Scenes From A Restaurant (A Series of Short Stories) #1
Updated: Feb 27
Rogelio (everyone calls him Ro-ho), trudges slowly over to the hand sink and rinses his face. He drops his towel and apron in the overloaded cloth bins hanging on bent metal frames. As he lifts his head, he sees Patrick and Amanda and asks them to join him for a drink down the street at The Beagle. Rojo has had a pit in his stomach all day long, and it has nothing to do with the grueling 14 hour shift he just worked.
It is because he knows he has to tell his two best friends at Restaurant 67 that he is turning in his notice tomorrow. As they take their seats at the corner of the dimly lit bar on well worn, red vinyl stools, Rojo orders their first round; domestic pilsner drafts and a shot of Jameson for each. It’s the Wednesday night special. Amanda and Patrick sense Rojo’s uneasiness and ask him what’s wrong. After-all, they just killed their dinner service. It should be time to celebrate the day.
Rojo had trained Patrick when he came to Restaurant 67 as a line cook, and he has worked with Amanda for years. He began to explain to them that he is giving his notice tomorrow. After starting as a dish washer and working his way up to Sous Chef, he just can’t make it work anymore. The financials just don’t make sense, and his time isn’t valued. Rojo has his second child on the way; yet makes only $43,000 per year with no company sponsored health insurance, no 401K plan, only one week of vacation per year, and no time to be with his family during his 70-hour work week.
Rojo, one of the most talented and valuable members of the culinary team is leaving the industry to sell the insurance that he doesn’t have access to through Restaurant 67.