With so many impersonal curry-in-a-hurry lunch options in DC, Chinatown’s Cafe Phillips sticks out from the carry-out crowd. If you ask customers waiting in line who Phillips is (which we did), no one knows. But if you ask them about the guy behind the register, their faces light up.
In the third installment of a series where we profile how Washingtonians work, we meet David, Cafe Phillips’s cashier. If you’ve ever ordered a sandwich here, chances are this man has snapped his fingers and pointed at you before diving his hands into the cash register to hunt for your change like he was being timed. But even with the fastest hands outside of the West (End), David explains that his job hasn’t always been safe.