The day began like any other day at that downtown hotel restaurant: coffee cups cleaned and aprons tightened; silverware settings straightened and tensions heightened. The pace had been fairly easygoing—never a full section at once—until I approached my first booth seating. The gentleman on the left was an owner of the hotel and the gentleman on the right was an owner of well, nothing much besides his own PR firm. Funnily enough, he couldn't counsel himself. I had just finished memorizing the left-hand man's order writing, "OTS" purely for the sake of seeming. He always requested his fruit on-the-side and only ordered egg whites; he was "healthy" in one of those self-assigned adjectives: "Vegan." "Cyclist." "Slutty." "A gentleman." "Chill girl." A third stakeholder boisterously approached, "Don't let me forget: I've got a little something special in my car for you!" (He once said at an all-staff meeting, "Restaurants don't make money, they bring in a lot of money, but they don't make a lot of money," then left in his Maserati.) Annoyed yet associated, my right-side dweller smugly responded, "Well, if it's a bottle of champagne or a naked lady, then count me in." Pad in hand, pen to paper, pointing the tip hard into its "GUEST CHECK" pages, I wanted to hockey check his face. I smiled. Stab. Took a deep breath. "Hey now, I'm the HR guy around here!" replied Mr. Maserati. I almost quit that day, but heard my order on the line. Kitchens have a way of bringing out the grime.
Avoid The Downtown Crown
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