Habanero-no-no

| Working | April 25, 2017

(I work at a store that mainly sells barbecues, but also sells accessories and sauces. The store doesn’t typically have massive discounts on barbecues because the markup isn’t all that much over cost. This happens one night after closing:)

Manager: “I think I have an awesome idea for a promotion. We should give people a 10% discount on a barbecue if they eat a pickled habanero.”

Me: “Uh… that’s probably not a good idea. They are really hot. People have died from the side effects of eating hot foods that are outside their tolerance.”

Manager: “They can’t be that hot. They’re pickled. You’ve tried them, haven’t you?”

(My manager and most of the rest of the staff know that I am a chili head — someone that enjoys incredibly hot foods.)

Me: “Yeah, I took a jar home that had expired. They were spicy.”

(Hot sauces don’t go bad, but we aren’t allowed to sell them if they have an expiry date printed on them and it has passed.)

Manager: “Well, that was an old jar. They must have gotten hotter.”

(This doesn’t make sense to me, as the pickling juice would absorb the capsaicin, the stuff that makes hot peppers hot, making the old jar lose heat as time went on.)

Manager: “Let’s pop open a new jar and see.”

(The manager and I, as well as the rest of the staff still there, head to where the sauces are kept, and he opens a new jar and hands it to me.)

Manager: “Try one. See if it’s hot.”

(I take a habanero out and pop it in my mouth and start to chew. I feel a slight tingle, which I have learned means most people would be screaming from the pain now.)

Me: “Yeah, they’re hot.”

Manager: *giving me a funny look* “You’re not freaking out. You’re not even sweating. They can’t be that hot.”

Me: “Take my word for it. They are hot.”

Manager: “Give me one of those.”

Me: *doubtfully* “Are you sure?”

Manager: “I like hot foods, too. They can’t be that hot if you’re not reacting.”

Me: “Fine.”

(I pass him the jar, and he takes out a habanero and pops it in his mouth. Almost immediately his face turns red and his forehead starts beading with sweat.)

Manager: “OH, MY GOD!”

Me: “I warned you.”

(The manager ran to the back where we kept a small fridge for employee lunches and stole someone’s egg salad sandwich, and came back to the front eating it and moaning in pain. He agreed that it was a bad idea, and I got a new bottle of pickled habaneros to take home.)

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