Illustration by Bob AulSo, I waitressed at your "family restaurant" for, what was it? Three months? And that's including the month I took off to go to Paris, where the labor laws made me realize how you basically bent us over and gave it to us dry. Flying home, I was determined to quit. But the harsh reality of responsibility hit me and I knew I'd need the money for school. My resolution was short-lived. Who finally drove me out of there—you or my co-workers? Was it coming in three or four days a week only to be trapped in some teen-pregnancy, piss-poor high school-dropout soap opera? Or your stomach-churning displays of charity—hugging and kissing people's small children after I saw firsthand how much you "helped" that homeless girl? The funk of your breath lingered in my nose long after you tongue-lashed me about leaving the goddamned ice scoop in the ice. Your few sober customers offered occasional relief. But I couldn't help feeling like a mutt when you shushed me or pointed to your feet in a signal for me to come and hear your mighty word. I got news for you, brother, this isn't 20th-century Iran! I'll speak when I have something to say. I must admit that, as degrading as it was to work for you, I did get a huge kick out of making seemingly witty comments and not having any of you understand them—and then laughing deviously while looking into your bewildered face. It's true: I was catty and tactless, and it made me feel better. Your future's looking grim. The state labor board has your number, and so does the IRS. I wonder, how ever did they get it?
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