Well, it’s finally here! My book “Hairnets and Aprons” is available in print. What a journey it has been. It is available on Creative space via this link:
Please share with your fellow lunch ladies. The cost is $14.95 and will be available in a Kindle version soon. It will also be available on Amazon within 3-5 days if you would rather purchase there.
"Hairnets and Aprons" will be published soon, I mean, probably by the end of July 2016! How did this happen you ask?
I had been writing the book for about eight years and considered it “Completed” last year. Over the last few years I have tried the traditional route of sending it to publishers to see if they were interested in publishing it. The publishers mostly commented that “The concept is interesting, but this project is not for us.”
I wanted a publisher since the book wouldn’t cost me money. To self-publish it costs me, especially for editing which can be expensive.
After a loss of a loved one last month I knew I had to do something to move my book forward. As I have found out, life can be short.
I knew I had to find an editor who could do content and copy editing for the book. I had several recommendations and had to choose one. Someone I knew recommended a person who can do the whole project from editing, getting ISBN #, help with marketing and such. I choose him and now my book will be in print soon.
I have carried my book “Hairnets and Aprons” on my shoulders for many years. It feels a little lighter already knowing the project will be complete, except for getting people to buy it of course. But at least I can say it is done. Will I be able to recoup the money spent to bring it into reality? Time will tell.
I heard a speech the other day that said, the graveyard is the richest place in the world. People’s hopes and dreams are buried there, never realized, never brought into fruition. I’m glad that my dream for “Hairnets and Aprons” won’t be buried.
Once the book is ready for print, I’ll let you know.
Yes, it’s almost May and it is crunch time! We need to reduce stock, work on inventory and figure out what we need for next year. Also our “Agreement” with the school district ends this June so we need to get another in place.
I had hoped to step down from working on a new agreement. I’ve been on the committee for every agreement since I started working in Food Service. It’s been the same people every time. NO ONE new wants to step up and meet with administration and come up with a few ideas as to what we would like to see for our group. NO ONE! Makes me wonder if our group is so apathetic that they really don’t care? Do they think it’s a waste of time, since usually there is not any real negotiation? Are we as a group so afraid of administration that they can’t face them? Are we all so happy at our job that we couldn’t want for anything else? Woah Nellie! That can’t be it!
I admit that “negotiations” are not what goes on. We tell them what we think is fair or what we feel we deserve and they say “Here is what we will give you.” Done! So why do we bother? Why do I bother? Because I can’t stand the thought of our group not having a voice, not being heard. There will always be things that can improve the workplace. How are employees made to feel appreciated? By being given a decent raise? Is that all we require to feel appreciated? What is a “Decent raise?” Insurance costs (If provided) go up and up. Pension contributions go up and up. Could any raise being offered counteract these costs? No way….
So onward I will go again. Into the abyss of representing a group that chooses not get involved. To those very few of us that do care, good for us! Proves there is still some life in us. Even though we are getting older, many of us approaching retirement, we still need to feel appreciated. I will do what I can to help my group know and understand their value.
YES! Time flies! Here it is January 2015 and I am finally getting around to finishing up my book. What I mean is getting it ready for a real editor. I realize as I have been collecting stories I haven't done a good job of keeping records. I need release forms from anybody who submitted a story for my book. Did you submit a story to me? If so, please email me or submit the form on this site so I can email or mail a release form for you to sign. Some of you I have email addresses. I will be reaching out to you.
The book has become a novel that shows the trial and tribulations of a woman who takes a job as a lunch lady, all the while going through many things personally. She trys to do her best and learns as she goes. I think you will be able to relate to the character.
This school year is going so much better than last year. I am not taking things personally and working on being as professional as I can.
Don't forget to check out my Facebook page Hairnets and Aprons. "Like" the page to follow me through this journey.
Take care for now! Let me know if you submitted a story so I can get the release form to you to be signed and returned.
The summer is almost over! Soon lunch ladies will be back to work, slinging sloppy jo (HA! We have sloppy jo maybe 4 times a year!), begging for lunch money and whining about our aching feet. Where does the summer go?
For me, the summer meant getting my book all together and sending it to my “Go to” person for his review. Mission accomplished! I have a Chapter on “Building up the morale” of the lunch lady, but I’m not sure if I want to use it. I state how we (Lunch ladies) need to be proud of what we do and go about changing the stigma associated with our job. I state it has to start with us. Well, I talk a big talk but can I walk the walk?
Answer is I don’t know. I know lunch ladies who L.O.V.E. their job. It’s their “Calling.” They can’t wait to get back to work to see the kiddies, to feed them their nutritional meal, to be proud of a day that went well even though their exhausted.
Me, not so much but maybe, just maybe I can get my mojo back! I can’t say that I am ready to go back but I will say I can’t wait for the paychecks to begin again. I am certainly hoping for a better year than last. Last year was the worst. Last year was like starting all over. Last year was a year of change. This was hard for an old gal like me. I wanted normalcy. I didn’t want the change, but as my dad used to say, “You’re not too old for your wants to hurt.” And oh how I hurt!
What did I learn from last year? Oh too many things to type. But here are a few:
1) Move on – Yep, get over it and move on. There was nothing I could do to change the situation so why did I make myself sick, angry and sad? Put it in a bubble and blow it away!
2) Don’t confide to people that can use it against you. Yep, in a vulnerable moment I confided my hurt and anger only to have it used against me. Learned a really valuable lesson with this one.
3) Don’t take out your frustration on family, employees and friends. Just don’t!
So what do I do now? Go back to work and act as if nothing happened last year? No, I’ll take the lessons I learned and use them to move forward. . Someone said to me: What can you do to neutralize the situation at work? I took those words and tried to figure out what gives me the most anxiety, and make the changes necessary. Will I still be stressed? Who knows, time will tell. But one thing is for sure, I’m one year closer to retirement and Medicare!
I hope you have a great year. Take it one day at a time. If being a lunch lady is your calling, you go girl/boy! You rock! Put your feet up at the end of the day and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Me? That’s a story for a different blog.
Ode to the Lunch Lady - Submitted Jane Broberg
We toil and sweat in the middle school kitchen.
With laughter, tears, and even some bitchin...
Is it the generous pay you ask?
Why heavens no, please pass the flask.
We ove our jobs for many a reason.
But #1 is the summertime season!
The smells, the clatter and constant chatter
And the children's smiles are what really matter.
Ovens wafting with the smell of homemade bread,
Or do you prefer the aroma of chocolate chip cookies instead?
Chicken nuggets, spaghetti and sloppy Joes,
To find out kitchen, just follow your nose.
The government would like to spoil our fun,
Their ever changing rules have us under the gun.
What temp did you say the pizza should be?
What size scoop goes in the peas?
Bruises, cuts and too many burns,
When it comes to these we all take turns,
Shredded fingernails and aching feet,
Without these, our day wouldn't be complete.
We feel we have the best job there could ever be,
Because we work with such wonderful ladies you see!
Submitted to me by someone who wished to be anonymous.
We love the hairnets, the aprons and smiles. The meals that you cook keep us going for miles. Buts it's not just the meals; it's your kindness and care. We think you are wonderful and love the meals you prepare. Submitted by: Room M101
Do you think the new Child Nutrition Regulations are working?