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Fresh Donuts, with a Side of Misogyny

photo by Tui Snider
photo by Tui Snider

Bite Size Memoir: First Jobs

Although I can laugh about it now, it is with slight trepidation that I reveal my response to Lisa Reiter’s Bite Size Memoir Prompt for this week. For years, I was so ashamed of this incident. After all, I didn’t just get fired from my first job, I also got arrested for the first (and only!) time:

1. I remember the smell of fresh donuts, and wearing shirts with sleeves I could roll down when bagging fresh-baked French bread, which would scratch up my arms, otherwise.

2. I remember my boss wearing a suit and sitting at his desk, with a stack of porno mags in front of him, all featuring women with enormous breasts.

3. I remember losing a small Band-aid in a 50 pound tub of potato salad I’d just made, frantically searching for it when the deli manager wasn’t looking, and *phew* finding it just in time!

4. I remember customers asking me for wine advice, and how I made up crazy stories about why this wine would pair with that food, because – at 15 years of age – I knew nothing about wine, and couldn’t believe they were asking me.

5. I remember my boss remarking that, “I don’t understand why you bother with a bra when all you’ve got are those mosquito bites,” then slapping me on the back and guffawing, as if expecting me to laugh along with him,  and how scrutinized, ugly, and ashamed the exchange made me feel, and how the deli manager said, “He was only teasing you,” and that I should “quit being so uptight.”

6. I remember how I was the only employee who never once got cut while using the meat slicer, how slicing head cheese made me queasy, and how I innocently handed a Russian exchange student a glass of water after misunderstanding his accent when he had actually asked for vodka.

7. I remember my boss calling my Indian friend a “camel jockey” and my pretty blond friend a “big-boobed slut,” yet he’d also make disparaging comments about women who were anything less than a D cup.

8. I remember being arrested, handcuffed, fingerprinted, and locked in a cell as we were caught on our way to throw eggs at our boss’ house because vandalism seemed like the only possible revenge, and hearing him bellow, “Lock up those hoodlums and throw away the key!” at the police station.

9. I remember that when my parents found out, they called me a criminal, told me how ashamed they were, and said I would “never amount to anything.”

10. I remember thinking that if I ever parented a teenager, I would do my best to keep the communication open so that my child would always feel safe enough to tell me their problems.

photo by Tui Snider
photo by Tui Snider

Still not laughing at my boss!

I want to clarify that when I mentioned how I can now laugh about this incident, I am in no way condoning my boss’ behavior. If only I had understood how grossly out of line he was. But… in my mind he was a “grown up” so he called the shots. I must say, writing this bite size memoir snapped me back to my teen-aged mindset.

What is Bite Size Memoir?

Bite Size Memoir is a weekly writing prompt created by Lisa Reiter. Here’s how she describes it:

Bite size memoir is designed to help anyone record some personal memoir in small manageable bites. There’s a prompt every week and some constraints to keep it small… Feel free to dip in and out each week without commitment.

Participants are given a prompt each week, then asked to respond with either a 150 word prose/poem, or 10 statements starting with “I remember” that are triggered by the prompt. I chose the “I remember” route this week.

Other Bite Size Memoirs I’ve written include: “Fairies and Magic” and “Camping.” 

Play along with us – it’s fun!

If you would like to play along, check out Lisa’s blog Introducing the Bite Size Memoir Challenge. She posts a new memoir prompt every Friday.

Also, if you’re on Twitter, you can find other people’s posts for this week via the hashtag #bitesizememoir, and be sure to follow @Lisa_Reiter, too.

photo by Tui Snider
photo by Tui Snider

Do you write Non-fiction, Travel and/or Memoir? Hop along with us & use #NFTM on Twitter:

If you write non-fiction of any sort, including travel and memoir, I invite you to add your link to the blog hop below. Also, if you are on Twitter, please use the hashtag #NFTM to find other non-fiction writers and blogs to read:

Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. What you have written about your boss makes me cringe. We need to shout from the rooftops, “This is not acceptable!” Fortunately I think we are moving closer towards it being unacceptable every day, but the speed is still too slow. How dare they (most men are wonderful and equally revolted by such trashy behaviour) think they can treat a human in that way. Notice I didn’t say ‘another’. I’m not sure they fit the description! What a pity your parents didn’t provide you with the support you needed. Good on you for telling your story!

  2. Unfortunately it seems everyone has one of these employment horror stories – I recently had a boss who was not much better than the boss you portray here, and it’s 2014! Fortunately I’m older now and knew his behaviour wasn’t appropriate. I think so many kids still get taken advantage of because they have been taught to respect adults. I really love how you wrap everything up with your last point about how you would react as a parent in this situation. It really shows the full passage of time from being that 15 year old kid to looking back on the incident now.

  3. I snort-laughed reading #3, then I got to #5 and I wished you had left the band-aid in the potato salad and the place would have shut down. I winced at your teenage efforts to seek revenge and that nobody clocked this bozo of a boss on your behalf. I’m glad you survived so that you could thrive at writing!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      I hear ya, Patty! He was certainly one messed up guy. And yet, he was the one in charge…

  4. VERY interesting post, Tui. I’m so sorry you had to go through that–that’s terrible.

    That picture, however, is very yummy. You did have to include that, didn’t you?

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Heya Holli! At least I can say I’ve come a long way. Might not look like it to some, but I had a long way to go. :)

      And, of course! Had to include a yummy kolache pic and some wine.

      Thanks for dropping by. :D

  5. Me too. There are so many, many layers in here and how, all this crap can happen to a girl and it still be ‘her fault’ even in the eye of the adults that ought to know you better and put your word above everyone else. Thanks for sharing your heart – we are a couple of open books aren’t we?

    • Damn.. I hadn’t finished and that whole emoji thing got me again Morgan!

      Lots of love, Tui, Lisa xx

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hehe! Yeah, Lisa. Gosh – my response to your freewrite started off innocently enough… then, suddenly, I was back in this middle of this whole mess. Makes me realize how much story fodder is in my past…

  6. I just want to hug you! I’m so sorry you went through that and that the adults in your life didn’t understand or take the time to ask you why you would want to do something like that, and in a loving way so that you would have felt safe to tell them how awful it was at work.

    Interesting that we both had donuts at our first jobs. =)

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Thanks for the hug, Morgan! Too bad we didn’t grow up in the same town… Hey – we could’ve worked at the same donut places. ;p

      Btw, my replies to you keep disappearing. Argh! Third time’s a charm, right? This one ought to stick!

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