Ah, College
"The Taco Bell Diaries"

I just got a job at Taco Bell. Most of you don't know what that's like, so I'll be writing this issue throughout my entire ten-hour shift today and picking out things as they happen. I hope you find it amusing, as I'm almost sure my manager will not…

-The first shift I was supposed to work was called the "Crap Shift". I later found out it was the best shift to work. It just had a stupid name. Names are important in deciding whether or not you want to check something out. I don't think as many people would play "Candyland" if it was called "Vomitville" instead.

-I don't consider it a real job to work at Taco Bell, because it's always been my dream to do it. I also write for collegehumor.com, which has been another dream of mine. Wow. All my dreams seem to come true. Now, if only it were my dream to study for tests.

-The discount we get on our food is ridiculous. It's helpful, though. You don't even have to ask people how much work experience they have. You just take a 32" waist size and add a week for every inch above that. If you've above 80", you're a manager.

-Spanish is a bad language. We work in a three-person assembly line to make items. The first person puts on the meat and tells me the item name so I can add toppings. But for the first part of the word, they're usually facing away from me, so I only catch the last part. Oh, well. How many items could possibly end in "o"?

-I was trying to get back into the kitchen from the lobby, but the line was blocking me. The people said they were in too much of a hurry to get food to let me through, though. I wonder if most people understand that someone actually has to make those meals for them.

-It would be nice to have a job AND make God happy by going to church, but your schedule usually won't let you. If I get out of work any later than three in the morning, the only way I'm going to church at noon is if they've replaced communion wine with Jolt Cola.

-Working at a fast food place is a good way to stay humble. When I first became a writer, I worried about getting an ego. It's easy to just see myself as a normal guy when someone says, "Wow! Aren't you the guy who did stand-up at Lehigh with Steve Hofstetter? Cool…now get me two soft tacos and a small drink."

I was surprised to find out yesterday that there was so much to write on just Taco Bell that it needed two issues. This morning as I went to work, I was also surprised to find out that one of the managers there is a subscriber. So, I guess by tomorrow, he will have read both parts of this issue, and I will be very surprised to still have a job…

-Once, on break, I ordered food. Since the customer in front of me was complaining about high prices, I gloated that I got cheaper food because I worked there. He replied, "After I finish eating my overpriced meal, I get to go to sleep. You get to go back to work." Hmmm. Touché.

-I recall being in McDonald's and hearing a manager tell an employee he was "an embarrassment". That's a pretty strong putdown. Fast food places aren't the proudest organizations to begin with, so what did he do to soil their image? Was he making fries when he accidentally wiped out an endangered species or something?

-As employees, we get a free drink whenever we work. Each night, I refill the cup at least 90 times. Seems unhealthy, right? But hey, it's not just kidney failure. It's FREE kidney failure.

-The girl working the register gets mad at me all the time because all I ever have to do is dishes. I'm somehow lazy, but someone who pushes buttons all day isn't? I don't do the hardest job, but it doesn't exactly seem like she's competing in a triathlon herself.

-Taco Bell has an incentive program where workers get little notes saying they did a good job. I'm not aiming for those. I figure as long as I just do a decent job, I'll get a more important piece of paper. I call it a paycheck.

-A lot of places have a strict policies that "the customer is always right". I prefer our motto: "The customer is always right…as long as a manager is around or the customer thinks the same as we do."

-If you mess up an order, you get the incorrect item for free. Isn't that promoting the wrong kind of behavior? And better yet, is it the same for other jobs? If so, I'm getting a job at a BMW manufacturer and "accidentally" painting twelve cars the wrong color.

-Taco Bell is full of liars and thieves, like most businesses are, I assume. The best part is at the end of the night when everyone violates store policy by smoking inside. They always say, "You didn't see anything, okay, Matt?" Of course I didn't see anything. I was too busy stealing nachos.

-If you have a job, chances are, you probably aren't working to your full potential. But if you think you're shirking work better than anyone else is, you're crazy. Isn't it possible that one of the two billion other workers on the planet is lazier than you? Besides, I'm writing this issue while I'm supposed to be working. I win.