Super popular, high end fast food with a nautical theme sound familiar? I live on Cape Cod so in the summer I work my butt off at one of the most popular restaurants in the area. It's basically the Krusty Krab from SpongeBob SquarePants, minus all the giggles and shenanigans of the childish sponge. After three years of taking down orders of fried seafood and steamed lobsters, I've come to know the place fairly well, but it's only now struck me how similar it is to the Krusty Krab, or rather, how accurate the show is to restaurant life in general. Here are a few of the best ways the show captures my experience as a restaurant employee on a busy vacation spot during peak season.
1. The anchovies are real.
I feel for Spongebob when the swarm of anchovies engulfs the Krusy Krab, I really do. The moment when tour busses full of hungry, rude, and annoying customers pull into the parking lot is one of universal heartbreak and horror for every food service worker across the planet. Sadly, I didn't have Spongebob's speedy cooking skills, or patience, so it usually winds up with me wanting to curl up in the corner or crying.
2. As I've gotten older, I've realized I'm actually Squidward
Me walking into work: I hate the sun. *gets out of car* I hate this outfit. I hate you people. *crosses parking lot* Please, please run me over so I can not go to work. *walks in door* Well I guess this is happening. Squidward is the epitome of sarcastic pessimism. I'm already a sarcastic little brat, but hours of crowds piling in and the occasional customers yelling at me solidifies my b**** face in stone, much like Mr. Tentacles.
3. God bless those fry cooks.
It is freaking hot in the summer where I work, but you know what makes it hotter? Grills and 5 boiling vats of oil. Oh and being in a tightly packed long line of 5 men while working at the speed of light. Absurd. SpongeBob had a nice open kitchen all to himself, and even though he had to work solo, at least he had his handy dandy spatula to get him through the madness. These boys get a daily sauna treatment for hours back there: now if only the air wasn't full of grease.
4. People really are MEAN when they're hungry
You know that episode where Spongebob has to deliver pizza and that guy starts screaming at him? I can tell you that's happened to me three times in the past week. SpongeBob's sad and broken face after that mean fish screams at him and slams the door over a mistake that wasn't the poor sponge's fault was me the first time I got yelled at by a customer. Now I usually go with a wide eyed smile and a monotone "Yes. Okay. That's fine" and let them leave. The customer is always right after all.
5. On that note, thank god I have my coworkers to take care of me like Squidward
Even though Swidward is usually less than pleasant towards SpongeBob, after the terrible encounter with the delivery customer, Squidward stands up the jerk and gives him more that just a piece of pizza, slamming it into his face. The girls at my work all stick together, and when a customer starts getting aggressive, we all jump into action. Everyone needs a little love and support when things get crazy.
6. Nautical Nonsense is not something "I wish"
Sure it's all fun and games when a sea sponge spends his whole day inside a restaurant the shape of a lobster trap, but when I have to serve seafood to thousands of hungry customers in a nautical themed restaurant, it can get a bit stressful. Living on Cape Cod means literally everything is beach and boat themed! pretty much all the time. Especially the food. The charm wears off after a while. It didn't take long for the sight of fried clams and lobster bibs to make me want to hurl.
7. After a long day at work, sometimes I do "drop on the deck and flop like a fish"
Meaning I come home, and pass out on my bed. Feeling out of breath, exhausted, and half dead- much like a fish out of water. But enough theme song references, let's get back to the Krusty Krab.
8. At the end of the day, it's a great place to work
Just like SpongeBob, I love my boss, I love my coworkers, and I do have a good amount of fun at work. Yes, customers can be a pain, my feet hurt all the time, it's crazy busy, and I barely have time to breathe, but for what it is, it's a great place to work, and I feel proud to be a part of it. I've had my fair share of work shenanigans, from dancing in the ice cream room, to dropping EVERYTHING, and my girls are always there with me, just like SpongeBob and his pals.