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Monday, November 10, 2003

Holiday Heyday

I walked into my marketing internship at 9 a.m. sharp on a bank holiday. No one told me that my boss wouldn't be coming in, and without her, there's not much I can do. I worked on an individual project that I assigned myself, then decided to pick up a shift.

Walking in the door a few minutes after opening, I am greeted with the following scene:
  • To my right, a waitress is leaning over the silverware bin, crying.
  • To my left, one of our regulars is sitting at the bar. Judging from the empty glasses in front of him, he's already pounded two Roadhouse Teas, our signature drink that is effectively a Long Island Iced Tea with GRAIN ALCOHOL and a flavored liquor added.
  • In front of me, two of the cooks are shouting at each other behind the glass barrier.
  • To my right, one of the hostesses is standing at the hostess stand - actually, I think she may have been sleeping.
  • Behind me, two dishwashers carry in huge plastic containers of ice from another restaurant because our ice machines are still broken.
  • A manager shoots by the door at a dead run.
This does not bode well. I freeze, and reconsider the idea. I realize that if I stand around too long, one of the managers is going to put me to work. But, suddenly, I am spotted. Three servers rush up to me. The scent of desperation hits me like a punch to the stomach.

All at once: Are you picking up?!
Me (starting to back away): No, I'm just checking the schedule.
Girl I hate anyway because she's a drama queen (tears welling up in her eyes): Are you sure?
When I nod, she runs off, sobbing
Me: Yeah. But you guys have a good time.
Guy: You know you need the money! It's going to be slammed today.
Me (laughing): I don't need the money this badly.
Guy (stomping off): Dammit!
Girl I adore (smirking): If you're just checking your schedule, why are you wearing your uniform?
Me (laughing): Man, this is insane. Last night was bad enough. I don't want any part of this.
Girl (glancing around): Yep. It's looking pretty bad. It seems we didn't make enough bread yesterday, so they're rationing bread today.

Just then, a manager spots me, and starts toward me.

Manager: Hey, Stacey! Are you picking up?

The other server grins at me. I grin back, then turn and sprint out the door. I don't look back.

I have a dream. This isn't part of it.

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