Smooth Sailing

Saturday, September 10, 2005
I've made the conversion over to my new blog, fulmine and it's going pretty well. I don't have as many readers as I'd like, but that's okay. I figure I'd post this update here to get all the people who come to this website to go directly to the new one.

My Last Day

Wednesday, August 24, 2005
They all threw me a party! They got cake and party hats and sparklers!

Actually, they made me sweep, mop, get burnt, and generally have a normal day.

Let's go through this bit by bit, which will lead up to why I am furious at my mother.

It doesn't take long to start it going, as at 20 minutes before my shift, I called her (because she drives me there) at her office and she was still there.

"What are you doing?!?"
"I was leaving now, it only takes 10 minutes to get there."
"From the house! Please hurry."

13 minutes later, she gingerly parks in the driveway singing to some shitty 70s song they haven't scraped from the radio yet. I swear that if I ever meet the guys in CCR or Blood Sweat and Tears...

I just asked her to hurry again, but in a more incredulous way. She keeps a contented unremorseful look throughout the ride.

As I pull in five minutes late (which she didn't think would be a big deal) I get a call from them asking where I was.

Then I work my ass off for four hours. I beg to go home early because of my 6am flight tomorrow, and the nice manager says if I sweep and mop and get the meats caught up, I can go at 9.

I eventually escaped at 9 and called my mother. She gets there 15 minutes later.

"I did something stupid," she says.
Imagine that, I think.
"I left my cash card in the machine this morning, and the bank won't be open tomorrow morning. We're going to use your father's card, though."
"Okay, so what's the problem?"
"Well, if you had picked up the phone today, we wouldn't be in this situation."

Here are two things about me: 1. I only answer my cell phone. 2. I never swear or get angry at my mother because she will go apeshit, and I mean that in the most sincere way. She goes postal when you get in a fight with her. She's called the cops on my dad for asking her to calm down.

"Damnit! I work all day, first at home, then at this shitty place, you lose the damn card, and try to blame it on me!?"
"I'm not blaming it on you..."

So she didn't go insane, as I expected, because she knew she was completely and unequivically wrong. That only works about half the time, though, as you'll see next.

We both calmed down and we were just driving home. I occasionally try to have a conversation with her, but it invariably ends up like it did tonight.

"They made me kill myself to get out early."
"You asked to go early?"
"Yeah, I haven't packed yet."
She sits there in silence for a minute.
"You should have worked there for the extra hour when you had the chance," she says in her dissapointed voice.

I just let it go. When we pull in the garage, I leave the car angrily and go upstairs to change.

She comes in a few minutes later, probably after checking the mail, and she walks up to her room and slams the door so loud that I, always the peacemaker, felt obligated to go up and work things out.

"You slammed the door when I was just trying to give you some criticism. You can never admit you're wrong!"
"Uhh, you slammed the door. I didn't slam any doors."
"You slammed the car door when you got out!"
"I didn't mean to."
"Don't lie to me!"

For the record, as it doesn't matter to me if I tell you the truth, I didn't slam the door.

"Mom, you slammed your door when you came up here and I didn't do anything."
"I didn't slam the door. I shut it!"
"Are you serious? Where's the camera? Where's Ashton Kutcher? Am I on candid camera?"

"You can never admit when you're wrong," she said again.
"I'd really like to not have a fight with you."
"I'm not going to have this argument with you."
"Then why are you still angry?"
"You know you're wrong but you won't admit it."
"Okay, well, I hope you start acting better by the morning. Your blood suger is probably low right now."

So I start walking away with that, but then the memories of all the things she did today came back at once, and I yelled, "Oh, and thanks for dinner tonight!" and I punched the fridge so hard it made a really strange sound. Maybe that was my fist.

Then I walk down and slam my door so loud the Russians at the Internation Space Station would spill their Sprite (as I've seen that's what astronauts drink like in that commercial).

Now that's a slam. That's the sort of slam all other slams should be measured by.

Okay, so I figure this is the last post in this blog, and I spent the entire thing talking about my mother. It's hard to focus on anything else when you're so angry. I've threatened her before that when I go to Scotland, I'm never going to call her or accept her calls. I've secretly decided to go through with that for a while now.

Okay, so everybody, if you've gotten this far, please switch over to fulmine, my new blog that has nothing to do with this horrible job that I wish to never remember. Update your favorites or news readers or whatever.

For those scimmers amongst us:

fulmine



That's about it. Thanks for stopping by.

My Seventeenth Day

Things went all right, today. I had a long chat with the 17 year old kid and we exchanged anecdotes about our high school exploits.

I was really hoping to be let off early today to come home to play with my new iBook (!).

At about 11pm, an hour before my shift ended, the supervisor lady came up to me and asked me if I was ready to go. An opportunity to escape early!

"Actually, my shift is until midnight, but I could leave now if you want."
What, am I insane?!?
"Oh, good. Yeah, we could use you. I know you didn't get a break today, so grab some food."

That's right, I didn't have a break! 6 hours and no break! Grab some food? I don't eat this food, lady!

So I grabbed some fries, which I figure are pretty safe.

I noticed that there are a few homeless people who live at the restaurant. Everybody turns a blind eye.

At one point, the supervisor lady tells us that some manager is coming back.

Everybody started scurrying around to make everything perfect for this guy. I figured out which guy it was. He's a supervisor who usually works in the morning. I wrote about him as the hard-ass who liked me. The other folks at the grill where I was working were frantically pressing buttons on the tray holder to get the times on the timers to look like we had been using them correctly.

"Guys," I said, "If anything is wrong, just blame me. I'm leaving here tomorrow."

Then I thought, I'm leaving here tomorrow!

I changed my schedule so it's 5pm to 10pm. That will leave me with ample time to write a final post.

Expect my final post to be an iflavored one, as I'll be writing it from my iBook! I would have written this one on it, but I'm currently installing XP on it. It's a topsy-turvy world we live in. Especially me. Be sure to check out my new blog, which I have been posting on. fulmine

About Timing

Saturday, August 20, 2005
I know most of my readers have barely caught up with my fifteenth day, but this is important.

As I've said, this blog will end when my job ends, which is officially on Wednesday. From there, I'll convert to my new blog.

My problem is that my Wednesday shift ends at 1 am, and my flight to Peru (don't ask) takes off in the morning. That means the post about my last day might come much later after Wednesday.

I've already started my new blog, but I'm afraid that if I sheerd all of you over to it, I won't be able to post for the first week or so, and you'll all lose interest. I'm not basing that off of your integrity, but rather my own knowledge of my habits.

From here on out, there is no status quo. Everything is going to be changing. I'll only be in my hometown for a week or so after I return from my vacation in Peru and Florida. (Two wildly exotic places, from what I've heard.) That will hopefully give me time to set everything up for the transition. After that, I promise, there will be no status quo. I'll have to think of a new one.

EDIT: Okay, the link is out of the bag, so to speak.

Fulmine

The URL is still long and all, but I hope to get a domain name if I can get about $9 in my PayPal account. I'm finding that it's really hard without a credit card.

Leave me a comment in the new blog to let me know you're still with me. Once I see enough people, I'll make more posts.

Oh, and if any of you want me to host your blog for free (no catches, I just have a lot of extra space and bandwidth), just e-mail me.

I'm also thinking about getting a volunteer to help me with the technical aspects of the site, so if you are into that sort of thing, just contact me.

My Sixteenth Day

I just got back from golf practice and my 4 hours of work, so I'm exhausted.

Work started off quite funny. I told the nice supervisor lady that I was leaving after Wednesday, so that rekindled shouted conversation that I was going to the Scotland.

The old manager who got in a fight with Curly in one of my previous posts came up to me.

"Could you do me a favor?"
"Sure."
"When you come back for the holidays or summer, could you bring me back a shot glass from Scotland. I collect them from all over."
"Yeah, okay."
"I'll pay you for it."
"You don't have to do that."
"See, I have them from all over the world. I have wooden ones-"
"Wooden?"
"Yeah, and pewter ones, and crystal ones. It's amazing at how many different types there are!"

It was as if I were in a Kids in the Hall sketch. He was going nuts about how cool shot glasses were, and I was trying to pretend that I was interested because I'm a subordinate.

After that, I was running meats all by myself. This isn't so bad, because I'm really quite good at it. I'm probably better than most people there. Eventually, though, the traffic caught up with me, and I was insanely busy. I've been here for 15 days, and they have 2 people on meats/fryer at any given time, even when it's really slow. Not today. It was all me, and I was facing a deluge. I was running from grill to fryer to walk-in freezer because I didn't even have someone to stock up for me. Eventually, a nice girl who was working at the table/wall gave me a hand.

I was really pissed off that they would just leave me there, though.

So when 3:45 rolled around, I promptly left. They needed quite a few things done, but I was tired of it all. As I was washing my hands, the Russian girl walked up to me and asked me to drop some crispy chicken.

"Sorry, I already clocked out."

It was a poor excuse, and I would have normally done it as a favor, but I had already taken my apron off and had finished washing my hands. Oh, that, and I don't care.

Two more days. I'm free on Sunday and Saturday, so expect posts about my upcoming switch to a new blog during that time. I'm still working out the kinks, but I do have hosting.

My Fifteenth Day

Friday, August 19, 2005
Today was another 7 hour shift. Noon to, well, 7.

Every time I get in there, I always ask if they want me on meat, because that's the only thing I'm good at. Today, I asked a manager who told me yes, but then retracted and told me to ask Curly. That was quite possibly the last thing I wanted to hear, and I was validated.

Curly told me to be at the table/wall (which is where you prepare the burgers, even though it's neither a table nor a wall) during the busiest time of the day.

After a couple minutes he comes over and says:

"What are you doing?"
"I'm sorry, I'm going as fast as I can."
"What are you doing? I think the real question is what are you doing?"
"Yeah, you kind of already asked that."

He didn't hear that last part because I mumbled it.

At one point, somebody ordered about 5 of one type of sandwich which isn't very common, so we obviously ran out and had to wait until more were cooked. Curly quickly smelled error and appeared.

"How could we run out of everything? Are you calling the trays?"
"Yes."

I honestly thought whether I should have added, "just not the way you want me to."

After an hour and a half of this, Curly gave me a clipboard. Thoughts of doing something clerical instead of manual started bounding through my eager mind.

"See these small trashcans? Are you listening?"
"Yes"
"I don't like repeating myself."
"Okay."
"I need you to count each thing that's in here and write it on this paper. Write it with the little ones and the one across when it gets to five, You know what I'm talking about?"
"Tallies?"

To be more specific, I had to take each disgusting thing thrown into the trashcan out with my hands and mark its corresponding section on the sheet of paper. This must be their idea of clerical.

As if my day weren't bright enough already, I had to close (clean) both of the grills.

That's not so bad now, because after Curly leaves, the managers are much nicer. Unfortunately, there's this big oafish kid who thinks he's hilarious. He also thinks he's an expert at working there. I'll let him have that glory; heaven knows I don't want it, but he tries to explain how to do every little thing to me. Many times, he's just plain wrong.

After I finished closing the second grill, I started to turn it back on.

"We leave one off for the night. We only use this one. In the morning, they put eggs on that one, but it isn't used all tonight. You probably haven't worked this shift before, so you're used to running both of them."

Actually, I've been on that shift quite a few times, and they always run both grills during dinnertime. I've been on that shift the majority of my days here. I didn't say any of this because it's easier to just let these things pass. I won't have to deal with any of it for long.

Speaking of that, I tendered my resignation today. I gave my 5 day notice. I don't know their policy on quitting, but neither do they. I told the one nice manager.

"Where are you going?"
"Peru."
"Brazil?"
"No, Peru."
"When are you going to be back?"
"Never."
"Are you moving there?"
"No, I'm visiting there, and then I'm moving to the UK."
"Do you have family there?"
"No, I'm going to school there."
"Oh that's going to be fun. Well, I'll, uh, write a note that you're leaving."
"Thanks."

Just 3 more days of working there. If you're wondering what's going to happen to this blog after I quit (thus destroying the theme), I'm going to make a new blog about my life in the UK. It won't be as niche, but if you've found my writing to be interesting, just think about how much more it could be if I were allowed a bit more freedom to write whatever I wanted to. I hope that many of you stick with me.

Fast Food Fallout (and my cat)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

As I wrote in a comment, I am sick, and so is my cat. Whenever she's sick, she always closes one eye.







Since I'm on the subject, here's a couple more of her. The bottom one is of her knawing at my hand.













Now that my elbow burn has healed, I am left with what my scar is going to look like. It's not really as cute as my cat.