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Dreading the Friday night shift
as usual
It’s long, busy
all the university alumni here in town
meeting old friends
and occupying my tables for much too long
and let’s just say the tips
aren’t that generous
They don’t really see that they are not eating a meal
but renting my table for two hours
and I cannot get any other tips
while they sit there.

Dressed, polo and khakis – the uniform of quick service restaurants
and this dinosaur diner as well
finding the most comfortable shoes for this long slog.

They are standing at the door, my co-workers
all in polos and comfy shoes
they all anticipated the day and night ahead
But not this:

NOTICE:
Carl’s Diner is CLOSED forever
The owners thank you for your patronage.
Employees should contact the Gonzalez Law Firm
to arrange for final checks.

We all stand there, stunned.
Those final paychecks
basically just taxes deducted for anticipated tips
and without said tips
How will rent be paid?
How will the kids’ lunches be purchased?
How will we live past Sunday?

Kaleb, the cook, holds up his phone.
“hey, look, they fired the Twitter team at midnight with no warning.”

We stare at the phone.
I get it.
but somehow I don’t see #OneTeam being homeless by Monday.