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Is it the Pickle Juice?


By Katharine Branham

My first real job was working at a burger joint at age 16. I worked the grill, and my best friend worked drive-thru. It was so much fun working with friends and of course complimentary food.
It was Friday night and we had been jamming all night. The restaurant was crazy with customers; in fact, a full moon loomed over the building. The person working with me was Tommy. He could keep me laughing all-night; you could guarantee it would be an amusing evening. When a slow time opened up, he would go to the walk in cooler and bring out items to stock the work counter like pickles and tomatoes. At one point in the night, he decided to take the easy way out and bring the container in the cooler an attempt to pour pickles while still in the cooler. This was not a good idea because he missed the container and empty pickles with juice all over the floor. He promised to clean it up at the end of the night, so it was not a big deal. I continued to grill burgers. As I opened the little window of the cooler for a beef patty, pickle smell flowed out. It was gross after opening and closing the window for the burgers. The concentrated pickle smell made me biliousness.

A few hours had pasted and the manager came around the back to the grill with my best friend, the front counter person and asked Tommy and I to go into the walk-in cooler. I thought it was about the pickle odor that had obviously overcome the dinning area. Tommy tried to turn explaining we have something on the grill cooking and she continued to push us in the cooler. After we were all in the cooler, a man with a gun closed the door behind us. We are being robbed explained the manager. As we stood there in the dark cooler, I backed up to make room so we were not body-to-body. I slipped in the pickle juice and fell into the puddle. My pants began to soak up the juice and I started to cried. Tommy felt bad for he had spilt the juice. We all heard a loud rip as he bent down to help me up. His pants had split and we all began to laugh. The door opened shortly and a police officer had come to our rescue. The manager asked how he knew we were in there. He explained there was nobody at the drive-thru window to take his order so he figured something might be wrong.

As you would guess, I quit that night with four other employees, but always laugh when I think of Tommy’s pants and the pickle juice.


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