While having coffee out this morning, I spoke to one of the workers who last I saw was being trained.
“How’s it goin?” I asked Steve, I’ll call him, who brought my bagel without a chaperone.
“Good I guess, but I’m told I could pick up a little speed.”
This kid, all of twenty, has a little hitch in his giddalong, to borrow a line from a Lucy show.
One of his legs is slightly shorter than the other so he stumbles a bit, slowing up his pace.
My heart of course opened, being impaired myself, and said, “You are the nicest boy, and look how quick you brought my bagel.”
His face lit-up like a cherub’s caught in flight.
I’m a little weepy these days, so this got to me first thing in the morning.
Takes so little to encourage someone whose doubts are worn on their sleeve.
The manager came and sat in the booth in front me, so I got up and said, “You know that kid you recently hired that limps a little?”
“You mean Steve?”
“Yes, and I’m here to tell you how very special he is. He told me he’s concerned he’s not fast enough. Don’t you think politeness trumps speed? I do. He’s the sweetest boy, and I’m his new advocate.”
He laughed because we had words once before over him reading the riot act to a cashier he thought was rude to me. She was, but as I told him, everyone’s allowed a bad day.”
Just then Steve came popping out with oatmeal combing the booths for its owner (there’s a waiter and a delivery person). Uh-oh, don’t fuck up now, I thought knowing his boss was watching. Finally after several passes, he found the right table.
He then stood there for a few moments discussing I don’t know what, but when he turned to go back into the kitchen, his boss said, “Well done my man…well done,” causing Steve to grin like an ear of corn.
I pretended not to notice happy you couldn’t see the lump in my throat.