Snakes and Pills

138 - force

Vera's feet ached, and the small of her back felt like it was being pulled down with weights. She stole a quick glance at the clock on the wall. Only fifteen more minutes until closing time. She felt too tired to have any excitement over this fact, but her weary body did manage to summon at least a feeling of anticipation. Relief was on its way.

Closing time did not mean that she would be able to leave immediately, of course. There remained cleaning, breaking down, and prepping for the next day's morning shift. Vera had already tried to get as much of a head start on this as possible, but realistically she was still looking at probably another hour or so before she would be able to punch out and head home.

At least she wouldn't have to deal with any more customers after they closed. She loathed being forced to take a job that brought her into contact with other humans, but with the economy in such a rotten state, there weren't many other options.

She tried her best to avoid having to interact with customers. Her coworkers all jockeyed for turns working the point of sale machine, taking orders. The register position was easy, Vera had to admit. Just standing around, punching in orders on the little touchscreen, taking the customer's payment, and handing them change when necessary.

But Vera just wasn't good at it. She had little patience for people who were indecisive about what they wanted, or those who couldn't speak clearly. Customers preoccupied with their phones were the worst. She once got in trouble for muttering something disparaging about one such customer. Somehow, her manager had heard what she said, and from that point on, she was never assigned to that position again.

Vera considered this to be a good thing. Her coworkers didn't like to do her work, because there was a lot more effort involved. She was responsible for fulfilling all the drink orders that came in. She had to scramble for ingredients, move quickly, and get her hands dirty. But she had blessedly little interaction with customers, save for calling their names and handing them their drinks.

At that moment, two orders began spewing out of the little printer that informed her of pending tasks. Earlier on in the job, she had always held onto hope that the end of the day would see a dearth of orders. What kind of asshole is ordering coffee at 10:45 PM, anyway? Time and time again, though, the orders kept rolling in, and Vera learned that she should never expect to be done with making drinks until the front door was locked.

There are a lot of late-night coffee drinking assholes, Vera realized.

The first of the two orders was simple to deal with. She took care of it, and called out the name on the cup: "Andy?" A man who was decidedly too old to still be calling himself Andy appeared, took the cup, nodded, and was on his way.

The next order was more of a pain in the ass, but regardless of how tired she was, Vera still worked diligently to complete the order on the ticket. She scribbled the name on the cup without even thinking, and called out for its owner: "Germany?"

A woman approached the counter, took the cup, and scoffed. "Actually, it's pronounced 'Germaine.' Who the hell would be named 'Germany?'"

Vera shrugged her shoulders. She could argue that she had seen a lot of weird names on the job, but all she wanted to do was go home.


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