The Bagel Place
by Casey White
March 20, 2003
Three people were behind the counter of the cafeteria-style counter. By the time I stopped in, I'm sure they had already packaged and sold hundreds of dozens. It's located on a high-traffic thoroughfare.
The first person to help me was a young twenty-something college student, who smiled and welcomed me while waiting on the person before me. She had auburn hair, and tasteful jewelry. The cover-girl look. It always impresses me when I'm acknowledged as the next in line. It makes the waiting easier, for some reason. (Read that last part like you are Andy Rooney.)
But seconds later, a late-twenty-something African American man zoomed over from the register area, and was ready to stuff my choices in a bag he had at the ready. I picked out my two-of-this and two-of-that, and another two-of-oh...ummm... that one...no, one of those, and one of those. He waited for another choice, though, eyebrows lifted. I quickly counted out loud the six bagels of my half dozen, but then, he informed me I was entitled to a 7th bagel. OK, I know what a baker's dozen is, but what is it when you get one more than six? Anyway, I felt a little dumb, not knowing about the bonus bagel, but he quickly scooped up my choice, and offered me the required cream cheese, and then handed my bag over to me to get 'rung up.'
The gentleman behind the register was pleasingly plump, and probably about 53, and from the way he asked me if I would like some coffee, he sounded like a recent immigrant from somewhere in Eastern Europe. His English was good, though, and he counted out my change, and bid me a VERY good day. He was the kind of cashier you don't mind paying.
I stopped for bagels, but what I got was a healthy dose of the American melting pot. Three great employees who enjoy their jobs, and do them well. Efficient, friendly, and helpful. Multi-cultural, and yet working together. This is the America we love.
Now, hand me the cream cheese, please.
About the Author:
Don't worry. The author works off the pounds three times each week.
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