How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Hi. I’m Rosie. That’s short for RosalindaMarie. I’m a red Tuskaninny. I have a bit of an overbite, which used to be much worse. (I still have to wear a retainer at night, but that’s much better than braces.)
I bet you’re wondering what I’m doing here. See, when school was almost ready to let out for the summer, my mom said to me, “Rosie, you need to get a job.”
I remember I gave her a funny look and asked her why. She then started off on a lecture about responsibility or something like that. I wasn’t really paying attention after the first sentence or two.
But the next day, I started my job search. Here in Altador there are plenty of jobs. So I figured that by starting now, I’d be able to find the right job before I was stuck in one I hated for the summer.
First I tried farming. After being told for the fifteenth time that fill-in-the-blank “does not work that way!”, I quit. (Okay, I admit that I should have given it more than one day. But seriously, you’d think that farmer would be more understanding when working with a novice.)
Then I tried helping at the water plant. It didn’t seem too hard – just regulating the flow of water in the city. Yeah. Luckily they had me go through training, wherein I flooded the model of the city virtually every time. It wasn’t really that much of a loss – I wanted to spend my summer not memorizing things, and just trying to recall what lever did what made my head hurt.
I went through several more jobs quickly in the next few weeks – Observatory aide (not strong enough), Yooyu keeper (not fast enough), Altadorian Wonders shopkeeper (not loud enough), and finally librarian (not quiet enough. And then there was that whole memorization thing again).
There was one last job to try: Slushie Waitress for the new Slushie Shop. The job would only be for the duration of the upcoming Cup – but it seemed to pay well enough that I could take the Month of Swimming off.
I started my training at the end of the Month of Hunting. It was easy enough; a customer would show up, request one of the three flavours of slushies we serve (Chokato, Jumpleberry, or Zeenana). I’d fill a cup with the requested slush and deliver it. I’ve gotten quite good at sliding the drinks down the counter.
I also learned that a cup a customer had finished needed to be picked up immediately. While they are made of plastic, it is very dangerous to leave them sitting around, especially on this side of the counter. It’s hard enough for me to move about; and plastic on the floor just makes it worse. I nearly slipped on lids several times, and once cut myself on a sharp piece of plastic I didn’t see. Of course, our patrons don’t like the mess either – it makes us look shoddy. And if they think we look shoddy, they’ll go somewhere else to get their slushies and thus the shop will lose business. If the shop loses business, I’ll lose my comfortable job.
There are only two of us who work there – myself and a blue Lutari named Johannes. Jo, as I’ve taken to calling him, worked on the other side of the machines, keeping them full and working. See, there’s a very particular way you have to blend the ingredients – so it’s not like one can just dump everything in at once. I think he does a good job as we’ve not had any complaints about our drinks. Mostly. There’s been a few, but I think those are the people who wouldn’t be happy no matter what you did. Of course, then there are their thoughts on the service – but I really am trying my hardest. It’s not easy, especially at rush times, but I’ve managed. I have yet to have a customer walk out on me.
At least, that was during the practise games. It was really cool – I’ve gotten to meet people like Rinok Fitel, Xana DiLanche of Shenkuu, and Delma Harrence. All three come regularly after their practises. I’d never wanted to travel before, but listening to DiLanche and Harrence argue over the different types of clouds in their homes... I want to see them. Of course, to be able to do so, I need this job and all the Neopoints I can earn. Maybe, if I earn enough before the end of the Cup, I can take a trip to Shenkuu – they don’t live that far away. I’d really like to go see Mystery Island or Maraqua, but I don’t think that I can afford that. Yet. ‘Sides, I don’t think Mom would let me travel that far.
That’s not to say I don’t have any hometown pride. “Trapper” Remis, left forward and Altador’s Team Captain, came in once. I was overjoyed – I mean, it’s not like I ever want to play Yooyuball, but to be able to serve a slushie to such a player. It was an honour. And I must’ve told all my friends and family about it, many times. I even got his autograph – it was so amazing.
All of this was before the Cup started. The two days leading up to the opening matches, the streets were flooded with foreigners. I didn’t think much of it – there’s been this many last year. Well, at least three-quarters as many. For most of the Month of Relaxing and into the Month of Swimming, our city’s population quadruples. Every hotel and boarding house between here and Shenkuu is booked by the Month of Awakening. Not all will stay for the entire length of the Cup, but some will. We closed the shop for the opening ceremonies – because Jo wanted to see them. I didn’t really care, but he was so eager so I went anyways. At least I got to see all the players in their outfits. The players from Darigan Citadel scare me – they all look really mean (but then, Tandrak Shaye has ordered from me a couple of times, and he was polite both times).
With the Cup came the fans – loud, obnoxious, and rude. That’s not to say that all are, but many do seem to be. There’s the one guy, a blue Techo, who seems to delight in being loud and obnoxious. He started cheering for a team well before any of them were in the Coliseum. Later I’d learn that he’d give the best tips, and usually ordered many slushies – apparently all that cheering dries out his throat.
Now as for the rude... Our slushies are quite popular – popular enough that people don’t really mind if I accidentally serve them the wrong flavour. But they’re quite impatient. Especially during half-time. They show up and expect to be served almost immediately. The first Cup game – I don’t even remember who it was between, maybe Kreludor and Qasala – that’s when I learned how hard this job really was. I lost a number of patrons that day. They just walked out when I couldn’t deliver the slushies fast enough. I couldn’t believe it. Okay, yes, I knew I was a little slow, but you try dealing with twenty customers at once, and trying to pick up after their trash! It’s not easy!
But it does make me glad when the game starts back up again. I get to relax for a little while. I’m no longer sure I’ll be able to make it through the entire Cup in this job... Well, next year I’ll know better than to answer a ‘Help Wanted’ ad that looks too good to be true.
Then again, after the Cup ended, I found myself getting bored when I wasn’t active all the time. So after a week of doing nothing, I went to the Pound and offered to help there. I figured with my experience serving slushies I could help the overcrowded place (Why is no one adopting any of them anymore? The place is getting fuller by the day). And that is how I spent the rest of my summer vacation. Of course, I’ll continue helping out at the Pound on weekends even after school has started up. My friends will all think I’m crazy for wanting to do that, but I enjoy helping out in that manner.