Pat (restaurant manager): So, you are how old?
Pat: Do you have any work experience?
Me: I have to unload the dishwasher and clean my room before Berdie our cleaning lady comes–if you can believe that.
Pat: What is your schedule?
Me: Home Room, Spanish, Social Studies, Study Hall, Lunch, Algebra, Bio, Health.
Pat: I mean, when are you available to work?
Me: Saturday. Not this Saturday, or the next one, but maybe the one after that. I’ll ask my parents. Maybe on Sunday, but I switch houses on Sunday, so I’m not sure.
Pat: Why do you want to work at The Deli?
Me: I love cash registers.
Pat: You will be clearing tables, not working the register.
Me: Okay, but these scrawny arms will drop a bus tub full of dishes on more than one occasion. I’ll be all “GOT IT. Got it. Got…CRASH”
Pat: Busboys make $3.50 and hour. Will that work for you? You will also get tipped out by the waitstaff
Me: Pat, I think that will support the essentials: enormous chewy sweet tarts, show tune cassettes, and frosted pearl lipstick. I’ll leave the cash scattered around my room, and drive my brother crazy with my nonchalant wealth.
Pat:Wow, I’m impressed.
Me: There’s more! One day you will promote me to work at the take out window, where I will drop trays full of cookies, and I cry in front of the customers as it takes me two hours to close a six foot by six foot mini deli.
Pat: True Dat! Years later, you will return to waitress in our roach-infested downtown location, and I will beam with pride as my prodigal deli daughter returns back into the fold.
Me: Lest we forget catering, Pat. Lest we forget. I will also serve as catering help for this burgeoning enterprise—learning such vocabulary as carving station, chafing dish, and ramekin.
Pat: And we will educate you in the art of fanning napkins with a cocktail glass. Don’t forget the napkin fan!
Me: Pat, I could never forget the napkin fan. I’ll see you three weeks from Saturday, when I will leave work exhausted after my two-hour shift.
Pat: That’s my girl!
if you found this interview illuminating, you might enjoy my interview with myself as a twelve-year-old babysitter.