Four years of higher education landed me a job at a local deli where I was hired on the spot because the staff “liked my look.”
Five days a week I arrived (most of the time late) for a 7 a.m. shift. On a Tuesday, Jack Johnson played softly in the background as I set up the bagels in the front display case. I grabbed a plastic tub with two industrial sized sticks of butter and stuck it in the microwave. Three large loaves of Italian bread from Lakewood Bakery were placed on the cutting board before me, I slathered each loaf with a generous (yet not too generous) glob of softened butter. I hacked away at the bread with a sawing knife and wrapped the pieces up individually in cling wrap.
During the lunch rush one of the women who “ran the books” entered the restaurant area and watched as I stuck a piece of buttered bread on a business man’s red serving tray. I felt her staring at me. She reached a skinny, tanned hand into the basket of bread and lifted one up, she shook the bread in her fist as she uttered each syllable.