Food and Bev: A Character Sketch

You check your watch, 5:25 p.m., disappointed that you didn’t make it past the first half hour of work without looking at that short and thin line you know that its going to be a long shift. Bored, and waiting for people to start feeling hungry, you drink some root beer. Not today, you’ll think, better stick to Coke. Eh, no, better make that sweet tea. The manager gives you a swift glance as they head up the stairs looking productive. Maybe they left their phone at the bar.

You begin strategic elbow placement to ensure the counter wont fly away, and interestingly the more you stand waiting for something to happen the more annoyed you are when it does. As the first family shuffles in holding doors, counting heads, and taking off jackets you immediately begin to wish they had spent quality time cooking dinner at home tonight. But alas, thats your table. Its only 5:39.

After short pleasantries and drink orders, you struggle to remember if they said diet or regular, lemon or not. In these short exchanges there is a surprising amount riding on what you heard and what you think you heard; but you take comfort in the fact that you’ve had a good day- meaning hopefully your entire demeanor has an air of happiness and servitude.  It has always been interesting to you the concept of standing and interacting with a table of family/friends/strangers/couples, how they act toward each other and towards you. Those brief moments seem very telling of the human condition, people  anger/irritate/outrage/calm/excite/stimulate you in unanticipated ways- and life goes on.

As you tray the drinks you wonder how old the child with the pink lemonade is and hope he wont get sad when you give him a drink with a lid. Sliding yet another pen into your hair bun, you try to remember which cheese it is that we’re out of… Asiago? Thats it. Once you finish handing out the drinks you give yourself a congratulatory smile, you’ve managed to get the drink order right- the smile puts the child at ease.

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