Angie Navarro Castillo Composition I Karla Whitehurst Another Day, Another Nickel As I’m driving on Interstate 30 going to work at the restaurant Country Fare, I stare at the beautiful mixture of colors displayed in the sky. Pink, orange, yellow and blue mixed all together in a breathtaking sunset in Arkansas. I get off exit 44. The time is getting closer and I pull over on the parking lot and I see the big sign that says TA. The time has arrived and now I have to work. It may not be the most exciting place for me to be, but if I want to be able to pay my bills, this is where I need to be.
I go through the glass door and I say hi to the guys working at Subway right in front of the entrance, then I turn right and walk by the buffet and my shift 4pm to midnight is officially started. Soon after I clock in I must count my drawer, which today is full of different coins, therefore it takes me a while to count it this time. As I am finally ready I start helping customers and taking orders. The place wasn’t quite busy when I first got there, but half an hour later the restaurant is packed. There are lots of truck drivers starving and anxious to eat and leave.
There are no TVs or anything to entertain them, which makes them bored. The dining room is plain and white with few decorations of Saint Patrick’s Day hanging around. All the tables and chairs in the bar are full with customers. I try to help everyone as fast and efficient as possible, the cook in the line is working hard as well. He is yelling the waitresses’ names with every meal when it’s ready to deliver. Tonight there are only two waitresses on the floor; we are both walking back and forth trying to get this dinner rush over with.
There are 2 cooks for the buffet and a dish washer guy was not scheduled, consequently the manager is helping with the dishes so we don’t run out of dishes and glasses. I am getting behind, many tables remain dirty and more customers walk in as soon as some walk out. The atmosphere that once was the background music is now filled with conversations; it’s just blah, blah, and blah. Its only 8 o’clock, and I need to catch my breath for a second, I drink some Pepsi cola. While delivering the steak dinner and pasta to table 12, I just get very hungry.
By this time I wish I could take a break, but since there are only 2 of us, I can’t, even though I snack on some crackers while cashing out some customers. I run out of one dollar bills, so I ask the manager on duty to get me the cash. When he comes to the dining room, he realizes how busy we are and finally he helps me bussing some tables. Once I got some help the dining room looks better and less busy. I feel better because I don’t have to run back and forth as much. When it gets as slow as this, it’s time for me to do my side work. I have to sweep, mop, and do fill-ups.
Ketchup bottles are almost all empty. I have to fill them up and do so with the sweeteners and jellies. Barbara, the graveyard waitress, has arrived, which means it’s time for me to leave. All I have left to do is bring a bucket with ice and fill up the soda machine. I am now ready to count my register and leave. After the shift is over, the restaurant looks calmer and roach free. The only relief that makes my day is to look at my pocket in my apron and see it full of dollars, reward of my hard work. Therefore I say: Another Day, Another Nickel.
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