A Bad Day This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     It was a nice summer day and all was well with the world. I, unfortunately, went to work and there something happened that will forever haunt me.

When I arrived, a co-worker and I were assigned to defrost a cooler. I was happy because this meant I would be busy and the time would pass fast. We had to do this because the cooler was about a hundred years old and a piece of junk. The best defrosting method is spraying hot water on the pipes but we only had one hose, so my co-worker told me to break some of the ice with a hammer and screwdriver. That turned out to be a very bad idea.

He worked with the hose while I was busy breaking up the ice and we were running like a well-oiled machine when I took a swing and hit a pipe. White air came pouring out. I didn’t realize at first what I had done, but others quickly told me I had hit the Freon line, which supplied compressed air to keep things cold.

We weren’t sure what to do, but our first idea was to wrap wet towels around the pipe to slow the leak. It helped a little but not enough to make a difference. Then we ran to the compressor room where there are tons of switches, although only a few had labels.

At this point, we knew we needed help. We called the supplier and said that we had an emergency with the cooler but their repairman was not nearby and it took what felt like an eternity for him to arrive. When he finally did, he was able to turn off the compressor. Unfortunately, most of the Freon had escaped so it didn’t make much difference. He said we would need to finish defrosting the cooler before he could fix the pipe. So, we removed all the food from the cooler before it got too warm so we loaded eight grocery carts and put them in another cooler. Once we had emptied it, the repairman could fix the pipe, but he had to weld the hole shut which meant that part of the store would need to be closed because of the fumes.

Once the cooler started working again, we could put everything back. That ended one of the worst days on the job of my life.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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