Breaking The Ice
I was 15 years old, it was my first job, and I was a line cook at Dairy Queen. It was an easy job - grill off a bunch of burgers, store them in a steam drawer, build sandwiches, drop fries, and make chicken baskets. BTW, I still LOVE their powdered gravy...I know, I know...So a few months into it, my manager wanted me to detail the fryer. I had never done this before so I was clueless as to what I was doing. Our training program would NOT be approved by OSHA what-so-ever, which basically consisted of, "Here's the kitchen, here's your spat, there's the cooler, let me know if you have any questions". So I'm supposed to clean the fryer. I find a green scrub pad and start detailing. Oh, mind you, my boss didn't want me to turn the machine off because it would take too long to reheat. I didn't know, I was 15, and he was the boss; I thought, "He wouldn't do anything to put me in harms way, I'll be fine". So I'm scrubbing away, and ended up slipping which led me to dunk my right pinky-finger in the 350 degree oil. Again, I'm 15, I thought I was going to get in trouble for messing up, so I ran it under water, stuck it in a cup of soft-serve ice cream, cleaned it, and wrapped it up before anyone saw what happened. All of which was a BAD idea. I called off work the next day, excusing myself for being "sick", and tried going back a few days later. The heat from the grill was too intense, so I ended up quitting. Still to this day, my finger tends to go numb in extreme conditions of heat and cold. What did I learn? 1) don't clean a hot fryer. 2) Don't dunk your fried finger in soft-serve. 3) Make sure to get worker's comp, because a boss who asks a 15yr old kid to clean a hot fryer deserves to pay for fried nerves that will never grow back. I thought this would be a great place to start, there are surely tons of stories to come from me alone, and I hope you add a few as well! Please feel free to leave feedback as well, I'm new to this and definitely want advice. Thanks!!