by Alexia Brown

I was hired by a guy named Ralphi who had worked at the restaurant for a decade before they fired him for never coming to work on time, when he should have gotten fired for having sex with the Estonian waitress, Liina, in the liquor room twice a week. Ralphi had posted a help-wanted ad on Craigslist for a daytime waitress and requested all applicants send in a photo of themselves. I found a picture that looked like me, only skinnier, and he called me that night, requesting an interview the next morning. He was short and smelled like the perfume counter of a department store and the first thing I noticed about him was the neatly-trimmed line of facial hair that ran from the middle of his bottom lip to the end of his chin like the well-groomed pubic hair of a stripper. Ralphi didn't ask me about my prior work experience, nor did he bother to call my references. He sat with me at one of the tables in the back of the smokey, rust-colored restaurant with his arms folded and a smirk on his face and talked about the kind of hours I'd have to work (day), the uniform (short) and how he thought I'd fit in just fine.


Alexia Brown, who lives in Chicago, writes about her days here and shows them in pictures here.