When I saw they had taken the Mini Farms building to the ground, I knew I wanted a piece of it. Luckily, there was a whole dumpster full of former Minis bricks. This one is mine…
Sometimes to get a job, who you know can come in handy. When I was in high school, my older brother Jon had been working for a few years at Mini Farms, a privately owned convenience store in Westboro (think Clerks but in central Mass). Like I had been trying to do all my life, I wanted to follow in his footsteps and he got me in. I was originally going to start working at “Minis” over Christmas break of my freshman year, but instead I ended up starting my battle with Crohn’s Disease. I eventually started working at Mini Farms the summer after my freshman year in high school, and it definitely was an experience I’ve taken with me…
Responsibilities at Mini Farms included stocking the cooler with soda, beer, and other beverages, cleaning the aisles, pricing and stocking items on the shelves, sorting out the returned bottles and cans, and handling the deliveries. Things changed up a little bit on Sundays and you could find yourself putting newspapers together or getting doughnuts for the loyal customers (this was long before there were 5 (yes, FIVE) Dunkin’ Donuts in The ‘Boro).It doesn’t sound like a very glamorous job, but it was a great one because of the people that I worked with. The boss was a really nice guy who joked around with us and let us listen to really loud music when we worked – he called it “Jungle Music”. My co-workers were family, high school friends, and the occasional forty-something who had issues well beyond the Mini Farms walls.
Here are some of my top “Minis Memories” in no particular order:
1. The day that the building next to us “caught” fire (rumor said it was an inside job). My boss came in and told me, “We have to leave, next door is on fire.” I laughed and didn’t believe him until I looked out the front door and could only see smoke. I ended up having breakfast, lunch, and dinner that day at McDonald’s, so I wasn’t complaining. We also had to clean up the basement that had been flooded from all the preventative firefighter’s water spray, and that wasn’t much fun.
2. The day I took an empty bottle of Mr. Clean, filled it with 10-K, and drank it in front of my cousin – her reaction was just what I had planned.
3. When I was waiting for a ride home dressed in ripped jeans and my leather jacket and this guy asked me if I was selling any “dope”. I went off on the guy about judging people based on what they were wearing, and I think he got my point.
4. The time I yelled at one of my co-workers for smoking cigarettes. I told him something like, “I’m not going to come visit you in the hospital when you get cancer!” Yeah, that worked out well…
5. The morning I got into a fight with a worker who was talking trash about me and writing things about me on the boxes of soda – I think I’ve done well to not to have violent reactions like this anymore. I won the fight, by the way.
6. One afternoon when I was blasting Extreme and wearing a Bruins shirt, a guy came in to grab a case of Budweiser. He looked at me and said, “Bud, the B’s, and Extreme…that’s all I need!”
7. Getting a ride home with a co-worker, and people started yelling at us. He had left his radio on the roof of his car.
8. The day we closed the store and played roller hockey on the roof (okay, that one’s from Clerks).
9. The time my boss handed me the five-page list from the Board of Health with all the things we had to fix to be in compliance.
10. Any day my boss would leave and tell me I was the one in charge…yikes.