When Lexi and Norma gave notice baseball season was under way and the spring had blossomed. Flowers were blooming. The trees wore their leaves proudly. It was just after Easter break, and they did it on the same day.
Victoria and Lorraine commented on their leaving. Part of it was due to Drenovis. In his overly boorish way, he had never eased up on Lexi. Even though Bill and Lexi were not really an item much anymore—they still hung out every now and then—Drenovis was still seething that Lexi had gone with Bill, that the kitchen staff had defended her and that Tommy would not fire her.
Norma was Norma. Drenovis had poisoned her when he’d put her to trying to get with Bill to mess things up for him. That had backfired big time. Norma told Bill, got with him to spite Drenovis and told Bill she derived double pleasure being with him because she knew it pissed Drenovis off. Seeing that the girls he had harassed were happy, Drenovis was continually pissed off.
One of the big wonders, altogether, was why Mr. Bowman kept Drenovis as his manager. He was number two in the organization. Below him was Tommy, the manager out east, and of course all the staff.
Mr. Bowman was no more or less ethical than Drenovis. He swung both ways, the other way mostly with Robert, and he made no bones about bringing his family and his children around to either one of the restaurants. Seemed there was no shame.
That same day they gave notice, Tommy came into the kitchen and asked if anything had happened. Bill said he hadn’t been messing with either one of them and as far as he knew nothing had gone on that would have caused them to quit. Tommy took that at face value but corroborated what Bill said with Bea and Mary. They all agreed business was slow and so maybe they had found other jobs. But business was slow everywhere as far as Tommy knew, as far as Drenovis knew, as far as what Robert reported to everyone especially his cooks.
Because it was slow, Tommy made it clear that he wasn’t in a hurry to replace them. But that wasn’t quite the case because Mother’s Day was upcoming and that was always a gangbuster day such that he would need all the waitresses he could get and then some.
Interviewing new waitresses was the height of Drenovis’ job. He selected only ones he liked, ones he could take to the back seat of his big, American car, ones who would not complain about harassment. Tommy knew what he did. Mr. Bowman knew. It was common practice in restaurants all over. Lexi and Norma understood this, understood wherever they went they would probably be subjected to another Drenovis.
On the first Monday after they gave their notices, Tommy took things into his own hands. He paraded three girls through the kitchen and the dining rooms as a group. On the sly, even though he knew it would not stay on the sly, he told Bea he was attempting to circumvent Drenovis and hoped he could do so.
Arlene was happy. Because Norma and Lexi were quitting, she got her choice of shifts and of course she took the ones later in the week for lunches and Tuesday through Saturday nights. Even if business was slower, she would still make money.
Lorraine and Victoria were okay with new help coming in. They solidified the shifts they wanted and made sure they had themselves set.
Bill was relieved. Two less complications! He promised himself he was not going to mess around with anyone else, that he was going to chill, to get ready to be a husband. He promised himself he was going to stop getting with Bea and start thinking about the rest of his life.
We plan. God laughs.
The Democratic Party is split down the middle right now. Half are convinced that the Mueller report is the end of Mr. Trump’s presidency. The other half are begrudgingly admitting that the smoking gun was firing blanks all along. Some of the names on the saner half might surprise you, but none of the morons calling for impeachment will.
This is hands down the most ridiculous situation our nation has ever faced. A pile of spoiled, sore losers have stamped their feet and held their breaths in an attempt to pretend that Donald Trump is somehow not their President. They have dragged many good names through the mud. They’ve spouted outrageous lies, and they’ve wasted two years of a mostly productive presidency by focusing half of the country’s efforts on a bogus investigation.
Mueller’s team was as anti-Trump as possible. They still found no evidence of collusion. None. If they can give the President a pass, then there’s no one on the planet who can find dirt on him. That’s because it doesn’t exist. So, after two years of lies and nonsense, we’re finally at a point where we can try to move forward and solve some problems.
But, the far left won’t budge, and they feel empowered because the media panders to them.
That’s a direct quote from Patriotic Viral News patriotic viral news
Because it sums it up pretty well. Two years of waste. Millions and millions of dollars thrown away. Lots of lives ruined, lots of injustices perpetrated, and not, quite ironically, by the people being accused.
So here, I always say the same thing over and over again. Don’t believe me. Don’t believe anyone. Do your own honest research and look at all that has happened and why it has happened. Don’t believe Fox. Don’t believe the idiots, bigots and in-the-tank-for-Democrats on CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC and CBS. Don’t believe what you read in the New York Times, the Washington Post, etc. And surely don’t believe the censored crap you see on Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc.
Start with a premise: I’d like to find out the truth, whatever that truth is. Look at all the sources, all the think tanks, check out everything and all the places where you find contradictions, differences in opinions, different facts. Look to verify.
That’s how research is done.
Then listen to your sensibilities. Try to skip your emotion. Ask yourself some questions.
If Adam Schiff has real proof of Trump collusion, why doesn’t he show it now that the Mueller report seems to say there wasn’t any?
If Mueller wanted an unbiased investigation, why did he hire so many outright Clinton supporters for his team?
Who are the real investigative reporters and what have they uncovered?
Is Trump really a racist? A bigot? A Nazi? Or is that just part of the narrative being continually hurled at you, over and over, like a tape (or CD) on continuous loop?
As one of Obama’s last actions, why did Obama have his people unleash the Intelligence community by allowing the dissemination of information to seventeen agencies?
Why did Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton meet on the tarmac? Do you really think it was a coincidence? That they talked about their grandchildren?
Is Barr really in the bag for Trump? Isn’t he really pretty straightforward and honest? Weren’t Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder in the tank for Obama?
What’s really going on in this country? Who’s benefiting from it? What are the Democrats really after?
And so much more.
It’s time for a real gut check. That’s what I think.
Mary knew she had to do things. She knew she had children to raise and could not be unemployed. She knew she was maternal.
She knew lots of things.
She knew she could get a job quickly in any other kitchen, that she would not be unemployed for long if she lost this job. She knew she did not want to do that. She knew the danger for her was inconvenience, discomfort and the uncomfortable mess of change. But the danger for Drenovis was worse. For him the danger was that she might just walk out or force him to fire her. She knew the other cooks would walk out with her if he did that, so it was improbable he would do anything. She knew their unity was why she could talk to Drenovis the way she did. She knew their unity and Robert’s support were why they could all do the things they did, mostly with impunity.
“He better come down here and ask me to go back into that kitchen,” Mary said. “I ain’t going up there until he does.”
“Be a cold day in hell ‘fore I’d kiss your ass,” Henry Lee said.
“Not me,” said Bill. “I’ll kiss it right now. Turn around.”
Mary smiled. It was the first smile Bill had seen on her this morning except for the time they were together in the bathroom. Then, there, she had smiled several times. Of course he had smiled too.
“I don’t care if all the shit up there burns,” Mary said.
“It just might if you don’t go up there soon,” Bill said.
“Ask me if I care.”
“You care,” said Henry Lee. “That’s the problem.”
“Ain’t no problem for me.”
“It’s a problem,” said Bill.
“You go up,” Mary said. “Tell him if he wants me back at work, he better come down here and apologize.”
“Jesus Christ,” Bill said.
“Jesus Christ nothing. He’ll do it. Watch!”
Mary got a sly smile on her face. A mean streak Bill had never seen before appeared.
“You better do it,” Henry Lee said. “I seen her like this a couple of times. It really ain’t pretty and there’s no stopping her once she gets this way.”
“You owe me big time,” said Bill on his way out the door.
Upstairs Drenovis was on Mary’s station. He was looking at what was there and adjusting some of the flames on the stoves.
“Be best if you left all that stuff alone,” said Bill.
“Be best if Mary comes back into this kitchen and soon.”
“She won’t come back until you go downstairs and apologize to her.”
Drenovis looked at Bill as if he were crazy.
Bill went up and down the line of stoves. He readjusted the flames the way he wanted them and then checked inside the ovens to see where the rib and the steamship round were in their cooking.
“Don’t look at me like I’m crazy,” Bill said to Drenovis with his back to him. “I’m telling you what I know you need to do in order to get her back up here. You don’t like it, too bad. If you don’t get her back up here, it’s gonna get really bad.”
Satisfied everything was the way he could leave it on Mary’s station, Bill walked away from Drenovis on Bea’s side of the kitchen and over to where Bea was. He immediately copped a feel of her butt as he stood next to her. She was still washing lettuce. She did not shy away from his touch; he felt her press into it. Then he reached into the cocktail shrimp and helped himself to two shrimp. He dipped each one into cocktail sauce before he ate it.
From where he stood, he watched Drenovis. Drenovis lingered a moment on Mary’s station, more to show he was the boss than for any other reason. Then he headed off to go down the stairs.
Drenovis did not hurry off. He did not say anything further but stood there and watched as Bill finished his coffee, as Henry Lee told Bill he’d meet him downstairs. Bill stood there and watched Bea as she putzed around on her station.
“I’ll take a case of lettuce over here any time you feel like carting it over.”
“I’ll do it in a minute.” Without being obvious, he checked if Mary needed to make any of the desserts, the jello or the pudding and rice pudding. But he judged there was enough for the day. Then he went over to the reach-in freezers and checked the supplies there, the fried foods and French fries. He noted what he needed to bring upstairs.
Only then did he go out into the hall to get a case of lettuce for Bea. Bea had already filled her sink with cold water so that he could just dump the lettuce into the sink. That done, he carried the empty cardboard case into the hall and threw it outside.
Next, he went back to washing the potatoes. Once the potatoes were washed, he dried them with a clean kitchen towel and made sure they were all perfect enough to bake. Then he turned on the convection oven, set the timer and slid the tray inside.
Next thing for Bill was to go downstairs with Henry Lee. But before he did this he took a trip out through the dining room and knocked on Tommy’s door. Tommy opened up even though he was counting money.
“You better get Drenovis out of that kitchen,” Bill said. “Mary untied her apron walked out. I’m not doing her job because of him. I’ll do it to cover for her, but not because of him. So if you want it lunch to be ready I suggest you find a way to redirect him.”
“Why can’t any of you get along with him?” Tommy asked.
“You know why. He’s an asshole.”
“You should’ve become a manager,” Tommy said.
Like every other morning, Bill went down to the meat room where he would spend some time cutting steaks with Henry Lee and then making the hamburgers and bleus. Last, he would set up what needed to be brought up for the lunch service and carry it upstairs.
He found Mary in her usual spot on the counter, sitting as she always did, her legs crossed at the ankles. She was swinging her feet more furiously than she normally did. Bill could see immediately how pissed she was.
“You better not have done any of my work,” said Mary.
“I wouldn’t touch anything,” Bill said. “Only thing I didn’t was finish washing the potatoes and put them on to bake. But I did tell Tommy to get Drenovis out of the kitchen. I told him you’d walked out.”
“What he say?”
“He said I should have become a manager.”
“Well, stupid, you should have.”
Bill stepped up to Mary and kissed her. After the first kiss, he kissed her a second time. “I should’ve done a lot of things. I know I’m young, and stupid, but I also know I should have done a lot of things differently in the few years I’ve had.”
“You are stupid,” Henry Lee said.
Bill was gonna say something but held it back. “I better put the pot away,” he said instead. He opened the bourbon drawer and retrieved the baggie with weed in it and the Bambu. Then he disappeared out of the meat room and went to his locker where he locked it up carefully. While he was in there, he popped himself a black beauty.
Henry Lee was setting up the grinder when he got back into the meat room. Mary had not moved. She did not look as if she was about to.
“You know you got to go back up there,” Henry Lee said.
“I ain’t got to do nothing,” Mary said.
Henry Lee was drinking coffee over by Bea. Drenovis was standing next to him looking pissed when Bill and Mary came back up the stairs and into the kitchen.
Bill could tell he’d been there a while. He was drinking coffee and drumming his fingers on the glass door of the icebox against which he stood. Mary went directly to her station but Bill went over by Henry Lee and Drenovis. He stopped first to get himself a coffee mug and drew himself a coffee from the Bunn.
“What’s up?” he asked.
“Where you been?” Drenovis shot back.
“Well, Mary and I had about two hours extra time, so we took a trip downtown to go shopping.”
“Very funny.” Drenovis shifted on his feet. “You better watch your ass,” he said.
“I heard that before.” Bill stood next to Drenovis and drank his coffee. “You don’t have anything to worry about. Lunch will be ready in plenty of time.”
“It better be.” Drenovis finished his coffee, stepped away from them over to the dish machine. He put his mug in the rack of dirty dishes. Then he took a look around the dishwasher area, the pot washer area, and out into the hall. From there he went around back to where Mary was working.
“Don’t be coming back here.” Mary quickly said. “I don’t want your silly ass back here with me.”
“I don’t really care much what you want,” said Drenovis. “I’ll do my job and you do yours. So I’ll look at what you’re doing if I want to and you have nothing to say about it.”
“Feeling brave today, huh? Well that’s pretty stupid.” Mary started to untie her apron. “Cook the goddamn lunch yourself.” She threw the untied apron on her counter and walked out of the kitchen.
Drenovis didn’t really have anything to say. He had only come out east to talk to Tommy and to take the deposit that Tommy had not made the night before.
It was unusual for Tommy not to make the deposit, but business had been slow and there wasn’t all that much cash. Tommy had reckoned last night that it wasn’t worth making the trip, even though he still remembered the time they’d been robbed and he didn’t want to get robbed again.
Statistical likelihoods had played in his mind. Time had played in his mind. They were almost out early, earlier than most nights, and he had a chance to get home and into bed with his wife at a reasonable hour. So he made the call over to the West side and told Drenovis what he was doing. Drenovis said it would be okay, to let it go like that.
So here he was, too early for any of the waitresses to be in so there was no one from the front staff to mess with. If the girls had been there, especially given that he was smarting from Bill and Mary being absent from the kitchen when he’d come in, he would’ve started stuff.
Bill was still over by Bea and Henry Lee. Nothing much Drenovis could do with Mary right now, so he went over by Bill, but before he could say a word, Bill said, “Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing.”
“You have to get Mary back in the kitchen.”
“I don’t have to do anything but my job.”
“I just love coming over here,” Drenovis said.
They lingered a moment there, everyone quiet, no one going after Mary or over to her station in the back.
“We love having you too,” said Bill. “So the quicker you get your ass out of here the better we all are.”
“Maybe I’ll wait around for a bit.”
“Your funeral,” Bill said.