Chapter 42:

Working at Alente Bistro Part 1

New Leaf!

It was the next day, early in the morning, and we were almost at the entrance to my new job. Alente Bistro shifts start at 8:00, but since I’m new, I’m coming in earlier to learn about how to work there. It was almost 7:00, and Ren was with me … What, why? Well, I’m not too familiar with the public transit system yet, so Ren will escort me to work and back for maybe another day. I asked if it interferes with his schedule, but he told me that he is flexible, so I’ll believe him.Bookmark here

I was also wearing the Alente uniform, and I gotta say, I look pretty darn cute in it! Well, I think… I’m not really big into fashion — I even chose form over fashion when clothes shopping at Beattie’s Heart a week ago. I guess wearing this uniform makes me feel cute… and professional.Bookmark here

Ren and I entered the place, and we were greeted by the familiar and welcoming face of Valerie.Bookmark here

“Ah, Ren, Camryn, good morning!”Bookmark here

“Good morning.”Bookmark here

“Um, good morning, Boss!”Bookmark here

Valerie shrugged.Bookmark here

“Boss? Nah, you can call me Valerie at work.”
She turned to Ren.Bookmark here

“Ren, that’s a snazzy-looking suit you got. Are you just dropping Camryn off and heading to work? Want something before you leave?”Bookmark here

Ren shook his head.Bookmark here

“Thanks, but I should be going now.”Bookmark here

“That so? Okay. Anyway, say hey to Bailey for me.”Bookmark here

“Sure.”Bookmark here

Wait, who’s Bailey? Undoubtedly someone that works at Comeffecient, but also a friend of Valerie and Ren?Bookmark here

Ren turned around and put his hand on my shoulder.Bookmark here

“Um… Take care.”Bookmark here

“Oh, thanks. And, um, you too.”Bookmark here

After our short exchange, Ren walked out of the door.Bookmark here

“So, Camryn, are you ready to get to work? We open at 9:00, so I’ll show you how things work around here before then.”Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah… I’m ready!”Bookmark here

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And thus, I started my training to be an employee at Alente Bistro. Since I’m new, my responsibilities are basic, so they include tending to and serving customers and keeping the place clean. It shouldn't be too hard for now — my people skills are pretty good, and I have some, albeit minimal, cleaning experience from the first days of living with Ren. Bookmark here

“And don’t worry if you leave a bad impression on a few customers or don’t work efficiently — you have the alibi of being new!”Bookmark here

“R-Right…”Bookmark here

I initially thought that Alente was a glorified donut shop, but that’s far from the case. Alente actually serves a variety of things. On the sweets side, they serve way more than just donuts. For example, they sell cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pie, and muffins — baked goods. And on the savoury side, they sell things like soups, sandwiches, wraps, and salads. And as for beverages, they serve coffee, tea, and other cold drinks like cappuccinos and milkshakes — I wonder if they have chocolate milk… Bookmark here

According to reviews, all of the things taste delicious. And I have to applaud Valerie because apparently, all dishes are her original recipes. Of course, she got help, but to think that a lot of people are liking what she creates… it’s worthy of appraisal. Personally, I’ve only tried the delicious donuts, so I can only comment on that. However, I want to try everything on the menu — luckily I get an employee discount. I can tell that Valerie likes cooking because there are occasional additions to the menu. Valerie experiments with recipes and tries serving them for a limited time, and if they’re good, they stay. Bookmark here

Valerie told me that she started this business only six years ago. Since Valerie is the same age as Ren, she started this business only one year after graduating from high school — another achievement that makes Valerie worthy of applause. So did she attend business school for one year? No… She told me that she never attended business school — she took business-related courses in high school, and that was enough for her success. She also told me that she copied tactics of other successful businesses, but I think that’s a valid learning strategy… I received a hint of this yesterday, but Valerie told me that Ren was a large factor in her success. So, did Ren tutor her? Was he a businessman? I don’t know — Valerie didn’t share any specifics…Bookmark here

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It was currently 8:00. Right when the official shifts started, a boy walked into the store.Bookmark here

“Ah, good morning Alan. You’re in charge of Camryn, okay?”Bookmark here

“Oh, good m- huh? P-Pardon?”Bookmark here

“I said you’re in charge of Camryn. She’s new, so look after her.”Bookmark here

“In charge of her? Why?”Bookmark here

“Because why not? You were the first one to walk in here, so why not?”Bookmark here

Alan mumbled under his breath, but I heard.Bookmark here

“That’s it? Lily is a couple of minutes behind me, so what would have happened if I lagged?..”Bookmark here

Valerie was nonchalant while Alan was in total shock.Bookmark here

“Valerie, I’ve only worked here for one full year. Shouldn’t you ask someone a little more experienced?”Bookmark here

“Maybe, but no. Look, the scheduling worked out so that the older people don’t have shifts with Camryn… It’s true that the other people in your shift are more experienced, but I’m choosing you.”Bookmark here

“Why!?”Bookmark here

“Why? Well, I doubt Camryn will want to work with an old guy. And I’m scared of what’ll happen if I officially put Elyssa in charge of Camryn…”Bookmark here

Work with an old guy? Does she mean Mr Li? No, I’m totally fine with working with him. And Elyssa is that girl that tried hitting on me yesterday. I guess I’m a little cautious with being close to her, but overall, it’s fine…Bookmark here

Valerie walked towards a door at the end of the restaurant and turned to Alan.Bookmark here

“Alan, you may not be as experienced as the others, but you’re responsible and trustworthy, so you’re capable! Other than being less experienced, you’ve no other objections, right?”Bookmark here

Alan shook his head.Bookmark here

“No…”Bookmark here

“Then that’s that — you are in charge of looking after Camryn. Of course, the others and I will help, but it’s not guaranteed!”Bookmark here

Valerie left through the door — it wasn’t the staff room.Bookmark here

From what I’ve seen Valerie — the manager — can be like this. She can act frivolous and concern others at times, but it was an act. I mean she can be really serious and hard-working at times — the fact that she raised a business is a clear-cut clue. I guess what she said yesterday was true — she really dislikes seeing people gloomy and will try to cheer others up.Bookmark here

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