So, I was enjoying myself immensely while working for one of a national chain of restaurants, Arby’s™. My manager reminded me of Tom Selleck and, according to one reader, I came mighty close to opening a vein with a utility knife.
After the first week or so, however, I realized that I hadn’t entirely escaped the onus of working with people with attitude problems. One of the assistant managers was a tall, sandy-blond young woman who was “very pregnant.” I’ll call her Pam (short for Pregnant Assistant Manager). Whenever she had charge of a shift, she would nitpick everything you did. To me, once again, it felt like nothing I did was good enough. As for respect, from her I received zero.
Thankfully, I only had to work with her every so often. One of the other assistant managers told me that she was really a very nice woman and it was only since she became pregnant that she’d become so… uh… frustrating (whew! Sidestepped that one.) Anyway, I tried to tell myself stories about why she was like that towards me (she’s just having a bad day. She’s uncomfortable, that’s all. Etc.) and it worked about half the time. The rest of the time, my mouth usually got me into trouble. I came really close to losing my job because some part of me believed that this assistant manager needed to treat me with more respect.
After a while, rather than keep trying to get fired, I began to fantasize. I began to tell myself stories of pretended futures. For example:
We are at work. Mr. Selleck is off duty because it’s his day off. Instead, Pam is in charge and she’s behaving the way she usually does and cracking the whip over us wage slaves. Suddenly, she doubles over in pain. Forgetting that I’ve never had any experience with birth whatsoever, I immediately realize that Pam is in labor. I announce this fact and everyone else in the room panics. There is no doctor in the restaurant. Someone goes into Mr. Selleck’s office to call 911. While we’re waiting for the ambulance, I help Pam get to the floor and help her deliver her baby. The baby is beautiful. Someone wraps it up in a clean bar towel as Pam thanks me profusely for helping her.
Now, I’m going to sit here and wait for you to stop laughing. Go ahead. I know it’s funny as heck to think that an inexperienced young woman would be the only one who knows that the pregnant lady is in labor and that said inexperienced young woman would then be capable of delivering the baby.
So, other than that, I was completely enjoying myself working for Arby’s. Mr. Selleck didn’t believe that I would be able to carry two boxes of roasts at a time, but, thanks to hours of carrying newspapers by that point, I surprised him. I also learned the secret recipe for ArbyQ, which was to fill a large tub with roast beef, dump in an entire bottle of prepared barbecue sauce and, while wearing plastic gloves, which you have to be careful not to lose in the mix, mix the two in the tub with your hands until the sauce is evenly distributed. Then slap a lid on it and put it in the refrigerator until it’s chilled through.
Finally, however, I hit my one year mark. How did I celebrate? I got hit by a car.
Did you ever fantasize that you did something you would never be able to do in real life? Did you ever have an assistant manager that was pregnant? If so, was she… um… irritable (sidestepped it again)? Tell me about it! I really wanna know!