cleaning under the makeline

I have a spotty employment history, due to my previous stalking situation and the PTSD and anxiety that goes with it. I spent a lot of time working in the pizza delivery field. (1) They forgave me a lot of quits, (2) being on the move made me feel safer, and (3) when Stalker found me (and he did…a lot) I could just move on to another store, another company, another map.

So there was this one time when I went back to work at one of my favorite stores. My first night, almost as soon as I walked in the door, someone I had worked with before, A, pulled me off to the side and said, paraphrased, I’m so glad you’re back. I’m the only one who cleans under the makeline.

This is the makeline, that big refrigerated silver table with all the food:

It gets pretty gross under there, with cheese and flour and bits of dropped food. Nothing a good sweeping and a thorough mopping won’t take care of though. It’s heavy and awkward and there isn’t much room

So I nodded and went on about my business, and later in the night another person with whom I had worked before caught me near the dispatch table and said, paraphrasing, I’m so glad you’re back. I’m the only one around here who ever cleans under the makeline.

Ok. So whoever was supposed to be closing driver that night realized I was there and they could skate outta there and did so, and so I found myself pulling out the makeline to clean under it because I never want to be part of the problem, and especially not on my first night back. I didn’t expect it to be too bad under there; after all if both A and J were cleaning under there occasionally, how bad could it be?

Bad. There was this…splotch. Black, tarry, furry around the edges, and with King Tut’s chicken wing stuck right near the edge of it at about the two o’clock position, which ironically, was about the time of the morning it was when I found it. I have never seen anything so gross in all my years of pizza. While the stores do get trashed during the dinner rush, that is only mess, not actual filth, and I have never been hesitant to eat at any of the stores where I have worked…including the one I am talking about now.

I don’t really want to talk bad about my co-workers either. I’m sure they thought they really were bearing more than their fair share of the burden.

In order to clean the splotch, I had to get an old dough scraper, which is something like a huge putty knife, and chisel that chicken wing up out of the goo, soak the tarry residue with dish soap for an hour, and mop it repeatedly. It finally sort of went away,mostly, although it left a stain that faded over a course of months. And every time I saw that stain I thought about how everybody thinks s/he is the only one who cleans under the makeline. Which brings me to what I want to say.

You probably aren’t, so stoppit.

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