One of my best business experiences was serving fish and chips and scooping ice cream at Oxford Creamery in Mattapoisett, MA, where I grew up.
I remember feeling anxious before each shift, knowing I’d be missing out on some fun with my friends, and knowing how slammed work would be. That was especially true on a Friday night when the fish and chips special (with fresh cod from the boats in New Bedford) was the best around.
With the line out the door, I had no time to think about missing out on fun with my friends. Waiting on a group of hungry customers fresh off the beach focuses the mind, so to speak.
Oxford was old school. No cash registers, no computer system, no credit cards. A place Kenny Chesney would love: no shoes, no shirt, no problems, as far as the customer was concerned.
“Gimme two fish and chips, a lobster roll, cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onions, mustard and relish, a plain hamburger, a hot dog with ketchup, two small fries, two coffee frappes, and three diet cokes,” said the customer.
“Small or large diet cokes?” I’d ask.
“Sorry, we only have small and large.”
“Hey, Carol, what size soda you guys want?” he’d yell. “They only have small and large.”
“Just give me two smalls and a large.”
“OK, will that be all?” I said.
“Gimme a stuffed quahog too.”
And here’s what my order pad would look like:
- 2 F+C
- CB w (works)
- HB pl
- HD k
- 2 FF sm
- 2 CF Fr
- 3 DC lg
- 2 DC sm
- 1 DC lg
Adding up the tab in my head or on a piece of scrap paper, taking his cash, and counting it back like a bank teller with sticky hands, I’d walk back to the grill, stick the order in the slide above the grill and call out a few items as a heads up.
When the food orders slowed, then the ice cream orders picked up as the Little League teams and anyone else out for a drive came in. The door was locked at ten, music was turned up, floors were washed, and we were done at 11.
Today, thanks to government overreach, Covid has wiped out the sweat equity small businesses built up over years of serving customers. The lost equity was backfilled by government transfer payments resembling a town dump—full of smoldering, wasted dollars—that stinks to high heaven.
Who’s going to help the customers when everyone is paid to be one? Who’s going to learn life skills when it’s just as easy to stay home and play video games? We know the Feds have no idea places like Oxford even exist.
Thankfully, some states are doing more than just speaking up. They’re taking charge, trying to keep dirty money out of your life.
Action Line: With a summer job, you learn a lot more than making money. You learn there’s nothing better than a CB w/FF sm/ CF fr after a Friday night shift at Oxford. TGIF
P.S. Sarah Chaney Cambon reports in The Wall Street Journal that “This week Texas, Oklahoma and Indiana joined the list of at least 21 states that are cutting off access to federal benefits early after a much weaker-than-expected April jobs report sparked concerns of labor shortages. States are opting out of the $300 supplemental benefit, extended payments and benefits for gig-economy and other workers not typically eligible for unemployment benefits.”
|Cutoff Dates for Extra Jobless Benefits|
|State||Emergency Benefits Cutoff Date||Voted For|
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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