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Souplantation Poems
by CLS Ferguson


Misspelled by many as “Soup Plantation,”
it’s actually one word,
one p,
not a plantation of soups. 

I’d Rather be Working at Souplantation


My first car was a burgundy 1994 Pontiac Grand AM, the last car that my nana had earned as a Mary Kay Sales Director.  When she didn’t earn another, she bought it.  For my 17th birthday, “Ruby” as I called her (the car), my ticket to freedom as she symbolized, became the best birthday gift I had ever received.  I loved that car.  I took great care of that car.  Yes, my license plate frame said, I’d rather be working at Souplantation—and I meant it. 

Three to Five PM

The best time to come to the Souplantation because it’s so slow.  Unless you dislike blue hairs, soggy tossed salads, chicken noodle soup full of “noodle dust” and empty of actual chicken, Jell-O full of crushed peanuts, bathrooms devoid of toilet tissue, large refrigerated trucks blocking half of the parking lot, extremely wet floors, managers absent because they have retreated to the office, dirty tables, hardly any employees to help you with anything, a soda machine running low on syrup, or stale muffins.

The Top Ten Ways to Get Written Up at the Souplantation

10.  Wear white socks.

9.  Don’t wear a belt.

8.  Park in the customer lot.

7.  Show up even one minute late.

6.  Wear more than one earring per ear.

5.  Be over or under on your cash register by more than 5 cents.

4.  Argue with a manager.

3.  Don’t show up for a shift; even if you’re sick, tried to cover it, or had specifically requested that day off.

2.  Steal complimentary meal cards.

1.  Yell the F-Word at a guest.  For that one, actually, you’ll be fired.


As guests would exit the restaurant I would usually say things like “thank you, have a nice night.” To regulars, I could confidently say things like “see you next time.” But when I had never seen the person before I was in a quandary as to whether I should say “have a nice day” or “have a nice life.” Have a nice life sounded like I didn't want to ever see them again, though that wasn't necessarily the case.  I just knew I wouldn't see them again. In these instances have a nice day was actually colder because I was only wishing them well for one day instead of the rest of the days I knew I would not see them. This was especially hard when it was my last day at a Souplantation location. Though have a nice life may have been more appropriate, I always felt that was too cold, so instead I opted for see you next time though I knew there wouldn't be one. 

CLS Ferguson, PhD, speaks, signs, acts, publishes, sings, performs, writes, paints, teaches and rarely relaxes. She and her husband, Rich Ferguson are raising their Bernese Mountain Boarder Collie mutt, Sadie, in Hollywood, CA. You can visit her website here: