Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Invisible Dinner Ladies!

School Meals Supervisor or SMSA for short. Sounds grand doesn't it? In ordinary English it means dinner lady, which is one of my part time jobs.
One of my working colleagues exclaimed to me recently, "You know, the children stare right through me when I tell them off, its just as though I'm invisible!" Before I could stop myself, I exclaimed, "That would make a good title, Invisible Dinner ladies", (thinking of my Blog) She gave me a strange look & I added, "For a story." My Blog is , of course a secret. However, I knew exactly what she meant. Children do blank you out, hoping the trouble will go away.
In our large, urban school there are more than 90 children in each of the playgrounds and the noise is almost equal to a jet fighter going over head. Only it never does go over head. Its there all the time! No wonder I have ringing in the ears!
Its been pouring with rain for days & indoor play caused through rain, is one of our worst nightmares. We are, though, a stoical lot & only go indoors during a heavy downpour & we don't let drizzle put us off. During this kind of weather, every day is a bad hair day for fine, straight hair like mine.
The little children are highly dependent on the two of us, (3 if we are lucky). Most of the time is spent doing up zips & trying to get awkward little fingers into the ends of their gloves. I would be a rich lady if I had a pound for every coat I have done up, but money is not what it is all about. Even though we are much needed, we are not well paid.
Obviously we have to like children & a knowledge of First Aid helps, as there is a regular supply of blooded knees & elbows to deal with, occasional nose bleeds & other minor injuries. The rest of the time is spent sorting out disputes & helping children not to kill each other.
When  the wind blows from the north east & rain slashes into my face, I wonder, "What am I doing here?"
Then I am reminded occasionally by the tiny tots who give me a hug or take my hand, that yes, I really do like the job.


Retiredandcrazy said...

I love little children too. They are so trusting and full of enthusiasm. Keep up the good work. By the way, I love your blogs.

Maggie May said...

Many thanks for that encouragement.

Anonymous said...

I thought the world of my dinner ladies when I was in junior school they were heros to me.
They cooked lovely meals and were always there if you needed a cwtch (Welsh for cuddle)
Sal and Betty - happy days

Expatmum said...

Aah! I have very fond memories of my dinner ladies - not the dinners, mind you, just the ladies.

Maggie May said...

valleys mam. Funny, I have no recollection of my dinner ladies, good or bad! I wonder how to pronounce cwtch?

expatmum.... Have memories of horrible school dinners!
Nice to know that the good dinner ladies brought back happy memories. What a responsibility!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

You write very well, Maggie. I have some screaming children here (and a row to sort out) so must dash! I will be back!!