Orange Pig on Greenmetal

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You’ve been recruited. You’re in a cadre of superheroes whose sigil is the profile of a straightbellied orange pig against a deep gunmettally green background. Your superpower and your mission are identical: you alchemize food service into performance art.

Or: You wake up at 2:45 AM, shower, floss, brush, dress, do your flight-check of absolutely essential items, walk four-odd miles in the dark pre-predawn to the northwest terminus of the Valley Metro Light Rail, catch the 5:00 AM edition of the Light Rail and have it convey you to 44th and Washington, get on the escalator, get on the moving walkway, get on another escalator, get on the Sky Train, hear the automated voice botch “East Economy Station” for the kajillionth time, get out at Terminal Four, and call a manager at 5:53 AM to escort you through TSA testing at the security checkpoint. Your clockin time is 6:00 AM.

Or: in three days you’ve done a ton of watch&learn, and the first thing you ought to learn, but don’t, is to get out of the way. “Walk with purpose,” one of the wait staff, loaded with meals and right behind you, says, and you finally get it. Later you’ll learn to hurry without seeming to. But your head is full of the table numbers and the names of everyone and where you need to be most of the time, a few crucial times, almost never (the bathroom, for instance–act accordingly!), when you need the manager’s override, where you cannot go without an escort, and how to field frequently-asked questions.

Or: a LOT of people are getting to know you awfully fast, and it’s a kaleidoscope of welcome-to-my-worlds when you get to know them. One is AMAZING!! LIVING the DREEAM! One is a magician who arranges a table for five in a split second. One is a bartender with the self-assurance of Zeus. One is a cross-country runner with a full trophy case on the rez. They’re special, and they’re treating you like one of them. You’re “Buddy” and “Baby” and “Brother,” and that’s just the Bs.

Or: You’ve been on your feet for six solid hours with no letup. You’re OK above the ankles but your left foot has decided to cramp at odd intervals and you can’t always walk it off. Finally you get philosophical about it. Bring it on, you stupid foot.

Or: You press the CLOCK IN/OUT part of the screen, slide your card, assure the machine, which sometimes scolds you, that you ARE clocking out and you’re NOT taking a break, and your receipt/record of a week’s worth of work comes sliding out, and you realize that you’re where you should be right now, doing exactly what you should be doing.

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