I never imagined that all my hardship to get a diploma in Tourism and Hospitality would land me the job of a manager in a fast food restaurant. I deliberately alienated my past schoolmates in fear of them finding out where I have unfortunately wound up in life.

However, beyond that, I am actually very content with the curve ball the life has thrown at me. I ended up with wonderful partners and work colleagues. If you have never had a good laugh at least once a day during work, then maybe you should reconsider coming to join me at my store. I’ll hire you if you meet my requirements and my requirements are simple: be a barrel of laughs.

Just the other day, I got to know Cyrus gave out his number to one of the schoolgirls who was a regular customer. She lived around the neighborhood and frequented our store, often accompanied by a gaggle of girlfriends.

The usually easy-going and self-confident Cyrus suddenly turned into a red-faced stuttering boy on shaking legs in front of my eyes. Then I got to know that it was actually a prank that his two other colleagues played on him. They wrote a silly note with his name, number and Twitter address and hid it in the serviettes, so that when Cyrus (who usually managed the cashier) handed the serviettes to her, it would seem like he was the one wrote the note. Poor Cyrus was none the wiser.

His colleagues conspired and drafted this embarrassing prank a few days ago when Cyrus discussed with them about how cute he thought the girl was.

After Cyrus handed out the serviettes, they dropped the bomb on him. After all, a prank would not be funny if the victim had no clue he was in one, so all was revealed to Cyrus. In the midst of Cyrus’s good-natured fury and cries of betrayal, the girl suddenly returned to the cashier.

Cyrus tried to be casual. “Yes, what can I get you?”

“Um, just more tissues, please.”

“Alright sure.” Cyrus replied, then he hesitated before proceeding with, “Did you get my message?”

The girl had been trying hard not to make eye contact but she then suddenly looked up, and straight into Cyrus’s eyes. It was an electric moment; she smiled shyly, he tried his best to maintain his game face. But she looked away too quickly, and he never got an answer.

But he was not one to give up, so after he gathered a stack of serviettes and handed them to her, he persisted. “Just curious, what is your name?”


“Zati? Alright Zati, here’s your tissue. Thank you and come again.”

As soon as she left, Cyrus’s two friends burst out laughing again.

“Dude! Can’t you even wait for her to go further away (out of earshot) ?” Cyrus cringed.

Ignoring his pleas, the two friends chorused simultaneously. “Haha that was awesome dude.”

“You’re the man, Cyrus. You the man.”


Shortly after, Zati and her clique have finished their meals and proceeded straight for the door. Cyrus and his friends were still gossiping unprofessionally behind the service bar (but I pretended not to see anything.) Then Syuk bellowed, “Bye, Zati!” and ducked below the counter. Cyrus looked glared at him with wrath. But he caught Zati’s attention; it was too late.

Zati turned back. Cyrus was still glaring at Syuk. But Zati made eye contact with Cyrus’s other friend. Spontaneously, he pointed at Cyrus while kicking him at the heel. Cyrus looked up and gave a timid wave. Zati’s gaggle of girlfriends exploded with “Oohs” and “Ohs” and giggling. Syuk straightened himself from hiding below the counter and held his palm up high for a high five. “You the man,” he said.

“Dude! Wait for them to leave the store, man!” Cyrus held his laughter in for a few more seconds… then all three of them erupted with laughter, patting each other on the back while high fives went all around.

Meanwhile, I burst out laughing at the back where I witnessed the entire exchange through the CCTV system.


12 thoughts on “Zati

    1. Well a manager at a fast food chain can be a lot of fun! Or at least, that’s what I imagine it to be, because I’m not a manager, I’m just an employee. I wrote the story from a fresh perspective 🙂


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