Ranch Bomb

Today was my Monday at work, and it allowed me to think about more things that are greasy in my department.  Of course, not before I stepped on a ranch packet someone had dropped on the ground, and with a satisfying pop, it sent a spray up my opposite leg, across the floor, and partially up one of the cabinets.  People saw.

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Screenshot from SNL

I thought, okay, I’ll after this next customer, I’ll go and at least clean this stuff off my pants before it dries into some nasty stain.  Of course, the lunch rush was creeping up on me.

So the next customer is almost done and another shows up.  Okay, after this next customer I’ll go and clean myself up.

Up walks another customer.  Okay, after this next customer I’ll go clean myself up.

Almost half an hour later, I finally am able to go to the back and wipe myself down now that my black pants are adequately seasoned.  At least Dickies are pretty much indestructable.

You know what else in a deli gets greasy fast?  Pretty much any handle we have to touch regularly.  The peels we use to put sandwiches in the toaster.  The handle for the door on the toaster.  The door handle to the fridge and freezers.  I can even feel the grease with my gloves on.

Personal Triumph

Last night, I was just inches away from the mirror, with a flashlight and floss.  What’s that dark spot on my tooth?  Is that a hole I see?

Today I had a dentist appointment.  They put that heavy flak-jacket thing on me to block out any unnecessary radiation, taking X-rays.  That means they’re searching.

I have bad teeth to begin with.  I also like sugary drinks. I’ve had plenty of cavities in the past, and as much as I love the feeling of drilling into my teeth, I didn’t want to have any more discovered.  But to my surprise and pleasure, I left without them finding any new cavities have developed.

Stay away from soda and energy drinks people, and brush your teeth.  And floss, as hard as it may be.  Paying dentist bills is harder.

Exersize in Being Interrupted

It comes at an interesting time that I post this… my Memoirs of Grease… my experience at my job working in a deli.  I just got the news that I am being promoted to lead sandwich artisan or whatever, a title that has not existed in my whole time being here.  I mean, I get a pay raise, but I have yet to learn if it will be worth it, here in this land of grease I call the deli.

I don’t mean this as an exaggeration either.  Almost every surface is greasy to some extent.  We wear gloves pretty much any time we’re around food, so we don’t really notice it, but between sets of gloves, I feel a glimpse of it. These memoirs will be a  a detailing of each area, and its own brand of grease.

The sandwich bar is where I spend most of my time.  It holds various types of grease.  I open it in the morning to clean the layer of grease from the previous day that has worked its way in between and inside of the various pans that hold all the ingredients.

Starting from the middle is the cheese tray.  Cheese cut to go on a sandwich can be brittle, and although it starts out in solid slices, going through it throughout the day causes some to fall apart, and you will end up with a big pan full of scraps hiding under the usable stuff.

I get fresh trays for pretty much everything because it keeps everything cleanly and looking good.  We get these trays of avocado mush, easy for both spreading and smearing across various surfaces.  This gets cleaned next.  Veggies like lettuce, tomatoes and onions go next, but they’re nice, fresh, and just moist rather than greasy.

The far sides are grease hell.  We have our tray of sauces, and the bottles are pretty much always slick with a thin layer of invisible grease.  It makes them jump out of your hands sometimes.  But the worst is to come.  Last up is the Muffuletta, Artichoke Hearts, and Mozzarella, all in their own little corner.  Mufuletta, or olive mix is a good part olive oil.  Artichoke hearts and the fresh mozzarella sit in oil as well, for flavor and freshness.  It also goes everywhere when you want to put it on a sandwich.  This area gets cleaned extra well.

Meanwhile, we are open for business.  So while I do this, fill up the other ingredients, roll up portions of meats, and generally prep,-an activity which goes throughout my shift- customers are free to come up and order.  As my coworker said once, it is an exercise in being interrupted.

The Interview

The floss digs in between your molars and jabs deep into your gums.  You struggle trying to pull it out.  “I can’t remember the last time I did this,” you say to yourself.  You spit, making a crimson line that beads down bowl of the sink.  You endure the mint flavor being wrung in and out, into deep cracks you didn’t know existed.  As you finish, you grit your teeth in the mirror.  There is a slight red spot right in between your two front teeth.  You run your tongue across the spot and hope that it will go unnoticed.

You brush and remember to go over your tongue more than usual.  You rinse and look up at the mirror to see a tiny black whisker growing out of your neck.  You grab the tweezers from your left, and guide the pincers to it.  The tweezers click a couple of times awkwardly before you can grasp it and yank it out. Continue reading “The Interview”