Do you remember your first summer job?
Well, my first high school job was a 40 hour shift complete with mopping floors and working a drive through window.
"May I help you? Would you like fries with your order?" I said into the speaker.
A few days into my new position, I decided to eat a burger myself, but a second wave of customers piled into the lobby.
We were suddenly covered up with drooling, hungry patrons who were on their lunch hour, too.
So, I wrapped my half-eaten burger and put in on the warmer tray behind the fresh burgers.
"Thank you and have a good day. That will be $3.99. Was that a Diet Coke?”
“Drop an order of onion rings," I called to my co worker in charge of tacos and French fries.
"Ketchup? Yes, we have mustard, too."
After a 30-miunte drill of selling burger, fries, and drinks, I returned to retrieve my hamburger from the warming tray.
But, it was gone!
At that moment, a man walked up to the lobby counter carrying a sack.
"Excuse me,” he announced with attitude. “It seems my hamburger is half-eaten. There are several bites in this bun.”
"Umm…Yes, We are so sorry. What did you order?" I asked, taking the paper bag from the man.
Handing the white-collar gentleman his hot burger and his refund for my poor service, my boss proceeded to inquire about how this had happened in the first place.
On my next job (a few weeks later) I worked in a snack bar at a grocery store. I embarked on making my first milkshake.
Taking a large paper cup, I filled it with ice cream.
With the chocolate syrup in the mixture, I attempted to prepare the shake by placing the paper cup up against the metal blades.
Ice cream coated walls. Mixture everywhere. Chocolate syrup dripping from my face.
The cup was torn into a million pieces. No one told me about the container used for mixing all milkshakes.
The following week (surprise! surprise!) management moved me to another position at the diner as a hostess.
I was in charge of seating customers at their tables, saying, "Your waitress will be with you shortly."
I was also put in charge of the toaster and buttering slices of bread. I could make the best toast in the restaurant.
Such responsibility. It makes me heady with pride.
Soon, I was promoted to the candy department inside the store.
For the first few days I enjoyed working in the candy department, until one day when I forgot to turn off the popcorn machine.
The kernels swirled in the hot oil and smoke billowed into the produce department.
The building was evacuated, but there was no fire. Just me, hot with embarrassment.
Amazingly, my special touch, or lack thereof, did not keep me from trying other jobs.
I learned important lessons that summer.
I discovered that certain skills do not always come naturally. Many must be learned.
I went on to take other jobs during my teen years and actually acquired some useful skills.
One of them is perseverance -- never, never, giving up, even when you watch one job go up in smoke.
There’s always another try, or another job!
Okay, I may never run a grocery store, but honey, I can still make the best toast in town.
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