22. September 2015 · Comments Off on In Town · Categories: NMM.Trajectory.

I move to Pittsburgh.  I don’t have to get up at six any longer to catch a bus to the train station, commute to the city, and then hike up the bluff in time for early biology lab class.

They tell me there is an upscale Stouffer’s restaurant a short walk from the college, and that if I’m lucky enough to get hired I couldn’t do better.  I get lucky.

It is a lovely restaurant with spotless white tablecloths, chandeliers and candles.   Besides regular customers from the many companies nearby, there are always folks coming in to celebrate anniversaries or a night on the town.

The large kitchen is all shiny stainless steel.  The food is excellent.  Best of all, I get to eat dinner here every evening before work.   Since it takes so little time to get around, I can work here for about five hours every weekday.




I am the only student working dinner hours.  After we eat our dinner, the supervisor gathers us in a circle.  I learn tips about grooming, such as how a coat of clear nail polish does wonders, the worth of that bothersome hairnet and other such disciplines.  Then we go through the menu, the specials, and the suggested goals.  We are like a sports team.   More than that, these women make me feel like family.

At the end of the semester the supervisor, Mrs. McCann, tells me about the dreamiest summer job I could have.  The company has just opened a new restaurant on the top floor of a skyscraper in midtown Manhattan.

You get spectacular views of the city from all sides.  They built this one with all the bells and whistles as good as the finest.   They’ve got maître d’s, sommeliers, bartenders and busboys, all men, of course.   Restaurants like that usually have waiters too.  This new one has Stouffer girls.  How times are changing.

She heard that they got a spiffy new uniform for the girls.   It is a crisp white blouse with faux stud buttons and a black skirt, red cummerbund and a modified red bowtie.  I think they’re hinting at a tuxedo.   Only the black shoes are the same ones we wear here.

I had to invest in a pair of those particular black shoes when I took this job.   For a stylish shoe with a solid mid-level heel you can’t beat these for comfort.

Mrs. McCann says the job in New York won’t be easy you will have to reach a bit.  But I know you can do it.   This is your chance to make much more money than you can anywhere else.   When they call me from New York, I will tell them that we think the world of you and they will too.

I thank Mrs. McCann.   I am thinking this is why everyone loves this woman.   But I don’t say it because I know that it would embarrass her.   I say only that I will do my very best if they hire me.

As I walk out the door she says bring your shoes they still look good if you keep them polished.

She didn’t have to say it again.  If your feet hurt your smile will tell on you.

I won’t forget essential stuff like that.



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