Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Morning Stories with Mookie - Episode 5

As this is the last Monday in the Black History Month of February, I thought it would be appropriate to share this gem.  Enjoy.

The Time Mookie Had To Tell A Group Of Black People That They Couldn't Have Any Fried Chicken

Wayyyy back in the day, I used to jockey the front counter and drive-thru at the local Hardee's Restaurant (Carl's Jr for you West Coast people).  It goes without saying that I have served some of the best AND worst individuals that society has to offer.  Most times this all happened during the same day.

During my time at Hardee's, I can honestly say that I was surrounded by some of the most fun people I've ever had the pleasure of working with.  We all hated what we did, and found anything we could to make the job bearable.  Between the asshole customers, the constant smell of grease on your clothes, and the asshole customers (yeah I said "customers" twice - people can be real dicks), you have to find the humor in the little things.

Hardee's Fried Chicken. An endless source of double entendres
from us less-than-mature, and sexually starved employees.
Yes, I would like 2 big breasts, and 2 thighs. 
At one point during my "tenure" there, the Corporate douches decided the company needed to compete with Kentucky Fried Chicken. All of the Hardee's restaurants were outfitted with hardware to make fried chicken, and an effort was made to train certain individuals how to make the chicken.  I don't recall the reasoning of why, but the restaurant where I worked couldn't get their shit together in time to launch the product when every other Hardee's did.  This led to us having to tell everyone that came through the store that we didn't have fried chicken, even though every Hardee's TV commercial said we did. It should go without saying it got really old telling people "Sorry we don't have chicken yet" all day long.

Fast forward to two-weeks later.  I'm working the Sunday 7AM to 3PM shift, and for the most part Sundays were fairly low-keyed.  Lots of coffee drinkers, and lots of Biscuits and Gravy.  It was a pretty easy shift really, which was good because most of us were still feeling the effects of a lively Saturday night.  The lunch rush wasn't too bad either because most people didn't go to Hardee's for "Sunday Dinner," and the drive-thru was often filled by people also recovering from their lively Saturday night. By now, it was pretty much common knowledge in my lazy town that we still weren't selling fried chicken yet.  So the "sorry we don't have chicken yet" announcements had tapered off quite a bit for the most part.

Then it happened.

During a lull in the morning business, I'm gandering out the drive thru windows, and I watch as this big van pulls in the parking lot.  Normally, it is not an uncommon sight really.  Down the side of the van is a big logo that reads "Mt. Calvary Baptist Church."  I immedately think to myself "No, no noooo."  Fate says: "Oh yes, Mookie.  Oh yes."

Out of this van rolls 8 to 10 black peopleI stand there for a bit thinking to myself, "Oh God, they are going to want fried chicken.  They are going to be pissed."  I look over towards the front counter area back to the immediate kitchen area......there are no other Hardee's personnel to be found.  Before I could make a run for the cooler in the back, the throng of Baptist parishioners had entered the building and were heading for the counter.

I stepped up to the counter behind my little register, smiled, and said "Can I help you?"  One lady that appears to be the "spokesperson" for the group steps forward and goes:

"Yah, yous gots that friiiied chickennn ready??"

In my head, my brain is just exploding at this stereotype that has come to life.  However I remain calm and polite and say: "I'm sorry, we aren't serving fried chicken yet."

To which she naturally responds with a surpised tone:  "You mean you out?"

I say, "No, we haven't received all of the supplies to start making fried chicken at this restaurant yet."

Another lady speaks up and says with an attitude that only an angry Claire Huxtable could present: "You ain't got NO fried chicken?"

And I say: "No, I'm sorry."

The group says nary another word.  They all look at each other, and then turned and headed for the door.  I watched out the window as they got back into their van and hauled ass out of the lot.

I took a deep breath, laughed to myself at the humorous situation that just played out right in front of me, and turned around to face the kitchen.  There was still no one there.  HOW DID SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPEN AND NOT ONE PERSON WORKING AT HARDEE'S SAW IT????

Trust me.  It happened.  It did.

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