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First Night on the Job
By Kiki Stamatiou
The storm cleared by the time Thomas James got out of work at The Southfield Kitchen, but the ground was still wet and filled with puddles. Moisture in the air cleared his senses and filled his heart with a musicality of hope that lifts a dying soul out of the river of darkness, and moves him forth into the moonlight.
Throughout his walk home, his mind drifted back to this evening’s events transpiring at work. He started out cooking spaghetti with meatballs, adding his own recipe to the sauce, with permission from Miss Sarah Cummings to take all the liberties he wanted. “We’re always looking for fresh ideas. Create away. The more we evolve with the flavors in this place, the more the customers keep coming back. If there’s something special in the future that you’d like to add to the menu, feel free to do so. Just make sure you let me know, first. But other than that, create away.”
“Thank you. Throughout the years I’ve developed a passion for cooking. I love experimenting with a little of this and a little of that. Tonight, I decided to add fresh garlic powder, along with a touch of cinnamon and some honey glaze I created with my own special recipe, just to give the sauce a little something extra special.” he responded with a smile, as he stirred the ingredients into the pot.
At the same time he prepared the sauce, he had pasta going on another burner, along with some burgers going on the grill. He also had some American fries cooking in the vats. He chopped fresh potatoes into cubes, before placing them into the vats. The Southfield Kitchen is known throughout town for fresh food instead of using anything processed or frozen.
Louise, one of the waitresses, attached her tickets to the wheel, and let Thomas James know which table numbers each order was for through spoken word, in addition to making note of it on the tickets.
One after the other, Thomas James got the orders completed, and placed into the window with the utmost speed and accuracy, and most importantly, he put much care into every dish he prepared so passionately. He was really enjoying himself as he delved into his work, feeling such freedom. Throughout the years, cooking has always been a great means of escape from the usual hectic pace of life, with all the struggles and turmoil he endured.
At closing time, he scrubbed down the grill and the burners, making them shine to perfection. He then scrubbed down the walls, his counter area, and mopped the floor thoroughly. The floor was so clean, it sparkled, giving him such a feeling of pride in his work. Aside from cooking, he especially enjoyed cleaning, and wiping everything down to perfection.
Sarah Cummings checked in on him to see how things were going for him. Upon glancing down at the floor, at the walls, the counters and the entire area, she said, “Everything looks great. You did a nice job tonight, Thomas. I’m so pleased to have you on the team. You are certainly a great asset to this restaurant. Thanks for all the dedication you’ve shown, and for the pride you’ve taken in your work. I also appreciate the initiative you’ve shown around here.”
“Thank you, ma’am. That means a lot. And, I’m glad to be here,” he said in almost a whisper.
Sarah Cummings was so impressed with Thomas James’s work, she gave him an advance on his pay.
#Unreal #ThomasJames #PartSix #AllInADay'sWork
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