Like many a youth searching for their first-ever, paid work that wasn’t mowing the front lawn for dad every fortnight for $20 – I started in a grocery store.
Small-town grocery stores can be quite dynamic. Every day is unique. In fact, one particularly unique day I found myself filling in at the deli. One of the many inglorious jobs I was faced with was cleaning the tray rack under the sink. Upon lifting my first few trays away from the grime, I spotted something white and wriggly.
“What in the heck is that?” I thought. As I reached for more trays, to my utter horror, I found a pool of maggots! Meanwhile the store was running completely smoothly, with customers idly gliding by. After I’d finished silently gagging, my first thought was to just walk straight out the door and never return. Alas I did not take this course of action.
Instead, I called for the supervisor... I had never seen such an expression on anyone’s face as I presented her with the newest addition to our deli!
By now the deli was a-flutter with co-workers crowding around to see the latest cause of commotion. It was at that point the girl on the checkout and I learned we were supposed to spend our entire shift cleaning the maggot infestation plus sanitising the entire deli. Each passing customer would curiously peak over to ask about the pile of trays and clutter. “Just some spring cleaning!” we told them.
Luckily for me, I was swift and had a helper, so soon the infestation was no longer visible to the naked eye of the wandering customer. By the end of our shift we had the deli looking much like a brand new, completely sanitised sports car - and it’s safe to say this experience has made me the kitchen-neat freak I am today. Having lived away from home for two and a half years, I am now grateful for my new-found skill!
by Jess Klein