"Grab and Go" is lunchroom larceny
By Chris Mudd
Several times a week, I find myself in a bind. Either I have no time to eat lunch because my teachers assign/force me to do far too much homework to even think about piddling around in the five-star eatery that I call South Dining Hall, or my class schedule, due to my crappy DART time, does not permit me to beat the 2 p.m. gate closing at the mess hall.
So, to compensate for my inability to enjoy a fine lukewarm meal on the first floor of the SDH, I (dreadfully) walk down the steps to the so-called "Grab & Go" center located in the musty basement. You know what, I don't think that I can even bring myself to refer to that system as simply "Grab & Go;" instead, a more fitting name may be "Walk-in, Pick-up bag, Use elaborate mathematical equations to figure out just what combinations of stale & day-old goodies can be legally taken, Get strip-searched, Get yelled at for having 3 milks and too many ketchup packets & GO." I feel cheated and violated every single time I leave that corrupt area located in the bowels of the SDH.
If I were to get my card swiped upstairs, I would have the right to eat as much greasy, reheated food as I want … no limits … as long as I don't take more than one item out the door, lest I get held at gunpoint to "give up the second cookie." Why punish me for my crappy schedule or busy day? Why if I go downstairs to that level of Dante's Inferno do I have to get a finger chopped off for each item over five that I place in my bag? I am a growing boy. I need more than one sandwich sometimes to satisfy my hunger. I don't know how many times I've heard, "You can't take a salad and a sandwich." Give me a break, let me try to eat healthy … don't persecute me for actually trying to salvage a well-rounded meal.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not lobbying for a "Grab & Go" that will be a chaotic mess where all the schoolchildren are given lunch sacks and allowed to just go to town. I'm simply suggesting to modify that extremely difficult to follow scientific method that decides the fate of all "Grab & Goers" out there. I mean, yogurt is not worth 2 items. We pay $27,000 a year to go here, and these people are trying to tell me that if I get 1 yogurt, I only get 3 other items. Give me a break. Let's up the stakes to 7 items per person … that will allow for: 2 milks (or puny juice boxes) per person, 2 sandwiches (or sandwich and salad), one salty treat, one sweet treat and one piece of fruit. How hard is that? This method will also leave room for correcting errors in choosing a turkey sandwich that is too slimy to eat, or a banana that is battered and bruised beyond recognition … with more items, we'd have back-ups allowing us to still somewhat relieve our hunger. So please, please nice "Grab & Go" ladies, punish not if we have too many items, rather ask if we have enough.
All Viewpoint Stories for Wednesday, October 27, 1999