Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tank N Tummy #11

Ryan got to the Tank N Tummy and went to the back office and clocked in. There was a man sitting at a desk who waved and nodded to Ryan. “Hey, I’m Ned, the new day shift manager,” he introduced.

“Hi, Ned, I’m Ryan.” Ryan left the office and went to the beverage area to make sure everything was filled and ready to go.

Dominic came into the Tank N Tummy and went to the back office to clock in. He waved briefly at Ryan as he walked by. Ned was still sitting at the desk as Dominic clocked in. He waved and nodded to Dominic. “Hey, I’m Ned, the new day shift manager,” he introduced.

“Hi, Ned. I’m Dominic,” Dominic left the office and went to the beverage area where Ryan was rinsing out a coffee pot in order to make more. “New day shift manager?” Dominic pointed his thumb over his shoulder.

“I know. I thought you were the day shift manager.”

“I thought you were.”

“Well, it’s one of us. Certainly not that guy.”

Ned came out of the office and walked up to Dominic and Ryan. “Hey, I just want to talk to you about this day shift manager stuff. I know it’s probably awkward since you’ve both been here so long but I’m willing to listen to you and feel free to ask me things or give advice. I’ll take all the help I can get,” Ned chuckled and turned to go back in the office.

“He seems nice,” Ryan said.

“We have to get him fired,” Dominic replied.

“Harvey doesn’t fire anyone. I’m pretty sure that guy who stole an entire tanker truck full of gas is still on the schedule.”

“We don’t have to get him fired, just demoted.”

“Let me know how that goes.”

“You never support me and my devious plans.”

“Probably because your devious plans always backfire.”

“That was only one time.”

“One time is all it takes,” Ryan exclaimed.

“Whassup, sluts?” MaryJane came into the gas station.

“We have a new day shift manager,” Dominic said.

“It’s upset the fragile balance of Dominic’s life,” Ryan said.

“We can’t all be our own bosses,” MaryJane said.

“You’re not your own boss either,” Dominic said.

“Yeah, but I don’t care. Who’s your new boss? Is Harvey still around?”

“His name is Ned. He’s in the office,” Ryan pointed.

“Ned? Who names their children Ned?”

“It’s a family name,” Ned said, coming out of the office. “It’s a variation on Edmund.

MaryJane turned to look at Ned. “Hot cha,” she breathed, enjoying the view.

“We’ve lost her,” Dominic said.

“I wanted to tell you guys that we have a new employee starting today so be more welcoming to her than you have been to me,” Ned said.

“Her?” Dominic sighed. “Isn’t this place already overloaded with estrogen?” He looked at the disapproving looks Ryan, Ned, and MaryJane were giving him. “I mean that in the most loving and affectionate way. Seriously, only four guys work here. The other eight are women.”

“Sounds like you need more shifts with Alice,” Ned said. “The new worker is named Lauren. She’ll be here at noon,” Ned turned and went back to the office.




Lauren Bell was an average sized and average looking young woman around the same age as Dominic and Ryan. She had long brown hair and thick glasses. When she came in, she glanced at the counter with Dominic and Ryan but continued to the office.

“At least he hired someone about our age,” Dominic said.

“I was thrilled when Aaron started working here,” Ryan said.

“Aaron didn’t have boobs though.”

“True.”

In the office, Lauren was sitting in a chair talking with Ned. “Dominic and Ryan seem like good people. Not to me but in general,” Ned said.

“I should be fine. Being a cashier at a convenience store isn’t my first rodeo. I should get out there. It’s not busy so it’s the perfect time to get trained,” Lauren got up and left the office. “Hey, I’m Lauren,” she said to Dominic and Ryan as she walked up to the counter, tying an apron around her.

“Ryan. Dominic,” Ryan introduced.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Lauren,” Lauren smiled which caught Dominic’s eye. There was something about her that Dominic liked.

“It’s great to have you on board, Lauren,” Dominic smiled back at her.

“That’s not what you said this morning,” Ryan said.

“People change. Opinions change. Shut up, Ryan.”

Lauren chuckled.

“So what brings you to the Tank N Tummy?” Ryan asked. “Gambling debt?”

“Rough divorce?” Dominic asked.

“Some sort of addiction?”

“Mental defect?”

“You hate yourself?”

“That’s why I’m here,” Dominic nodded.

“I just need a job. I was laid off and I’m in school so I need some kind of income,” Lauren explained.

“What are you in school for?” Ryan asked.

Dominic’s heart sank. He had wanted to go to college but had always talked himself out of it. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do even if he could go back.

“Teacher,” Lauren answered. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to be but I wasn’t able to go when I was younger.”

“Why?” Dominic forced the question.

“I just didn’t have the money and I don’t want to take out loans. I saved my money and I work as much as possible.”

“That’s smart. I’m $35,000 in debt,” Ryan said. “You can have it if you want.”

“Nah. I’m good. Thanks for the offer though.”

The gas pumps and parking lot started getting full so both Dominic and Lauren got to work at the front counter while Ryan wandered the store making sure things remained neat and in stock.

“You’re pretty fast at this,” Dominic said.

“I did work at a Target for a couple years after high school,” Lauren said. “So I can use a cash register.”

“I know it’s your first day and everything but would you like to go out sometime?”

“Yeah. That’d be great. I get off at 8:30. Can we do something after that?”

Dominic shrugged. “Sure.”

“It’ll be cool to meet the other people I might be working with.”

“Oh, so you’re thinking like a work outing,” Dominic said quietly. “Yeah. I’ll get some people together and we’ll swing by to pick you up.”

“There’s a huge spill in the beverage area,” Ryan came up to Lauren.

“And?”

“You need to mop it up.”

“Why me?”

Ryan tapped his nametag. “‘Serving our customers for 2 years,’” he read.

“I don’t know what I mean but whatever,” Lauren said and left.

“So now we all get to go on your date with her?” Ryan asked when Lauren was out of earshot.

“I guess so.”

“I guess it’s possible the work outing could end up like the last one,” Ryan said.

“Ryan, you know orgies like that never happen a second time,” Dominic shook his head.




Quincy’s was a bar and arcade on Quincy Street. Dominic and Ryan usually hung out there when they wanted a drink. It was a bar in homage to former president John Quincy Adams, which the street was also named after.

“I didn’t know this place existed,” Lauren said. “Ooh, they have the Ninja Turtle game,” she grabbed Dominic’s hand and started dragging him. “Play with me.” They began playing. After a couple minutes, Lauren said “Favorite Turtle on three. One, two, three--”

“Raphael!” they both shouted.

“He’s such an ass. I love it,” she chuckled.

Dominic looked at Lauren for a second, smiling, then turned his attention back to the game.

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