Friday, August 27, 2004

The Cast

If you've ever worked in a restaurant, you already know my cast of coworkers. Until I get to know them as actual complex human beings, I take comfort in the fact that they fit in pretty predictable roles. See if you don’t recognize them:

The Skinny Dude Who Has Facial Hair: He has this really deep voice and never talks. It always turns out that he’s like 18.

The Dishwasher
: Strapped with muscle you just know he got in prison, it’s hard to tell precisely which of his eyes is fake. The only thing worse than his attitude is the heavy jive he speaks in, which the head cook often has to translate. He will claim to be a rapper or hip-hop producer, but this is mostly bullshit. The other dishwasher is always a high-school kid who has an annoying haircut and stands around with his mouth open.

The Wily 22 year-old With A Do-Rag: He may be the same dude as the first on the list, he may just smoke weed with him in the walk-in. But one thing is for damn sure—he’s got two kids already, usually by different mothers.

The Educated Couple
: Often they are in grad school…he is getting his MBA, she’s working on her thesis. No strangers to the restaurant scene through years of education-induced poverty, they are nevertheless getting the fuck out at their first opportunity.

The Retiree Deliveryman: Nice guy, can hang but will bum you out for real when he talks about the election.

The Owner: This guy is invariably a class-A dipshit. He has never worked a single shift in the kitchen, but has no problem with telling you how to cook. Usually he points out what you did wrong after you did it, and says something in a resigned and exasperated tone like “Well, I guess go ahead and send it out anyway…but that stuff’s expensive and we can’t be using it like that.”

He got after me tonight for using too much spinach on a pizza. “Oh my god, take that off, take it all off, that shit’s expensive!!” He reached over my reasonably spinached pie and snatched off almost all the greens. By the time he finished it looked like somebody flossed over a pizza.

The Former Jock: Friendly in a beefy sort of way, this harmless fellow is a lot like Chris Farley, but less funny. His ball hat is always backwards, and he loves to sneak beer but still gets offended when you don’t feel safe having him drive you home. He loves to call people “brother,” which is a major no-no. Unless you’re my sister or a black man, you can keep that “brother” shit. He’ll be friendly and all for your first few days, but may turn on you.

The Guy Who Has Been Around Here Forever: Loud, outspoken and tattooed before anyone else in this town, he was in your favorite local band ten years ago.

That Dude/Chick That Is Too Quiet And Kinda Grumpy
: He/she thinks s/he's really smart, and above all this stuff. Might be a frustrated artist. Can be really condescending and judgemental, but is just insecure.


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