Maxwell wanted to be a baker. He envied the men and women who cracked the eggs, poured the flour, sifted the sugar, and whipped up bowls of fluffy cake batter. Even the frosting makers had better jobs than he. With delicate precision, they concocted bowls of vanilla bean and dark chocolate icings, which they artfully swirled atop cupcakes and cookies. From across the room, Maxwell would gaze enviously at the dessert artists sculpting their delicious masterpieces and silently beg for the day when he could join their prestigious service.
Maxwell was relegated as a “sprinkler.” One notch above dishwasher, and one step below the dough boy, who rolled out pastry and shaped it into pie pans lined across a table beside Maxwell’s “sprinkles station.” It was a humiliating post which rendered him a fly on the wall in a room of bustling chefs, who knew him by no other name than Sprinkles Boy.
“Give that tray of cakes to the Sprinkles Boy.”
“Hey, Sprinkles Boy, make sure the chocolate flakes are evenly dispersed across the top. Last batch looked like half-eaten moons.”
Maxwell consoled himself with lame assurances that as the sprinkler, he had no other direction to move in the kitchen than up. But sometimes he caught the dishwasher eyeing him with the same look that Maxwell’s dog gave him while he took a bit into his burger or steak. In those moments, Maxwell would feel the defensive need to guard his sprinkles station and devote his work day to producing the best sprinkles-topped cakes the bakery had ever seen.