On my first night, the dishes piled up after the dinner rush: plates, silverware, cups and oily black deep-dish pans, which came clean only with a lot of soap and scrubbing in steaming-hot water. I couldn’t keep up, and stacks of dishes formed on all sides of me. Every time I made a dent in the pile, the call came back for help clearing tables out front, and I returned with brown tubs full of more dirty dishes.
," I asked Jeff when I could do something different. “Do you know why you’re still doing dishes?” he asked. “Because you keep complaining about it.” Nobody likes to work with a complainer, he said. But, he promised, if I continued to leave a clean station and not complain...."
next week he would put me on the “make table,” ¨next week he would put me on the “make table,” Where pizzas were assembled before being put into the oven.A few days later, when I reported for my after-school shift, I saw my name penciled not in the “dishes” box but in the “make table” box. I was ecstatic.¨
¨For one of the first times in my life, I felt empowered. By the time I was in 11th grade, Jeff had promoted me to shift manager. By my senior year, I was an assistant manager, responsible for much of the bookkeeping, inventory and scheduling. I was in charge when Jeff was away.¨
¨Most of my best friends from high school also worked at Pizza Hut, and some of my best memories were made under that red roof. Pizza Hut became not only my escape from home but also, in many ways, an alternate home.¨
¨I offhandedly mentioned to Jeff that an application was due the next day but that I hadn’t mailed it. He opened a drawer and took out an overnight envelope. He told me to stop what I was doing, leave work and send the application immediately. I protested about the expense of overnight postage, but he said he would cover it.¨