Activities Director Trish Riddle working hard during lunch duty. Photo by Jaci Stickrod

Activities Director Trish Riddle working hard during lunch duty. Photo by Jaci Stickrod

Chaparral High School has hired a new lunch clean up crew to assist students with the task of cleaning up after themselves. The new staff, doubles as teachers. Their main objective, however is to maintain an unblemished lunchroom that is free of trash. It is their responsibility for the student’s trash, and they take pride in their work. Not one floor tile should be left flawed, and not one lunch table without disinfectant spray covering each square inch. They alleviate much of the stress that students are burdened with when facing the task of tidying up after themselves. The crew is the finest lunchtime clean up staff Chaparral High School has ever had, and they are definitely suited for their position. Some employees even have a Bachelor’s and even Master’s degree in the art. The team is polite and courteous, with an outstanding table-side manner, even surpassing some waitresses with their amazing service. When asked about his duties in the lunchroom, social studies teacher Steven Block said, “They are very hard and I don’t expect you to understand it, but a lot of times we have to sit next to a gate, and another which you have to be at a higher level for is pushing around a trash can.” The staff diligently reminds students to hand them their trash, even after several previous reminders. Whether in the lunchroom or the classroom, this group of individuals knows how to handle a cranky and lazy student. The professionals show a considerable amount of skill in customer service. Their life experience outside of Chaparral High School has really prepared them for this type of endeavor. However, if you ask them about it, they would reply fairly modestly. “I have held a lot of different jobs. I worked as a carpenter; I was a video editor; I worked as a valet; but I’ve never had any kind of trash pick up, bussing or waiter duties, so I don’t really know that I’m qualified in a lot of the stuff I’ve been asked to do in the lunchroom,” said art teacher Thomas Birtley. These professionals are extremely talented in their work, taking on a task unprepared and excelling in it. Out of the sheer Wolverine spirit, the lunch staff has taken on this role with no additional perks at all. They do not accept tips, but tell students that cleaning up is their pleasure. “What’s really nice is leftover food and kids that aren’t going to eat their desserts… there’s always extra food,” said Block. There really are perks for both sides. The clean up crew will do just about anything except refill your drink for you (unless you glance with a pair of puppy dog eyes). The service is impeccable, the staff makes a consistent effort to come pick up trash, sometimes arriving at your table three or four times to verify you have finished your meal and are ready to discard the remains. You can expect one of the crew members to greet you on your way out to your next class saying, “I hope you enjoyed your lunch; see you fifth period! Don’t forget your homework!” One thing is for sure, these individuals do not go unrecognized for their commitment to making Chaparral a beautiful environment for learning and their high salary shows it!

Story by Jaci Stickrod

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