You get in line and sigh, realizing that a herd of underclassmen girls intend to have all of their friends cut in front of you. You wait ten minutes to get to the front of the undermanned sandwich station, and afterwards have to tackle several football players to get to the milk. You wait another five minutes in line to be rung up, because only two of the three registers are open. You end up having to give the kid in front of you a dollar, because he’ll go hungry otherwise – he’s not allowed to charge more than one lunch. When it’s your turn, you’re forced to take a brown and misshapen banana that you’ll only end up putting in the basket reserved for unwanted fruit. By the time that you’re ready to sit down, you find that there is not a single chair left in the cafeteria, and not a shred of open table space.
Getting lunch at Bethel High School is never really as simple as ‘getting lunch.’ It’s less of a meal, and more of a precarious situation. There are many problems with getting lunch, but most of them can be traced back to the fact that lunch waves aren’t timed well meaning. You can have a relatively small group of kids for A lunch, but have the rest of the school come in for C lunch. There are lunches with enough students in them to stifle breathing – and this only happens when there’s an emptier lunch later or earlier in the day. If there were an even amount of students in every lunch, then everyone would probably be able to get their food in a timely fashion. Plus, it would probably help stop the fact that the cafeteria actually runs out of certain foods on occasion.
In addition, the logistics of the cafeteria are completely skewed. There simply aren’t enough chairs to seat a packed lunch – there aren’t even enough chairs to seat an honor roll reception. There’s only ever enough room to eat in the cafeteria during the spring and the early autumn – when Seniors sit outside and lighten the load. It would have been easier to just have benches from the very beginning, making it easier for kids to pack themselves at tables like sardines.
The food of the cafeteria has improved in recent years, but, as a student and an outside observer, it’s plain to see that there aren’t enough people working in the cafeteria. There’s usually only one person working what is easily the most popular food station, the sandwich station, and as much as we all love Mrs. Hayes, the gargantuan line would probably move faster if she had a little more help. The same goes for almost every other lunch station, too. It’s not the fault of any of the lunch ladies; it’s just the fact that there aren’t enough of them. A few extra lunch servers would have the same effect on the cafeteria that a statin medicine would have on clogged arteries. Things would be faster and more efficient, and kids wouldn’t have to wait in lines for half of the lunch period.
BHS’s cafeteria isn’t the worst thing ever. The sandwiches are tasty, and the burgers have gotten better. However, there is still room for improvement, but considering BHS’s present budget situation, it will probably be a while before our café is the best it can be.