“Welcome to Hardees, how can I help you?” This job is redundant, and not to mention boring. I still have two hours until I get to go home… Maybe if I get some extra cleaning done I can go home early.
“Umm, yeah. I’ll have three regular ham’s and a regular roast beef.”
“Yeah, ah, can you get me a vanilla shake, a large fry and two cookies?”
“Ok sir, I have three hot ham and cheese sandwiches, a roast beef sandwich, a vanilla shake, two cookies and a large fry?”
“Ok, your total is $13.94, please pull around to the second window.” So, two cookies… Walking over to the front counter, I pull two cookies from the display case and set them on the thermal rack to heat up a little bit, then wander over to the fry cooler and drop a large fry into the fryers. By this time, the man at the window is waiting for me impatiently to get his money so he close his window before he freezes to death. So I get to the window, let it slide open, and repeat his total. He looks at me and shakes his head.
“Can you make that large fry into a medium?” I guess he didn’t like the amount, not sure what good going down one size will do.
“Sure, just hang on one second.” I say with a smile. Because, you always have to smile. If you don’t, people complain, and when people complain, you get into trouble. I really hate getting into trouble.
“Ok sir, your total then is $13.73.”
“Are you sure? Why did it go up?”
“It didn’t sir, before it was $13.94, now it’s $13.73.”
“Oh, ok.” So he hands me a check card and waits patiently for me to get it back to him. By the time I got that all fixed, his food was already up, so I bagged it as quick as I could and set it under the heat lamps, and go to get his shake ready. I get the ice cream scooped, add the vanilla flavoring and pour in the milk. I put it in the mixer and switch the on button, slowly turning the cup until it is mixed completely. About half way through the mixing, I start to smell something sweet, like burning sugar. I ignore it and continue with the shake. Upon completion, I place the whipped topping over it, and stick the spoon in the middle. I swing around to grab the bag and hand out, but as I swing around, I can see the corner of the bag starting to smoke. So I tried to blow on it to put out the small fire that had started, but that only made it bigger. Then I wanted to smother it, but the only things close by were also paper, so I screamed to the cook in the back. My mind was blank.
“Tim! It’s on fire!” I heard him laugh.
“What are you talking about?” I look at him and scream again.
“The bag is on fire!” Tim finally sees the bag and comes running to the front and blows on it, thus only making it bigger.
“That doesn’t work.” Here I am, holding a burning paper bag, on the verge of tears, and all he can do is make it worse. My manager hears the commotion and finds us standing around a burning bag, runs over and stomps on it.
“What are you doing? Why didn’t you put it out?” Tim, the genius that he is, replies,
“We tried. I was trying to save the food.” This whole time the guy at the window is watching us and I can see him laughing. He won’t be laughing for long when he finds out he has to wait for another five minutes before he can get his food. My manager walks over to the window and opens it.
“I’m sorry sir, it will just be another few minutes, we kinda lit the bag on fire.” He smiles and says,
“That’s alright, I’m not in any hurry.” A few minutes later, he gets his food and pulls away. My manager turns to me and shakes her head.
“How did you manage to light a bag on fire?” I looked at her and hold out my hands.
“I have no idea! I just put it under the heat lamp and made his shake, like always.” She looked at the bag again and grabs another one.
“I want to try something.” She folds it up just like I had done and places the empty bag on the metal sheet under the lamp. Within seconds the bag starts to smoke. She laughs and quickly pulls the bag off the slab and stomps on it a little before disposing of it. She picks up the phone and walks into the office to call the General Manager. After a few minutes of silence, she walks out and laughs lightly as she says,
“Ryan’s coming.” And just then, I feel like crying, until she smiles and says,
“He wants to see how it works himself. He wants to light the bag on fire.” And soon, we were laughing so hard, we did cry.