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Book of Jobs Part 2

UGLY

by Chris Auman

After the last telemarketing gig fizzled leaving me unemployed for three or four or five weeks, I was beginning to get a little desperate. I had to start selling off my record collection to keep myself in rice and beans. Another ad in the Reader lead me to another restaurant in need of a cook. The establishment in question consisted of a rather small bar with an outdoor patio that was maybe twice the size of the interior. It was located up the street from the two and a half bedroom apartment on Lincoln Avenue that I shared with four other twenty-year-old dudes. (Imagine the cleanliness and good hygiene that was routinely observed at this temple of sobriety) The owner was a cocky frat boy-type in his mid-to-late twenties and he hired me on the spot (bad sign) and told me to come back the next night to train.

Returning the next night, the owner walked me back to the kitchen to introduce me to the kitchen manager, Blair. That’s funny, I thought to myself, I worked with this really lazy guy named Blair at a movie theater a few months back. He was eventually fired, just as he had been kicked out of my dorm, then school (and rumor had it, the US Army) prior to that. The owner (whose name has been lost to history) then pulled the curtain back (yes, curtain) on the kitchen to reveal a tiny room outfitted with a pizza oven, refrigerator, sink and an ex-Army, ex-Dorm, ex-student, ex-movie theater worker and current kitchen manager named Blair. This was the perfect recipe for the disaster that followed.

The kitchen that Blair “managed” wasn’t much bigger than a walk-in closet, or the room I was living in at the time, and the crew that Blair managed apparently consisted of me. There were no other cooks and no dishwashers. It was the most disorganized mess of a kitchen I had ever seen in my life up to that point, which wasn’t many, but still. My fridge at home with four roommates was cleaner and more organized and that’s saying something because our fridge was real messed up. Blair was a far worse manager than he was a theater usher and student and he was right up there with some of the laziest workers I’d ever encountered. I learned absolutely nothing from him during that night of training. I returned the next night to work solo with no idea how to make anything on the menu. I made pizza dough somewhat successfully. I improvised. I winged it. Not only was I the cook but I was also the dishwasher and, as I wouldn’t find out until much later that night, I was also the busboy. I discovered that fact well after midnight when a server tipped me off that there were several completely full bus tubs out on the patio that I had to retrieve and wash the contents of. With no dishwashing machine, I did so by hand and then cleaned the kitchen, which didn’t take long. By the time I got home at three o’clock that night I was as exhausted as I can ever recall being. I was too tired to even drink a beer and that ain’t right.

After working Friday and Saturday nights, I returned on Sunday to quit and ended up walking in on an employee meeting that I knew nothing of. I left immediately, walked home and called the bar and quit that way. This horribly run business closed just a few months later and I was happy to hear it. It usually takes shitty places like that much longer to close down. I will give the owner credit, despite being an over-confident, spoiled and clueless yuppie douche bag, he also gave up easily and thereby did the neighborhood a huge favor. I think a hair salon took over that space next.

Out of the frying pan...

Fast Food >>


Originally published in RW#23, 2014

RW #23

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