For the last two months I've been working at a breakfast cafe Uptown on the weekends. I would name the place but I got in trouble for talking about the fire department that I worked for and ended up having to go back and delete every post with their name in it. This makes sense. They're political, they rely on votes to keep them up and running. Their name in this blog can only bring them ruin. In fact, did I say fire department? I mean, the sewage and water board.
Anyway, moving on. This breakfast joint which I will call "Waffle House"...what do you mean that name's taken? Ok, no problem. So "Waffle Cafe" is in a pretty neat part of Uptown. Lots of bohemians and lots of rich people who started out as regular bohemians, but ended up making lots of money and still listen to Phish. There's a piano player who comes in every day and sometimes a dude on a stand up bass will join him. On Sundays there's a guy who come in with a horn, which always makes taking orders interesting.
Customer: I would like a [sudden trumpet blast] with a cup of [blat!]
Me: Did you say an eagle with a cup of syrup?
Customer: No, no. A [blatty! blat! blat!] with a [pianist sets piano on fire, horn player plays with teeth and crowd goes wild].
Me(pretending to write something): Excellent choice.
Five minutes later I bring him a bowl of oatmeal and hope for the best.
My hearing has gotten so bad over the years and the music and the chatter in the place always drown out whatever desperate plea for food a customer is giving me. I should learn to read lips. The only word I can understand by watching someone's mouth move is "coffee" but that's just because coffee and I have a symbiotic relationship. If I was blind and deaf and someone said the word coffee from across the room I would still approach them with an empty mug and demand that they share.
This is my heroin, people, my shameless addiction, and it makes total sense to me why whenever I'm in desperate need of a job I gravitate towards places where I can get it on tap for free. During my interview my boss asked, "So what draws you to the food service industry?" I glared at him with blood shot eyes and said, "Coffee." He said, "But surely the customers-" And I said, "Hand over the coffee and there won't be any trouble." And at that moment he knew I would be a faithful employee with an everpresent mug in hand.
Until this past weekend when I gave him notice. Oy. I hate giving notice. He understood, and he and the cooks are sad to see me go. I always put in the most interesting orders. "That guy over there would like eggs with a side of hammock." "Do you mean ham?" the cook will ask. "Maybe," I'll say, looking hopeful.
This weekend will be my last two days there, then on Monday I start technical writing for a company which I will call "Big Technical Company With Lots of Engineers and No Trumpets." As long as they keep the coffee comin'.
Tune in tomorrow when I share about the cafe's church lady groupees. This is the entourage of a priest who all come in on Saturday mornings, and it is these ladies' goal in life to make sure that the priest is taken care of as if the fate of their souls depends on him getting his bagel in a timely manner. Hopefully the Catholic church will not ask me to delete that post in a couple of weeks. In fact, did I say "Catholic church?" I meant, "Jay Leno Fan Club."