While in high school, many will realize that they need money. Whether it’s because they need to afford the latest video games, buy the trendiest fashion designs, or waste hundreds of dollars on their money-sucking leech-of-a-girlfriend, income is a major part of any high schooler’s life. Which is why, a few weeks ago, I got myself a job. I work roughly 20 hours a week at the local bakery, where we serve delicious pastries, warm cookies, and fresh-out-of-the-oven bagels, all of which have been carefully dropped on the ground before being served.
When you get a job, you recognize how much slips through the cracks at even the most sophisticated restaurants. When I actually ate at this restaurant, I thought that the food was handled with extreme precision and attention, making sure it was cooked perfectly before handing it to our customers on a golden platter. Now that I’m actually the one being forced to deal with the dissatisfied and self-centered shit-fucks that are commanding a bagel “charred but not burnt” and then bitching when the toaster goes up in flames in an attempt to custom toast their order, I realize that employees at any restaurant don’t actually give a rat’s ass what happens to your food.
I know that I’m sounding a lot like the movie Waiting, but it’s entirely true. The whole idea of a job is that you waste the majority of your life wandering around aimlessly, taking orders from unqualified dumbasses and serving people with the IQ of electrical wires. And in return, you make minimum wage, half of which is taken from you by the government, and half of which you’re forced to “save.” The only difference with my site and the movie Waiting is that Ryan Reynolds should win an Academy Award, whereas I’d gladly settle for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Some things I have learned, however, about having a job, are certain ways to manipulate the system and get out of doing legitimate work. What is this super secret idea that will revolutionize the workforce and motivate millions? It’s simple: Look busy. When you’re at work, your manager or coworkers will call upon you to do pointless tasks if they catch you standing around aimlessly. These tasks might include sweeping the floor, cleaning tables, or “re-stocking” the shelves. You obviously don’t need to be doing that, and you’re only going to get in the way of people who are only trying to enjoy their meal. So to avoid being summoned for futile labor, all you have to do is look like you’re already doing a senseless task and people will leave you alone. Some of these tasks include:
• Squinting into the restocking shelves as if you’re looking for something.
• Pretending to take a phone-in order, when you’re really just putting the phone to your ear and going “Yes, yes, alright. Would you like a side of chips with that?”
• Walking around in circles with two dirty plates in your hands.
• Telling everyone that you’re “on break.”
• Franticly scrubbing the same bowl for 35 minutes, insisting that some lady handed it back due to its filthiness (this one is extra effective because it makes you seem like a hero and the dish-cleaning staff look sloppy).
Also, while working the register, I have compiled a list of things I hate. Now in a normal, everyday situation, I would be completely alright with these things; it’s just the fact that I have to deal with them 14 times a day that drives me crazy. Pay close attention, you might be one of these people:
The “Exact Change” Person. All the time people want to “get rid of a few coins” by paying me in exact change. Most people would deem this as logical and even convenient, but these people aren’t forced to wait an extra 20 minutes as the customer fumbles around in her purse for 39 cents while the people in line behind her begin to riot. Listen, I have an entire register full of change. Even better, it’s already sorted in boxes full of quarters, nickels, and dimes. If you have extra change, go to Coin-Star, don’t hand me four nickels, three dimes, and 42 pennies in an attempt to make things easier for me. Even worse, I have to count out the money to make sure you’re not trying to rip me off.
I had one lady who bought $4.16 cents worth of food. I told her the total, and she responded “let me just get that.” I then had to sit and watch as this lady rooted around in her purse, fumbling past crisp five dollar bills to reach the change accumulating in the bottom of her wallet. She then handed me (and I swear I’m not exaggerating this) 16 quarters, one nickel, and 11 pennies. After painstakingly sorting out all this change, I was forced—by my manager—to smile and tell this woman to “have a nice day.” Fuck that.
In reality, it makes sense to get rid of extra change. I too, don’t like heavy coins bouncing around in my pockets, and I have a jar that I collect them all in. But what really throws me off are people who try to pay in exact change, over-shoot it, and then wind up with more change than before. One man I served had a total of $8.08. When I told him his total, he handed me a ten dollar bill, and then pulled a dime out of his pocket. This makes sense, seeing as how dimes are annoying change and are inconveniently small, but the only problem is that I handed this man back $1.02. This means that he just went from having one dime in his pocket, to having two pennies. Either the man is some mentally unstable change-hoarder, or he wasn’t thinking straight.
The “Custom Order” Person. At most restaurants, bakeries, and cafes, they have a set menu or food to order from. Nothing annoys people more than customers who think that they are the center of the universe, and that everything they want is at hand. Every time these people are going to be assholes and amend a regular order, they start their sentence like Mr. Lumbergh from Office Space (“Ummm, yeah”). Instead of rant about it, I’m going to show you a conversation I had with one of these people:
Me– Hey, how can I help you?
Man– Hello, I was just wondering what your Smoked Turkey is made of.
Me– It’s a grilled turkey breast with cheese, peppers, mustard, and sauce. It can come on wheat, french slice, or rye.
Man– Umm yeah, can I get that, only can I have it without mustard, cheese, or turkey, and instead have it with lettuce and bacon? And can I have that on white bread?
Me– Sir, you just ordered the Smoked Turkey, but then modified it into a BTL.
Man– Yes, and I was wondering if you could cut it diagonally. It’s for my son and he doesn’t eat things with more than three sides. Which reminds me, he wanted it to come with a chocolate milk, but he said that the chocolate milks here are too chocolaty, so I was wondering if you could take ¾ a box of chocolate milk and mix it with ¼ regular milk. Also the coldness from the refrigerator hurts his teeth, so can you just steam the milk for 15 seconds?
Me– Your total is $5.37
Man– Umm yeah, I only have $3.15.
Just last week a man asked me if there was anyway I could toast his French Baguette. Let me repeat that: he wanted me to put his French Baguette in the toaster. I told him that it was impossible for me to fit a three foot baguette in a tiny toaster, and he asked to “check with my manager.”
People Who Know The Menu Better Than I Do. There are some people who go to my work every day, similar to how some obese people go to McDonald’s every day—it’s tradition. The only difference is that the fat people that go to McDonalds aren’t complete assholes who try to manipulate an ever-changing menu. These people insist that “there’s normally left over soup” when there isn’t any, and then they try to peak over my shoulder as if I’m secretly hiding their beloved soup behind my back. Meanwhile, the offered soups are glowing in massive orange print over my head, but these people insist on finding a loophole in the system by ordering one that’s unavailable.
“But you had chicken noodle soup yesterday,” the people will say, still trying to peer over my shoulder into some imaginary kitchen where they cook every soup in the world. You know what else I had yesterday? Patience, but I’m all out of that too.
Any number under 100 ending in 4 or 9. I hate these numbers because it sucks having to give back four pennies. 34 cents consists of a quarter, nickel, and four pennies. 35 cents, however, is only a quarter and a dime. I hate change more than anything, and I especially think that pennies suck. So you can imagine my hatred when a persons total comes to 94 cents, and I’m forced to shovel out three quarters, a dime, a nickel, and—of course—four pennies. Half the time I want to just give the person the extra cent, but I can’t because when I leave they count my register, and if my total sales don’t add up to the money in the register, I get a stern talking to, and no one wants that.
I hope that you all take this list as a learning tool, and change yourself to benefit others. Because those “others” you’re trying to please are currently putting their hands on their food, as well as scratching their balls; you had just better hope it’s in that order. And if I ever catch another person paying me in exact change while custom-making their own order, I’ll probably shoot them in the back of the head. Or worse, I’ll tell them to “have a nice day.”