Perils of assimilation

If only life came with subtitles.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Lake Geneva

"But Beatrice Blaine! There was a woman! Early pictures taken on her father's estate at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, or in Rome at the Sacred Heart Convent—...showed the exquisite delicacy of her features, the consummate art and simplicity of her clothes." -F. Scott Fitzgerald, "This Side of Paradise"

It is perplexing to me why people come to Lake Geneva, at least nowadays. It used to be the "it" place for Rich Chicagoans to vacation, as evidenced in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel. It's stellar reputation has waned, despite the influx of weekenders. The Playboy Mansion was in Lake Geneva, which is now the Grand Geneva resort. Al Capone used to hang out in the LG, and a few years ago one of his victims was discovered in the Lake, with his feet in cement. But why come to LG now? Lame shops and bad food is all you'll find here. If you're of the bourgeoisie you can see how the patricians live by taking a boat tour to see their mansions, a sick celebration of wealth. But if you like that lame shit, that's fine with me because I will be there to take your dollars.

Yes, the art of cheating people out of money, also known as 'tourism', is paying my bills. I am a crook, the one with a sharp-toothed smile on my face and a hand out stretched. Food service is where you learn how to act, to hide every bit of genuine personality behind a mask of congenial servitude.

My new job forces me to be the waitress, busser, dishwasher, barista, and cook all at the same time. We run around like headless chickens, dogging Chicagoans for their fat wallets.

I like the people I work with, certainly. Aran and I get along famously, Caleb and Megan are the weekend cooks and are great fun, and Astrid is nice to work with because she's so delusional. My boss is schizo, screaming at people at random, and being anal retentive about cleanliness even though she doesn't follow her own procedures. We get no breaks, however. And no lunch breaks, and are kept working long after we have punched out.


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