don’t know what comes to everyone else’s mind when they hear the words “bring goodies to share,” but I tend to think this means I will bring some sort of tasty treat and in exchange, I will get to nosh on the tasty treats brought in by others as well. Apparently at my school, what this actually means is, “bring goodies and have them devoured by everyone lucky enough to have lunch before you while you open empty crock pots hoping someone has overlooked a meatball or left a wayward mini hotdog in some sort of syrupy sauce you’ll hate anyway behind.” A long sentence, I know, but that’s the sentiment at least half my staff abides by.
Every year we get a flier telling is it’s that time to try to get as fat as Jolly Old Saint Nick by bringing in treats to put in the lunch room. While it is never actually stated anywhere on the flier, this wreaks of pitch-in and when it was explained to me by senior staffers, it was supposed to be a sort of four day lunch smorgasboard. The first day of the first year I worked at my current school I brought nothing for lunch assuming there would be lots to snack on. I went very, very hungry. By the time my lunch came around, there were a few meatballs, a smattering of crackers with some cheese-like dip and some celery with some other sort of cheese-like dip. That’s when people in my lunch told me they usually hold off putting their food out until our lunch because the people in the earlier lunches devour everything and we are generally left with nothing. This annoyed me. I mean, I brought in a big batch of spinach dip for everyone to enjoy and by the time I got down to eat, I didn’t get a single spoonful. The next year I was smart and hid my food away until it was my turn to eat.
This year has been the leanest year yet. At first I thought everyone in the earlier lunches had to be absolute pigs. Then today I cut through the teacher’s lounge to get to my mailbox only to find a rather impressive spread laid out. I saddled up to the table to see what I could look forward to. To my amazement, although there were several dishes out on the table, all of them were already half empty. It wasn’t even 10 am and the giant pizza puffs were cut in half. The huge plate of taco dip was down to a few spoonfuls. There were only half a dozen tasty looking lemon bars. During the time I was in the office, I saw 10 different staff members walk out with heaping plates of food, all well before lunch. I figured out where all the food was going to.
What burns me up, is not just the fact that these people decided to eat long before lunch. It’s not even just that they took second helpings when they actually got to come down for their regulary scheduled lunches. No, what really just burns me up is the total lack of consideration for their fellow colleagues who are not fortunate enough to have an early prep period. By the time I made it to the lounge at lunch time, the only thing still on the table was a plate of some sort of nut bread. New food items had replaced the ones I saw earlier, but not a crumb from the massive trays I’d seen only two hours earlier remained.
One of my colleagues told me she’d made a huge batch of 60 deviled eggs. Luckily she was smart and saved some back for her own lunch period, because by the time I got down there, not a single egg was left. Now, our staff is only about 80 people, half of whom have lunch either with me or after me. I know everyone on staff can’t possibly like deviled eggs which means that people were not just taking one egg in an attempt to share, but what had to be two or three eggs. If it was just the eggs that might be one thing, but obviously they applied this “grab it while it’s there” philosophy with no regard to those of us who might also really really love deviled eggs to everything else on the table as well.
I happen to have an early prep and could have easily heaped a plate for myself, but out of respect to everyone else, I didn’t. I saved my appetite for lunch. One of my co-workers tried to brush off my annoyance by saying it’s supposed to be a graze as you go event and it was never meant for everyone to get something to eat. WHAT??? If everyone is supposed to bring something to share, how in the world is it ok for some people to not get something to eat in return? That isn’t sharing. And what about the people who don’t have prep until the last periods of the day? How is it fair for them? Just because they were randomly assigned a prep nowhere near lunch they shouldn’t get to partake in any of the holiday fun because a few people are greedy pigs who never consider others?
I know, I know, this is quite the rant. But total lack of consideration for others is just one of those things that burns me up. I thought the holidays, despite what religion you may or may not follow, were supposed to be about goodwill towards man and giving. I’m so sick of this selfish, gimme, gimme attitude. I guess I expected a bit too much from a group of teachers.