Wednesday, April 5, 2017

One Shake at a Time

It was a Friday night during my freshman year of college. A girl from my dorm and I were working on the "shake side" of our school pub and grill. There was some huge event that just let out right as we got to work and ticket after ticket kept wrrring from the teeny printer. We'd rip them off and shove them, crammed, onto the order line.

Making a milkshake involved a seven-step process. 1. Dip seven scoops of ice cream into the metal cup. 2. Walk to the grill side and add a little milk from the cow. 3. Add requested toppings. 4. Using a machine, forcefully blend everything in the cup. 5. Empty the ice cream into a paper cup. 6. Add a spoon. 7. Rinse the mug immediately. Start to finish each shake was about five minutes of work.

There were two of us and around fifty shake orders fifteen minutes into our shift. They kept coming. I kept racking up math. 25 shakes times five minutes per shake divided by two people plus five shakes times five minutes divided by two...I worried. And then I stopped worrying. There was literally nothing I could do to speed up the process. My coworker was audibly squeaking and hemming. She was rushing. But so what if you crumble a Reese's cup in 20 seconds instead of 40? You can hastily slosh the water in the mug, but then it's kind of slimy and you just have to go back and do it again when you need a new cup.

We would not finish the work cut out for us. People would wait an hour for a milkshake. But guess what? Oh well. I didn't slack, but I worked at a steady, relaxed pace. I was paid by the hour (I think $6.25). I did what I could do. I probably even sang quietly along to the Top 40 radio.

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