Got quite the surprise the day before when I was getting up. I’d sent my CV to Cows Ice Cream last week and had an interview, but they’d been less enthused when one of the MUST WORK weekends was the weekend of the Vancouver Anime Convention I refuse to miss. Figured they wouldn’t want me, only to get a call asking if I could do a trial shift after work tomorrow. Can’t see the harm, so will be heading into the village after a day working on the Mexican Stand.
Unfortunately, this means it’s going to be a long day. I’m starting to realise that going biking on my second day off was a mistake – mountain biking has WRECKED my body, my whole upper body hurts and my legs aren’t much better. I’m praying for a quiet day to wince around in peace. No such luck, but it does at least not get overwhelmingly busy.
That said, the highlight of my day was the cheapskate customer that drove me to the limits of my customer service smile. It was a family of three, who clearly wanted to get the 3 tacos and the taco salad for the price of the salad. First, they tried to get 3 taco shells with their salad (we sometimes give a person one, but not 3), and did eventually talk me into giving them 2 (just would not move with the debating going on), and then managed to hold the line up by nearly ten minutes by going into a debate with EVERY. SINGLE. TOPPING.
The Mexican stand has a lot of options. The salad comes with lettuce, a choice of two types of beans, a choice of roasted peppers, a choice of one of 4 proteins, and then a choice of 9 toppings plus an optional add on. Normally people can pick in a matter of seconds, but since this family had to feed 3 people from the one bowl, every option required a discussion for a few minutes. ‘Do you like that? Maybe get it on the side? We should get more of that? Can we get the optional on the bowl and then cover it with additional stuff so we don’t have to pay for it?’ It was never ending. When they left they had 2 cold taco shells, a piled high salad, and about 5 cups of things they wanted ‘on the side.’ When they finally left, a guy in the line insisted I serve him next (despite my co-worker being ready to serve him) because he had an ‘uncomplicated burrito order’ and ‘that was painful to watch.’ Ended up telling me just to make what I considered the perfect burrito – and I really wanted to make it perfect for him.
So naturally it’s the ONE burrito I make this week that bursts just as I start wrapping it. Double wrap and give it to him. Thankfully he’s still very good natured about it.
Between the pain and that interaction, all I wanted to do was go home, but still got a trial shift to worry about. When we close, I stay till 5 helping the other sections to clean up, and then hop down into the village towards the Green Gables chocolate shop. I’m working under a woman called Elisa for the next 4 hours.
At least, I’m supposed to be. She’s gone on break and nobody in the store was expecting me. End up washing dishes for the first 20 minutes until they figure out what to do with me. When Elisa does show up, she takes me to the other shop on the opposite side of the bridge to get a t-shirt, and then starts showing me how to work the line.
It’s relatively simple. Most of the job is scooping ice cream, and for me there’s a scale on the back line to make sure I’m making the scoops the right weight. When I’ve done enough of them, I’m also shown how to make a milkshake, and a raspberry cordial float. The biggest problem is when someone wants a flavour that’s almost empty – the ice cream is so hard it takes considerable effort to get enough into the scoop to make a single cone.
The effort involved also has an unexpected side effect. My wrist starts to throb, in that way I have learned to loathe. My torn tendons are getting aggravated, and that never ends well. After 4 hours of scooping and 30 minutes of cleaning, I promise to think about coming on for good, but my hand will be the deciding factor. If I wake up tomorrow and have to put that restraint on AGAIN, this job isn’t going to be an option.