I like to think my parents and I have a pretty good relationship. I try to be as open with them as possible, but like most people there are things I don’t share with them. One of those things being an incident I had earlier this year in January…
It happened when I was at a hockey game with some of my friends. We waited after the game for a little bit to meet up with some of the players. It was after the game that I met a guy. We got to talking and made plans to hang out later in the week. I was in my junior year of high school, so my workload was really heavy and my parents were strict about letting me go out. I knew they would never let me go see him. I had to get creative.
After a couple of days texting back and forth we made plans to hang out during the week. He did online school and I had the option to leave school during sixth hour, so we agreed to hang out then. I decided it would be best to not tell my parents, there was no harm in hanging out for an hour then studying. After all, I had spent all day at school. I thought I deserved a break. The only problem with this was that my parents tracked my location… Somehow I had to figure out how to block the app without them getting a notification.It took a couple days of research and a lot of asking around, but I figured out how I was going to do it. I was going to turn off my wifi and cellular data and pray that they didn’t call me.
The next day I sat in fifth hour worrying whether or not I should even go. Was it worth the lie? I decided I was going to go despite the gut feeling I had telling me not to. We grabbed coffee and after an hour I went back to the school for extracurricular activities. My parents didn’t say anything that night, so I decided to do it again, and again. We continued to hang out until Covid-19 starting to hit and things began to change. To this day my parents still don’t know I manipulated the tracking app.
I had only been working at the cafe for about two weeks. I often worked the morning shifts so I could get work out of the way and enjoy most of my days. Working at this cafe was my first job and I was still trying to get in the groove of things.
I was about two hours into my shift as a barista when every employee started to scramble. It was a fairly busy time for us, so I didn’t think much of it at the time. Not too long after, one of the managers in training came up to me with labels. The labels contained expiration dates for a lot of the smoothie bases. Of course I was confused because I had never seen these before. He told me to be sure to put the labels on the bases because the health inspector was coming to check everything out.
I put the labels on the bases and got back to work, there was no time to be wasted when customers were waiting. About ten minutes later the manager came up to me and told me to be extra cautious with my hand washing. I assured her I would be (we were in the middle of a pandemic, so I was always being cautious.) Before she left she told me to change the sticker on my sanitizing water that I use to clean my station with. Without hesitation, I went to the back room and got a new sticker, then got back to work.
Time flew by as I continued to make coffee and slice bagels. I heard my manager call for me. I turned the corner to the back room to find her with the health inspector. Before I could introduce myself she asked me about the sanitizing water. I wasn’t worried about it, after all I had done everything I was told to do. I changed the sticker, and I didn’t hesitate to tell them that. I could see my manager’s mouth drop beneath her mask, her eyes got wide. “You just changed the sticker?”
“Yes” I said, “ that’s what you told me to do.” I heard the inspector start to tap at the screen of her IPad. That was the moment I knew I screwed up.
“When I said change the sticker, I meant change the water in it as well. That’s how we do things here.” She said. “You can get back to work.”
The weight of what I had done sat on me all day. “How could I be so blonde?” Near the end of my shift my manager let everyone know that we had passed our health inspection. I was relieved, without a doubt.
I’ll always be changing water now.