Tomorrow marks the day each student on Project is supposed to hand in their two weeks' notice. Only two weeks of work left! I feel like I just got comfortable, just got settled into my routine of cashiering Monday-Wednesday, having off on Thursday, cashiering again on Friday, serving on Saturday, and off again Sunday.
I finally got the hang of the cash register, how it sometimes freezes up for a second when you ring up too many adult buffets and how it still features menu items that have been discontinued long before I started working at Ryan's.
I finally feel comfortable with my coworkers--Chris and Dot and their passive aggressive arguments, Rhonda's bouncy steps and hairdo full of colorful barrettes, Beverly's sharp attitude punctuated by her Jamaican accent, the way Cortillia slyly asks how I'm doing when she knows my section just got slammed, but then offers me some of her contraband candy. I know I'll miss Willie and Sam, the dishwashers, especially them calling me and the other women at work "Baby Girl" and "Darling" or "Pretty Mama" in the case of Miss Ellen, resident Grandma. I'll even miss Sylvia, who I can't for the life of me seem to please.
All of us here, whether we enjoy our jobs or not, are going to miss some parts of it. Some of the best times we have here are telling funny work stories. Like how all the Wal-Mart kids share the secrets of that mysterious corporation--its morning cheer for example. (Who's number one? The customer, always! What store is number one? 5087! What do we want to be? Accident free!). And then there are the fast food kids--the ones at McDonald's, Chick-fil-A and Wendy's--who love to brag about how many people they got through their drive through that day, how many sandwiches they made and wrapped, or the crazy milkshake creations they invented during down times.
Summer jobs are a funny thing that way--teaching us to make fun during slow boring days and entertain ourselves when our job gets monotonous. There is a song we like to listen to here--Swing Life Away--that has this line: "We live on front porches and swing life away./We get by just fine here on minimum wage." It speaks truth to all of us minimum wage workers--we are getting by just fine. And we only have two weeks left to make the most of free french fries, getting paid to watch people on vacation, and trying not to laugh when we can't understand Southerners.