Prompt: Go to a local café, park, or public place and write a piece inspired by something you see. Get detailed: leave no nuance behind.
Twist: write an adverb-free post.
I used to work here. In fact, I was once a manager. The smell of the coffee, burgers, and fries still causes me slight anxiety when I walk in the door, while the headsets the staff are wearing bring back pleasant memories of friendly banter among co-workers on a slow night.
I find it interesting how one’s perspective changes over time. I loved working here, in the beginning. I remember when I first applied for the job. We still lived in Winnipeg and had just decided that we were going to re-locate (again) to a new province; this time to Prince Edward Island. I began perusing the job banks online to see what I could apply for afar, much as we had done when we found our new apartment.
I acquired the job easily and had a nice rapport with the District Manager when he interviewed me upon my arrival on The Island. I began training and loved many aspects of the job, which came easily to me given some of my previous employment. Of course, as with anything in life, there were difficulties, too. One of the biggest came in the form of a long-term employee who was in a position of supervisor. I remember clearly the second day I was here she made me cry and I almost walked out on the spot. Sometimes, thinking back, I wish I had have walked out then. I wonder how different things would be now?
But I digress…
I left on well enough terms, but was beyond glad when I extricated myself from the franchise. I was miserable and only becoming more miserable every day that I stayed.
That was almost exactly a year ago.
Now I come here all the time.
I love this place as an establishment that wants to take the money I want to spend consuming things that surely are not good for me. They are located just a short walk from my home which makes getting here easy. I love to come and sit while I enjoy a coffee. Maybe read a book. Or even just people watch. I like to watch the staff, rather than the customers. There are only a few staff members here that I know anymore. Most of them have moved on, since the huge upper management change that occurred late last Fall. It’s easy to see, though, who the new, fresh faces are; who the ones who are not yet jaded are.
Like the mousy-haired woman behind the cash register taking orders with a smile and saying her “script” to perfection, not one word missed. She is friendly, her uniform is pressed and clean, and she is pecking at the keys on the computer apologizing with a sweet, “I’m sorry, I’m new,” when she makes a mistake. A large number of the staff are picking at their uniforms or making weird faces out of boredom as they wait for each new order to come in.
When I first got here, the restaurant was almost empty, with only a couple of tables sat with patrons. Now it is started to fill up as Dinner time approaches. Some of the customers are familiar and I give them a slight nod as they pass on the way to their tables. Others are people I have never seen before. But that’s no unusual because we live in a tourist town and the warming weather is drawing more visitors.
Some things never change. The garbage receptacles are still piled high with discarded trays and overflowing with garbage. I have yet to see anyone come out to the floor to take care of, as they are supposed to every 15 minutes, or so.
I lie. Some bored teenage boy who obviously does not want to be here just came out and picked the trays up. I wonder how long it will be before the garbage is changed?
I love people, and I thought I would miss working here when I left, but I have to say I don’t. Not a bit. I have run into the DM several times since leaving and have been told each time that I am welcome to come back any time I want, but I don’t think I ever will. It’s just not my cup of tea, as they say. And as I watch people pile in to gorge on french fries, burgers, and chicken nuggets for dinner, I am going to head home for my own husband-cooked dinner of roasted chicken with potatoes and carrots.
I chose to not incorporate the Twist today. I am too far behind, and it is stressing me out. I know it shouldn’t, but it is, so I may come back and do the twist on another post another time.