Today the esteemed Chris Carol takes control of the blog in a guest post and I know you are going to enjoy it.
God bless the service industry. More specifically--God bless the food service industry. A more wretched hive of scum and villainy you will never find and for those fortunate enough to have slummed it in the galley kitchens of late-night, bar-rush eateries--this one’s for you.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (East Lansing, MI), I tended grill for The Pit, a pita joint. Behind that counter, I served along some of the finest people I’ve ever met. I saw the best and worst of millennial collegiate America. I met a girl, I kissed a girl, I miss a girl (and a lot of other people).
My favorite shift was the Thursday close. Work started at 10:00 PM and ended sometime after 4:00 AM. I worked with more or less the same crew for just about three years. My favorite nights were when Greyson Ferguson would volunteer to work the shift with me. He and I would grab a fifth of something, mix it in with our soda cups and create some of the most delicious pita creations East Lansing and probably the world (nay--the universe) has ever seen.
Over that time, I learned a little about the clientele. They say you are what you eat, and so here are the personas of some of my most memorable pita-eaters:
Grilled chicken Caesar with extra bacon: 90% of all patrons--be a little more original.
Grilled turkey, lettuce, mustard with extra pickles and pickles on the side: The oral-fetishist; This girl (or guy) will blow anything that can be blown.
The vegan who loves grilled vegetables and will ask you to clean off the grill even though there’s a line of 50 people standing behind him and it will take you at least 5 minutes to “sanitize” the cooking surface from all that evil meat: The devil, or someone much like him.
The double-gyro with extra tzatziki sauce: A total d-bag who will call you five minutes after the order is delivered to complain that his order is soggy, proceed to tell you he is allergic to tzatziki sauce and tell you to shove a purple “toy” someplace incredibly uncomfortable (like in the back of Volkswagon).
Grilled chicken with pineapples and teriyaki sauce on the grill: Someone who worked for B-tan, the tanning salon next door and also an angel in general even though her order muddies up the grill every time and makes it difficult to serve the next customer. They were all cute as hell, so you just dealt with it.
The closing shifts were fantastic adventures. I’d fantasize about the the epic-blowing I could get as I prepared a seemingly nice and innocent girl’s pita who ordered turkey with lettuce, mustard, extra pickles and pickles on the side. I reveled in the horror some poor girl was about to experience later as I sabotaged her d-bag bro’s pita who was too drunk to listen to us ask for toppings and so he ended up with a pita loaded with handfuls of red onions and feta cheese. I dug the buzz I’d get from the booze I was sipping on, timing it to hit just as the bars let loose and as me and the crew geared up for the late night rush. And while I often dreaded ultimately coming in to work the shift, I always had a blast and I’ll always remember those people who were slumming it right there along with me.
Adventure? Excitement? A Jedi craves not these things--but we at the Pit were more mercenary than Jedi. We never liked to be told the odds. And we always relied on a good blaster at our side than some old hokey religious mumbo jumbo.
For more work by Chris, check out his Medium Page