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Alice Yang
Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star.
She is a student at Stephen F. Austin High School-FBISD.

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.
A Painful Lesson  

Recently, I lost $44.69 while working for KFC.

It was one of those hectic days where I was the only cashier at the front counter for about five hours. During dinnertime (6:15-7:20 p.m.), a line of work-exhausted, slacken-tied customers would snake itself thrice before ending at the entrance. At first, I thought they were all intently looking at me. Then I realized instead, they were ogling at the trays of fried chicken behind my head.

Anyway, so I take their orders one at a time. Hi. How are you. OK. The 10-piece bucket. No? The 16 piece instead. Thank you. Next please. Then after finally taking down 10 something orders, I would fly back to the racks to make them all myself. This would be the real nerve-racking part, because aside from occasionally burning myself with the hot pieces of meat and metal tongs (while letting out a howl) and hearing the constant beep of the order machine that times how long each customer has been waiting, I sense about a dozen pair of eyes watching my every movement. Well, every piece of chickenís movement.

Finally, when the dinner rush hour is over, my boss closes the register and counts how much Iíve made throughout the day. This amount has to match up with the amount thatís registered in the computer of how much I sold. That night, I was missing some money. $44.69 to be exact.

We counted the money about five times, and I drove home with the sinking and sure feeling I was going to be fired. The next day, my boss didnít want me to take orders anymore. Instead, she had a list of things for me to do.

Right when I got to work, she ordered me to mop the lobby floor. This was a first, because as a cashier, I usually stay behind the counter; plus, they actually have a guy just for cleaning. But of course, I didnít complain and gingerly picked up the big yellow mop and bucket from the dusty closet and set out to complete the task. It must have been a sight, because before even starting, I spilled about half the soap water and had to mop that up before I got to the lobby. Then while mopping steady, a group of gorgeous guys from school walked in to find me in my sweaty-faced, plastered-haired, cap-askew glory.

Finally, after almost half an hour of the intensive exercise, I slumped back in for a drink of water. Right when my fingers reached the cup, my boss decided the lobby needed a sweeping too. I gave up trying to argue that mopping was basically sweeping, and went out again, this time brandishing a broom.

After a quarter of an hour bending my back and occasionally picking up larger pieces of suspiciously sticky forms of food, I snuck back in to rest only to be told that the trash needed to be taken out. And there I go again, trying to tie the annoying plastic and push the pieces of chewed chicken bones down, walking out of the door into the baking sun with a giant garbage bag in both hands, turning around in despair to realize one of them was leaking, attempting to throw both bags into the high, beautifully-scented garbage bin, and returning again to mop the trail of sticky residue.

That night, I apologized profusely. I told her I could be trusted, that I will never be careless again. She surprisingly smiled at me and told me we are all humans and all make mistakes. Then, she raised her hand for a high-five.

A few days later while working behind the counter again, I told my coworkers the story. One of them laughed out loud. Apparently, she remembered that a while ago, another person lost some money from the register also. Instead of $40, his was $400.

ďDid he get fired?!Ē

ďNo. He just got hell.Ē

Yang is a contributing columnist for the Fort Bend Star. She is a student in FBISD.

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006