Transplanted Life
Sunday, June 06, 2004
Just weird for everyone
Wound up working a double-shift yesterday because someone was out with the flu. It seemed cruel to have to work all weekend, but the schedule has be off Tuesday and Thursday this week. Already, I miss the nine-to-five routine. Carter, meanwhile, isn't getting quite so many hours yet, since lord knows you have to wait and see whether someone can handle the awesome respoonsibility of scanning UPC symbols and handing products off to someone who puts them in plastic bags. A strange side-effect of our new menial jobs is that we're getting along a little better. Not only do we have a common nuisance to rail against, but the way our schedules are working out, we're not in each others' pockets so much. He's working all day today, but apparently the supermarket manager has him opening up a few days next week, which is fine with him - he's always been a morning person. Since I don't work at a place that serves breakfast, that's going to mean he's off to bed by the time I get home and out of the apartment by the time I wake up a lot. We get along, mostly, but it's a small place.

Today's shift was kind of strange, though. Right around three o'clock, when it usually starts to die down between the lunch and dinner crowds (or at least, that would make sense), I'm the only person standing up front when they walk in.

Wei. Jim. Kurt. And some blonde girl I've never seen before in my life.

Wei recognizes me first, and starts to turn around, but by the time Jim and Kurt have recognized me, they're already at the little podium thing with Gina asking how many there were and it's way too late to run away. So, I escort them to their table, ask if they'd like anything to drink, and pretend I haven't had sex with anybody at the table or that I don't remember being a guy and their close friend.

Of course, when I bring the drinks back, Wei decides to blurt something out. "So, Michelle, I thought you were..."

"Company got sued out of business when one of the employees was caught breaking his nondisclosure agreemtn, tried to shoot me to cover it up, but wound up killing his accomplice. So, are you ready to order?"

Everyone just stared. Wow, said Kurt, that's the weirdest thing that's ever happened to anyone I know.

"Oh, we know each other?" I figured, yeah, I probably just torpedoed any chance for a good tip there, but screw it. Even if waitstaff are allowed to work for less than minimum wage because we get tips, they still feel like someone giving money to those less fortunate souls who couldn't go to college, and I really didn't want charity from my old friends. "I guess it wasn't true love, after all."

Jim said, hey, that's not fair; what about that guy you were seeing?

"Shot." Sure, not a complete explanation, but succinct. They all looked stunned again.

I took a deep breath. "I'm sorry, that was unacceptable. It's... it's been a rough year and seeing you guys again... If you'd like, I could have them send over another waitress."

No, Wei said, they were ready to order. I wrote it down, but had Clark actually deliver it and some drink refills when it was ready. He was cool when I told him that Kurt was an old boyfriend. When it was time to come over to see if they wanted some dessert, I was a little more composed. They were fine, paid with a credit card, and left.

Which would have been a relief, except that when I was clearing the table, I saw that they'd scribbled a $50 tip in for $50 worth of food. So now I feel like a complete charity case.

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