“I was working at Subway in a mall’s food court and the manager was a tyrant of a woman. Denise, I will never forget you and your angry eyes and bad breath for as long as I live. As a teenager, I was no match for the many years of experience that Denise had being a miserable person.
She was loud, she was mean, she showed no appreciation for anything. My dad had a serious medical issue one time while I was at work, and when my mom called the store to tell me, Denise confronted me in the back room while I was crying and said ‘Is he dead? No? Prep the tomatoes.’
Now, I am in Canada, and Denise was French. She spoke English, but she definitely spoke better French. So, sometimes, she would use a word improperly but not know that she was making a mistake, and then when we wouldn’t understand her, she would get mad at us. Mostly on account of her being a raging idiot. This is important.
It was during a busy rush, and busy rushes in mall food courts are just something else, man. The lines get all mixed up, people are angry, nobody actually wants to be there. They’re just there because they were shopping and got hungry and now they’re stuck waiting in a too-long line that they never planned on being in in the first place.
I was on bread, which means I was the person who just got the bread ready for the sandwich. Cut it (I think it comes pre-cut now), put the cheese on it, move it down the line for the meat/veggies/whatever else was being put on it. So, behind me were the ovens and the proofer for the freshly made bread. There was nothing in them, though.
Denise, down the line, on cash, yelled ‘Hey, close the oven!’ And I looked behind me, confused because the oven was closed. On, but closed, so I pointed at the door indicating it was closed, and went on to the next customer.
Again, ‘HEY YOU! I SAID CLOSE THE OVEN!’ Now, everyone in line is just looking from Denise to me, me to Denise, and watching her yell at me for something that I was clearly not understanding. I didn’t know what to do, because the oven was closed already, so I just kinda stood there.
Denise throws an absolute fit, stomps her way over to where I am, goes over to the oven, and flips the switch off. She wanted me to turn it off, but was using the wrong word and asking me to close it. As she angrily switches it off, she yells (so, again, everyone can hear) ‘THERE. CLOSED. ARE YOU STUPID?’
I feel guilty, to this day, that I just walked out then and there (mostly just for my coworkers) but it had to be done.
‘Denise,’ I said while taking off my plastic gloves and that stupid visor they made us wear, ‘You’re a horrible person, and I hope nothing good happens to you.’ And I left.
Fast-forward like fifteen years: I’m now working in a busy cardiologist’s clinic. I call in my next patient and it’s Denise. She doesn’t recognize me. I’m just another former teenager she terrorized, probably one of many. But I remember her, those eyes and that breath and that general miserableness.
I check her chart. Heart disease. I guess nothing good happened to Denise.”