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Fro-No Thank You!

, , , , | Working | May 29, 2021

I used to work at a frozen yogurt shop that turned out to be one of my biggest nightmare jobs ever. My boss was the kind of guy who was obsessed with productivity, cleanliness, and nitpicking ridiculous things.

I later learned that other fro-yo shops would just let the customer build their own and then charge by weight and be done with it. But that’s not how it worked in [Boss]’s shop.

[Boss] made a point of making us build to the customer’s requests and then weighing every single fro-yo so that it matched an arbitrary number of ounces, even though the weight was never posted and none of our sizes mentioned anything other than small, medium, large, and kids’ cup. One day, a small would be sixteen ounces. The next day, it would be fifteen or seventeen. With no consistency, there was no way to do it “right.”

He would chew us out IN FRONT OF CUSTOMERS for doing it “wrong.” Then, he’d make us throw away the old cup, fro-yo and all, and make a new cup and bring up the scale and weigh it again. The amount of wastage from this nonsense alone was astronomical. I have no idea how he stayed in business as long as he did.

But what killed me was the store itself. [Frozen Yogurt Shop] was a rathole of a place. The front was neat, because we made it so, but we had to struggle with machines that broke down frequently.

Boss: “No, I’m not going to call someone to fix it! It’ll be okay! No, that’s not a fire hazard. Yes, I know it’s smoking. Just turn it off and I’ll band-aid the thing later!”

The freezer leaked. And by that, I mean that there was such a huge icicle that my coworker took a mallet and a screwdriver and chiseled it out because we couldn’t even get to things in the back.

I was apparently the only person willing to do any sort of cleaning. When I first got there, half the machines were completely caked with old fro-yo. We had a “blizzard” type machine, with a spoon that had become a Jurassic-Park-level mosquito in amber, only the amber was dried ice cream. It took me three days to clean that.

I busted my a** trying to keep everything as clean as I could. But it was a lost cause. I found out how much of a lost cause it was when I was making a gentleman a smoothie.

While I was blending away, the gentleman looked up.

Gentleman: “Excuse me, but did that just move?”

I looked up at him like a deer in the headlights, wondering what he was asking. He was pointing to the painting of an ice cream cone on the wall.

I saw a spot of chocolate sauce, but that wasn’t surprising.

Me: “Did what move, sir?”

Gentleman: “The chocolate sauce. Did it move?”

I didn’t even take him for possibly being crazy; my constant battle with the vile condition of this place ensured that I was instantly flooded with A Very Bad Feeling. Taking a few steps toward that wall made the “chocolate sauce” bolt for a crack in the wall.

My stomach dropped into my shoes. It was a roach!

I turned around to the customer in a near panic.

Gentleman: “It’s okay. I’ve watched every step of what you were doing, and you did just fine, so I’ll still take my smoothie. But I hope you’ll understand that I won’t be coming back.”

Me: *Rather sadly* “I don’t blame you, sir. I wouldn’t come back, either.”

An “anonymous” phone call was made to the Health Inspector that very day, because I knew that this place couldn’t be saved, and my job was going to end sooner or later anyway. Once the customers see the bugs, it’s just a matter of time.

Yes. I know I should have called it in much earlier. My inexperience delayed it.

I told [Boss] about the roach when he came in later, and he laid roach traps everywhere.

Mean Boss: “The Health Inspector is coming! Make this place into an A!”

Considering what shape it was in, this was impossible. The necessary steps would have required a professional cleaning crew to give it a top-to-bottom treatment, including dismantling things or just replacing them entirely. 

So, [Boss] screamed at me for not doing a good enough job, despite the fact that I was the only one to actually put in any effort to clean… AT ALL. None of the other employees bothered. [Boss] certainly didn’t contribute; it was all my responsibility.

I quit as soon as he stopped to take a breath.

Then, the Health Inspector showed up after I was gone. The store’s final grade was a C. For those not in the know, to get a C grade, the restaurant had more than four critical foodborne illness violations. To be honest, I’m shocked it wasn’t a worse grade.

My father and I drove by shortly after I quit to see that he’d hidden the C Grade sign behind some tables where no one could see, a HUGE no-no.

Another month after that, [Frozen Yogurt Shop] was gone. The store was cleared out and closed down, and not long later, it was taken over by an Italian deli who consistently got A ratings.

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