PASCO COUNTY, Fla. - For years, the lunch lady has had an image problem.
"Yeah, we look old and cranky. I still see it on commercials sometimes, and I get so offended. I always say I'm going to call that place," said Pasco cafeteria manager Linda Osuba.
Osuba is here to tell you it's not like that all.
She says cafeteria workers in Pasco County are a kind, caring bunch, and the kids get grade-A customer service. "It's important. You greet them with a smile. Talk to them. They like it."
Last year, Pasco County hired 70 food service workers. This year there are more than 50 cafeteria jobs available.
Osuba is a cafeteria manager at Odessa Elementary. This summer she's working at Seven Springs Elementary in New Port Richey.
Along with Gayle Kavanagh, they whip up nearly a hundred meals for the lunch rush each day.
"It's great. We have pizza, macaroni and cheese. It's just all very good. I like all the meals that we serve," said Kavanagh.
Both lunch ladies say they picked this career because it worked well with the job of raising their own kids.
"Because you are home when they are home. You are off when they are off. They are in school, you are in school," said Osuba.
Many of the available positions available are four-hour shifts, and Linda says there is plenty of opportunity for promotion and training. "At the school I'm at, four times I hired somebody for the same position, they get trained and they move up to full time."
Gayle enjoys the opportunity to put give a kid a full belly and a reason to smile. "Especially our little kindergartners. They might be missing mom, and you just try and encourage them. I just really like that part of the job, making the kids day when they come in to lunch."
To apply for cafeteria jobs and other openings with the Pasco School District, visit http://www.pasco.k12.fl.us/employment/ .
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A warm and humid day with sun, clouds and a chance for showers and storms mainly in the afternoon. Storms won't be as numerous as yesterday.