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"Write About Us"

At work once, in my first waitressing job, one of the cooks told me to write about us some day.
Not him specifically, but the restaurant - the employees, the customers, the regulars.
Jokingly he asked me if, when I became a "big-time journalist", I'd still remember them, still take the time to tell their story.

And it's strange, because I think I'll always be telling their story because it's such an important part of my own.  I spent almost two years at that job, learning the ins and outs of a restaurant that, eventually, I became a piece of even as all the pieces I'd started with broke off and were replaced; the same way that now, I've been replaced.

I've already written about them - about a woman who ate lunch at the same table almost every day, always ordering a rum and coke and telling us about her late husband, "Jack".  About the good nights, and the nights I never wanted to put an apron on again.  About the coworkers who taught me that bitters and lemon work better than any old wives tale at getting rid of hiccups.

I remember so many pieces of that job - the 4th of July when the bartender told the cooks and the waitresses to take a break, to go outside and enjoy the fireworks with the rest of our town.  The nights I left wanting to cry, and the customers who pushed me to that point.  The businessmen who, on Christmas Eve, left me a 200% tip and a note to "have a merry Christmas!".  The regulars who knew my name, and who's drink order I never even had to ask for.  The coworkers who made the bad nights seem not as bad as they felt.

I've spent the last two years writing about them - about the restaurant and the people in it, and the lessons they've taught me - and honestly, I'll probably write about them for the rest of my life even though, by the end, I couldn't wait to get out.


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