Checking his red polo shirt in the reflection of his car window, Zach Randolph smoothed out the creases and took a deep breath. Walking around to the back of the Krispy Kreme store, he found the service entrance. Sure that it would be locked, he tested the handle, which turned easily in his hand. Having been allowed access to the fabled “employee area”, Zach walked in, trying hard to play it as cool as possible.
On his left was the main attraction: a conveyor belt/oven contraption upon which traveled hundreds, maybe even thousands, of warm, fresh, immaculately-glazed donuts. His stomach growled in anticipation, but Zach knew that the feasting time was not yet at hand. He was just getting his bearings when a somewhat harried-looking female employee approached him.
“You work here? I’ve never seen you before.”
“Uh, yeah, I’m the new guy. Larry hired me yesterday,” Zach responded, referencing the name of the regional franchise manager.
“Okay, well, get on register three, we’re getting slammed right now,” the woman, who must have been the shift leader, commanded.
“Okey dokey,” Zach replied, keeping a straight face despite the frenzied machinations of his brain. The plan was never to work the front – the plan was to slip in with the people who made the donuts. But he couldn’t just say no – that would expose him in a heartbeat.
As soon has he set himself up behind the cash register, a mom carrying a screaming toddler walked up to place her order. As the little boy wailed about wanting one with sprinkles, she ordered a dozen glazed donuts. Zach nodded and went back to the prep area to grab the goods, but was stopped in his tracks when the same employee asked, “what are you doing?”
“Uh, just grabbing the donuts for that lady,” Zach answered.
His boss rolled her eyes. “We’ve got preassembled boxes and a display of individual donuts up by the counter. There’s no reason for you to be back here.”
Zach nodded. “Sure thing, my bad.” But how was he supposed to eat all the donuts if he wasn’t even allowed near where the fresh ones popped out of the oven? As soon as his boss turned away, muttering about “rookies”, he quickly grabbed three donuts and shoved them wholly in his mouth. Returning to his post, he grabbed a nearby box and handed it to the customer. “That’ll be seven bucks,” he mumbled through the doughy mass in his mouth, spraying crumbs all over the woman and her child.
The disgusted woman handed him the exact amount, quickly said “no receipt”, and left with her prize. Zach watched her with jealousy. She probably was going to eat the whole thing as soon as she got back to her car.
He was so distracted that he didn’t notice who his next customer was until he heard the unmistakable voice of Mike Conley. “Zach, you’ve gotta stop this!”
Zach glared at his teammate and finished his large bite of donut. “I don’t gotta stop nuffin’. I need my Krispy Kremes, man. Hey, how’d you find me, anyway?”
Mike held up a crumpled sheet of paper, upon which was an amateurish map of the area surrounding the Krispy Kreme, complete with arrows and jotted-down notes. “I found these plans on the floor of the locker room.”
In a moment of panic, Zach swept up as many boxes of donuts as he could hold in his arms. “You’ll never catch me alive!” he yelled, attempting to vault over the counter and out the door. However, his plan was foiled in spectacular fashion as he slipped off the slick surface of the countertop and hit the floor hard, donuts sailing in every direction.
“Nnnuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh,” he groaned, eyes clamped shut. As the store’s patrons looked on in horror, he blindly groped about the floor until finally finding one of his stolen donuts, which he put into his mouth. Chewing sadly, he moaned, “I need help, man. I need help bad.”
“Yeah you do,” Mike responded. “Now get up, big boy. We gonna get you cleaned up.”