I work where everyone loves going… they love hanging out here… I wish they didn’t!
I hate it
I hate how my Afro smells like coffee beans regardless of whether I’m working the espresso machine, serving customers or working at the cash register.
Perhaps, if I was here catching up with my boys instead of working… I would hate it less.
My boss is called ‘Prita’ at least that’s what she calls herself but she’s clearly an English rose. She seems to be just another white person that settled in India and took it a notch further by adopting an Indian name, Indian attire – a lot of Indian within her. It’s very strange… very peculiar
She’s a very a happy-go-lucky lady and she likes pulling me aside and telling me ‘David, the constellations are in our favour’, raising both her palms upwards then she wraps her sari around her waist.
I always reply the same ‘Yes Boss’, then, she responds ‘Call me Prita’.
I don’t know how I never noticed that there are more ladies than men at the coffee shop. It just never crossed my mind but my work friend Sam has definitely taken notice repeatedly. If he carries on, he will drive a distinct wedge between us and them. We need to be more tactical. Everyone talks about the boy child… needs this…needs that…FIDA needs to take a break and stop harassing men. Sam will end up on FIDAs’ hit list, if he doesn’t watch out.
A senior waiter standing next to the entrance, clears his throat and nods towards the right side of the restaurant. I pick up two menus and head in that direction like clockwork as a couple take their seats at an empty table.
‘Good afternoon, welcome to —-‘ I say with a wide smile and hand the lady followed the man, a menu. ‘Do you already know what you want to order?’
The lady looks a bit hesitant as she flips through the menu while the man looks terse in a navy blue suit. She’s wearing some sort of weave that makes her look like Beyonce in her Crazy in Love music video. However, her lips are a bright red, her eyes are yellow at the top, her nails are blue and she’s quite dark-skinned, so it looks like all the colours are fighting with each other but her body is amazing. Amazing. The man smells like he could be wearing Hugo Boss, one of my exes was extravagant on me, he looks very well-put together. He keeps checking his timepiece like time literally is money.
‘Give us five minutes’ the female giggly voice says and the man nods in agreement.
I rush off to clear another table. I think kids from hell were seated here and I’m not mincing my words. Plates on the table. Plates under the table. Tomato sauce split on the table, the chairs, the floor – it looks like an alien crop circle. The salt and pepper shakers are open and have been used to decorate the table. Fries and bits of cake have been thrown on top like confetti. It smells like sweat, soda, vinegar… & something else…something just wrong
I’ve cleared the table when I begin wiping it and I feel something sticky and disgusting underneath the table. I already know what it is. I peak at the table already braced but I see mountain after mountain of pink, blue and white all clumped next to each other. I no longer find children cute.
The man in the navy blue suit signals to me to come back.
The lady is over the moon and she keeps checking the decor of —-, that’s when it hits that she’s barely…
‘What’s an espresso?… Is it sweet?’ she asks wide-eyed.
The man simply smiles at her and allows her to continue indulging in all her questions.
‘An espresso is a type of coffee, that is quite strong’, I point towards a solitary man drinking from a small, white cup.
‘I’ll try one’, she suddenly quips ‘plus a chicken salad’.
I’m about to mention that combination doesn’t make sense but I remember that the customer is always right.
‘And for you’, I look at the man.
I wait to hear what this kind of man, would eat, he exudes power he even speaks. He closes his menu, puts it aside and turns to look at me.
‘Werr, I wourd rike a vanirra ratte and chicken sandwich with flies’.
‘Excuse me sir, can you please repeat your order’
You can clearly take the man out of the village but you can’t take the village out of the man.
‘A vanirra ratte and chicken sandwich with flies’.
‘What’, I say with a perplexed expression.
With more vigor this time ‘A vanirra ratte. Chicken Sandwich. Flies’
‘I’m sorry sir. I don’t think we serve those’, I say with my sincerest expression.
The other customers are starting to looking at us and the man is becoming quite agitated as he keeps repeating his order and I keep my heavenly expression whilst the lady is trying hard not to unleash her twitchy mouth on us. She winks at me briefly. I wink back. She returns to suppressing her laughter and re-applying her lipstick.
Before I know it, Priya is behind me in her thick English accent, she asks him ‘Is there a problem?’
‘Yes, thele is a ploblem here..’
‘Sir’, Priya repeats in utter confusion.
She’s creasing her face as she tries to make sense of the situation.
Priya looks at me. I look at Priya. The lady and the man look at me. Priya looks at the lady to help her. The lady smiles in my direction. I keep my face exactly like Priyas’. I need this job but I love getting kicks out it.
I roll up my sleeves on my deadly white t-shirt, that’s covered by my black apron.
This is going to be a long day, says the little devil on my left side.