The Time I Nearly Burned Down My Workplace


Jackson Adams, Writer

Unless you work with me, there is something you probably do not know about me. Sorry for the spoilers, but yes, I almost burned down my workplace. Before you start calling me some “crazed arsonist,” no, it was not on purpose. If anything, the story is a blatant display of my goofiness.

I do not remember exactly when this happened, but it must have been sometime in the fall… or was it the winter? Anyways, I was still relatively new to my job. I worked at an entertainment center called Lakepoint Station. I usually worked as a cashier around the golf course of this place, and on this specific day I was working in my regular cashier spot. I must have only started working about five months prior to this incident. I had just returned from a long break due to my Cross-Country season, and it was like starting fresh. It did not take long for me to get used to everything again. At the time, I wasn’t known at my workplace for doing too much. I was just a regular worker who did his job. Not to feed my ego, but I was pretty good at it, despite how easy it was. But there are some things I’m not good at, and remembering even the simplest things is apparently one of them because, on that day, I made a huge mistake.

I woke up that morning and unfortunately didn’t have that great of a breakfast. So here I was at work, alone at my little workstation, thinking about nothing but how hungry I was. I still had quite a bit of time left before I could clock out, so I couldn’t eat anything anytime soon. That thought made me very sad. My co-worker, who was working upstairs, eventually came downstairs to talk to me for a little bit. Of course, I can’t remember our entire conversation, but there was one thing they mentioned that shocked me. I told him how hungry I was, and he told me that there were Chick-Fil-A biscuits in the breakroom. Until then, I had totally forgotten that my boss had brought every worker a chicken biscuit. My eyes lit up. I needed this so badly. I asked if it was okay if he watched over my station so that I could grab a chicken biscuit, to which he obliged.

I ran out of the building and immediately headed to the breakroom. My mind was thinking about nothing but the delicious chicken biscuit awaiting me. I slung open the door and waltzed into the room. I could feel my stomach groaning, pleading for food. I looked around until I eventually found my target. My eyes locked on the table that had a bunch of chicken biscuits lying on it. Everything else around me dimmed out in my head. The only thing at this moment that I cared about was getting a biscuit. I grabbed a plate and threw one of the biscuits onto the plate. As I was throwing the biscuit onto the plate, I realized it was cold, so I needed to warm it up somehow. Luckily for me, there was a microwave in the breakroom as well. It was all perfect. Or so I thought…

I gracefully walked to the microwave and slung the plate with the biscuit inside. I set the timer for thirty seconds to allow it to warm up and pressed start. I was finally able to pay attention to my surroundings while I waited for the chicken biscuit to warm up, and I didn’t even notice my co-worker standing right beside me. She seemed a little worried.

“Hey, uh, Jackson, you DID make sure to take the wrapper off, right?”

And just like that, my whole brain shattered into a billion pieces. The heavenly light that was surrounding the microwave vanished right before my eyes. In a panic, I tried to remember if I had taken the wrapper off the chicken biscuit. I was in such a hurry that I must not have remembered if I even took off the wrapper. Suddenly, the microwave started making a weird, static-like noise. I turned back, and my eyes widened.

“OH NO!” I yelled.

Inside the microwave, blue sparks began to emit from the biscuit right before I turned the microwave off. My co-worker sat in awe. My face turned bright red from embarrassment. I looked back at her.

“…why did you not take off the wrapper, Jackson?” she said as she began to facepalm.

“I… was… hungry…?” I said, flustered.

After this phenomenon, I had to carry the microwave outside with another co-worker. If we had opened the microwave inside, the smoke detectors would’ve gone off, and the sprinklers would have had a chance of activating. Keep in mind, there were people inside the building playing arcade games and climbing on the indoor rock walls. It would have been disastrous for the sprinklers to go off. Everyone would have to get evacuated, and the arcade machines could have gotten damaged. We would not allow that to happen, so my co-worker and I took the microwave outside to let the smoke leave the inside of the microwave. We also dumped out the chicken biscuit, which had partially turned into ashes. If I had kept that biscuit in the microwave any longer, bad things would likely have happened.

So that day, I nearly burned down my workplace. Word quickly spread around, and lots of people got a good laugh out of it. Still, to this day, people tell the story to new employees. I was not fired, surprisingly, but I learned a big lesson from this. Despite how hungry you may be, don’t be stupid. I would have taken off the wrapper if I had just slowed down and thought about what I was about to do.