Taking inspiration from Cassie Westrate’s humorous job chronicles, here is a far-from-complete account of memorable experiences that have happened to me in the last eight years at work.
My first shift. Spilled a glass of Sprite and dropped a basket of onion rings within the first 30 minutes. Surprisingly, they let me stay.
There was a time when the caller ID on my dad’s old phone was “John Butts” (still not sure why). One night he called work to get ahold of me, and my manager answered the phone, looking terrified. It turns out that John Butts was the name of his old boss who had been dead for years.
Got stuck inside the walk-in freezer for a full three minutes before someone finally decided to investigate the muffled pounding noise.
Mom drove me to work in a blizzard. I discovered that we were closed and no one had remembered to call me. I wish I could say it was the last time that happened.
Dressed up as a cat for Halloween. Creepy dishwasher meowed at me for two weeks afterward.
During a crazy dinner rush, my manager called me into the kitchen. I’m not sure what I expected him to say, but “Do you watch The Walking Dead?” was certainly not up there on any list.
On Halloween, an old lady asked if my kids were trick-or-treating. I guess I was glad that someone didn’t think I looked 14 for a change.
One day, two other coworkers and I decided to sneak out and cover our manager’s car in Silly String for no reason. He knew it was us, and he got revenge by telling us that the health department was coming soon and a mess in the parking lot would get us in trouble. The next day I wandered around outside, looking for any incriminating pink specks and swearing up and down that I’d never touch a can of Silly String again.
A customer asked me to take his salad back because it had croutons on it and he was on a diet. Needless to say, I was very confused when I brought out his fried chicken dinner with an extra piece of chicken and side of fries.
Guy from corporate: “We’ve worked so hard on getting this new computer system ready—every last detail!”
Me: “On the dinner menu screen it says ‘shirmp’ dinner.”
Guy from corporate: …
My manager: *singing “Sweet Caroline” back in the bakery*
Me: *sneaks up behind him and yells “BUM BUM BUMMMM” at the appropriate time*
Considering the fact that he almost dropped a pan of apple dumplings, perhaps it was not an appropriate time.
A lady asked if she could use coupons on her to-go order. She pulled out a sheet of Arby’s coupons. I don’t work at Arby’s.
I decided to make a fort out of some empty boxes. My favorite manager took it down. Debated if he was still my favorite.
When my manager handed me a roll of stickers we didn’t need and said “Here, have fun,” I’m sure he never imagined he would go home and discover three of them stuck to the back of his shirt.
Guy from corporate: “I didn’t realize that you’ve worked here for such a long time. Have you ever thought about being a manager?”
Me: “No, I don’t think that’s for me.”
Guy from corporate: “Are you sure? We could work something out.”
Me, wondering how to nicely explain that I don’t want to be stuck here forever: “Yeah. I’m sure.”
Author’s notes: 1) Throughout this piece, the term “my manager” refers to different people over the years. 2) Some dates are approximate.
Kayleigh Fongers (’18) graduated with a degree in writing. Born and raised in the mitten, she currently lives in Muskegon and spends her time writing, waitressing, and job searching. She loves tacos, concerts, and those beautiful Lake Michigan sunsets.