Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Frank took a brief stint working at the Oregon School for the Deaf. It wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The kids were great and he loved working with them; it was the non-signing, hearing state employees he spent most of the day with who left him longing for his old job in a café at the Labor and Industries building downtown. During summer vacation he got a call from his old boss, asking “Is Frank still looking to come back? Can he start tomorrow? Our cook just walked out.” So Frank grabbed his gear and returned to the job he loves. When his old regulars found out he was back, they returned in droves and business picked up at the café. It’s not just his cooking, but his odd sense of humor that keeps them coming back for more.

Recently, they asked him to start arriving at 5:30am to open the kitchen. The previous lady came in at 5:00am, but they knew he could shave 30 minutes off her time with starting the ovens, pots of boiling water, and miscellaneous prep. Besides, they need him to stay until 1:30pm. He’s the only one who will wash dishes at the end of his shift without complaining. Or disappearing.

The new guy is still getting used to Frank, though. When certain regulars walk in, Frank starts cooking their “usual” orders and it’s ready for them by the time they pay. Some customers try to race Frank and see if they can pay before the food’s ready. Sometimes they win the race, but not if Frank’s keeping his eye on the door.

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