I was one of seven children to a father who was a simple factory worker. My mom didn’t work. In those days, cleaning, cooking, shopping, washing and raising seven kids wasn’t considered work.
Needless to say, there wasn’t any spare money laying about. If I wanted something I had to work for it. Paper routes, caddying, snow shoveling and other menial low paying jobs. My first official job, at 16, was at a very high-end restaurant called, “Albert’s” I was a busboy and was thrilled to get my first paper paychecks.
Albert, the owner, always worked from mid-afternoon to closing and the last thing he’d do before leaving was place a “List of Instructions” on his desk for the two workers who would open up in the morning. Set up tables, put away deliveries, cut up salads veggies, fold linens. That sort of stuff.
Margie was Albert’s only full-time worker. She was married, some kids and real old. Like 40 or maybe even 45. One of Margie’s other duties was the weekly work schedule. She set up the shifts for waiters, waitresses and busboys so everyone was pretty respectful of her.
Another chore of Margie was she most always was the one opening the restaurant in the morning along with one other person. They’d have two hours to complete Albert’s “List of Instructions” before other workers started arriving.
John, a waiter, would be one of people who’d open the restaurant with Margie. He too was in his 40s and married with kids. On the days those two opened the restaurant, nothing from the “List of Instructions” would be completed. As workers started arriving, we have to hustle to finish their work. Everyone suspected, but no one would speak for fear of losing shifts.
One day, Paul another busboy, came to work early and found John and Margie on the couch in Albert’s office. Sexually intimate.. Well that information traveled faster than lightening and all the staff quickly knew of their dalliances.
Soon, Albert got wind of John and Margie’s trysts. Albert ran a tight ship, or tight restaurant if you may, and wasn’t pleased with dittling going on during company time. So how did Albert handle the situation? The last thing Albert did before closing was take the “List of Instructions” and four thumbtacks and post the list on the ceiling directly above his office couch. Right after that, which we all found hilarious, John and Margie were……hmm exposed, and they cut out illicit sex. At least on restaurant time.
At 16, this was a learning experience for me. People. Relationships. Fidelity. And the main lesson I learned was: That one doesn’t need a face-to-face confrontation to change bad behavior.