lucy chocolate

Chocolate Memories
by Susanna Fussenegger

Just like Lucy, I too worked in a chocolate factory.

For one day.

This was at the famous Lindt Works in Germany. The year was 1965 and I, a student, wanted to earn some spending money. I did not speak German.

No problem, the company desperately needed hands to create bon-bons. Getting hired was a breeze, followed by training which consisted of pointing me to a spot behind a conveyor belt.

Before I even had a chance to blink, there came the super sweet smelling chocolates, fast and furious. Putting pieces in my mouth, just to thin the flow, was impossible because of the scent. It could have brought even the hungriest of giants to the brink of puke.

My job was to wrap little toy soldiers, carved from chocolate, into red foil.

Those soldiers did not march, they sprinted.

As I reached for them, they fell over face down, instantly replaced by a new regiment. The ones I “dressed” ended up with their red uniforms all wrinkled, brown butts showing.

With hands sticky and sweaty, I soldiered on.

Instead of getting the hang of it, though, I made more mistakes.

Embarrassed, I glanced up — and what did I see? Two big supervisor ladies looking at each other, then at me, with utter disbelief on their faces. They started to walk toward me slowly, and I was sure they were going to yell:


That word I knew.

I dropped everything, without looking back, I ran through the door saying:


I was totally flying! Queasy, I prayed that I would see the sign:

00, which in Europe is known as WC .

What a memory! But you know what? I still love chocolate!

IMAGE:  Ethel (left, Vivian Vance) and Lucy (Lucille Ball) have trouble keeping up while working in a chocolate factory (I Love Lucy, “Job Switching,” 1952).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this story thinking of all the talk about people working in countries other than their own. A first job is always a humbling experience. Multiply that with the anxiety of the unknown.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susanna Fussenegger is an educator and counselor, and has been a naturalized American citizen since 1972. She is an avid reader. Since childhood she has always known that people enjoyed listening to her stories and hopes to leave special tales behind for her grandchildren or anyone who cares to read them.