Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Me, the PTA, and Burgerville

Imagine for me now, if you will, your good friend Matt Mikalatos, wearing an apron and working at a fast food restaurant.

I know, that's not a stretch for anyone to imagine.


My job at the PTA-sponsored Burgerville night was to hand out the food to the customers after the Burgerville employees cooked the food. I received no special training. I was neither asked nor required to wash my hands. But I did have an apron, setting me apart from the "customers" and also giving the impression that I was too inept to walk from the counter to the tables without possibly spilling food on myself.

Since the *last* time the PTA "helped" at Burgerville we apparently threw away too many of the little plastic numbers given to customers to let us know their order number, Burgerville now had us using sticky notes to discern who should get which order. The main drawback of sticky-note with a pen-written "108" vs. a plastic tent with a printed 108 has to do with ability to see the number. Add to this the strange human compulsion to roll sticky notes into little cigarette shapes and you suddenly have a lot of parents in aprons walking around and saying things like, "ONE-OH-EIGHT? A hundred and eight? One-zero-eight? It's a milkshake, people. For number one hundred and eight." The less bold parent helpers just walked in circles around the restaurant like Indy 500 racecars (only much slower), hoping that 108 would look over and snatch the milkshake from their hands.

The last time that the PTA hosted this event the teachers served the food, which resulted in our children clamoring to go see their teacher serve burgers, which is, after all, a rare event. Hundreds of people lined up, stretching out of the building and around the restaurant. Tonight the parents helped serve the food, which apparently children see every single day, so the crowd seemed smaller to me. Every few minutes the organizer would come over and say, "It's going to get really busy any minute!" She would look out the window, as if expecting a caravan of cars to pull in.

Burgerville donates 10% of the proceeds from tonight's event to the kids' school, and that's what really matters. So a huge thank you to Burgerville and the Sarah J PTA! And also to me for helping serve food.

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