Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Office Politics, Crazy Ideas and Working at a KFC Restaurant

A quick drive through
Currently, I am into my second stint in working in another fast food restaurant. This time its a KFC restaurant. And while its not as high-paying as my other job as a graphic designer, it is more fun and pretty easy to do, but its alot of work and pretty repetitive and it can be exasperating.

I must admit, some of my friends have gasped in horror at my current job. One friend said, "KFC? at KFC?" I did feel embarrassed at first and I felt that I had reached the lowest point in my life. Then there was the issue of a degree. I felt like folks were saying behind my back, "See she has a degree, top of her class, and she cant even get a proper job". The superiority vibes I got behind their smiles, belie the fact that I have taken a 'welfare-level' job only suitable for wayward baby-making-ghetto girls, and young springy men who did not acquire enough CXC passes to get a man's job. The only thing is that, I have no children, I am not sexually active, and I don't use 'green verbs' and neither do I curse. I am just trying to make an honest living, while learning to do something different and learning to get along with people. Plus, while looking for a job I originally studied for, I am making some money on the side.

There were many challenges. First, I had to realize that my new coworkers lead completely different lives from me. Secondly, I had to keep my degree a secret, and pretended that I am just like them (although I failed at this). Thirdly, was to learn everything quickly, and be an efficient worker. Last of all, this was the only way I can start my life over. My prospects for a proper mate had dimmed and is now non-existent, and I now had to set more acquirable goals that can enable me a proper future as a single woman.

On the other hand, I am learning how to deal with aggressive coworkers, and assisting others as well. My coworkers and I work long and hard hours cleaning, marinating, breading and frying chicken; unpacking and frying pre-frozen french fries; cleaning and repacking the storeroom, cleaning the restroom and the customers area; cleaning  the kitchen area and especially the tables where the chicken are prepared. In addition, we have to clean the fry pots and filter the oil. We also make the cole slaw, and the mashed potatoes and gravy. On top of everything, we keep everything at top temperatures and keep frozen things frozen.

I am in charge of the twin pot for the French fries. I clean them everyday and filter the oil everyday, after I filter the oil and refill the pots, I clean the large heavy metal container where the oil is filtered. The whole process takes me about 20 minutes, sometimes longer depending on the extensive condition of the pots from the night shift before, as they don't really clean them. I also do the sandwiches like the Doublelicious, and the Cruncher and Zinger. (In case you want to know, I LOVE the Cruncher). I am a bit generous on the greens for the C and Z, but I believe that out of all that KFC offers, the C and Z sandwiches are the best nutritionally. Oh and I usually have the sandwich with the cole slaw, the combination is phenomenal

My coworkers 
Due to the sensitive nature of my job, I would only use the letters of their names.

I started my job with a K, he is a young man and is quite the prankster. I was also an unwilling victim of his pranks and they are very harmless. Although, they do leave you in fits of laughter. He is quite observant and gives people names based on what he sees, like "Darth Vader", "B.Attack", and "Slow Motion". He is very cool and calm, and he takes a while to get angry. If he is angry, he is very quiet, and you can't get a peep out of him.

There is another K. He is a good looking fellow only in his teens, and yet he has this ability to shoulder responsibility. I found out that he is up for Supervisor position, and I believe he would be very good there. However, he has other plans like becoming a Policeman or a Firefighter, and he is working towards those goals. I wish him all the best. He is also very playful, and I have also been a victim of some of his pranks. When he is in the Customer Service section, he is very professional and can cash and assemble a customer's meal in under one minute, a very efficient worker.

Then there is D. She has been working there for a few years. She is usually the cashier, but for now she letting the "newlings" take the helm of the Customer Service section for a bit. She speaks her mind very boldly, and is not afraid to do so. She hardly ever smiles, and is very direct in dealing with both customers and fellow employees alike, sometimes this results in verbal altercations and death threats, some of which she has received to her face. I am very afraid for her, but I am confused by her "Superman" resilience by  not being fazed by the death threats she has received. I personally witnessed one by a very tall, wildly gesticulating customer who threatened that if he sees her on the street he will shoot her. I was very worried by this.

C has been working there for under 10 years. She sometimes makes the cole slaw, which fellow coworkers have said is very delicious. She comes to work very early in the morning, and she changes into her uniform at the restaurant. She has this love for gladiator sandals (which I absolutely despise), and she does her weaves every two weeks. This week she is sporting a two toned copper and black look. I like it. She also does the chicken and assists the 'KFChicklins" on their new roles in the restaurant. As regards opinion, she is very reserved, and its pretty hard to know what she is thinking. Sometimes she would talk, but she does not say much. She smiles a-plenty, and you know she thinks about many things, but she rarely shows it. Its like this, she comes to work, does her job, then changes her uniform into street clothes and goes to pick up her daughter. If you talk to her, you feel comfortable, she has this kind of charm, that even male customers are attracted to, and they openly flirt with her. One customer, I saw was so smitten, he used really stale lyrics, and she simply responded to them, but her never got her phone number. He really tried, and never took his eyes off her.

W is a teen with two kids. She fries the chicken perfectly. Personally, I doubt that restaurant could do without her, and if she leaves she would be hard to replace. I would call her the "Golden Employee". Most  times she would fry chicken for two shifts, and is one of the most hardworking employees in the restaurant. I would assist her when I have nothing much to do, and she is a little grateful. Sometimes, she is so tired, and during breaks, she sleeps soundly, when she gets up her eyes are red. I told her, "If you find something better, go do it, don't stay here forever". "Oh I will, that is for sure", she replies. She has this sort of shuffling walk, which becomes slower when she is tired. She knows everything about the store and is very observant. She smiles very toothy, especially, when she is whispering something to someone. She is quite smart, and I feel that she is underestimated sometimes. If she opens a food stall I would definitely buy from her, she is really good.

A is a rastaman. He does not say anything at all, and almost always looks angry. You, only know when he is not angry when he is talking to you with a slight smile, which shows his long, spacey teeth. He speaks his mind as well, but in a three to five word sentence. To really imagine it, insert two curse words into the short sentences, and imagine him angry. He works a couple of small jobs here and there outside the restaurant, and has a very piercing look. Apparently, A and W are an item. At the restaurant, they communicate without speaking, their bodies "speak to each other" while they are working, so I guess there is definitely a connection there.

P is a newbie. She is also related to C. She is is a voracious worker, and believes she knows everything, even on the first day of the job. And, boy, she can quarrell, and she goes on and on and on. We talk sometimes, but she pry's into your business, and has already gotten into some difficulties with some of her fellow employees. You can tell when she is gossiping about you, or when she is jealous. She is very aggressive and is a kind of nervy-under-her-breath-cursing twenty-something year old. She is not very well liked, but because she is related to C who is close to the manager, so she has an advantage over the rest of us, and I guess this gives her the fuel to act the way she does. I don't mind so much dealing with her, but I will not stay wherever she is, as I perceive her to be 'dangerous'. Trouble almost always follows her.

F is a newbie. F is also deaf. She has a beautiful smile and strong facial features. She would do well as a face model. She mainly cleans the customer area and the restrooms, and she is exceptional at it. She was told to work the customer service area and she declined, stating that she was very shy. Ha! She is very bold and very intelligent, and playful. She makes my day, sometimes, and she is very funny and very hardworking. She has three kids and a deaf rasta boyfriend. About the kids, if you saw her, you would not believe she has children, you would see, but you would not believe.

N is a newbie. She is tall, black and slender with a long pretty face. She has this graceful way of moving, and she K calls her "Slow Motion". She also has an aggressive streak, but rarely shows it. You only know when she steups. Its a long drawn out steups. Ssssssssssttttttttttttteeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuupppppppsssssss. You only know she talks, when she is on her cell phone. She has the potential to become a model, and she is also in her teens. She is one of six children and does not live too far from the restaurant. I doubt she is aware of her beauty, sometimes, male customers in the line would just stare at her. From the outside of the Customer Service area, you would see a very tall dark slim girl bagging the fries, she looks at you with her large white eyes and you are mesmerized. And she has this way of looking at you...its a shy come hither look, quite inviting and bored at the same time. Eventually, you get bored with looking at her, and you begin to yawn. Its a fleeting moment.

Newbies who left
R. R stole money from a fellow employee the very first day on the job. She is a tiny person with what we call locally, "bandy" legs. Don't let her smallness fool you, she is very, very loud. She was very hardworking, but the stealing incident was never forgotten, and it was a mark that sort of stayed with her for her entire short career at KFC. She is quite young, and has a son, I think he is still a baby. She left abruptly, why, I don't know. Her mother came one afternoon to buy a Munch pack, I served her, and asked for R, she told me that her grandson was ill and R took him to the doctor, I listened for a while and sent my regards to R through her mother. Looking at the mother I can see they have a very hard life, and that that stealing incident is probably showing the inner conflict that R faces on a daily basis. Sometimes, I wish I had spoken to her more often, but I really hate other people touching my stuff, and the thought of R doing so was more than enough for me to avoid any long conversations with her. My heart does pity her, and I feel, that she needs guidance, someone to really love and care fore her. Plus, she did not like me too much.

K (yep this is the third guy named K), was a smoker. And he smoked weed. I know because I smelled it on his breath. It seems he had some mental problems, and sometimes just a look would send him into a cursing frenzy. I was afraid of him. One time he asked me if I ever got robbed. Another time he passed so close to me, I think he put his hand on my butt. He told me he used to work at a funeral home and that many of the gangsters that were dead lying on the hot asphalt were picked up by him. He told me that he even dressed his grandfather in a coffin. We spoke about how the body moves after death, and he told me he has seen some strange things. I asked him why he left. He told me dealing with the dead got to him and he tripped. One day, he went to a bar and drank straight Puncheon Rum. Now, if you ever drank Puncheon Rum straight from a shot glass, it is extremely volatile and can knock you out. He was a very handsome young man, and I know he had a few girls well, but he used to scare me, and I tried my best to swallow my fear, but I believe he was attuned to it, so I used to bluff with a rapidly beating heart.

M stayed for one week. She was a very small indian woman that looked like 10 years old. If I am correct, she is about four feet 6 inches, with an extremely tiny frame. She is actually twenty. She had many, many issues, and ...I don't know...she just had...these massive eyes that seemingly did not blink. When she watched you, she watched you and only you. She reminded me of the movie "the Orphan", and she even bore some resemblance to the star of the show, Elizabeth Furman, only with larger eyes.  Physically, she was too small for the job, and a frozen package of fries to her was like you lifting an average sized stove. Her tiny fingers would go white from the strain of lifting the bag. She also used to smoke on her breaks, but she hid from the manager at those times.

I gave you an eye full today. If I got the fuel I will write on the management tomorrow. Meanwhile I am tired.

2011©Lisa Marie Bonaparte


  1. It was great and very interesting topic. Thank you for sharing this. Nice Blogs!

  2. Thank you very much Cool, your comment is appreciated with all my heart.