A Chocolate Frosty
By Cathy Fay Gardner
I always told myself I would never work at a fast-food restaurant. I thought it was gross. I thought I would develop a rare skin disease because of the oil and grease, and that I would be looked down upon for the rest of my life. This was very naïve of me, I know. At age sixteen, I realized that I needed to save money for college, and babysitting the neighbor kids was not going to suffice. I wanted to work at Caché or Abercrombie and Fitch for goodness’ sake; not McDonald’s, not Burger King, not Carl’s Jr. So, I applied at every retail store, book store, boutique, and grocery outlet you could think of; anything but fast-food places. I applied everywhere from Aéropostale to Zumie’s. But nothing came of it; no interviews, no call-backs, nothing. After a few months of searching though, in a two-week period I had two interviews at my church’s bookstore. The man I was being interviewed by was young and very handsome if you ask me. What a great fourteen days that was! My hopes were high and my outlook was positive. But after all that waiting and high-hopes, nothing came of it. The girl who got the job was a beautiful blonde with long flowing hair. You know those big fans that runway models use to make it look like their hair is blowing in the breeze? Well it seemed like one of those was always following her everywhere she went. She always looked perfect and poised: a white version of Tyra Banks. This woman just happened to be more “qualified” than I was, even though neither of us had never had jobs before. It was after this situation that I learned that looks actually are everything. . . I’m just kidding. But, if I couldn’t get a job working for my own church, I realized that continuing searching for jobs was futile. I realized too, that a lot of teens my age were in the same situation; jobless, moneyless, hopeless. So, my weary little soul decided to give up my endeavor for a part-time occupation. I came to the conclusion that I would just not go to college. I would sign up for the circus! Yes, the circus. What a great idea. The Ringling Brothers could use a redhead. But then it hit me. I didn’t want to give up on my childhood dreams just because I had a temporary roadblock! I needed to jump back on the horse (or get back in my ’96 Honda Accord) and continue pushing forward on my journey. So I went back out, with a changed mindset, and kept job-searching. I left in the wee hours of early morning—11:00am—and filled out more applications than I had in the past six months combined. Let’s just say that was the longest day of my life. I decided to end my arduous journey at what seemed to be twelve hours later (but was probably only four). Hungry and tired, I stopped to get a Frosty at Wendy’s to soothe my weary heart. “Hi, can I get a small chocolate Frosty?” I asked the guy in the drive-thru microphone. “Sure, that’ll be $1.07 at the second window.” I drove up to the window and saw the man that I swear would save my life. We did our exchanges of money, I got my Frosty, and then I decided to swallow my pride, and ask if this fast-food place was hiring; it couldn’t hurt to ask, right? Instinctively, I asked him the golden question, “Are you guys hiring?” A very large, greasy-haired man (the answer to my prayers) leaned out of the drive-thru window and whispered as if to tell me a secret, “We’re making some changes tomorrow, come in at about 3:00, and we’ll see what we can do.” Right when he said that, the heavens opened and concourses of angels came out from behind the clouds and sang the Hallelujah Chorus! Well, almost. The excitement of the moment made me feel like the seas were parted there on Longley and McCarran. Let’s just say I’m really glad I went through the drive-thru that day. My long endeavor for a part-time job ended in the form of a chocolate Frosty.