Sorry, your browser is not supported
To have the best experience using Skillshare, we recommend that you use one of these supported browsers.

145

4

Amanda Is In The Freezer

“Given the events of last night and the implications with local law enforcement, I am unfortunately going to have to let you go,” said Lynn, my general manager at Oberweis Dairy. I felt like that was fair.

It may have been fair, but being fired from my first high school job was heartbreaking. It had been such fun! Oberweis was where the cool kids worked. The funny kid in the talent show, the skater guy, the girl would go on to have her own fashion line, just cool. And hilarious. The shenanigans mostly happened after the doors were locked for the night, but we would play root beer pong, have maraschino cherry fights, sing Christmas carols into the patio speakers, even add vodka to the smoothie mix. The managers were exactly the kind of dudes you would expect to be managing an ice cream shop at age 20, and just as much in on the fun. Except for Lynn. Lynn would actually make you clean shit and you had to keep busy whenever she was around.

The night before I got fired started off just as any other. I was working the shift with two other girls, both in Catholic school. Sam was a softball player, sweet and a little bovine. Amanda wore a ton of makeup, had an older boyfriend, and smoked pink Camel cigarettes that matched the pink streak in her hair. The shift manager was Luis, a recent high school graduate who lived across the street.

About halfway through the shift, Luis said that we should party while we closed since it was Friday. His friend would buy us alcohol. “Perfect!” I said, “…And, hey, could he pick me up a handle of Smirnoff?”

My usual source for vodka was the trunk of my best friend’s boyfriend’s car ($20 per plastic water bottle), so securing my own alcohol was really exciting! Once we had the booze, Sam and I made rum smoothies. Around the time the booze arrived was about the time we lost track of Amanda.

The crew was moving at too slow a pace to lock up within the usual hour, but we had Timbaland on so at least we were dancing. After my first smoothie, I went back into the freezer for the second batch. The freezer was a huge, industrial behemoth that could fit several people inside of it at a time, and held the store’s inventory. The bottles were in the freezer next to the tubs of chocolate peanut butter and birthday cake ice cream. Once I saw the rum bottle, though, I knew what Amanda must have been up to for the last hour. There was about three fingers of rum left in the whole bottle.

I went out back to find Amanda dragging bags of leaking garbage to the dumpster and talking on her Motorola Razor, barely standing. Whatever she was saying to whoever was on the line was indecipherable drunken blabber. I snatched the phone from her hands and pushed her back inside.

Amanda went straight into the bathroom and barfed her guts out. Sam and I went in to check on her, and while the cow-spotted wallpaper surely did not help her dizziness, we knew there was no hope for her sobriety. We would have to finish wiping the place clean of dried ice cream and crushed waffle cones without her.

*WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!*

We froze. Apparently Amanda’s drunken dumpster call was to her rather aggressive boyfriend, now assaulting the back door and demanding to know where she was. Sam’s chin quivered and her eyes widened.

We looked back at Amanda, now slumped over in the manager’s “office”—really just a chair and computer next to the dishwasher. Her red Oberweis hat with a cow on it was the only part of her head not fully inside of the waste basket. She was completely unresponsive and she’d been that way since we’d moved her from the bathroom.

Luis couldn’t have Amanda just stumble out of Oberweis and into her boyfriend’s arms, for fear that our tipsy shift be discovered and he fired. I’m still not sure why, but I looked to him for direction.

My pulse was escalating right along with the situation. My adrenaline put me into a Go Mode I’d never been in before. All I wanted was a plan that would take us all to safety. Luis said he knew what to do. We'd claim we had no idea where Amanda was, lock up just like normal, and leave Amanda inside. Luis was sure that once Oberweis looked empty, Angry Boyfriend would turn elsewhere for Amanda, then we could go back for her and drop her off at home in a few hours.

Amanda could not be left in the “office” for fear that she would be seen. So, the only logical answer was to throw a huge, puffy, coat on her and put her in the freezer. We got her on her feet and through the tall, heavy door. Luis told her, ‘stay here’, and she collapsed into a pitiful human puddle on the floor. This was not right. Luis said it was fine, we'd be right back.

When the three of us opened the back door, we were greeted by Angry Boyfriend and also Amanda’s father. Her boyfriend screamed at us as we walked to Sam’s minivan, demanding to know where she was. We avoided eye contact and slid the doors shut.

Sam drove down the block, where we could see the Oberweis parking lot. To our horror, neither Amanda’s boyfriend nor her father’s car left the parking lot. By this time, Sam had grown completely hysterical. “I’m going to get kicked off the softball team! I can’t have a criminal record!!!”

When I told Sam to just go home, her face wore the same expression as a freed inmate leaving county jail.

As Sam drove us back to Luis’s apartment, it became clear that no one but me gave a fuck what happened to Amanda. Luis told me he wasn’t going anywhere near Oberweis except to quit in the morning. My mind’s eye was playing a scene from CSI with Amanda as the frozen corpse. ‘Way too cool for….high school….’ the ginger detective would say. With Luis' manager keys in my hand, I went back alone to make things right.

I crossed the street and climbed up the concrete wall that surrounded the building. I wasn’t halfway over the wall before I saw headlights rushing toward me. By the time I got to the door, I was face to face with Amanda’s father. He was shockingly level-headed for a man whose daughter was being held captive inside an ice cream cooler.

When we got inside, Amanda was back to barfing in the office. Her dad went to her, shook his head, and carried her back out the door. I don’t remember him even raising his voice to tell me what a stupid child I was for leaving his sick daughter behind. I was so relieved not to find her cold and suffocated by her own vomit that I retrieved my vodka. I moved it closer to the door so that I could go back for it after comatose Amanda and her dad drove away.

Alas, when I opened the back door, I was surrounded by three police cars. Immediately a cop was yelling in my face: WHO BOUGHT THE ALCOHOL? WHO ELSE IS INSIDE? IS THERE ANY MORE ALCOHOL IN THE BUILDING?!!

Do I have to answer, officer?

I HAVE HANDCUFFS RIGHT HERE IF YOU WANT TO GET ARRESTED TONIGHT!

Sigh. Fine. While Officer Friendly searched the building, I was instructed to blow into a breathalyzer. My results: 0.03.

Shockingly, Officer Friendly’s search of the building did not turn up the gallon-sized bottle of Smirnoff six inches from the door. I was told to show him where the rest of the alcohol was, or I’d be in big, big trouble. A tiny glimmer of pride came when Officer Friendly nearly tripped over me as I bent to pick up the bottle without taking a full step into the building.

“Honestly, officer, I don’t know how you missed it.”

My smirk vanished when he walked me to the dumpster to toss the bottle. I gently released the glass from my hands and heard a heavy thud. Next, I was instructed to call my parents to pick me up, and it was clear there was no negotiating that, either. The shame I felt when my father glared at me upon arrival to the scene was worse than any subsequent court-ordered community service would ever do.

Sadly, the dumpster dive my friends did the following day was to no avail, my holy grail of vodka forever lost. I would spend 25 hours of my summer at an animal shelter walking dogs and scooping kitty litter, cursing my coworkers for their lack of empathy and lauding my own compassion for the girl who got me fired.

Comments

Please sign in or sign up to comment.