Today I’m remembering the years I worked at Just Desserts in San Francisco’s marina, where the year’s work built to the climax of Thanksgiving eve, the busiest day of the year, with boxes of preordered pies and cakes stacked along the brass counters and all of us dedicatedly “alternative” workers locking horns with the pampered professionals who wanted service now, or who had forgotten to order ahead and thus were trying to flex their privilege to nab the last pumpkin pie in the shop. There is the thrill of signaling your contempt with every syllable while remaining just within the bounds of plausible politeness, safe within the retail binary of “us vs them”.
There was also the bonding of a crew working full out, showing up for each other to get through the heaviest of days. That feeling is still tied to the holiday of Thanksgiving for me. A rush of work in San Francisco’s sort of Fall in the 1980’s. I can still summon the flavor of every single item on Just Desserts’ menu, bites snatched in between runs behind the counter to pick up a special order from where it has been stashed in the back.
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