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Book of Jobs Part 3


by Chris Auman

If ever there was a job I was completely committed to walking out on mid-shift, it was this summer gig waiting tables on the rooftop patio of a Greektown restaurant. It’s definitely a runner-up for Second Worst Job Ever, but it’s gonna have to be satisfied with its number three spot for now. This was mostly due to an insane manager who I’ll call Stavros, which was not his name.

I will spare you the tricks of the trade that management used to pinch pennies and fleece customers. I’ll focus instead on Stavros, whose hard-ass style had winnowed the wait and bus staff down to a skeleton crew by mid July, forcing the survivors to work six and sometimes seven days a week. One of Stavros' biggest freak-outs occurred after he returned from a trip to Greece that he insisted he did not want to go on because, according to him, he does not take vacations. He was in an especially nasty mood this day. In his absence, the dining room manager, Kiki, filled in for him. Under her brief rooftop reign, she instructed the servers to quarter the lemons instead of halving them. When Stavros returned to an entire case of lemons cut in this fashion he went berserk demanding an explanation. After I told him, twas Kiki gave the order, he screamed the following sentence six inches from my face: “Kiki can tell you how to cut lemons WHEN SHE OPENS HER OWN RESTAURANT DOWN THE FUCKING STREET!”

Despite his anger issues, Stavros really could turn on the charm when he wanted to and customers loved him when he did. When he wasn’t “on” however, he looked like a sad, defeated man. Toward summer’s end, he asked me if I wanted to stay on and work in the dining room downstairs after the patio closed. I was elated to tell him that I was already going back to my old job at the Thai place, which thank Zeus I did, and a few weeks ahead of schedule too.

Apocalypse Lao >>

Originally published in RW#24, 2014

RW #24

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