I came in bright and early at the crack of dawn to the fast food place I worked at back when I was in college. I had to get the sundae machines prepared. Make a stock list and gather the stock. From there I had to prepare salads for the day.
One thing I hated was the notion of cleaning the sundae machines out each morning when they should have been taking care of by the night crew the previous night before they left to go home. They never stocked they never had salads prepared for the next morning. I was always expected to make them and do all of the work, because I did a better job than they did.
Fred worked on the day in question. I again was in for a miserable day from him. He once again depended on me to do everything. No sooner than I walked into the restaurant, he had the nerve to ask, “Where the heck have you been? We’ve been waiting for you for over an hour to come in and get things cleaned and set up.”
“For your information, I’m forty-five minutes early for my shift. I’m not late. So where do you get off talking to me in such a manner. You need to check the schedule again to verify the hours each individual is supposed to come in and work. So stop stomping on my nerves. Instead of complaining bitterly at me for your being behind in the work which needs to be done around here, I suggest you tell the rest of these punks here to get off their hind ends at get with it. They need to actually do work around here instead of standing around playing with their thumbs and socializing. Now, if you will excuse me, I’m going downstairs into the break room to set my belongings in the closet and relax. I don’t want to hear one more complaint from you about me and my work ethics.” I passed him from behind the counter, and headed towards the back. He glared at me, but I didn’t care.
As I descended the stairs to the basement, one of the punks said, “Kiki, you need to take over the salads. Fred said so.”
“Excuse me, little girl, but I don’t take orders from you. Furthermore I’m much older than you are. When you address me you are to address me properly with some respect. I don’t have to punch in for a while. I’m not going to do both your job and mine. There’s no reason why you can’t do the prep work for the salads why I’m waiting to punch in. Furthermore, the owners of this establishment don’t want me punching in too early for a while, because of my hours. I’m sick and tired of having to pick up slack and do your job in addition to doing mine, just because punks like you like to play around and socialize instead of doing your dang job. Now git. I’m in no mood to deal with your crap. I suggest you go upstairs and get a good start on the salads. It won’t kill you to actually do work around here for a change instead of having the owners pay you and the rest of the punks to stand around and look at the clock. Good day to you.” I passed her as I stepped off the last step and proceeded into the crew room.
She turned around and yelled, “Well at least I do some work around here.”
“Bull crap. I do all the work in this restaurant. I’m the best darn employee this establishment has ever had. Ask the owners. They’ll tell you the same thing. Unlike you I take responsibility for myself and for what I’m supposed to do. Now go upstairs and get started on the salads, and leave me the heck alone.” She started to say something else when I stopped her by saying, “Have I made myself quite clear.” I looked directly into her eyes, glaring at her.
She lowered her eyes and her head, responding, “Yes,” and she ascended the stairs with no further questions asked.
I checked the clock on the wall for the time. Twenty-minutes had gone by when Fred entered the crew room. “What’s this crap I hear how you’ve been giving slack to my people.”
“I don’t know what you’re getting at Fred, but when it comes to anyone of those punks talking back to me, giving me orders and treating me with such disrespect, I will not accept it. Furthermore, I don’t take orders from those little kids. I know how to do my job. I don’t need you nor anyone of your stool pigeon approaching me and giving me a hard time. I told you so before the last time you gave me crap about not working as a time. The irony is I was the only one working as a team. Perhaps you’d like to take things up with the GM or perhaps the owners of this establishment. They told me to only punch in when it was time to begin my shift, because I have too many hours. The reason for me having too many hours is because I have to cover shifts for those punks. I’m glad to stay and help. Lord knows I could use the extra money. However, those little kids need to wake up and show some initiative. Quite frankly, Fred, they are useless. I’m the only one who actually does work around here with the exception of the management. I was told by the GM, the owners of this establishment and many of the other management I am the best employee around here, and the best they’d ever had working for them. So don’t give me any slack about the way in which I spoke to the child. Tell her I said to get over it and get over herself. Honestly. Instead of complaining to me about work not being done around here, why don’t you get off your duff and tell those punks to actually do some work around here instead of playing around. They and you expect me not only to do my job, but their job to while they stand around doing nothing but socializing. The GM will hear of the way I was treated and so will the owners.” I got up from the chair I was sitting in, headed to the closet, and removed a book from my duffel bag.
“Well, you could have spoken nicer to her. After all, she’s working hard too.” He started to head out.
“Bull crap. She and the other punks upstairs don’t do a darn thing in this restaurant other than play around. Instead of her complaining about having to do salads, she should be grateful to me for enabling her to learn another useful skill. I’m done talking to you, Fred. So leave me alone and let me relax until it’s time for my shift to begin. I have approximately twenty-one minutes left before it’s time for me to clock in.” I concentrated on my book, ignoring him while he stood there looking at me dumbfounded.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2016