My first job was at a convenience store / gas station. I was 16 and wanted to start saving money to move to California after high school. My interview was what you would expect from a first interview for a 16 year old. The manager there was young and pretty hot so I flirted with him the entire time, asked no questions that related to the job itself, asked how much I would get paid, made it clear my weekends were very important to me, and said I refuse to wear a hair net while serving ice cream or making pizza. And when I say flirting, it was 16 year old flirting, which in fact isn’t really flirting at all. Looking back you realize all you were doing was smiling to the point that made you look crazy, saying “like” a lot, attempting your sophisticated laugh if you thought he was telling a joke, and trying to do a seductive look which gave off the impression you must have a tick. Ok, so maybe that was just me. But somehow I still got the job.
I would be working at the cash register, serving ice cream, and stocking the fridge occasionally. I am not one for manual labor so I immediately figured the ice cream and the register would be my favorites. But I soon realized as much as I hated manual labor, I hated customers even more. When you are a 16 year old girl the last thing you want to do is be working at the cash register in a convenience store around the corner from 4 construction companies. You knew when it was break time for them because they would all be in there buying food and doing their best to uphold their stereotype of being dirty creepers. So I would normally ask to work the ice cream stand or stock the fridge. Working ice cream was the best because it was fun, easy, and you could get tips. Well technically, you couldn’t get tips. But who was I to stop someone from dropping me a few extra dollars just because they wanted to after I tell them, “We take tips by the way.” I was really good at it too, but some of my co workers weren’t always the best. One guy, who I will refer to as Scruffy Tubs due to his scruffy face and voice and his obese tubby stomach, was pure entertainment to watch. He was incapable of keeping his jeans up, he walked at a pace that would make my 87 year old grandmother tell him to hurry it up, and he was bat shit crazy. So when he was working ice cream a typical customer scenario would normally play out like this. He would greet them by saying “Hi what do you want?” while leaning over the counter with his crack severely hanging out and take their order. This order was normally needed to be repeated to Scruffy Tubs 3 times before he got it straight. He would then turn to start making his masterpiece. It would again take around 3 times for him to make the order correctly. After he would screw it up he would mumble an obscenity, throw the failed effort away, pull his pants up which were now showing almost all of his ass, and start again. Once he had successfully made the order he would give it to the customer and then the real fun began; watching him try to figure out the register. This consisted of him smacking random buttons unsure of what they did, grunting, mumbling more obscenities, grunting some more, and then having someone come ring it up for him saying he had to go take care of something in the back. Whoever went to ring it out was always screwed, because after ringing it out they would look around and realize it looked like a tornado hit the ice cream area. He would somehow even make a mess of ingredients he wasn’t even using. He could be making a medium vanilla soft serve and somehow there would be nuts, sprinkles, hard cotton candy ice cream, and marshmallow fluff everywhere. It was actually impressive. I miss Scruffy Tubs.
After I was working there for awhile the manager hired another younger girl who went to my school. She was a year or two younger than me and I decided to take her under my wing. Between the construction guys coming in and Scruffy Tubs mooning everyone in the store on a minute to minute basis, I decided as long as I liked her I would help her. Our manager had me teach her the ice cream stand. So I started showing her everything and as I asked her to try to do something I saw her just frozen staring into the distance like there was a train coming at her full speed ahead and she knew death was near. I looked to the same direction and saw nothing else, but Scruffy Tubs almost full bare ass up in the air as he cleaned a spill. Once she could get over the shock of it she made some smart ass remark and started laughing. Ok, she definitely passes, we’re going to be friends. Her name was Jojo which was another plus because that is one of the best names to say when you’re drunk, on a side note. Working with her was a lot of fun and we became friends outside of work. Our manager at first liked how we worked together thinking we were being very productive and getting a lot done and I was a good teacher for her. In fact we were normally just hanging out in the cooler talking or “cleaning the back room”. This was always fun because it basically meant we would just be climbing around on all the structures and unwrapping boxes of supplies which would inevitably end up in styrofoam cup wars and more of a mess then when we started. The cooler was also fun, especially on delivery days. Again, because it meant we got to climb around on all the crates and cases of beer. It was like that entire store was our fort. We were like little kids again playing in forts that we made. Only now we were making them out of cases of beer. Which we were also drinking from time to time. Just like kids…drunk destructive kids who steal beer. How I miss innocent youth.
Everyone we worked with were all characters. It’s like the universe knew someday I would be writing comedy and just perfectly placed these people around me. Here’s a quick rundown of the rest of the cast. The woman who worked the overnight shift was a witch. She practiced witchcraft with her husband, who just so happened to be a substitute teacher at my school where everyone assumed he was certifiably insane. Her engagement ring from him was a giant teal colored fake rock looking thing that she bragged to everyone cost $23. Next is a girl who I’m really not even sure how to begin explaining. She was a lesbian, but talked about all of her boyfriends all the time, but said she wasn’t bi. If you understand that please let me know and explain, thanks. She was kind of spazzy and I just never knew what to expect with her. My friend and I had a video project for government class in school where we had a law to do a report on. The laws we had to show being enforced were underage drinking and stealing. I couldn’t have chosen better ones. I think we were supposed to do more than just show it being enforced, but our teacher loved when we would do our video projects so I am pretty sure we never actually did what was asked, but it worked out. Whenever we had to do a project we would just get high and shoot a video roughly based around the topic she gave us and she always loved it. So we went to my work and explained we were going to be shooting the video there and I would be a teen trying to buy alcohol and when I get turned down I would steal it. We had the idea that I would run to the door acting like it was in slow motion as I stole the bottle of booze and Crazypants (the girl I am talking about) would chase me down and act like she tackles me and take the booze back. Everything was running smoothly, I was doing a stellar slow motion run for the door, she was slow motion chasing me, but then she went to full speed out of nowhere, laid out horizontally in the air and straight up superman dive tackled me to the ground. Crazypants was crazy. So after such an ordeal, I of course took it upon myself to in fact steal the bottle after all was said and done. I was just tackled! I needed a drink. Last but not least was the “mom” of the crew. She was in fact a mom of two kids who were near my age also. She was a teacher but wanted to pick up an extra job with her oldest going to college soon. She was another whiz at the ice cream stand. It would take her 5 minutes just to get the gloves on, which still wouldn’t be on by the end of the struggle anyways. And just like Scruffy Tubs, would create a post tornado atmosphere when done. She wore glasses which I never knew how she was able to see out of because after she was done making the ice cream she would keep the gloves on and always be touching her glasses so they were constantly fogged by blue raspberry and butter pecan. There was nothing better than watching the two of them work together on a busy Friday night. Jojo and I were really good working ice cream together. We worked well together, customers liked us, and we could make a milkshake in less than 10 minutes, so that helped. But I think everyone always wanted to see Scruffy Tubs and Pecan Glasses work together more just because of the entertainment factor. Screw being profitable, we want to see some Scruffy Tub butt!
All in all I loved working there. The stories I have from there are endless, so I’ll have to revisit it sometime. Until then farewell Scruffy Tub, Pecan Glasses, Crazypants, Hot Boss, Witchcraft and Jojo.