Friday night, 7:30 at a popular turn-and-burn restaurant, when serving guests efficiently had potential to feel like hand to hand combat. I remember admiring those coworkers who appeared to always have their cool, especially when they were in the weeds.
The bartender served drinks for her two-top. She tapped in their order with one hand, poured my service ticket with her other, all without taking her eyes off the screen.
The phone rang as she sent her order, and was her job to answer it.
She picked it up and took a to-go order in 10 seconds flat (a new record).
She felt my piercing newbie gaze on her, and took another precious 10 seconds to get right in my face.
“It’s a war out there kid. and it’s us, or it’s them.”
“Yeah! and I think we’re winning!”
A bar patron piped up to ask, nay demand for more water.
She picked up the water pitcher and threw down another service ticket.
Under her breath, I hear her utter to me and no one else,
“I don’t think we’re winning, but we have to KEEP FIGHTING.”
I dropped my drinks and turned back. All water glasses were full. She was already taking another to-go order with one hand, her other balled in a fist.
I never thought of it that way before.
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