Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Won't Be Creamed

My first job, before entering college, was at a local ice cream slash coney island. On my first day of training, I learned how to scoop ice cream. Who knew there was a science to it. Actually, it was all about the math. The boss wanted to make sure that the scoops did not exceed a certain size. This was for cost-cutting measures. I was a quick learner. The only other employee, the boss' niece, Adela, stood at a distance, watching unimpressed.

Coney Island Sign

The atmosphere was like a kindergarten classroom, bright posters of ice cream cones, sprinkles, and shakes. Just looking at them made me want to sing commercial jingles. And...mmm. The smell. Vanilla. Fudge. Coneys. What a happy place....Until they came. The crowds. Like honey bees mad for a fix, they made a bee line toward me.

Right there in the ice cream parlour, I had my first melt down. "What are they doing here?! What do they want?!!!" For some odd reason, the boss disappeared, and his niece sat in the office watching my unraveling through the glass. I concluded, it must be a test. Well, everything I learned escaped me. The ice cream scoops were oversized. The banana splits were missing key ingredients. I had to keep looking at the "How To Build A Banana Split" chart. "Oh...it's three scoops."

And, how about customer service skills? "Did you want something else with that thing you got?"

When the swarmed buzzed off, I was sticky. Drippy. Stung.

Coney Island Sign

The boss' niece emerged, eyeing me, as if she had seen this a thousand times. I was relieved. Not the first to fail. After a few weeks, I had everything down. I could whip up a coney and a cone lick-iddy-banana-split. Things were going pretty good.

Do I smell franchise owner?

I was working twice as hard, on the twice as hard that I was working, since the boss' niece wasn't working at all. On one occasion, it had been a mad house all day. Between rushes, I cleaned and scrubbed the place until everything sparkled. Toward close, a couple of my choir buddies came in. They ordered and sat inside. I'm exhausted, so I sauntered over to exchange a short conversation. I took a seat next to them. I had made contact with the chair for no less than two seconds, when the boss walks in.

By all appearance, it appeared, that I had been chillin' with my 'home-fries' all day. Needless to say, my hope of a raise melted away, and to add insult to his injury, it was Friday. Payday.

Despites some hiccups, I was a hard worker. never late, honest....One day, I spotted a quarter on the floor. I concluded, I must have dropped it during a transaction. So, I picked it up, and decided to put it back into the cash register. Like beamed in by some alien transport, the boss appears. There is not a customer in sight, and there I am, standing over the opened cash register.

"Uh sir, this isn't what it looks like."
The boss' eyes. It looks like your taking my money.
"There's really a good explanation for this."
The boss' eyes. Yes. You're taking my money.
"See. I found some money."
The boss' eyes. Yes! My money!

Well, by all accounts, I knew, I had made the wrong move. In addition to that, I felt a sudden subtraction of trust. He didn't say anything. The evidence would have to be gathered, before any charge could be leveled against me. I went about my work, emotionally deflated. Back in the kitchen, I'm pacing. "God you know the truth. I don't want to be under a cloud of suspicion from here on out."

Coney Shop

There's nothing more oxymoron than being 'shamefully-innocent.' I felt queasy inside, and I hadn't even touched the food. When the boss passed by me, the silence was thick as a milkshake.

Eventually, the truth came to light. The boss counted the end day receipts and every dime, or quarter, rather, was accounted for.

I learned a lot from that experience: God knows the heart and intentions, even when others may not. And, He will make sure, in the end, the heart after Him will be freed and cleared.

That's the scoop.