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Busboy with Bluetooth February 26, 2016

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Poetry.
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Times have changed a lot in restaurants
since I was last a busboy in nineteen-seventy.
It’s not as easy for waitresses to accuse
busboys of stealing their tips, not much cash on tables
anymore, plastic is king and the busboy has no opportunity
even if he has motive and some measure of justification.
Waiters and waitresses are the rock stars of the restaurant,
it’s not like the old days when you knew the owner
and you could be sure that your waiter or waitress
was one you had seen in the place every time you visited.
You might even have had a favorite.
It’s just as likely you never noticed the busboy.
If he was a local jock or neighbor boy
you might give a nod but otherwise, just nameless, faceless,
cleaning up, doing a thankless but essential job.
So I was interested beyond reason when I saw a busboy with a Bluetooth,
those things that make you look like you’re talking to yourself or
make you look like you are possessed of the Borg.
But as I thought about it, I figured it was quite useful to him,
especially in a busy restaurant when you couldn’t see every table
or know when customers might depart.
Now there was another master conducting the moves, wirelessly,
in an ear of a busboy, telling him where to go next or if there
was a sudden spill or other accident that needed tending.
Having been a busboy, and been accused of being a thief or lazy
by owners, waiters and waitresses, I thought that can’t happen
anymore when, now, you didn’t even have to think for yourself,
and there’s little opportunity to lift a few pennies from a tip,
so seven-fifty an hour will have to do, I guess,
with a Bluetooth instructing you every minute in your ear.

Then, I shuddered to think the busboy might be renting skimmers

to a wait staff looking for a leg up in a ruthless world.

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