Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: HARVEST (11/21/19)
- TITLE: The Wonders of Modern Technology
By Holly Westefeld
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Mr. Thompson looked up. "Oh, hello Eric. You're early."
"I came straight from school. Do you want me to clock in, or wait till 3:30?"
His boss eyed his crisp chef's jacket and hat. "It looks to me like you're ready to work, so go ahead and log in. You downloaded the time clock app?"
"Yes, sir. I'll be right back. My phone's in my backpack."
Returning, Eric queried, "Where do you need me?"
Mr. Thompson indicated the monitor. "I recently updated the buffet with the wonders of modern technology. In addition to precise temperature control, each tray has smart scale, which sounds an alert here when it is running low, and flashes the tray number in red. As you can see, the lunch crowd made a sizable dent in the salad bar, so I need you to replenish what is low, if it is already prepped, and prep whatever is still needed. Jerry should be here soon. He'll show you the ropes."
Eric was chopping tomatoes when a horribly familiar voice barked, "What are you doing here, punk?"
Through tight lips Eric responded, "Working, Jerry, what about you?"
"I've been working here for six months. The boss said I'm supposed to make sure you don't mess things up."
Eric bit his tongue. "It looks like the cucumbers are needed next."
"Are YOU trying to tell ME how to do my job, punk?" Jerry sneered.
"No, just trying to do my part on the team," Eric replied evenly.
Jerry stalked off and returned with bell peppers.
As the Friday evening rush emptied trays at a rapid pace, it was all Eric could do to keep the salad bar stocked, especially since Jerry seemed to disappear periodically, and puttered with non-urgent produce when he was visible. At 7:00, Mr. Thompson tapped Eric on the shoulder. "Time for your break. Please watch the time carefully, and let Jerry know he can take his break when you return at 7:30."
"Sure, Mr. Thompson."
At 7:25, Jerry stomped in to the break room. "Get back to work, slug. My turn for a break."
Eric shrugged and left. The monitor had several red numbers winking, as though nothing had been replenished since he had started his break. He sliced and diced as quickly as possible without losing a finger, but was still behind forty-five minutes later when Jerry ambled back. "Having trouble keeping up, slowpoke?"
Eric just nodded.
A few minutes later, Mr. Thompson rushed up. "Boys, I just got a call that my wife is in labor. Jerry, I need you to show Eric the closing procedures for the salad bar and this section of the kitchen."
"No problem Mr. Thompson."
A few minutes after Mr. Thompson had dashed out the door, Jerry poked Eric in the ribs, jacket on. "Have fun cleaning up, brat."
"We don't get off until 10:00."
Jerry grinned. "The awesome thing about the time clock app is that I can clock in and out from anywhere. You work till 10:00 if you want, but I have some buddies and girls to meet." He made a fist and flexed his biceps. "And I don't suggest you get any ideas about being a rat."
Eric shook his head and kept working. At 10:00, he stepped in to the break room, logged out, then returned to the kitchen to finish cleaning up.
The following afternoon when Eric arrived, there were pink balloons everywhere. "Congratulations, Mr. Thompson!"
Mr. Thompson smiled from ear to ear. "Thank you. And thank you for your excellent job shutting down last night."
"I always try to do my best."
Mr. Thompson collared Jerry the moment he walked in. "You're late, again! In my office."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Thompson. I hit some traffic."
A few minutes later, Jerry emerged, minus chef's jacket and hat, and stomped toward the door while glaring daggers at Eric. Eric looked quizzically at Mr. Thompson.
"A shame to have to let someone go on such an otherwise joyous day. Jerry apparently forgot about some of the wonders of modern technology, like the time clock app showing me the user's location when they log in and out, and the security footage that showed me when he really left last night. That same footage made me decide to give you Jerry's six-month raise."
Proverbs 11:18 The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.
Proverbs 20:4 A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.
Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
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