It was hot under the stage lights as he danced, his hips moving in sync with the music blaring behind him as he sang. He could hear the excited squeals of the girls nearby, feel the rush coming from the crowd below. He took the microphone stand and thrusted behind it, the metal pole between his legs as the girls screamed.
“HEY!” someone shouted, jarring him out of his daydream. When his eyes opened he was in the middle of mopping the floor, his hands gripping the yellow handle like it was a mic stand.
“What the hell are you doing?” his manager screamed.
“I….uh….I was…mopping.” he replied sheepishly, his face turning pink.
“Are you done with that floor yet, Nick? There is a pile of dishes with your name on it waiting for you!” the manager shouted across the lobby. Nick rolled his eyes and dipped the mop back into the water before wringing it out. After finishing the floor, he wheeled the mop bucket back to the kitchen and dumped the water, wiping sweat off his forehead with his arm. It was the dead middle of summer and the air conditioning in the store was broken. Working at Taco Bell was not his dream job, but he took what he could get. Jobs were hard to come by in this recession, and he planned on keeping it. The work wasn’t too hard, and he liked his co-workers….just not this manager in particular, Kevin. Or as Nick liked to call him, the Taco Nazi. The two of them always were at odds or so it seemed.
“NICK!!! Hurry up! You have 30 minutes to get those dishes done! All of the stickers better be off them, or you don’t get to go home!” Kevin’s voice hollered once more. Grumbling to himself, Nick washed his hands.
“Happy Birthday to you…” he sang softly as that was the protocol for hand washing. Nick thought it was pointless to wash his hands before washing dishes but rules were rules. Reaching into his pocket, he turned on his BlackBerry so that music played.
“Dancing queen, young and sweet….only seventeen…” the music floated through the kitchen as one of his co-workers happened to walk by.
“Dude, is that ABBA?”
“Go away, Jay. I’m busy.” Nick said as he filled the first sink with hot soapy water.
“I can’t believe you are listening to that.” AJ laughed, walking over to him. Nick rolled his eyes and filled the last sink with sanitizer.
“So what are you doing here? I thought you had off today….” he asked.
“The Nazi called me in….needed me for register. Register my ass, he just wants to sit in the office.” AJ told him. No matter how busy the store was, it seemed that the managers had time to sit in the office. Kevin was notorious for this, he liked to tell people what to do then sit in the office and play with his PSP or iPhone.
“Sweet, you closing tonight then?” Nick asked. He liked having AJ there, it was someone to talk to, not to mention occasionally have food fights with. He fondly remembered when AJ first started working and the pizza shell fight that got them both written up.
“Well someone has to keep your ass company…” AJ joked. Nick laughed and took a handful of bubbles, covering him with soap.
“Ohhhh….you fucker. Now its your turn.” AJ said, looking like Father Christmas with soap hanging off of his face. Grabbing the sprayer, he sprayed Nick with water.
“GOD DAMN THAT’S COLD!!!” Nick squealed, blocking with one of the pans he had just washed, his other arm flailing in front of him.
“WHAT ARE YOU TWO DOING???” Kevin screamed suddenly, and the two of them went pale as they saw him standing in front of them. He looked angry, his arms crossed and face red.
“Uh….we were just…” Nick said apologetically, tossing the pan aside as if he didn’t do anything wrong.
“I don’t want to hear it. I have had enough of you two fooling around today.” Kevin said angrily. “Get the stick out of your ass and lighten up, we were just having fun,” AJ said without any thought. As soon as the words left his mouth Nick’s eyes went wide.
“I suppose you’re right, it is just water…..but I want these dishes done quickly all right?” Kevin said before walking away. He even let AJ help Nick with the dishes until they were done.
“I can’t believe you said that to him,” Nick commented.
“He really does, though.” AJ said as they walked up to the front of the store to finish their shifts. It was going to be a long day.