Daily Prompt; Sixteen tons

Sixteen Tons.  “And what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt.”


Good day to write about my job because I have the day off. I have the luxury of sitting here in my lounge (raggedy cotton) wear and take the time to think. At the back of my mind is the mess in my kitchen and living room but who cares? I haven’t written too much about my job and here’s the opportunity.

I wish I loved my job so much that I was happy to go everyday. I’m really trying to tell myself that. This is a good place to work, my hours are good. I have a uniform that’s not ugly  (although polyester), so I don’t have to think about what to wear to work or buy special clothes. I get to decorate cakes.

The cakes are already made and frozen in big slabs about 5 cm, (2 in.) thick that we cut in half length-wise (that’s a trick in itself) and fill with icing, caramel or Barvarian cream. Those get cut down to make smaller cakes. We make 4 litres of whipping cream at a time and decorate Black Forest  cakes (a cheap knock-off version) and cream pies. Top frozen eclairs with melted chocolate, fill canoles with sweetened ricotta cheese and dribble with melted chocolate. I love doing all this.

But there is always a wrench in the works: I’m not fast enough yet. My boss, Todd,  keeps telling me how fast I should be doing it but since I’m only there part time, I haven’t done things often enough to be fast at it. He had this job right out of high school and has been doing it for about 18 years. He doesn’t understand I didn’t just look at it all and get it. He is very impatient if he has to tell me something he already told me. It really makes me feel old.

I few weeks into the job they asked if I would also go on cash. I agreed because I need the money. This is a very stressful job compared to the bakery. You have to be so ‘ON’ and friendly and talk a lot. The other cashiers are young. I get the same impatient, snappy answers if they’ve already told me something once.  Like charging groceries to an account….. in 9 easy steps!  I had to write it down. Coupons, returns, cashing out. A lot to learn.

3 days of that then go to the bakery and forget how many scoops of coconut filling is mixed with Bavarian cream for coconut cream pies. Too afraid to ask Todd (my boss) because he’ll bite my head off so I look in the huge binder of recipes…… 80% of it, we don’t make.  Then he can’t believe I haven’t filled those pies in 10 minutes. He’s bitchy. There, I’ve said it. I can now never tell him I write a blog. I do not know what his sexual persuasion is, I’ve stereotyped and been wrong before, but I can say he is a bitch.

But then again, that’s part of his charm and it’s good story telling. I wouldn’t want to take it from another female but I’ll give him some leeway.

The woman who works this job full time is rather bitchy also and likes to be mad at something. Saturday she went ballistic because she bought some chicken nuggets in the Deli dept. for lunch and they were not cooked enough. She was spitting mad all afternoon which didn’t make my job any easier. I’ve noticed she’s always pulling people aside and telling the inside scoop on someone. Then she’ll pull that person aside and tell them something about someone else. Many time I’ve interrupted a whisper and then they stop and look at each other, knowingly.  This is where age and experience are a blessing….. I don’t care or get involved.

Also on Saturday the oven broke down so there was very little bread made before it quit. This had to be the day I lost a loaf of bread out of the slicer. You have to hold onto the sliced loaf and shove it up a little chute that ends in a bag opened by blowing air. It had to be this day, front of Todd, it just flew 10 feet into the air taking half the loaf , the other half falling to the floor. Todd just closed his eyes and shook his head. Me? I wanted to laugh so much but didn’t. I tried to look contrite. I say ‘I’m sorry’ a lot.

In both jobs I can feel them rolling their eyeballs behind my back but this has given me new appreciation of what it’s like to be elderly. The town I work in is a tourist beach town in the summer but lots of elderly people in the winter. I see how impatient other customers get, especially trying to use their debit cards and forgetting their PIN numbers. People sigh audibly and roll their eyeballs…… it’s so rude.  One day this will be them.  I’m half way there.  Luckily, it’s my job to make them feel good, help them with everything; bagging, putting the bags in their cart, smiling and talking. And when I have those rolling eyeballed impatient, people, I’m supposed to ignore them. I like that! Then I come around and say ‘hello!” when it’s their turn.

Yes, I’m grateful to have this job; it could be so much worse. I’m so relieved about money now and that’s a blessing. I really enjoy relaxing on my day off because I know I’ve earned it.

But I’d much rather be retired!