It had been raining for last 3 days. I was so tired and wet on the train and had so many thoughts when I read the poem on the board above.
“It will be the past and we will live there together”
Luckily on my Metrocard there was 5 dollars and 23 cents, which gave me courage to find another job or at least to get to another place. I hoped to get this job. After 17 stops, an announcement percolated through the train “the next station is Forest Hills.” The guy who hit me when I was leaving the train looked like he was in a hurry. After tunnels like labyrinths, several homeless people, and some rats, I got to Forest Hills, which has such a cool name. Like Switzerland or a little rich town.
There was a bus to the restaurant, but maybe because of the rainstorm or maybe because I didn’t want to be late, I didn’t try to find it.
I walked 2 miles in the rain like a cat or dog. When I got to the restaurant, I saw the sign “authentic,” the terrible meaning of which I would discover later on. After a 37 second job interview, the boss, who had on a dirty shirt and was trying to cook bread, hired me.
I worked there for one year and experienced many funny, awful, strange things at this restaurant, which was run by the some of the worst, most annoying people in New York City. The object wasn’t food, quality, cleanliness, the design of the restaurant or its menu: rather it was lies, revenge, grudges, plots and ambition, which could form the theme of an old soap opera. There won’t be a hint about the owner’s identity, but just imagine someone who possesses all of Dante’s seven deadly sins in one body.
If I try to open a successful restaurant one day, all I need to do is the exact opposite of what he did, because the owner, who I mentioned above, really destroyed it. I am not using the word ‘destroy’ figuratively. When I say destroy, I mean ‘destroy’ as in what the Germans did to Stalingrad during World War Two.
This was a restaurant where the AC ran in the winter and the heat was on in the summer; where during dinner, an army of cockroaches would visit you. The owner’s response to any complaints was either to say you could leave or offer you a 10% discount at your next visit. It was like a Dali painting come to life: surreal.
Below are some advertisements, which I created in my mind to suit that restaurant. It’s something I did while I was working there. Maybe, in another life, I thought, I would answer the phone using these ads – funny for me but annoying for the customers. Please feel free to use this material if you want to destroy your business the way the did his.
Some ironic ads:
-Do you hate yourself ? Can’t look at your face in the mirror any more? Then make a reservation
-Are you a masochist? Give as a call and try our lamb gyro.
-Do you want to take revenge on your enemy? Send him to us, we’ll handle it from there.
-Have you ever been abused? To learn that there are even worse things, come to us.
-Do you want to experience hell in this life? Make a reservation with us this summer.
-Do you like to eat your in dinner in a real habitat? Just bring the wine. We’ll provide the incest.
-Do you want to test your patience. Try our paid (prix fixe dinner.
-There’s so much pain in the world. For more, come to us.
-We have food that will even make you forget about your hemorrhoid. Make a reservation.
-Do you wonder if there’s life after death? Why not try our kabobs and find out?
-Do you miss your teenage acne? We serve food with the same taste.
-Do you want to be an artist? We can assure you that we’ll provide enough suffering and misery for you to become a poet or song writer.
As Rodney Whitaker says: “Irony is fate’s most common figure of speech.” Despite the suffering, I found the best friends of my life during my restaurant career in New York City.
Author: Ahmet Bhattacharji Avsar