Friday, July 24, 2009
Justice is Served on the Buffet
Sweet, sweet, Old Country Buffet... I can still remember me and my dad, we are both sitting in his car. It was the day I got that first job serving as busboy beyond your scummy geriatric gates. And there sits my dad, behind the steering wheel, grinning ear to ear as I unwrap my new busboy apron. He looks a little mischievous in his smile. His hand reaches over the armrest to shake mine. "Good for you, son. Your first job. I'm proud of you." I remember that good feeling. That feeling of how easy it all seemed. "Just scrape a few dishes and get paid for it."
How young and stupid I was.
And do you remember that one manager, Mike? Yeah, you know the one. He's your first manager at your first job. You are just a lowly, pimply busboy and he's the big cool manager working on his third divorce. He's got one of those big German mustaches and he's always flipping his wavy, dyed-blondish hair. He claims to have a back problem so he can't lift any heavy trays or anything that resembles help. He always seems to find a worker to belittle when there is a pretty girl going through the buffet line. Yeah, you know the one. The one that's being super sappy nice to you one minute and you think that you are going to keep your job so you can pay for your car insurance so you can take out that pretty girl in your gym class but then the next minute he's berating you for missing a spot on a salt shaker in front of the whole staff and you feel like you just might be single for the rest of your life.
Most nights, as you fall asleep, you have visions of kicking him where his legs connect and spitting in his putrid blonde hair, but at the end of the fantasy, you are still alone, and dreading the next day. Your only comfort is that its not just you he seems to hate/like. He hates that guy in the dishroom too... It's the middle aged guy doing dishes that everyone calls "disher-dad." Disher-dad. Yeah, there was always disher-dad who got it the worst. Ah, sweet memories. I would have felt sorry for you, disher-dad, but you would give us busboys dirty looks and murmur profanity and kick the cup racks whenever we would bring in our full carts of dishes, as if we dirtied those dishes ourselves. I wonder whatever happened to disher-dad.
Ahhhh. Sweet, sweet bankruptcy. Good old Buffet. Good old, terrible, disgusting, nightmarish, I-wish-I-could-blot-out-that-16th-year-of-my-life Old Country Buffet.