Summer at the Chart Room This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   For the past three summers I have worked at theChart Room, a restaurant that overlooks a marina. In business for over 30 years,this restaurant is a summer tradition for many.

I work in the kitchen as a"salad girl," making the popular seafood salads for which therestaurant is famous. When I tell people I make lobster salad (and always smelllike it), work in a hot kitchen all day and only make minimum wage, they think itsounds horrible. Actually, I look forward to work because it is so much fun. Ihave met many hilarious and wonderful people there.

My boss Tom, or"T," is one of the nicest men I have ever met. Sometimes he acts likemy father, often asking if I have finished my summer reading or worrying about mygrades. Other times, he tries to set me up with one of the dishwashers or startsrumors about my love life. T cares about all the staff, and I could not ask for abetter boss.

Many who work there are about 20 years old. They enjoypicking on the salad girls and making us do their work for them. One who standsout in my mind is Brian. He is extremely smart, though he pretends to be stupid.He stumbles into work late every Sunday morning after a night of partying, butstill manages to have fun. Brian often takes my sister and me out on the"line" where the cooks make the food and gives us sandwich-makinglessons. Then he will jokingly sit down and have the K girls do his job. Heis the kind of person who makes work fun.

Anyone who works in the kitcheninevitably ends up with a nickname supplied by Bobby J. He finds something funnyor weird about a person and turns it into their new name. Because both my sisterand I work there, he calls me "K girl." One of the dishwashers is"Ice" because he plays hockey. Another kid who grew a goatee was"Shaggy." A new employee is known as "the new kid" untilsomeone else comes along. Mark, who enjoys rolling up his sleeves and displayinghis huge arm muscles, is called "Ceps."

Another infamousemployee is Vinny. He is a 56-year-old sweaty, large man who always has a storyto tell. He calls everyone "Honey." When anyone asks him a question, a15-minute answer can be expected. After his answer, he always adds, "It's abeautiful thing, honey. It's a beautiful thing."

I am very lucky tohave a job I love. I look forward to summer because I can't wait for the ChartRoom to open, and to see Doris, the adorable woman who takes care of the financesfor the restaurant. When she started more than 20 years ago, she asked for acorner office with a window. She got it, but her office is actually only a deskhidden behind stacked cases of soda, with a tiny window. I also can't wait to seeall my friends who are at college, but return each summer. Next year, I will be17 and old enough to be a bus person. I won't be in the kitchen, but it willstill be fun.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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