Addie"Here at Dendie's we care about family. So why not come for the perfect family meal?" - The founder of WcDendie's.
The perfect family meal?
Don't make me laugh.
The sound of children screaming fills my ears along with the constant beeping of the industrial cookers; the hustle and bustle of the restaurant is something that I definitely do not miss once I clock out. People are everywhere, their constant chattering and spilling of food only making the atmosphere all the more unbearable. Add in the fact that I always have to listen to and smell the crispy fat frying in the kitchen and you can see why I dislike working here. No, you can see why I hate working here.
When I first signed up for a summer job with my local high street, I'd never imagined that I'd be here. I'd envisioned the smokey atmosphere of StarPence, light hints of pastries, vanilla and coffee beans flooding my senses instead of the grotty scent of fat and oil. Sophisticated cafe-loving customers were on my mind, not the petty customers of this fast and easy junk food place. I'd even prepped my CV to say that I was someone who worked at StarPence.
But reality had other plans.
"Here's order number five!" Brick just about grumbles out the words as he slides a tray onto the counter, his freckled nose speckled with ketchup. "Try not to drop this one, Addie."
He wears a slight smirk as he says this, a small chuckle seeming to form as I shoot a fiery glare into his direction. He's always been like this, ever since we were tiny, little, pottering kids.
Brick's been working here for a while now, perhaps being the longest serving of the crew here at Dendie's. But I didn't need to tell you that, you would just know from the stars he wears on his uniform as well as the employee of the month pictures he has. Oh those are pretty funny, the photographer always getting his mopey expression just right.
But I'm getting off topic.
"Can't come up with anything original, building block?" I raise a brow at Brick words, rolling my eyes slightly as I easily adjust the tray in my hold. "Or do you just like pointing out I'm a royal klutz?"
I wasn't graced with a response, Brick simply flipping me off before slinking back to the kitchens. The kitchens that were otherwise known as his and Tubby's natural habitat. Those two were always going there, leaving the rest of us to man the floor with all the customers.
After grumbling a bit, I somehow find the energy to go around the counter and enter the jumble of people milling about the restaurant.
Little kids were clutching onto older people, while the older kids were simply on their phones or rolling their eyes at a joke their parents made. The adults were a little more diverse, some of them waiting like normal people, while the more energetic and demanding of the bunch were complaining about the queue times.
This meant I had to do a lot of ducking and dodging, my mind already trained to avoid the customers who looked as if they needed a bit of assistance. They'd stop me from delivering the food to the table after all. Plus they were always the ones who stopped employees for very long and very unnecessary talks. Quite frankly, I don't have time for that.
I eventually get the table who had ordered the tray I held, the sight that greeted me only making my smile seem all the more strained and plastered.
A group of what I assumed to be seven sat in the booth seats at the back, the kids all squashed around the table and a single woman taking the outer seat to the left. A couple of the children had to have been sitting on others' laps, their little faces seeming to be smooshed together even though they appeared cheery enough.
Paint was splattered on all their clothes, a raucous roar of laughter and speech escaping when they'd spotted me with the tray. Hands and feet began to stamp at the table, an outcry coming out from the group of manic kids.
"Food! Food! Food!"
I can't help but cringe slightly as I set the tray down, watching with wide eyes as all the kids lean forwards and snatch everything from the tray. Within a couple of minutes the thing was empty, only wrappers remaining as the group viciously wolfed down the fatty food.
While this happened the woman just gave a slight laugh and smile. Her auburn hair moved with the motion, its waves jostling just the slightest. The woman then turned to face me, her brown eyes lit with amusement and fondness as she waved a red-nailed hand.
"Oh, they were just so hungry after that paintball match!" Brown eyes connect directly with mine, the woman giving a sweet smile with her deep red lips. Her voice sounded foreign, kinda like a Spanish accent. "You know how kids are."
"Oh yes, they're something else..." I give a small chuckle in response, a hand instinctively beginning to twirl the loose strand by my ear. I can feel the smile on my lips beginning to ache, my cheeks slowly stiffening from having been forced into this position for so long. "Is there anything else I can get you ma'am?"
The woman seemed to think upon it, a pretty manicured nail tapping her chin as she hummed. But soon enough she waved a hand, giving a slight smile.
"No, not at all."
With those words I turned my back to the group, releasing a large but silent sigh as I trudged back to the counter.
Working here at WcDendie's is honestly draining. Doing work where you serve, interact and more or less do as people please is actually a lot harder than it looks. In fact perhaps I took it for granted before I came to work here...
My feet come to an automatic stop as I catch a glance at the building across the street. White brick walls frame the outside, a deep blue sign spelling out the name of the company. A few umbrellas were out there, shielding the wooden tables that some customers were sitting at. Those customers were either talking or laughing, some of them working away at laptops while others got on with art projects. Those customers were my sort of people.
"Excuse me could I get some help here?!"
The ding of the bell by the counter is what wakes me up, my brain already shaking away the sight of the shop across the road. The oh so lovely and peaceful sight of across the road....
A second ding makes me jump slightly, my head physically shaking as I stride away from the window. This is definitely going to be a long summer.
Peace, quiet, serving people who had interesting life stories and even the lack of kids is enough to rope anyone into wanting to work here. Add in the fact that they give staff members all the leftover pastries and such that were going stale and you can see why I enjoy my summer job at the moment.
A small murmur fills the shop, many of the customers idly getting on with their work or sipping away at their coffee. A few of them are snapping pictures, those customers being the rare noisemakers of the usual crowd. But even it's not intrusive noise and so no-one pays it any mind.
In fact it's so quiet here that I'm eating a cookie at the counter and no-one is doing anything about it. Not even when I take another that is clearly one of the freshly made ones and it smells heavenly and is warm to the touch.
"Addie's looking in again...." Chrissy sighs as she looks out the large square window by our left, a bronze hand resting on her shaking head.
Chrissy was a classmate and friend of mine and she was always by my side. Whether it was getting in trouble, doing what was right or simply being ourselves Chrissy and I were inseparable. We were like conjoined twins.
Even if we didn't look alike, Chrissy owning a caramel complexion while I had a more pale and snowy one, we got along like a pile of wood and fire.
So when Chrissy spoke about wanting to work at StarPence for the summer, I agreed to do it with her. That led to us working here and perhaps taking Addie's spot...
"When is this girl gonna give up?" Chrissy frowned slightly, her puffy brown hair falling in her face as she gazed out the window.
My sigh joins Chrissy's, my brows furrowing as I join her at the window. True to her words, Addie was looking at us like a stray puppy that was left out in the rain. Well she looked at the coffee shop like an abandoned puppy. Her auburn hair was piled into a bun, loose curls spilling to frame her freckled nose. Large, green eyes stared into the cafe, looking solemn and wistful as a hand pressed to the misty glass of WcDendie's. However when she met me and Chrissy's gaze, Addie promptly turned away with a slight huff.
Talk about rude.
"Ignore it, Chris," I steer my friend away from the window, my hands lightly digging into her shoulders. "She's just jealous."
"Yeah but - "
The ding of the door interrupts our conversation, the arrival of a customer calling for professional attention and not the Addie situation.
So taking in a deep breath, I place the most welcoming smile I can on my face, saying the words I've practiced saying for all of last night.
"Welcome to StarPence!"