A Beautiful Tool

I'm taking a shortcut through the kitchens this morning, dodging spills and well armed prep cooks alike to avoid company security. I forgot my badge today since I rushed to clear away this morning's snow and still get to work on time. A remarkable challenge considering the "slow down to a crawl" mentality of the typical New Englander driving in the snow. I happen upon a line cook that used to work for me and I stopped to say hello.

While we're discussing the state of affairs in our department and commenting on how to eat a banana and keep your dignity, I glance down to his work station and see his knife, a bright flourescent sheen along the clean blade. "Where did you get this?", I exclaim, "It's freakin beautiful!". Indeed, it was not a new knife, but one that has been well kept through the years. The handle was wooden, a little worn from use but still looked clean and solid. The blade free of pits or chips, it's razor sharp edge gleamed as it held my eye. "You don't recognize this?" he asked me, a wicked little glint in the bastard's eye. With a little smirk he said, "Remember when I first came to work for you, I didn't have any tools? You tossed me this out of your toolbox and told me if I took care of it, it would take care of me, and I seem to recall you describing what you would do to me if I lost it too.". Damn.

"So.", I asked him with a straight face, "When were you planning on giving it back?"