The hidden years, 124 the servant

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Sunday 16 August 19:52


The servant

 The cook looked up. ‘Thank you Shirley,’ the man said, ‘the other one was gone fast.’ He looked stale, greasy with sweat stains on his shirt and stubble of a few days. ‘So Sambo,’ he growled, 'come over here next to the sink, and start with the dishes. ‘ He pointed with a cleaver to an incredible high stack of plates, cups and cutlery. You do not enter fast in discussion when someone swings a machete and also looks like a killer. There was a cigarette  dangling from his mouth and I understood why a busboy, would mop up spilled drinks. This man could not show himself outside the kitchen, there would be not a  single customer remaining. ‘We work with food,’ Jim explained, ‘so some hygiene is offered, you know what that word means boy?’ I nodded. ‘I hear nothing Sambo,’ said the cook, ‘are we deaf?’ How was it that people who were in a third rank cooks outfit felt the need to play boss. People in Donald Duck jobs that still needed  someone to tell off. ‘That means boy,’ Jim continued, ‘that if you've pissed, you just rinse your hands, even if you go twice in succession '' Tomorrow, I’ll teach you something new again, remember this well.’ ‘Yes, Jim,’ I replied. ‘Hey Hey, Sambo,’ growled the cook, that's Chef for you, otherwise you can immediately follow the other morons in the unemployment line. ‘Yes, boss,’ I said. ‘Look, we have got a smart li’ll nigger today, which makes me shine with  joy boy.’ He stressed that with huge blow on a piece of bone back.

The man had gone dull and spoke only in insults. There was a positive point to it, every afternoon I had the time to look for another job and I resolved to start immediately. Jim had probably imagined his life differently, he really had really wanted to be a chef cook, now he was hidden in a greasy kitchen where he could not be seen by customers. It took forever and then the dishes were done. ‘You,’ Jim said, ‘don’t do it right, you really wash them, the water should be as hot as possible and you pass the plates through it and you wipe them  immediately with a brush and you'll take the next dish, otherwise you’ll be short of time. Then you pile them upside down and afterwards dry them a little. Otherwise you'll never have time to help the waitresses and refill  the trays with bread and eggs. You must with the least possible movements do as much as possible.

The waitress who was called Shirley  by the cook popped her head around the corner.'How are things  here, she asked? ‘He's slow,’ Jim thought as he pointed to me with his knife, ‘but he has potential. ‘Beautiful,’ she said, ‘I'm glad to hear it, send your servant later to the pots with the mop and chlorine and then he may have a bite to eat.’ It struck me that I was not addressed directly, I was a kind of nonexistent slave.


Shirly had not exaggerated, the toilets were after breakfast in the  morning all a smelly mess. Ten minutes later the toilet bowls smelled fresh and the floor gleamed towards you and with a satisfied feeling I walked out of the restroom. Shirley was waiting, now next time you put up this sign, which you’ll find in the broom closet outside the door, if you do the floors. We do not want lawsuits.The sign read, ‘watch out, slippery floors’ Hey, ‘she said,’ the ladies toilets are not done yet? ‘.’Go do them, right now. You announce your arrival, by knocking loudly on the door before you go inside and call out cleaners.’ When that is done you come looking for me ‘ I gave a bang  on the door and shouted.'cleaners 'and stepped into the empty spaces. There had been less people but to be honest it looked better when I left the room and the shiny floors gleamed towards me.

‘Go sit down and eat whatever you want,’ said Shirly with an amused smile, ‘it is not easy, is it in the bar business,’ and I had to admit that the operating side was not as easy, as I had  thought . It had never crossed my mind what it was like to serve on people. I got my belly full and walked to the Pontiac, I was going to do a round building sites.

an Daniel 2015

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