By Mr. Joe Walker
I need a job.
Every week I scrap together one dollar and fifty cents to buy the Sunday edition of the newspaper just to view the job postings. I’ve learned not to get my hopes up too high though; because I know I aint gonna find nuffin out thurr fo me. I’m not a nurse, I don’t have a CDL, and I don’t have fourteen years of experience with a skilled trade. I also lack a college degree.
I’ve contemplated a return to the fast food industry, but then the thought of hot grease splattering on my flesh again puts those thoughts back into suspension. Have you ever had hot grease splashed on you? That mess doesn’t feel too good, does it? It makes you dance in ways not found in your local nightclubs. You’ll be dropping it like it’s hot, all right. Oh, and that smell … that fast food smell that clings to your body and your clothes … is … just … awful! You smell like a sweaty dead goat dipped in hot garbage.
From the outside of the building, even on the inside at the front counter, fast food can smell pretty darn good. You get a whiff of those burgers and your mouth starts to water. You start smacking your lips at the thought of thin sliced potatoes submerged in bubbling lard. Your taste buds are going through the roof. Then you get the food and eat it so fast that you almost forgot what you just ate – but you’re satisfied.
Have you ever taken a second to open your bag and smell the food before you start ripping in to it? If you have, then you know like I know that the food doesn’t smell the same in the bag as it does from the street or inside your car as you pass by. The food stinks a little bit. I say a little bit because at that point you don’t care. You just want to eat. That food could smell like fried toe nails. You would complain for a second, then you would take a bite to see if it tastes as bad as it smells.
Well, if the steaming hot food in that bag stinks a little bit, just image what the person smells like that has been preparing that stuff for the last 6 hours. And they still have 2 or more hours left to go before their shift is over! It’s hot back there with all those boilers and fryers, so they’re sweating like a slave. They could be “Sure” too, but after 6 hours of sweating profusely in a dark-colored shirt and black pants, you’d be a tad bit sour to the nose. Now mix mustiness with the aroma of burning grease and charred animal. Yeah, right – that is very funky.
I remember washing my uniform, in heavy amounts of detergent, two times in a row, and neither the smell nor the stains would come out. I cannot go back to that.
I’m being too picky. Times are hard; jobs are hard to come by. If someone asked me about where they should go to find a job, I would ask them if they tried the fast food places. Okay, so it isn’t the most desirable working atmosphere, but it is a start. And for some people, fast food has become a lucrative career. So I said I cannot go back to that. I was being silly, pouty and stubborn when I said that. I feel like I cannot, but that doesn’t mean I won’t. In life you require certain day-to-day things that can only be acquired with money. Jobs provide you the money you need to acquire those things. If I’m in need, I’ll work to get what I need. If my family is need, I will work to get them what they need – even if I have to work for a fast food joint. I could be saving that one dollar and fifty cent that I spend on the Sunday paper every week, putting it towards the purchase of stronger detergent. Washing clothes is a part of life, and life is one big circle.
And when you’re moving in the circle of life, you never know if you’re coming or going.