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Louie's Mexican Resturant by Alan Lange
Found in my download folder
From the old site
Louie’s Mexican Restaurant
My name is Max. I had been working at Louie’s Mexican Restaurant which is a major restaurant chain for about four years. I got the job right out of high school busing dishes. I am currently a server and enjoy meeting with all the various customers. Many of them will ask for me when they come into the restaurant and leave generous tips for my service. The job has not only helped me pay for my college, but has helped me to overcome shyness and the ability to speak in front of total strangers. Of course the company’s education assistance fund helped me out as well. It was one benefit that I really took advantage of. I have only one semester left before graduating with a degree in International Relations.
It was late at the restaurant when one of my co-workers asked if I was aware of the mandatory Human Resources meeting at 8:00 a.m. the next morning. I told him no, but thanked him for letting me know. I was planning on sleeping in since I did not have classes the next morning, but so much for that idea.
The next morning all employees met at the restaurant. We all spoke amongst each other, but none of us had a clue as to what the meeting was about.
At exactly 8:00 a.m. Dick, the HR Manager entered the room. He said he had an important message that was to be passed down to all employees. He said one of the restaurants had had a surprise health department audit which they failed. He said a group of several individuals came into the restaurant and asked to be sat together. He said the group ordered food as any customer would do.
Once the meal was over, they paid for their meal and left. About ½ hour later a couple of them returned to the restaurant and asked to speak to the manager. The greeter went and got the manager. They informed the manager that they were auditors for the Health Department and were there to perform a surprise audit.
Dick said they told the manager that they had just eaten in the restaurant and based on their initial audit they decided to complete a thorough audit on all functions. He said the reason for this was that they had found a long hair in one of the enchiladas that had been ordered.
He said then they noticed none of the servers were wearing hairnets as required by health codes. The team then made there way to the kitchen where they said some cooks had baseball caps on where others did not and no one had hairnets nor were they available. They said baseball caps contrary to belief did not replace the requirement for hairnets. The leader of the audit team told the Manager that they had to have a written plan submitted to them within two weeks of how they were going to become within code for all the discrepancies including the hair code violations. The auditor said that they would review the plan and if approved would give the restaurant chain a month to come to compliance.
The manager where the audit took place immediately contacted corporate headquarters and told them what had happened. The issue was then turned over to the corporate lawyers for investigation.
Dick then told us what the law required of us. He said the law requires that all individuals handling food must wear hairnets or be without hair. He said those that had hair on their arms must wear long sleeve shirts with elastic at the wrists. Those that had facial hair must also wear nets or be clean shaven.
Dick then told us that a survey would be handed out to each employee to find out what we wanted to do so the company could comply with the law. He said the company wanted to make it as easy as possible with their employees. He said we were free to talk amongst each other as we made our decision, but we only had an hour after he was done talking to complete the form.
Most of us guys had fairly long hair not to mention the girls. We were all kind of dumb struck with the news. A couple of the guys said they weren’t going to shave their heads nor wear women’s hairnets. They said they would quit first. The surveys were all in sealed envelopes with our names on them. We were told not to open them until everyone had theirs in hand.
We all sat at the various tables and talked amongst ourselves. I was surprised at how many of the guys and even a few of the women who said they wouldn’t mind getting their heads shaved. I hadn’t thought of doing it myself until then, but then realized many of my customers either had short hair or were shaved bald. I could at least try it until I finished school. Dick then asked if anyone had not received their survey. No one responded so he told us to begin taking the survey.
The survey asked for the following information:
Under the circumstances that was just described do you want to remain an employee of Louie’s Mexican Restaurant? If the answer is no then answer no further questions and return the form back to the HR Representative.
Are you willing to comply with the law as it was stated? If no, return form to the HR Representative.
Would you prefer to wear a hairnet or have your head shaved bald? Note you can at anytime opt for the other.
If you opted for the head shave, would you want the company to make arrangements for this or would you prefer to do it on your own?
If you have hair on your arms would you prefer to have it removed or wear long sleeve shirts.
Most of us were a bit surprised on the abruptness of the first two questions. Who would want to quit their job because of this? To our surprise several of the guys walked to the front and handed Dick their surveys. They were asked to go sit at a table to wait for additional information.
Once we completed the surveys they were gathered up. We were told to go to the banquet room where refreshments were waiting. We were asked to stay there until the surveys were tabulated.
The individuals who desired to quit were given a small severance package and lay-off slips so they could collect unemployment. They were then asked to leave the premises.
After about a half-hour we were asked to return to the dining area to have a seat. Dick told us that the corporation was going to make major changes to the restaurants and that they would need to be closed while this happened. He said since so many of the employees are students that they would do this during spring break. He also said that they would like to provide training at a luxury spa in Cancun for those who would like to do so and be paid while they were there. He said almost all the males had opted for the headshave as well as a few women. He said those who have opted to have their heads shaved would have a special treatment when they arrived. They also would be given tanning sessions to get their heads tanned. He said the company didn’t want any burned scalps returning to work. He said we would also receive Mexican themed outfits to wear at work as part of the change.
I don’t know what the others were thinking, but I thought this was awesome. I would be able to use the Spanish I had been studying in school as my minor. After the meeting everyone was excited. We were told the reason for the first two questions on the survey was to get rid of employees who weren’t dedicated to doing a good job. The company didn’t want to pay them for a free trip only to have them quit.
The company had chartered a plane for our trip to Mexico. It was the first time many of us had flown including me. Despite all the excitement I was a bit scared when the plane was taxiing down the runway. One it got airborne I calmed down and enjoyed the rest of the flight.
Just prior to our arrival the flight attendant asked us to take our assigned seats. He then handed each of us an envelope with our schedules for the next two weeks.
I opened mine. I was surprised that the first thing I was to do was to get my head shaved. I then had an hour to unpack and then go to Meeting Room 100. A note stated for me not to discuss this with others. I was puzzled but complied. Everyone began discussing their schedules but I kept quiet. I was sitting next to one of the corporate officers whose name was Mr. Montoya. He looked at me and gave me a smile. Once we arrived at the hotel, Mr. Montoya told me to follow him. He took me to a VIP area and told me to leave my luggage there. He then took me to the barbershop. He told me to take a seat. I climbed into the barber chair. He then went to the other chair. In Spanish, he told the barber to make us pelon (bald) using a razor and shaving cream. The two barbers did not hesitate. They took the clippers without an attachment and ran them over the top of our heads. Hair was falling everywhere. Once they were done with the clippers they put shaving cream and then hot towels on our heads. They waited a few minutes and then removed the towels. They applied more shaving cream and began removing the stubble with straight edge razors. I really enjoyed this but wondered what I would look like being bald. Actually I was wondering what Mr. Montoya was going to look like. Once done the barbers turned us towards the mirrors. I was shocked as I reached up and rubbed it. It felt so smooth. I liked how it felt. I looked at Mr. Montoya. He was doing the same. He looked at me and told me that I was muy guapo (very handsome). He then told the barbers that many individuals would be coming in with a tag for a headshave just like we had received. He then wrote out a check for all the head shaves.
Mr. Montoya then told me to follow him. I wondered if anyone had missed me since I wasn’t with the main group. We then went to Meeting Room 100. It was extremely nice. Mr. Montoya then began speaking to me in Spanish. Without thinking I responded in Spanish. He smiled and then reached over and rubbed my bald head.
I finally asked him what was going on. He then told me that his name was Louie Montoya. That he owned all the restaurants. I never made the connection since before this time I only knew his last name. He then told me that if I elected that I would receive special training for the next two weeks. I asked him for more details.
He said several years ago my name had been mentioned to him as someone they would like to keep with the company. He said from that point forward he had requested my performance evaluations, customer surveys on the tables I had waited on and copies of my school grades. He said Max they were all outstanding. Mr. Montoya said if I wanted I could join their corporate staff as the Customer Service Rep for International Relations. He said I would travel extensively as they expanded the business to other countries. I told him I would welcome the position and asked what I had to do. He told me that I would receive much of the training the others would receive, but in the evenings he would personally train me. He said once I graduated they would provide additional training. I asked him why he shaved his head. He said because he frequently goes to restaurant kitchens and besides it finally gave him the excuse to do so. He suggested I keep my head bald after I graduate. He said it gave me a special demeanor that would be an asset to my new job.
He asked me not to spread word about what was taking place, but once I graduated he would visit our restaurant and make the special announcement. After we spent some more time together we went and checked into our rooms. I was surprised when I found out we had suites next to each other. This was a secret that was going to be very hard to keep.
The next morning I arrived for breakfast. I was the only one with a bald head. Everyone asked when it happened. I simply told them that I was scheduled for last night. Before the day was over all those who opted for baldness were bald. Some looked great with their shining domes and some, well they’d probably look better with hair and a net. A couple of the women looked intriguing with their shaved heads, but for the most part I think I prefer women to have hair.
It was an interesting two weeks leading a somewhat double life, but I managed. Once we returned home I was able to pretty much put the surprising events out of my life due to school and work. Most of my customers really liked my bald head. I was glad I had opted to go that direction versus keeping it long and wearing a hairnet.
I had not heard from Mr. Montoya since the meetings in Cancun. I was beginning to wonder if I had just dreamed those events; perhaps wishful thinking.
Graduation was about a week away. I was at work when one of the other servers said I had an important phone call in the manager’s office. I hurried to answer it. It was Mr. Montoya. He said he was making plans for his visit. He said a special meeting would be set up the Monday after I graduated to make the announcement. He said the meeting would really be a party to celebrate the occasion.
I graduated and Monday came. Dick the HR Rep called a special mandatory meeting. He asked that everyone be seated. He said he had a special guest that was going to make an announcement. He said he would like to introduce Mr. Louie Montoya, President and Owner of Louie Restaurants. At that point Mr. Montoya entered the room with his bald head shining. Most recognized him from the trip, but didn’t really know what he did. People were surprised that they knew him, but really didn’t. He then introduced his beautiful wife Dora.
After several positive comments about the change in the company he asked that I come forward. When I reached the stage he reached over and rubbed my bald head and said, "Doesn’t he just look awesome?" Everyone clapped and I was a bit embarrassed.
Mr. Montoya, then stated, "Ladies and Gentlemen, as most of you know Max just graduated from college with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Spanish. Max used the education benefits available to him to reach this goal. These benefits are available to each of you.
I want to announce to you that Max has been promoted to the corporate staff as the Customer Service Rep for International Relations. After a company paid vacation, Max will be moving to our corporate offices. Each of you has the potential and if you work hard such opportunities will be opened for you." He said now it is time to celebrate this great event. With that he shook my hand and everyone clapped. He leaned over and asked me to call him Louie from now on. Dora came over to me and gave me a hug and congratulated me.
It was kind of cool looking over the group of bald heads. Being bald was never an issue at work. Anyone hired knew they would need to wear a hairnet or be bald. A few would start with the hairnets, but before long they would loose their hair.
Mr. Montoya, I mean Louie took me and his wife to the Manager’s office and shut the door. He then told me that we would be taking a working vacation in about two weeks. We would work in the morning so I could be briefed and trained and then vacation in the afternoon. He said we would be gone for a month or so. He also mentioned that I was now a salaried employee and relieved of my current responsibilities.
He said I would fly first class to Italy where I would be escorted to the corporate yacht in the Mediterranean Ocean. He said we would sail upon my arrival. He said for me to get my personnel belonging packed and any personal issues resolved in the next two weeks. He said a moving company would transport my household goods to my new apartment near the corporate offices. He said I would have 60 days free rent and then would need to decide if I wanted to stay living there or find a place of my own.
The two weeks went by very fast. Soon I was on the jet flying to Italy. Once I got on the huge yacht I was introduced to the team I would be working with. I noticed most of the guys had business type haircuts where mine remained bald. Once settled in to my room I was to meet Louie for lunch where he would provide me my schedule.
I was surprised when I arrived for lunch. Louie, Dora and their three beautiful daughters were waiting for me. Louie introduced me to his daughters. They all appeared to be about my age.
Lunch was great and having the daughters there made it a special treat. We ate lunch and then Louie proceeded to give me my schedule for the next month. I felt I was in a fantasy world. I didn’t realize things in life could be this way.
The next morning the briefings and training began. They seemed more intense than courses at the university. I looked forward to the afternoons when I could relax on the deck of the yacht. It wasn’t long before Anna, Louie’s second daughter was by my side. I loved her sparkling eyes that seemed to dance and her olive skin complexion. To me she seemed to be a goddess. She was two years younger than me. Her flirting almost began immediately. She would sneak up behind me and rub my bald head.
Louie told me that I didn’t need to maintain the shaved head if I didn’t want to, though he said he still preferred the look on me. I decided to let my hair grow for a while.
It wasn’t long before Anna and I were holding hands and showing more affection to each other. If there was love at first sight, this was it.
We saw each other every afternoon and spent much time together doing various things. I loved it when the yacht would dock so she could show me around and we could take walks together.
I’m sure it was obvious of our relationship, but I wanted to make sure Louie and Dora were aware of how serious it was becoming. I met with them. They smiled and said they were pleased that I had come to them. They said they originally weren’t going to have the girls on the trip, but after Dora had met me that she decided they should come. She said if no romances evolved that it would be fine, but she was praying that something would happen. Dora said that after we initially met at the restaurant that I would make a great husband for one of their daughters. They told me to proceed and that I had their blessings.
That put me at ease (I think) and the romance blossomed as did my hair growing out. It was our final week on the yacht. I loved Anna immensely as she did me. I wanted her for my wife, but was this to soon to ask her to marry me? I went and asked Louie what he thought. He said we had his and Dora’s blessing, but it was up to us. I told them I was going to proceed.
I arranged to get a wedding ring while we were ashore. Two nights before we were to get off the ship and as the sun was setting I asked Anna to marry me. Her response wasn’t immediate as I thought it would be. She was thinking. I asked what was wrong. She said she would marry me, but under a couple of conditions. I asked what they were. She said she loved her Dad’s shaved head and really like mine better when it was bald. She said she would only marry me if I let her shave my head bald and then keep it bald as long as they were married. She said if they ever had any sons that she wanted me to keep there hair cut very short and when appropriate start shaving their heads. She said she wanted all the males in her life to be shaved bald.
I asked her when she wanted to shave my head. She said for me to follow her. We went to her parent’s suite. She said for me to follow her to the bathroom. She pulled out a set of clippers, shaving cream and razor. She told me to take off my shirt and to sit on the toilet where she had put down the top.
She took the clippers without an attachment and began to shear me down. Next she rinsed my head applied shaving cream and began to complete my baldness. Once done she kissed my bald scalp. It felt so good to be without hair. I put my shirt back on and then she said one more thing. I was so excited about getting rid of the hair that I forgot to give her the engagement ring. I handed it to her. She really loved it.
We talked for a while and then decided we had better make a formal announcement. Anna called her Dad and told him that we wanted to meet as a family. A few minutes later we announced our engagement. Louie then said we were going to extend the cruise by a couple of days so we could have a party to celebrate our engagement while on the yacht.
Dora came over to me and Anna. Dora gave me a gentle kiss and told me thank you and then hugged Anna. Dora then rubbed my bald head and said to Anna, I see you got your wish. Anna told her Mom that she loved me being bald. Dora said she also liked my bald head and also would not let Louie grow his hair back.
Anna and I were married. Needless to say we had a very large ceremony. We had bought a good sized home in the suburbs not far from the corporate offices. Since money was not a problem for us we decided we wanted a large family. We both loved kids and would be good parents for the ones we would bring into the world.
Even though we tried it took us three years before Anna conceived. To our surprise she was expecting triplets. The ultrasound showed at least two boys. Anna’s pregnancy went very well and she was able to carry the babies to full term. It turned out that all three babies were boys. Ironically they were all bald at birth, no hair to speak of other than the fine hair babies are born with on their bodies.
Anna’s comment to me when we were alone with the babies, see the Lord had blessed me and has surrounded me with bald males.
The babies grew as did their hair. I trimmed it with scissors so it looked nice. On their second birthday Anna announced that she was pregnant again. She then told me it was time to make their babies look like little boys. She asked me to cut their hair short and to keep it short from now on. She said she would let me know when it would be time to shave their heads.
So on the triplets second birthday I got the stool out and the clippers with the attachments. I asked Anna how short she wanted their hair cut. She said from now on it would be ½ inch or shorter. Within an hour our babies now looked like little boys. Their baby locks were now history. Each of them rubbed their heads and said they now looked like Dad.
When Louie and Dora saw the boy’s haircuts they smiled and said they looked great. Dora said if she had had boys that is how their hair would have been cut if not a bit shorter. Louie rubbed his bald head and said he had no doubt about it.
Anna made sure the boys got to see me get my head shaved, either by her or me depending on how much time we had. She said this way the boys would know someday they would look like me.
I would often take the boys to the restaurants with me so they were able to see a lot of men with bald heads. I knew they were going to be like them so wanted them to feel as comfortable as I could when I began shaving their heads bald.
Our fourth boy was born on schedule and we had two more boys after him. They all followed the same schedule for getting their haircuts. We did not have any daughters.
One day I came home from work and Anna said it was time. I said time for what? She said the triplets needed their heads shaved. They were only eleven and the time. I thought this was a bit early for the boys to be bald though I didn’t tell Anna that.
Anna called out that I was home. All the boys came running to greet me and to get their hugs. The little boys were first. Next came the triplets, I immediately noticed some interesting haircuts on them. I asked what happened, they said they wanted haircuts like mine so decided to cut each others hair. Anna smiled and said see what I mean. It’s time.
I told the boys to meet me in the laundry room where we normally did haircuts. I told them once their heads were shaved bald that they would always need to remain bald. I told them they might be teased about not having hair, but they would need to learn to deal with it. They said they understood.
Each of the triplets took their turn sitting on the stool, first getting clipped and then shaved with the razor. Each one would rub their head and smile. They said they liked being bald and wanted to be like me and grandpa. I was about to put things away when our fourth son climbed up on the stool. I asked him what he wanted. He said he wanted to look like the triplets and me.
I took a deep breath and proceeded to shave him bald as well. Anna came in and saw the boys. She smiled and said we looked awesome. She told me I might as well do the other two as well. I proceeded to shave the small boy’s heads as well. Anna said we all looked like we should and that we were to all remain bald from now on. Dora dropped in and saw the boys. She hugged each one and rubbed their bald heads. She told each one they looked awesome and if grandma said they looked awesome, they understood they looked awesome.
Luckily as the boys went through their teenage years, buzzcuts and head shaves were common among their peers so they did not need to contend with being out of place.
Once the boys left home for college they would try to grow their hair out to explore what it was like. When they came home Anna would tell them they looked better bald. Eventually they would come around to her way of thinking and shave their heads. I need to admit I like their bald look the best.
Louie’s Mexican Restaurant chains have expanded. I was very successful in my endeavors and role in this expansion. One day Louie told me he wanted to see me in his office. He preceded review the history of the company with me including the health audit that led to all the shaved bald heads that had become a trademark for the company. He then told me that he had decided to retire and wanted me to take over the business. I was speechless, but told him I would do my best. He said he was proud of me as a colleague, my trustworthiness and especially that of a husband and father to his daughter and grandchildren. He then walked around the back of me as he had for years and kissed my bald head and said "Max, thank you for being my friend." Calling me his friend was the greatest honor he could give me.