It’s been a little… tense at work lately. It’s not my boss. It’s not my coworkers. No, not the customers, either.
It’s the roach coaches.
You see, there’s a truck that comes at lunchtime since before I worked here. An Asian man and his wife come rolling up 2 minutes before each break everyday. You could set your clock by it. The friendly man works the window while his wife cooks away, handing out tater tots, tacos, greasy breakfast burritos filled with sausage, egg, and gravy, and teriyaki bowls. As the closest restaurant or fast food chain is a 15 minute jaunt from our building, most employees from the warehouse pour out and line up on their breaks to fill their tummies with greasy goodness.
Recently, another truck has joined our lone coach. This truck, a pretty pink wagon on wheels, is owned and operated by a friend of the owner of our company, recommended by him to serve us delicious delicacies. Many of us were curious to see the new offerings and lined up to sample the spread. Tangy yogurt accompanied by crunchy granola for breakfast, overflowing cups of fruit and sliced bread stuffed with barbequed tri-tip for lunch, accompanied by sweet potato chips and sweet coleslaw. This new truck brought varieties unknown to our lonely warehouse, not for everyone but enticing to many.
I, for one, was thrilled to have more choices. Would I pick one truck over the other? I don’t believe so. One day I may crave a large, crisp salad; the next a fully loaded burrito, extra cheese, please. (Note to self: Don’t let the pink truck sway you with their pretty color.) I like having a choice.
The original meal on wheels provider is not so thrilled with the aspect of choices.
It was a bit awkward walking up to the window of the hot pink truck for my first visit. I felt I was a traitor, and the feeling grew as I noticed two sets of eyes from the silver, worn mobile next to me boring into me. The hair on the back of my neck rose in embarrassment. I mumbled my order, paid as quickly as possible, and slunk back into the office and out of sight. Once in the office I retold my experience to a coworker of mine. He then unfolded a story to me that sent chills down my spine.
We will call my coworker Beau, merely for the fact that I have never known a Beau and have always wanted to meet one. (It’s a brilliant name – elegant spelling yet conjures up images of denim overalls and straw hats – yeehaw!)
Beau headed out to get some tater tots when he noticed the new truck. He innocently joined the line, curious to see what they had to offer. It was in line he was patiently standing when out popped Mr. Silver Truck – out of his vehicle and over to the pink truck.
“No, you cannot be here. No, no, no!” Mr. Silver Truck proclaimed to a shocked Beau.
“Get out of here,” retaliated Mr. Pink, Ms. Pink Truck’s helper, hopping out of his vehicle as well, “he can eat here if he wants!”
Beau, not sure what to do, avoided eye contact with either party and quickly gave his order to Ms. Pink Truck.
“You leave now!” Yelled Mr. Silver Truck to Mr. Pink, “I will call Health Inspector on you!”
(I imagine fist shaking at this point, though Beau did not indicate that there was any.)
Mr. Pink bellowed, “We have every right to be here. You leave!”
The yelling continued as Beau grabbed his edibles and retreated, rather quickly, to the neutral grounds of our office.
“It’s like a battle ground out there,” Beau told me, eyes wide with fear, “it’s terrifying.”
There it is, ladies and gentlemen. The battle of the roach coaches has begun. Who will get my vote? Pink truck. No, silver truck… no, pink! Aagh, I’m not ready to commit!