I really enjoyed reading "Last Night at the Lobster" by Stewart O'Nan. I am a pretty big fan of stories that take place over the course of one day, I think it encourages the author to make the content more meaningful since there is less time passing so every little detail counts.
This tale takes us into a Red Lobster franchise on its final day before being shut down. We meet general manager Manny as he starts his day with a pipe full of weed out in the parking lot, then follow him as he meticulously ticks off every item on his daily to do list, even though it is the last day. He has been able to secure jobs for a few staff at another restaurant but most have been let go. Manny himself will be an assistant manager at the new restaurant, yet he still takes a great pride in his job (getting high before work notwithstanding).
At first, Manny is concerned that not enough staff will show up for work, but later becomes more concerned that a snow storm will keep customers away as he wants corporate to regret shutting them down. He wants to have one last great night with his coworkers who he feels are like family. Also he has to tread lightly around one of the waitresses with whom he has a complicated past.
All in all it was an excellent glimpse into what it would be like to work in a franchise restaurant. O'Nan has an excellent descriptive voice and doesn't forget a single detail. I would recommend giving this one a read.
I might give this one a try - I really enjoyed his Speed Queen several years ago when I read it.ReplyDelete