Chicken Coop

My First Job- What was yours? My first job was at a Chicken Restaurant called Chicken Coop, when I was fourteen years old. Everyone I went to school with worked there, due to the fact that you could lie about your age, and there weren't to many places for teenagers to work in 1973. I was fired and rehired on many occasions, and for various reason’s the worst of which I’m writing about today. We had two managers, Mark, who was the good looking one with sandy colored hair and kind eyes. Then, there was Harold, who was the exact opposite of Mark. Harold was the owner’s son who hated me, and I cannot imagine why. Harold had a scary face, one I’ll never forget, his eyes were straight across from each other, perfectly aligned with one long eyebrow across the top of his forehead. He had a small, Charlie Chaplin-like mouth and a Hitler mustache. Oh, Harold hated me and especially after this incident… although more were to follow…. Each of us had a job or position in the bagging and frying area, and we followed a procedure for getting orders out quickly. This is how is worked: one person worked as the "fryer", who fried the chicken and put it in a pan, to be picked by the "fry picker" who picked up the chicken with thongs, put it in a cardboard box, and slid it along a table to the "bagger", the bagger put the cardboard dinner box in a bag, stapled it shut, and brought the finished order stapled securely in the bag to the customer waiting at the counter. Normally, I worked as the fry picker, but this particular day the fryer (the one who fried the chicken) and I got in an argument. He was angry because I kept picking the freshest chicken first, instead of the other way around. Harold had to break up the fight right in front of the customers, (because they were right in front of us), and the fryer was a crazy man, screaming bloody murder. Of course, Harold blamed me for the fryer's actions and continued his complaining in front of the customers, but he needed me up front, so he just put me to work stapling the bags after he put the cardboard boxes inside. Harold and I argued while we worked; the fry picker picked the chicken, put it in the cardboard dinner box, and slid it to Harold. Harold would put the box in the bag, and pass it to me, who stapled the bags and brought them to the customer at the counter. We did this on a counter in front of the customers, so they could see their chicken being picked, put in the bags, then be on their way out the door. The service idea was set up so that the customer could get their order quickly, so the faster we moved the better. But remember, Harold was furious with me, so he was screaming while we were trying to fill orders during lunch hour. Harold’s eyes were glued to mine, and his face was as red as a beet, then he said; “Ann, watch what you’re doing, and I'm not kidding. After today you are gone, gone, gone." Move it, move it, he yelled, his little Hitler mustache moving up and down, so I decided to staple his tie to his shirt, instead of the bags. Harold continued to chew me out, he was literally blue in the face, sliding the dinner bags toward me, where I would catch the bag from him, staple his tie to his shirt, then bring the unstapled bags to the customers. That's when the customers noticed Harold's tie, and started laughing, then Harold looked at his tie. He saw about thirty staples stapled to the front of his shirt, and realized what I was doing. Harold went to the back of the store for a long time. I guess to think of a punishment. He knew firing me wouldn't help, because I always went back to work as if I wasn't fired, and they needed help, so I think he was trying to make me quit. Well, he finally marched to the front of the store toward me, and said, "Follow me outside." Then, he pulled the hose from the side of the store, and dropped it beside a mop bucket, and said; "I want you to water every plant around this store using the mop bucket, got it?" He wanted me to carry the bucket to each plant, instead of simply using the hose. All of this went on in front of the store, with customers walking pass us, I guess he wanted to watch from inside. I thought, well, I've got this, at least I'm outside, so I put the hose in the bucket, went around the side of the restaurant and turned on the water. At first, I felt like I had things under control, but the water was coming out too slow, so I turned the faucet to make the water come out faster. Then I returned to the front of the store to fill up the bucket, which was working fine until the hose shot out of the bucket, and flew in the air like a snake. It wiggled over cars with people in them, and splashed over customers walking in the store, and the ones walking outside to check on their vehicles. I could see Harold's mouth moving inside the store, and my friends laughing, but I could not catch that hose. When Harold began to move to the front door, I ran around the building, turned the facet off, jumped in my car and left. Then, returned to work the next day.


At The Mercy Of My Bathroom Faucet

My cat, Simon, insists on eating the instant I open my eyes, so this morning I climbed from my uncomfortable bed, and delivered Mr. narcissism his breakfast. I fumbled around in the kitchen, my eyes barely focused, and my mind in a dreamy haze, searching for the cat’s breakfast, and listening to his chorus of, MEOW, MEOW, and MEOW. Why do cats pretend you cannot hear their loud meowing instructions?

Since I saw the blood before my brain could register the pain, I just stared at the back of my hand, and imagined the effect this accident could have on the rest of my day. I ran to the bathroom and put my hand under cool running water, watching the blood wash away, and imagining my immediate future.

Simon must have accidentally scratched me in my sleep. Simon is the first cat I've ever owned, and although I love him, he will be the last. I've had dogs all of my life, so Simon   

After running cold water on the cut, to stop the bleeding, I searched the medicine cabinet with my left hand for a band-aid, but I could not find one! While frantically searching the cabinet with my good hand, I tried to move the injured hand away from the running water, however the bleeding was profuse, so I put it back under the bathroom faucet. I couldn't believe I was stuck at the mercy of the bathroom faucet, because I couldn’t find a band-aid.

I may forever live in bondage over the bathroom sink, my hand under water, unable to live my life, all because I forgot to get band-aids at the drug store! I've been so busy lately, I can't remember to get things like band-aids, and other much needed items and now I was paying the price. I began to panic, but continued the search while holding my hand under the running water, until thank goodness, I found one lonely band-aid crumbled in the back of the medicine cabinet, a case of serendipity for sure.

Thank goodness, because now I was free to drive an hour to my mothers, after I let my cat Simon go free, wash the endless supply of dirty clothes that one college student can dirty, work on a book proposal, write tomorrows post, oh, and lets not forget, go to the grocery store to get what I’m going to cook tonight.

That's it, except, I feel as if I am forgetting something, which again, I do when I'm in a hurry. Oh well, if it was important I would remember, right? Well, even if there is, there is one thing of which I'm certain, something will surely happen to get my attention, and thereby help me remember.

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