Working Through the Storm

Two customers and their stories.

By Caleb Fojtik, Staff Writer

She walked through the door drenched in the storm’s blood. She looked sad and depressed. You wouldn’t have been able to tell if she was crying or if it was just the rain.  Violent winds flew the rain inside. She had a baby in her arms and a child by her side with his hoodie covering his head. Before she walks off the welcome mat, she asked in disbelief, “Are y’all actually open?” But it also had a somewhat sense of relief. I responded with yes and you could see the stress leave her shoulders. She continued walking towards the counter, leaving deep, black, wet footprints along the gray tile floor. She placed her order; sat, and waited in silence. When her food was ready she hesitated at the door as if she was walking into her death. But she went off and drove away.

She continued walking towards the counter, leaving deep, black, wet footprints along the gray tile floor”

We expected to close early at around 9:00. But no word from our owner was heard and we were scheduled to close at midnight and leave about half an hour after that. The workers who lived closer to Houston were told to go home at 7:00. Four workers were left to work for the remaining five or so hours. Out of the nine hours I worked we had around fifteen or so customers. However, only two of them came inside to order, and that added a more personal, face to face situation. You want to help them but there is nothing to help them with.

Another man came in at around 5:00 and ordered $60 worth of food. He said he was having a party and that he and his friends thought that it was ridiculous to evacuate. It really showed me that many people were taking the storm in different ways. He looked somewhat happy. Like he was glad that his house might flood and that it looked pitch black outside at five in the afternoon.

Machines were making noises and flickering off. The menus were glitching out. The beeping fryers were annoyingly out of hand. Everything was basically closed down about 4 hours before we were actually closed. Most of the time that night we were just sitting on our phones or watching what the news had to say about the coast which is where the eye of the hurricane was currently hitting.

I ended up getting home at the usual time, a little before one in the morning. Fortunately, at that time it wasn’t raining hard. The short drive home felt weird. Almost an apocalyptic feeling, but at the same time it was normal. There were people on the roads, but there was also a silence. All you could hear was tires on wet surface. And all you could feel was the feeling of an unknown future.