Best Toast in Town

August 17, 2023 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Pam Kumpe   

Do you remember your first summer job? Mine was a 40-hour shift working at a fast food restaurant, complete with mopping floors and working a drive through window.

"May I help you? Would you like fries with your order?" I said into the speaker.

After a few days on the job, I decided to eat a burger myself. A second wave of customers piled into the lobby right about the time I grabbed my cheesy snack.

So much for a break. We were suddenly covered up with drooling, hungry patrons who were on their lunch hour. I wrapped my half-eaten burger, placing it on the warming tray behind the outgoing burgers. "Thank you and have a good day. That will be $3.99,” I said to the customer. “Drop an order of onion rings," I called to my co-worker in charge of tacos and French-fries. "Ketchup? Yes, we have mustard, too."

After a 30-minute drill of selling burger, fries, and drinks, I returned to retrieve my hamburger from the warming tray. It was gone!

At that very moment, a man walked up to the lobby counter carrying a sack, and he was frowning. "Excuse me,” he announced with attitude. “My hamburger is half-eaten. There are several bites in this bun.”

"Umm…Yes, I am so sorry. What did you order?"  I asked, keeping my mouth tightly closed so he wouldn’t notice my teeth lined up perfectly with his bun bites.

Handing the man a fresh burger and his refund for my poor service, my boss proceeded to inquire about when we had started eating our customer’s burgers.

On my next job (a few weeks later), I worked in a snack bar at a grocery store.

I embarked on making my first milkshake. Taking a large paper cup, I filled it with ice cream.

With the chocolate syrup in the mixture, I attempted to prepare the shake by placing the paper cup up against the metal blades. Ice cream coated walls. Mixture flying, everywhere. Chocolate syrup dripped from my face.

The cup was shredded into a million pieces. No one had told me about the metal container used for mixing all milkshakes.

The following week (surprise! surprise!) management moved me to another position at the diner as a hostess.

I was in charge of seating customers at their tables, saying, "Your waitress will be with you shortly." I was also in charge of the toaster and buttering slices of bread. I could make the best toast in the restaurant. Such responsibility.

Soon, I was promoted to the candy department inside the store.

For the first few days, I enjoyed working in that department, until I forgot to turn off the popcorn machine. The kernels swirled in the hot oil and smoke billowed into the produce department. The building was evacuated, but there was no fire, just me, hot with embarrassment.

Amazingly, my special touch, or lack thereof, did not keep me from trying other jobs. I learned important lessons that summer. I discovered certain skills do not always come naturally. Many must be learned.

I went on to take other jobs during my teen years and actually acquired some useful skills. One of them is perseverance – I can tell you all about how I became the master at never, never, giving up.

Even when a job gets sticky or smoky, I look for new opportunities because there’s always another try or another job!

Scripture tells me, “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men (Colossians 3:23).

Okay, okay, I may never work at a grocery store, cook hot dogs in a snack bar or work in a restaurant, but hey, I can still make the best toast in town.

And no matter how old I get, giving service with a smile never goes out of style, and knowing that when I do my best, it is always good enough for the Lord.
Pam Kumpe is a podcast host, inspirational newspaper columnist, and Kids Super Church teacher. She’s your pray & play friend in East Texas.


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