Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The end

Restaurants are so dramatic. Today as we servers scuttled about preparing to open the restaurant, I saw the head chef making an announcement to the kitchen staff and bussers. I couldn't make out what he was saying (Spanish), but I found out he was saying that tomorrow, Thursday, the 22nd, would be the last day Nick and Tony's would be open.

Could it be true? I didn't want to believe it, but it turns out listening to the ground-rumors is better than waiting for the management to tell us anything. The assistant manager then announced to us English-dominants that the owners have decided not to keep the restaurant open between Christmas and New Year's. Our last day will be Friday, or maybe Thursday, we're not sure, but let's count on being open Friday until we get further word. Yeah, right.

I'm not scheduled to work again until lunch on Friday, so I worked all day wondering, is this my last day working at NT's? Or will Friday be? By the beginning of the dinner shift, the rumors were too powerful to ignore: NT's will be permanently closed as of 10 p.m. Thursday night. I stopped waiting for the "official word" and started saying my good-byes. As I left, I felt very sad.

The end. Will Restaurants America come through with jobs for us? Who knows. The servers are all still waiting to hear what our new "assignments" will be. With the closing date moved, they've got to tell us soon, no? Who knows. I've stopped expecting much. I know I can always go back to an office job or at least temp until I find another restaurant job I really like.

As I dropped the check on my last table of the night, I thanked them for being my final table since Nick and Tony's is closing tomorrow. They were very sympathetic and wished me well. Later when I picked up their tip, I saw that they'd left me a $40 tip on a $69 check and a business card note, saying "Good luck!" So people are still good.

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