Friday lunch. As always fish & chips and two other varying options to choose from. As alwas VERY busy. Like they didn’t eat for a week… As every friday we’ve run out of fish. It is just too busy, kitchen is too small, chefs can’t keep up with the pace, can’t cook fast enough to feed this angry horde.
A queue of 5 – 7 people waiting. Among them – Her. Regular customers know it happens, so they are waiting patiently (patiently <- patient = hospital) to be served. But some of them – I noticed before – develop a certain weird habbit. They stare at us. There is always two of us serving and whenever it happens that we run out of some dish and they have to wait, they stare. They keep following us with their eyes whatever we do. This usually give us time to refill other products, to bring more plates and take-away boxes, to wipe up surfaces or drink water as it is very hot in there. And when we do that they stare like it was a theatre, live show, TV. I usually try not to make any eye contact, but I can physically feel their eyes, watching my every move.
So is She staring. At me. I caught her with the corner of my eye. She is starring at me with an angry face, lips pressed tightly. Why is the fish not ready yet? – that face seems to ask. I am here, waiting? Why do I have to wait?! I am too busy to wait! I don’t have time for this! This is all your fault. I see she’s giving me an evil eye. I make a decision – instead of avoiding her, I decide to confront her. I turn to fully face her, I am about two meters away from her. Then I look her straight in the eyes, smiling a little. God knows, maybe my smile came out ironically or she saw mocking in my eyes. If that’s the case – it was unintentional. Suddenly She huffs and puffs, her head starts shaking, she takes a deep breath, lifts her green tray high up to drop it on the tray rail in front of her. There is so much impact in her move, though, that the tray bounces up and ends up on the floor. I am not sure if She even notices that as she is already marching away moving her arms briskly.
We look at each other with D., real angel of a girl, and carry on. Fresh fish arrives 30 seconds after She walked off.