My Ninth Day

I'm freaking out. The prospect of waking up at 7 am tomorrow, after waking up at around 10 am for the entire summer, and working for 5 hours through the breakfast and lunch rushes, does not sound appealing to me.

For those of you who only check this at night, you probably haven't read my eighth day.

First thing when I get in, I see Curly. Just great. After he clocks me in and tells me to mop the back room, I walk past the nice manager from my seventh day. I'll call him Joe. That's his real name, so it shouldn't be too hard to remember. This guy is really nice. He always says hello and is cordial. He asks me if I've been taught how to do something before assigning it to me.

After I mopped up, I went to him to tell me what to do next.

"You know how to close the grill?"
"Well, yeah, a bit."
"So, do you want me to close the grill?"

This was horrible. Earlier today, when I was doing my normal pre-work freak-out, I tried to tell myself that there wasn't anything really bad about closing the grill. I've never been burnt doing it, I don't have to deal with other people, I have an excuse for not doing anything else, and so on. I don't think I can tell myself that anymore.

The only other people in the grill area were the foreigners. There was the girl I mentioned in my last post who doesn't speak English, and the woman who I mentioned in my third day, who I thought was Russian but whose accent sounded almost Italian. I heard her talking today about Italy, so it seems like I was right to doubt myself. Perhaps, I subconsciously thought that Russians were more likely to be working at a place like this than Italians. Don't get the wrong idea about that; I have more Russian in me than Italian (1/16th vs. ?/?), but that's just the stereotypes that are so hard to escape from. Anyway, she is obnoxious. She stood over me and tried to direct everything I did. I just smiled. From now on, whenever she calls for anything, I just happen not to hear.

So I'm cleaning the grill while those two just sort of lounge around. When it became a little busier, they expected me to drop everything I was doing and help them out. All in all, it took me about an hour and a half to clean the grill.

Right as I'm finishing, I walked back to the grill where Curly is looking over the divider asking who closed the grill.

"I just closed it."

Any reply was lost in the shuffle. I'm sort of glad I didn't have to hear him point out what I screwed up. Maybe he was going to say I did a great job until he found out I had done it.

Right about then, the older guy with no bottom teeth starts his shift. Everybody likes this guy. He knows the ins and outs and he's got a sense of humor. He's been nice to me since I started.

"Did you close this grill?"
"It looks great. Good job."
"Did it take you about an hour?"
"Maybe a little bit more, but I had to do other stuff in between."
"Well why don't you close the other grill now."

2 grills... 1 day. I'm ecstatic. You should see my uniform. It's a casualty of war. By the time I closed the second grill, I only had 15 minutes left.

"Okay, I'm going to test your memory," said the older guy. "Go get 1 box of 10 to 1s, 1 box of 4 to 1s, 2 bags of small chicken, 2 bags of fish, 1 bag of the crispy chicken, and 3 bags of grilled chicken."

Those are the actual numbers. Normally, my memory is terrible, but I could visualize each of those things, so it made it easier. If you can visualize things, it makes it much easier to remember. After some people were impressed that I had quickly memorized the 5 pillars of Islam for an International Relations quiz, they all started using the house technique, which I had just read about earlier that day. You make a visual representation of each thing in a list, and mentally place each thing in a room of your house. Charity, undivided faith, fasting, prayer, and pilgrimage. Oh, at times like these, I look down at my grease covered shoes that I used to wear to the symphony and wonder what I'm doing working at a fast food place.

I don’t know much about posttraumatic stress disorder (or hypochondria, for that matter), but no matter how many times I wash my hands, I can’t seem to get the smell of the place off them.

Since I've stopped using traffic sites, I'd like to thank everyone who has linked here. I'm getting all my traffic from you guys. You're all on my links, and if you're not, e-mail me. By the way, someone from Australia must love this place, because they've clicked every single entry twice. I'm also the most popular in Virginia. I have dramatically more visitors from VA than any other place.

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11:35 PM, August 05, 2005

Dude, I find myself looking forward to your posts. It must be because I can relate, we look to be fairly similar background, and I very nearly also ended up working at such a franchise.

I didn't, however, I got a job at another. Which I'm thinking will be a lot better, as it caters to a higher market. Coffee. What can be wrong with coffee?

I'll find out tomorrow, in any case.    

8:34 PM, August 07, 2005

Hey man, I found your sight while I was surfing around on "blog explosion" or maybe it was "Blog Clicker" and I've been coming back ever since.

I've worked in restaurants most of my adult life (but not since 1997). Anyway I really enjoy your stories about your job.

Check out some of these posts from my blog--if you have the time.

take care

Flounder story

My Fast Food Hang ups

Some bad experiences I've had while working in restaurants    

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