I am walking to work when I happen to notice my boss sitting in a restaurant a couple of blocks away from our restaurant. I realize that it is time for his monthly neighborhood watch or business association or whatever the fuck meeting he goes to once a month. He does not see me as I stride by but I know that he will be away from the restaurant for a while. Being the opener, there will be no one else there except for the kitchen crew. All of the sidework will be the responsibility of me and me alone.
“How long has Mr. Man been gone?” I ask Juan, the line cook.
“When did Mr. Man leave for the meeting?” I ask again.
“Si, he’s at a meeting.”
“Thanks,” I say, giving up and cursing that even though I took years of Spanish and heard it all around me growing up, the only thing I know how to say in Spanish is, “We need more glasses and silverware, please.”
I get the ketchups out of the reach-in and set up the bread baskets, all the while knowing that I need to get on the mopping detail or the floor won’t be dry by the time we open. I hate mopping. The bucket is one of those huge yellow kinds with the contraption that you put the filthy mop head into to squeeze out all the filthy excess water. The mop head is so dirty that as soon as you put the mop into the pail of fresh water, the water instantly turns the same color of our coffee at the end of the night when somebody wants one more cup but we don’t quite have enough so I just add more hot water to it. I am heading downstairs to retrieve the dreaded mopping supplies when a little devil appears on my shoulder.
“Don’t fucking mop today. Your boss isn’t even here. Who cares?” he tells me. “He’ll never know.”
Suddenly, an angel pops up on my other shoulder. “Now, now, now, you know that you need to mop. It’s one of your duties as opening server.”
“He said doody,” the devil laughs.
“Duty, not doody” the angel corrects. “It’s your duty to mop.”
“Fuck it,” says devil. “I’m in the details and I determine it doesn’t fucking matter.”
I look back and forth at my two advisers, unsure which one to listen to. The devil lights a cigarette and blows smoke rings that circle around the angel’s golden halo. I hate cigarette smoke but I hate mopping even more. I grab the angel on my shoulder, break its neck, put him in a to-go box and throw him away. The devil laughs and then disappears in a puff of sulfur.
I have a plan. I pick up the dry mop and carry it upstairs and then go to the dishroom to get a plastic quart container of water. I go to the front of the restaurant and pour about a cup of the water onto the floor and then drag the mop over it to give the appearance of mopping. I do this in a few spots around the restaurant so that when the boss gets there he will see that the floor is damp and as well as the mop head. On my way back down to the basement, I pour a bit of the water into the mop bucket so it too looks as if it has been used. As I walk past the garbage can, I can hear the muffled cry of the angel begging for help. Curious, I open the box to see that he is still there, pale and crying. His eyes look up at me pleading for assistance.
“Please. Please, help me. I know what you did. You didn’t really mop the floor, did you? It’s wrong of you. The only way you can save me is if you go back upstairs and do a complete mopping job. Otherwise, I will fade away and you will never hear from me again.”
The poor little angel is lying there in the to-go box, his halo a dull grey color and his wings bent out of shape. I look back at the mop bucket and know what I should do.
“Just mop the floor,” says the angel. “It will save both of us. Do it for both of us. Mop the floor…” His words are barely audible, his breath so shallow, his eyes so sad.
I slowly move my hand to the angel’s face and gently caress his cheek with my index finger, marveling at the softness of his skin. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the mop bucket and I suddenly remember how much mopping sucks. I move my thumb to meet my index finger with the angel’s head in between. Like bubble wrap, I pop that bitches head off and put the lid back onto the to-go container. No mopping today!! Hurray!
So forgive me, father, for I have sinned. I deceived my boss and led him to believe that the floor had been mopped when it hadn’t been. It was wrong of me, I know. I offer this confession to anyone who reads it so that maybe I can be absolved of this sin. It isn’t the worst of sins, is it? It was just a dirty floor, after all. How bad can that be? I did, however pop the head off of an angel. That’s kinda bitchy, I guess.
What have you done, readers? I ask you to take a moment to admit your biggest restaurant confession, anonymously of course, and leave a comment below. Show me that I’m not the only evil person here.
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