I can't call you by name, because I don't know (most of) your names. And to the ones whose names I do know (looking at you, S.) I'm not sure I'm allowed to share it ;) I don't know your life story; I don't know where you work or what struggles you've overcome or what your day-to-day looks like.
I know very little about you, except for this: you brighten my day.
In the midst of slinging pizza and trying to coordinate things so that the kitchen stays happy and cooking, the waitress is stocked with everything she needs for the restaurant and my fellow counter staffers are busy and smiling, I can easily succumb to stress.
Enter one person who yells at me because I won't let them use the bathroom, or spits on my counter because I won't take their fake $20, or swears vengeance via Yelp because I've run out of tables, and my day could easily crumble.
And then there's you; my superhero without a cape, my knight in shining regular clothing. You swoop in and smile and your familiar face (and order) just smoothes away all the stress and pain and hair-pulling-out-ness that comes with customer service. Suddenly, everything is fine again, because you're here.
And for 10 seconds to a few minutes, I can have a friendly conversation with a familiar face, someone who doesn't know me but seems to care.
I love you, friendly man who defends me and my store to the woman trying everything in her power to get a free slice.
I love you, Columbia student with the great accent who tells me it's OK to take time off from school.
I love you, signora who always gets the same slices and lets me practice my Italian.
I love you, D.O.C. and glass of rose buyer who helps me smoothly transition into my shift by standing at the counter and raving about the pizza.
I love you, everyone who comes in and understands. Understands that I am human and therefore prone to failure; understands that life is hectic and rules are rules; understands that sometimes all it takes is a smile to brighten a day.
If just one of you enters my store during a hectic shift, it's the difference between ending the day a knot of nerves or feeling like I've just gotten a deep-tissue massage.
This is my love note to you; I'll come right out and say it: I love you. You're my favorite. You make my life a spot more joyous.
I love my job on every day, as I've mentioned. It's a blessing, straight from God, and I adore the people I work with, I adore the busyness, I adore the responsibility that's so removed from everything I do as a writer. I just...I love my job. My pizzeria is my home.
You guys — you're like my family away from family. You rock.
Here's a picture of pizza to make you happy.