I had been thrown in the back to the kitchen, to do expo work. Basically, I took care of all carry out orders, kept track of current orders, and helped out servers when I could. “What’re you doing just standing there? I said, ‘brown rice.’ Come on!” He rolled his eyes and then mocked my idleness. Even I couldn’t avoid being burned by the hot-headed Australian head chef. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was some distant cousin of Gordan Ramsay. His sous chef snickered– an Asian man who never addressed me. It was like I was a ghost, and every time he just sees right past me, until one time after a dinner rush…
People were cleaning their workstations, refilling containers of sauce and soda, and putting away silverware. He stood behind the kitchen counter while I was on the other side. Somehow no one else was around us, and he surprised me by saying, “Your name’s Sherry, right?” He peered at me in between the counter and the ticket holder. I found out that we were the same age. “I used to go to school… Then one day I woke up and was like, ‘I’m going to become a chef.’ So I quit college and started working in restaurants.”
I wondered how he cooked at home, and what his homemade dish tasted like. I imagined him bringing a platter of BBQ to a table of friends. “At least you knew what you wanted to do and really went for it. Not everyone can do that!” I continued, “Isn’t that weird how life works out? Here we are, both the same age, but our paths are completely different…” I trailed off mid-way, not wanting to offend him.
He laughed and said, “Don’t worry, it’ll come to you.” I quit that job a week later.
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