Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99

Valerie Bates: On the job

When the overnight shift gets slow at the Steak & Egger, waitress Valerie Bates, 35, wipes counters, reads the paper and jokes with coworkers and regulars. The key -- as with customers Stanley McFerren of Bellwood and Levelle Blue (right) of Chicago's Auburn-Gresham neighborhood -- is to keep... Tribune photo by Chris Sweda
Loading