Bucket List

One for the bucket list.

When I was about 17 years old, my dad pressured me to get a job. While I learned later that he regretted it, it sure stressed me out at the time.

What made matters worse, was seeing all of the vinyl banners hanging outside of fast food restaurants near my house. Wienerschnitzel seemed to have a “Now Hiring” sign up all year long. I know this because every time we drove by it, my dad pointed and said, “They’re still hiring.” In fact, nowadays — when I see those HUGE red letters on a white backdrop, I often think back to five eventful days in the fall of 1984.

More on that in a moment.

During that time, several of my friends worked at the legendary stereo store “Crazy Benny’s” in the Berryessa Flea Market; others worked at the food court in Eastridge Mall. I knew that I couldn’t work at either of those places because I lived too far from those areas. Furthermore, I couldn’t go back to my very first job at Great America because I quit at the end of my second season without giving my supervisor a two-week notice. Most of my options were the fast food restaurants around my house. But if there was one thing I knew, it was that I was NOT going to flip burgers. Of course, when you’re raised by a father who believes that there is “honor” in every job, flipping burgers was never out of the question.

I chose chicken.

A high school friend knew someone who worked at Kentucky Fried Chicken, so I reluctantly applied … and got the job.

I lasted four days.

My first day was an uneventful four-hour shift. I called in sick on the second day because it was my high school’s homecoming; I was off on the third day; and I quit following my fourth day.

From what I remember, every employee had a nickname; so I got out of there before I would have undoubtedly become “Chicken Little.”

In the span of four days, I managed to call in sick, eat a small non-purchased pumpkin pie in the walk-in freezer, and break one of the stainless steel covers on an apparatus that was used to boil chicken. (Its replacement would cost the restaurant several hundred dollars.)

Believe it or not, I had the audacity to go in on the fifth day and ask the manager for my check for time worked. After taxes, it amounted to roughly $24. It just wasn’t the job for me.

While I appreciate people who have created one, I’ve never established a bucket list of things that I’d like to do. What I do have, however, is a list of things that I’d like to place in a bucket for good – including this memory of the five finger-licking days that I worked for the Colonel.

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