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A Different Kind Of “Who Do You Think I Am?”

, , , , | Working | February 26, 2021

I am working the summer of 1972 at a gas station on the New York State Thruway. It’s a toll road with rest areas that have gas stations and restaurants.

At my lunch break, I wander over to a restaurant, order my food, and eat it there. I am wearing my gas station uniform. On the third or fourth day of doing this, the restaurant manager comes over to me.

Manager: “The next time you’re here, please sit at a dirty table.”

Me: “Huh?”

Manager: “The tables that have been cleaned are for our patrons. You don’t mind sitting at a dirty table.”

He said this as a declaration, not a question. I just stared at him. From then on, I brought my lunch from home and ate it in the back of the gas station service bay.

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