The Smile at the Table


Austin leaned down, his forearms braced on the back of a chair, and hid his face in the crook of his arm for a moment. The pretense was weariness at the beginning of lunch shift, having already had classes that morning. The truth, however, was that he was hiding his expression. He just didn’t have the heart to tell Kayla that their manager had not scheduled her that summer in hopes that she would get frustrated and just quit. The truth was that Kayla sucked at the job; she got orders mixed up, forgot things, took forever, and whined egregiously when customers didn’t tip her well but, rather tipped her what her service was worth. She was nice enough, pleasant, yes, but a poor waitress.

Austin, on the other hand, thrived in high demand work like this. It kept his memory sharp and his charming interpersonal communication skill set evolving. He was handsome enough, this he knew. The phone numbers written on receipts in his ticket folio also attested to this. He kept himself tidy, comfortably stylish, personable. You have to be able to handle people in all facets and situations, and what better proving ground for that than food service? Proving ground and smelting furnace all in one. Especially weekends. But today was Monday. Lunch rush tended to be slower, hence why he could stop and chat right now.

Mondays weren’t so bad.

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