Home > Columns > Infused with Meaning by Kidd Wadsworth > Hi, May I Help You, Please

Photo by Mike on Unsplash

I was sixteen and working my first job at Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. We were a lively crew. Jerry had the front register, Juanita and Javier were making sandwiches and scooping fries, Greg had the grill, and I was on the back register.

It was a hot day, scorching hot, hot as only Texas does hot, when the big boss, the district supervisor, left his skyscraper in Dallas and drove down to inspect and grade us. He didn’t know, and didn’t care, that we enjoyed the camaraderie of our team, took pride in our work, and routinely invited our family and friends to come to the restaurant. His opinion of us was all too clear in the way he strutted about, his huge smile never touching his eyes. It didn’t matter that the restaurant ran like a well-oiled machine; we were lazy hoodlums that needed to be whipped into shape. After he’d chastised Jerry and the others for trivial mistakes—I believe Javier wasn’t properly using the pickles to spread out the ketchup on the bun—the district supervisor meandered on back to my register to judge me.

Just so you know, I might have inherited a bit too much Texas ornery, Texas gall and Texas stubborn. Of course, I personally don’t think a person can have too much ornery. And gall, life is just plain boring without gall. Stubborn though . . . well . . . stubborn does tend to get a person into trouble.

Ding.

I stepped on the pedal. “Hi, may I help you please?”

Through the speaker came a broad Texas accent I easily recognized, “Yeah. I’ll have fries, a large Sprite, a single, with cheese, tomato, everything and extra ketchup.”

Reader, are you paying attention? The customer said, “Everything and extra ketchup.” Javier, standing not ten feet away, ears pricked to the speaker, laid a bun open on the sandwich board. Greg dropped a single patty of meat dripping melted cheese onto the bottom half of the bun.

I wrote the order down on the outside of the takeout bag. Fries, lg sprite, single, cheese, tomato, everything, no mustard, no mayonnaise.

Right on cue, know-it-all-supervisor-guy spoke, “He said extra ketchup, not no mustard, no mayonnaise.”

I didn’t bother to turn my head and look at him. No, that would’ve been polite. Instead, I opened the bag and put it on the end of the sandwich station and spoke with my back turned toward him. “But he meant no mustard, no mayonnaise.”

Without seeing the supervisor’s face, I knew his fake smile was history. Tension vibrated from his body. After all, time was running out. The car would begin rolling forward any second. If he wanted to clarify the order—

“Ask him if he wants mustard and mayonnaise.”

At the sandwich station, Javier never paused. He kept right on making the sandwich—with no mustard and no mayonnaise. I always liked Javier. Juanita dropped the fries into the open sack and gave me a wink.

The district supervisor repeated, “Ask him if he wants mustard and mayonnaise.”

“I will not,” I said, pulling the drink. “He’s already given me his order.”

The beast shoved me aside and stepped on the pedal. “Sir, would you like mustard or mayonnaise on your sandwich?”

The customer’s loud Texas twang echoed through the speaker, “NO! I told ya, I only want ketchup!”

I tried and failed, to keep the grin off my face. Javier chuckled as he put the neatly wrapped hamburger in the bag.

Yeah, we were only teenagers, working a summer job for minimum wage, but we knew how someone from our hometown ordered a hamburger.

You know, that big boss, that supervisor guy from the corporate office, he didn’t say another word to me all day. Sometimes you’ve just gotta love that Texas stubborn.

Kidd has stories in the following anthologies.

Kidd Wadsworth is also the author of the fantasy novel “The Death of Magic” which you can now read for FREE at https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/59915/the-death-of-magic

Author Bio
Author Bio
Kidd writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. Its time we put on our capes.
  • Hi, May I Help You, Please

    I was sixteen and working my first job at Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. We were a lively crew. Jerry had the front register, Juanita and Javier were making sandwiches and scooping fries, Greg had the grill, and I was on the back register.

  • Get Me Outta Here!

    We arrive at 6 am. I sign a piece of paper which informs me of the risks of my day procedure using phrases such as “unforeseen side effects, including death.” A plastic bracelet is secured around my wrist. Promptly at 7 am, I kiss my husband goodbye and follow a stern-looking nurse through a side door. She points me to a changing room.

  • NOT GUILTY

    I think I have screwed up DNA. Amidst those A’s, C’s, G’s and T’s I must have a J or an L. You see, I just don’t feel guilty. Nope. Sorry. Well, actually I’m not sorry. I don’t even feel guilty for not feeling guilty.

  • Signs and Dart Guns

    I believe every licensed driver should be issued a traffic dart gun.

  • Writing Truth
    Photo by Mike on Unsplash I was sixteen and working my first job at Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. We were a lively crew. Jerry had the front register, Juanita and Javier were making sandwiches and scooping fries, Greg had the grill, and I was on the back register. It was a hot day, scorching hot, […]
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Kidd writes to bring to life our magical, fire-breathing world. She believes we are super heroes. Its time we put on our capes.

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