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Rated: E · Short Story · Experience · #2078885
My time as an ice cream man.

When I was younger, I thought it would be cool to be an ice cream man. I mean, think about it; cruising through the neighborhood in a car (albeit an ice cream truck), getting to meet girls (girls like ice cream), making my own money, getting a reference on my resume for future purposes and enjoying job perks (mainly having free ice cream), who wouldn't want that type of life?

After plucking enough courage, I decided to take the leap of faith and apply for job and by the grace of the gods; I managed to get the job. I was given basic quotas to meet and the keys to the truck. I could not be happier with life.

That happiness would soon turn to trauma as I quickly began to realize that this gig wasn't going to be as cool as I thought...

Playing THAT ice cream song soon got me known around the neighborhood as "the guy who plays that annoying song". What I figured as cruising through the neighborhood looking cool like in music videos turned out to be driving aimlessly through streets that were devoid of life. And staying on the matter of driving the truck (or taming the beast as I fondly called it), it was a similar experience to steering a chariot. I had no control whatsoever.

Customers (who are the most deluded and self-entitled people you will ever meet) were way too demanding (for ice cream, of all things) and cursed me constantly. A large number of customers were teenagers who thought that ice cream was a code word for illicit goods. This particular exchange was but a daily constant:

Customer: "Hey man, I need some ice-cream"
Me: "Sure, what kind would you like?"
Customer: "Well, what kind do you have?"
Me: "Well, there's vanilla, bubblegum, strawberry, chocolate and others."
Customer: "I don't know man. Which is the best?"
Me: "Personally, I'd recommend mixing them."
Customer: "No way man! I still have things I need to do. Just give me the basic."

(At this point, I was confused by his response but chose to play it cool).

Me: "Okay...that will be X amount."

I then took the cash from him and gave him the ice cream in return. He then had a confused look on his face and proceeded to ask the following question:

"Man, are the goods mixed within the ice cream to throw off the cops or do I find the goods under the scoop of ice cream?"

At this point, I just drove off to let him find the truth out for himself...

Oh, did I forget to mention to mention the fierce competitiveness from other drivers? Make the mistake of wandering into another ice cream vendors' territory and see what happens. I refuse to believe that the other ice cream men were THAT competitive (I'm talking beauty pageant level of competitiveness) over ice cream. Perhaps they dealt in the type of ice cream the previously mentioned customer wanted...

However, despite the constant heckling, the existential crisis I faced while driving through empty streets, the awful truck, the mistaken identity and the threats from other ice cream men, I could still persist with the job.

I knew I couldn't deal with this job any longer when I met a group of kids...

I would be driving down a street (with the song playing) where children would be playing. They would stop playing and stare at me. I would stare back at them while driving slowly, waiting for them to come and buy ice cream. And this is where this uncomfortable and unavoidable pedophile feeling begins to creep in. Now, I'm not a pedophile, but when your job description involves luring children to you and this feeling comes up, the job doesn't seem worth it.

I quit soon after and have moved on to another job, but the memories still haunt me to this day whenever I hear that annoying song.

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