Wednesday, September 17, 2003

It took me two hours today to slice 41 pounds of tomatoes. I don't know what optimal tomato slicing speed is, but that seems pretty slow to me.

I feel like I'm working in the middle of a sociology experiment. We've got the twenty-something year old losers, who probably could work outside of food service if they could just control their binge drinking. One of them promised he was going to start his night out with nine beers--at least--at the Texas Roadhouse, and I found myself trying to calculate it all out: how many hours do you have to work at 6.25/hour to pay for the first nine beers? Not to mention the other half case he's apparently going to try and down at home.

Then there's the teenager who barely made it through high school (her own admission). If it hadn't been for that art class, her favorite class in which she got a D, she never would have made it through high school at all. The big drama of the weekend is that she noticed the blades of the vegetable chopper were still rotating, so she stuck her hand inside the machine--to stop the blades? I don't know, but that finger will probably never be the same.

Then there's the musician who reminds me of a character off Jerry Seinfeld. Stuck in this job as part of his alcohol and drug rehab program, apparently. He can't really play with the band anymore, because he isn't allowed in bars, the program prohibits it. He lost his old job because it required a driving license, which he lost due to a DUI (or more? how many do you need before they take your license away?) So, here he is, trying to make the kids stop listening to punk rock and listen to Buddy Guy in the dough room instead.

A couple of recent immigrants. One is from Nicaragua via Chicago, his wife is a student. He seems pretty nice, at least he has a nice smile. The other one is--I'm guessing based on the last name--from Afghanistan. I can't figure him out, half the time he seems belligerent, half the time he seems jokey, and I just don't know him well enough to really know how to take him.

A few I really haven't talked to enough yet. Hometown boy with a cross around his neck, about to celebrate his six-month anniversary with his girlfriend. She's plays the clarinet in marching band at one of the high schools. Another guy, apparently also a musician, who just seems really down on his luck, no money, no car, not really from around here. Another hometown girl who seems like she started working here as something to do, and maybe just got trapped.

And the boss, perpetual motion kind of guy, too much coffee, but I like him. Things definitely run better when he's around. He left the twenty-somethings in charge for two days this past week, and nothing really went right the entire he was gone.

I could do with a little less punk rock music, maybe a few pounds fewer tomatoes, definitely a few more dollars an hour, but otherwise, it's okay. It's only temporary, right?

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