Chips and Evil Snickers

April 20, 2007 at 10:10 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Waxing Nostalgic)

“You won’t know where, you won’t know when, but I will get even!”

What did *I* do?…

I have a co-worker who I also consider a close friend. We grew up in similar backgrounds, have worked the same types of jobs, and have shared dark times as well as good ones. Fortunately, he has a sense of humor.

This is what happened in October of 2001, at our previous place of employment…

* * *

Some nights you feel like working; others you just ‘phone it in.’ I try to give a full night’s work, welcoming the occasional disruption. But some disruptions are more fun than others.

A not-so-fun one is the arrival of potato chips. The boss will take his pickup truck to the outlet store, and buy potato chips that are near but not quite expired. Maybe two or three weeks shelf life, as opposed to the two or three months on ‘fresh stuff.’

The boss will back up his truck to the door, get the hand truck, and bring in box after box of single-serving chips. After counting the bags, he leaves them for whoever is working, to put on the various scattered shelves around the store. This is not popular amongst the employees. It’s not hard, it’s not really work, it’s just a pain in the ass, and annoying when you are interrupted every three minutes to walk back across the store, only to have the cussed-dumber want a book of matches, or change for a quarter. (Grrr…) Bossman always seems to bring them on busy nights. I don’t think he plans it that way, it just seems to happen. And if it happens on your shift, you are expected to get’r done.

Chips happened last night. The night tied for my second busiest here, on paper anyway, when here comes the chip truck. It’s not late enough at night to leave them for Chuckles. Besides, he hates doing them more than I.

Much more so. I could hear the cussing already, should I leave them.

I resign to the fact that the chips have fallen on me, and get to it. It takes about an hour; an hour and a half if you do it neatly. (I get done in about 45 minutes- “You want it neat? It’s all there- start neatening!!”) But, I can’t just quietly accept my fate. It’s not often I get to be malicious and productive, too…

After shelving each and every damn bag of chips, I gather the boxes, carefully piling them into that ‘Oh shit, chips are here’ stack we all loathe to see. I get it done, with an hour left before Chuckles’ arrival, so between cigarette sales I catch up on the newspaper.

Chuckles’ big white car pulls into the lot. I make with the busy work, trying to get a half-glow on so it looks like I’ve been slaving away. Chuckles rolls in, stows his gun under the counter, and says, “So, I see Bossman graced us with his presence today. When did they get here?” He thumbs at the stack of chip boxes.

In my best sheepish voice, “Oh, about an hour or so ago. I’ve been busy.” Even more sheepish, “I did put up the Twinkies…”

“Oh wow, that takes, like, five minutes,” he replied, unimpressed. “I’ve got shit to do. If he wants them up, he can put them up himself.”

Here comes the pout. When Chuckles feels personal injustices have been done, his lower lip resembles that of Bubba from ‘Forrest Gump.’ He works himself into a slow, rolling boil.

Let’s throw another log on the fire. “Yeah, he said we’d better get them all put up before you go home.”

“Before I go home???” Is that steam coming out your ears, Chuckles? “Well, he can just go fuck himself. I’ve got a bunch of stuff I have to do every goddamn night, sorry Lord. (He always crosses himself after swearing.) “I don’t have time to do his grunt work. Did he specifically say I had to do them?”

I’m having a hell of a time keeping a poker face. “Well, not specifically. He said they were supposed to be done by morning, and I’m not staying late to do chips.”

“Okay then. So you didn’t specifically tell me they had to be done tonight?” Eyes pleading…

“Sure, if that’s the way you want it.” Giggles rising. Think gloomy thoughts. I turn to do busy work, or I’m gonna lose it.

He starts on his nightly cleaning procedure. This is unusual. He obviously figures he’d better get hopping if he’s gonna have to put up ten boxes of chips. “Well, I might put up a few, if I have time. I guess there won’t be any of this” he twiddles his thumbs- “or time for reading tonight.” He looks at the bulging racks. “Where the fuck am I supposed to put them? Sorry lord.”

He begins disassembling the burger machine. He usually does this much later in the night.

I grab my backpack and head for the door. I stop, make eye contact with Chuckles, and look over at the big stack of boxes. With a heavy sigh, I say, “Try not to work too hard…” Oh, how I wish I could be there when he goes to kick the stack of empty boxes, like I know he will…

The chilly response- “Fuck you. See ya Thursday.”

At least he’ll have plenty of time for reading and thumb twiddling…

About three hours later, my phone rings at home.

“You won’t know when. You won’t know where. But I will get even!”

To be continued…

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