It’s Not The Onions That Make You Want To Cry

| Working | August 6, 2017

(I’m a manager at a family-owned pizza place, and the owners have just hired a new girl for the morning prep team. They assure me that she’s the nicest girl, that they think she’ll be a good fit because she had food service experience, and then leave me to show her around. After a quick tour of the tiny restaurant, which seats barely 15 people, we get started on prep work.)

Me: “All right, so this is the walk-in refrigerator. Every morning I come in, I go through everything in the walk-in and see what needs restocking. Then I put it on this list we have taped to the outside of the walk-in. You pick an item off the list, cross it off, and go prepare that food. We have to complete all these things before we open every morning.”

New Girl: “Okay.”

Me: “So it looks like we need some green onions chopped. Let’s have you do that. Get washed up, and here are the onions, a knife, and a container to store them in.”

New Girl: “Okay.”

(I make sure she’s clear on what to do, and then go to finish my own prep work. Roughly ten minutes later, I come back to check on her and see that she has only cut up ONE green onion, and is slowly cutting another single onion. V E R Y. S L O W L Y.)

Me: “Err… [New Girl], why don’t we cut several of those at a time, like so? (I gather up a handful and make a few cuts as an example.) It’ll go much faster!”

New Girl: “Oh… Okay.”

(Thinking she understands, I leave her to it again… only to come back another ten or so minutes later from the back office, where I’d been counting out cash drawers, to see that she’s sitting out in the dining room, in the dark, just staring into space.)

Me: “So, uh, [New Girl], whatcha doing now?”

New Girl: “Well… I finished the onions.”

Me: “And?”

New Girl: “I didn’t know what to do next.”

Me: “So instead of asking for help from me or another employee, or picking another item off the list, you decided to sit down.”

New Girl: “I guess so.”

Me: *internally screaming*

(I made sure to tell the owners exactly what had happened, which they were able to verify via security tape footage. She was let go the next day.)

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