Monday, May 14, 2007


Second in series about my crappy former jobs

The summer when I was 16/17, I worked, with a good friend of mine at an all you can eat buffet. I worked two positions there, carving meat and as a salad bar attendant. It was yet another crappy low paying job, but it did have some hilarious moments, I got to be a witness of gluttony on an unprecedented scale.

One night I was working at the meat carving station. I had ten pound slab of roast beef and giant slab of turkey breast, and heavyset middle age man came up and when I asked what he wanted he pointed to the slab of turkey meat, which was probably about five pounds, and said “All of that.”

I thought he was joking, lots of people liked to make inane jokes like that. So I gave him a polite charity laugh and asked him what he really wanted.

At this point his face got really red and he began to berate me “I was not joking. You have some nerve to laugh at me like that. If you don’t give me the turkey that I asked for I am going involve your manager. Just give me the god damn turkey.”

Not wanting any trouble and just not caring about the company’s bottom line, I gave his five pounds of turkey meat and he contently waddle off. To this day I wonder if he actually ate all of that turkey or if he was just trying to see how far the all you can eat policy actually went.

Another memorable customer was the guy who came nearly everyday right before the breakfast buffet ended, the breakfast buffet was a couple of dollars cheaper. He would then sit at his table until about 4:00 pm, eating three meals. To pass the time he would tell the same story, about how the government of Malaysia stole three million dollars from him, to anyone that he could corner.

This particular restaurant was particularly filthy, there are two incidents that I remember clearly that illustrate this point. The first happened when on slow day my boss asked to clean underneath the salad bar. It quickly became apparent that this task had not been done in great while. I pulled out an object that I had trouble identify at first. It was dried and brown, it and vaguely the size and shape of dried chili pepper. Then I turned it over and saw the blue Chiquita sticker on it. I wonder how long a banana must sit out to become completely desiccated.

Then there was the jello incident. One afternoon I was getting a large tray of Jello out to place it on the salad bar. For some reason I dropped it, spilling it all over the filthy floor. It just so happened that the manager was standing right there. He told to hold on and not to clean it up until he got back. He then returned with a large squeegee mounted on broom handle that was used to clean the restroom floors and proceeded to squeegee the jello back into the pan. Once that was accomplished he calmly placed it onto the salad. Over the next couple of hours I had a hard time keeping a straight face as people consumed the floor jello.

Next Job: Something a little less soul crushing

1 comment:

VAfriend said...

Now I know why I have a hard time going to and eating from a buffet!