Disclaimer: This never happened. Things like this did,work did make many people feel like whores. No one wants to cry anymore, no one is suicidal.

A restaurant in a food court, in a mall on a Sunday morning. I had to take a taxi here, from my home on the wrong side of the tracks early this morning, because the bus doesn't run early enough for me to get to work on time on Sundays. I am wearing my nametag, which states I'm a Crew Chief. That means I make seventy-five cents more than minimum wage. I had an unpleasant experience last night, and I closed the night before, and I do feel tired and used up.

A gentleman's breakfast sandwich is cold. I reheat it. He throws it away. Tells me I just heated it up. Well, no shit. The issue was, it was cold. He wanted a fresh one. A fucking fresh one, to be exact. I gave him this, then a coupon. I apologized. This is procedure for matters such as this. He told me I'd better be fucking sorry, serving cold shit like that. He wondered why management wasn't going to "get my sorry ass going".

I'm told not to stress it. I do anyway. I keep saying hello to everyone who walks within ten feet of the store. I'm suposed to be talking to the customers of Subway next door, too, trying to get them to come my way, as if I'm a carnival barker. I don't want to do this. I want to let Subway customers be Subway customers. But I am told to, and I get paid to do this.

Then I must face a panhandler, asking me if I might spare a small cup of coffee. I'm not impressed with this guy, because he's pathetic, but I'd just as soon give him the damn coffee. I tell him I cannot. I would, indeed, be fired. He sulked away. Sad.

I have a lot of sleeping pills back home. Lately, I've been debating taking entirely too many of them at once. I tell only my closest friends about this, and expect no sympathy, and get it anyway. My customers sincerely want my compassion when the don't know what kind of cheese they want; they treat me as though I am awful because their damn fries were cold. I run, literally, about the store, all day, trying to fill orders and stick to my company's policy that one customer waiting is too many. When I fail this, sometimes, customers snatch the bag from me, oblivious that I am really trying. Tell them I am so sorry, give them a coupon. Please give us another chance.

For these people, I smile, and act as though I am happy because they, customers, are here. I project a Grateful to Serve attitude. Never mind I'm actually suicidal. This is what I am paid to do, and I do it.

When I get home, I will cry.