Friday, March 22, 2013

The moment I knew

My English professor told the class something along the lines of  "If you think about something with out really thinking about it, then an idea will hit when you least expect it." I'm probably paraphrasing or misquoting him in some way in that sentence, but I'm letting you know this because my idea for this paper hit. I was awoken, after only two hours of sleep, by my idea and I just had to get up and try to write out what it was I thought about. I tried, unsuccessfully, to write it the old fashioned way first, with pen and paper, but got tired of trying to see without turning on a light.

I believe that there comes a moment in every persons life where they just know something is such a inherent truth that it changes them a little bit. This moment doesn't always hit when the person is young and just starting out, it takes awhile for some and thus the little bit older of a generation going back to school to get a degree in a new field. I'm one of the lucky few that got my moment early in life. If you love what you do for work then it doesn't feel like work. I had a hard time choosing what I wanted to do for a career in life and was sorta told that this is what I was going to do and when I was going to do it.

After spring trimester of junior year in college I got a job working at a Burger King, it was situated on an Air Force Base and paid better than any other job I could find. For me this job was all about making enough money to survive for as long as possible without getting a job during a trimester of school. I hated this job with a passion, but I stuck with it for the three months of summer. What made this job so horrible? The people I had to deal with, not the customers, my coworkers along with never knowing my schedule ahead of time and the fact that this was a fast food giant that smashed any creativity in its worker drones.

My boss, a plump kind of short (and I know short, I'm only 5'2") woman, her glasses filling the majority of her face never seemed to be clean; would put the schedule up for the week on Sunday nights when the fewest amount of people would know what shifts they would be working throughout the week. She also had a difficult time with requested days off, one particular instance comes to mind when she was flip flopping about giving me a day off. I requested the day off a month in advance, plenty of time for any other place that was accommodating, the week before the day I wanted off, she pulls me into her office.

"You can't have the 1st of July off, too many others have requested it off."
"When did they request the day off?"
"Before you."
"I requested it over a month ago, I don't want the 4th off as well." holding my rage back, so I don't yell at this woman who has such trouble with a simple schedule that I could do in my sleep. "I just want to celebrate my mothers birthday with her and my family on her actual birthday."
"I'm sorry." she apologizes to me like that would make anything better. I walk calmly out of her office to get back to work.

The next day she pulls me into her office again.

"I've talked to the other people who requested the day off and I've made it so you can have it off."
"No thanks, I changed my plans. I'm going to be working that shift whether or not my name is on the schedule." I was furious at this woman for having such control over my life and seeming to just fuck with it for the fun of it. 

My coworkers drove me insane with how rigid and serious they were about working at a fucking fast food joint. There was one shining light in this mix, that made work bearable, he was the one person that I actually enjoyed working with, I'll called him Joey. His real name was Joseph, but he hated it when I called him Joey, I would do it just to mess with him, he was much like an older brother to me. He was tall, with salt and pepper hair, and a tattoo that took me a while to figure out said both life and death. We would joke around and have fun. Then there was the complete opposite of Joey, I called her Fart Girl, not to her face just to people who listened to me complain, she just sucked any joy out of the day. She was not much taller than me, rather thin, and had a hairdo that would change weekly, one week it would be an afro the next cornrows then it would be cut into a bob. She was a complete bitch to me, and made work a hostile environment. She was a pompous, arrogant human being that thought she was better than everyone else and tried to be the boss of everyone, she was a little bitter about being passed over for promotion making her want to sabotage anyone else's chance of promotion before her.

I can remember one particular day where she was being especially horrible. I was on the cash register and she was in the back doing orders, a lovely woman comes up and orders her meal. In a few minutes the order was ready for pickup, this lovely woman takes the tray and sits down in the dining area. I'm busy with another customer, so I don't see her walk back up to the counter with her blue plastic tray. When I finish with the new customer, I walk over and ask "Is there a problem with your meal?"
"You bet your ass there is. This isn't what I ordered."
"May I see your receipt, so I can make sure to have your order remade correctly?"
"Here" she throws the receipt at me in a huff.
I walk into the back and quietly confront Fart Girl about it. In the end she remade the meal and was angry at me for wasting a sandwich when she was the one to screw the order up.I still believe to this day that she would purposely mess orders up when I was working the counter to have customers complain to me or even yell at me.

Joey hated working the counter and would send me up in his place. He would then make sure my orders were always correct. He would often ask "Think we need more fries put down?"
"Not yet, I think we have enough right now."
A couple minutes would go past and I would yell "JOEY, we need fries put down."
He would just look at me and pull the basket up and dump the fresh fried fries into the hold bin. He would say something along the lines of "I knew we needed more fries." That is just a small example of how he always seemed to have my back. 

Fart Girl tried to make my working there a living hell and it worked a little bit. I hated coming to work and would call in sick on occasion because of plantar fasciitis, a condition where the tendons in the bottom of the feet get inflamed and irritated, which would make standing for an eight hour shift impossible on some days. It always seemed to be much worse on days that I knew I would have to deal with her. One particular day I had such bad pain in my foot that I could barely walk, so I called in sick, even though it was not a day that I would have to deal with Fart Girl, but because I called in sick my boss called her into work and this made our feud a little bit stronger. A few days later while at work she starts to complain that she isn't feeling well, that she threw up in the bathroom and that she thinks she needs to go home. The boss turns to me and asks if I can pick up her shift and I reply that I could work a few more hours but that I had a doctor appointment. This made the boss happy and she got the rest of the shift covered. The next day I had off, I get a call in the morning asking if I could cover Fart Girl's shift for the day, I had plans and wasn't about to cancel them for stupid work. The next day I was back at work with her, and I overheard a conversation about why she had called in sick. It was because she had really bad gas, but I believe she just wanted to make me come in on my day off like I had purposely planned to make her come in on her day off to cover my shift.

It was on days after working with her that I would come home and complain to who ever would listen about how much I hated my job. I was so glad that I was getting a college education. I wouldn't become one of those people content about being stuck in a boring job at a fast food joint, or a person making minimum wage in a job they hated. It was on one of those days that I finally realized that I had made the right choice in my career path. I knew that I would choose a job in baking, my passion, making minimum wage any day over a job with higher pay. I knew that for me baking isn't just something that I do, it is a part of who I am and who I always will be.

Ideas will just hit you when you least expect them. They aren't always the greatest but occasionally it will change your life, like Steve Job's idea for the iPod. An idea can consume you and take control of your life if you aren't careful, this could be good, this could be bad. In my case this idea to write in the middle of the night was an okay decision, I may regret it tomorrow and I may decide to scrap the whole thing, but at least I got what was in my head out and can maybe get back to sleep because I no longer have all these ideas floating around in there. 

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