I work alternately in a refrigerator or between two fires.
The day begins as all days begin. With an alarm clock. And misery. Later there is coffee, ideally. Some days there is no coffee. Those are bad days. Though, these days, all the days have been bad. Today management will drop by unexpectedly. The idealism will be infectious for about twenty minutes. Then the infection will set in.
“There is a lot to learn and no time. We’re understaffed and I’m leaving in less than a month. After that you are going to have to take over. But don’t worry. I’ll show you how to work smart not hard. Now I’ve already cut this beef and I’m not going to do it over to show you. I’ll show you that next time. But here is how we prep it. We need egg whites. Do you know how to separate an egg?” - Hammer. All in one breath. Without taking his eyes of the meat. At least I’m getting paid.
“RANDY IN SEAFOOD, PLEASE DIAL 247. RANDY. 247.”
I would relate more details. There are endless details. Touch of pepper. Add salt to this when. When and where and why. But remember it’s all up to you when you do it. Rules? Guidelines? Health code? Who knows? But details are irrelevant. There is food. I cooked it. People bought it. And presumably ate it without complication. It is best not to search for meaning where there is no meaning. Total hours for the week: 56.
4. I can’t wait to quit this job.
I can’t wait to quit this job.
19. We begin anew
There is a malaise that spreads like a contagion. I see it in their eyes. Dead, empty eyes. I see mine reflected back at me in the mensroom mirror. The air is heavy with the stench of bleach, semen, and charred flesh. My skin has gone pallid. I am in disarray. My body aches and the fear is setting in. This is not -
JOHN IN PRODUCE, PLEASE CALL 263. JOHN. 263.
10 hours a day. Six days a week. And of those hours, only about one a day is real, actual work. At least cube monkeys have the internet to play with.
The fog hugs the ground, coiling through the parking lot as if it had a mind of its own, a destructive will. I cut through it towards the dim neon of the empty store. The air is acrid, foul, and reeking of death. The night crew is finishing up, putting away their mops and insect heads. A million eyes turn towards me as I punch in.
DICK IN MEAT, PLEASE CALL 241. DICK. 241.
19. I am still alive.
There are four separate inspection agencies. None of them inspect anything. Mold has colonized every walk-in. Fungal spores cloud the air of our prep room. Rat shit remains the primary cause of slip and falls. There are four separate inspection agencies. They each take their own cut. Everyone gets a taste. The spice must flow.
YOG-SOTHOTH, YOU HAVE A CALL ON LINE 2. YOG-SOTHOTH. LINE 2.
27. One of us.
After a month they seem to trust me. They clue me in on what I already know. This is a Nexus. The primary one for our perfect little corner of the Blight and we do a brisk trade. The rest either they keep to themselves or even they don't know.
ADOLF IN GROCERY, PLEASE CALL 257. ADOLF. 257.