Saturday, August 27, 2011

Rock Me Like A Hurricane

In case you live under a pile of dirty sugar caddies, you probably have heard that New York City is bracing itself for Hurricane Irene that will cunt punch us Saturday night and all day Sunday. Everyone I know has made sure that their liquor cabinet is stocked and their Igloo cooler is full of ice. Other than batteries, tuna fish, crackers and candles, what more does one need? Thankfully, my boss had the foresight to close the restaurant today and tomorrow. I guess he knew that no one is going to fight 75 mph winds just for a tired ass plate of tilapia. Our mayor also shut down the entire New York City mass transit system meaning that no one could get to work even if they wanted to. True, I only live two blocks away from my job, but whatever. It is surprising that my boss decided to close the place since he is usually so desperate for a few extra dollars that he'll stay open late for two losers who come in one minute before closing even if all they want is one drink apiece. Sadly, not all restaurant managers have come to their senses. A friend of mine had as her Facebook status the following: I have to go to work in this hurricane since my restaurant is in denial...

To that restaurant owner, I say this:

What the hell, dude? Maybe you didn't hear, but New York City is having a direct hit of a freaking monster hurricane. This has not happened since before the Revolutionary War. (Not sure about that date but I do know it was a long time ago.) But you need to sell three more tacos tonight so you're good with making your employees come to work in a fucking hurricane? I bet you plan on having delivery open too, right? Because everyone knows how prudent it is to be on a bicycle when the wind is blowing shit sideways. No one is going to come to your restaurant tonight. The news media has made sure that we buy every loaf of bread and gallon of milk within a 125 mile radius so nobody wants to go out to eat tonight. We all have plans to make dried fruit sandwiches and cocktails by the light of our candles. Since you insist on being open during the worst natural disaster to hit the Big Apple since Rudy Giuliani, let me offer you some suggestions of what to do with your time since there will be no fucking customers:

  • Take this time to pull your head out of your ass.
  • Take every menu and clean it with a toothbrush so when your restaurant floods, at least you'll know your menus were clean when they flowed into the East River.
  • When the storm hits, step into the walk-in cooler for safety but first alert your servers so they will know to barricade the door with a chair so your ass can stay in there while they swim back to their apartments.
  • Clean out the candle holders because you aren't going to have any fucking electricity and you're gonna want nice clean votives when you need some fucking light to see your empty fucking restaurant.
  • Ask your servers to save the liquor by putting it some place safe like their backpacks and purses.
  • Have a sing-along of Dexys Midnight Runner's song "Come On Eileen" but just change it to "Irene" because it's close enough and that song is way better than "Rock Me Like A Hurricane" by the Scorpions.
  • Play a game of Truth or Dare with your employees and when they dare you to go to the roof and hold a metal spatula into the air, just do it. I dare ya.
  • Use the time to scrape all the gum from underneath the tables and then you can use it for the special of the day on Monday since all of your food is going to go bad when you lose your fucking power because of the hurricane.
  • Grow some balls.
Good luck to all those in the path of the storm. Sorry to Catharine who has to go to work. Be safe, be careful, be drunk.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

The 411 on the #2

In an ongoing effort to keep this blog classy, today I have chosen a topic of discussion that will elevate our forum to a new level of taste and decorum: poop. It is certainly not the first time I have discussed this. How can we forget the unfortunate mishap of poop in the trash can or the story of the poopy diaper left at the table? Both good stories, indeed, but let us delve deeper into the dark brown mystery of pooing in public.

Last week, I had a moment that made me question every life choice I have ever made. It happened when I went into the bathroom to blow out the candles and close up for the night. When I opened the door, a wall of odor knocked me down and raped my olfactory system. That smell tied me up, gagged me, and had its unprotected way with my nose. Someone had way too many lentils in their diet and used our restaurant bathroom to release the hounds of hell from their bowels into our toilet. I don't know about you, but I need optimum conditions for doing a number two anywhere else but my own home. There is a whole formula that goes into account before I decide if it is worth pooping in a public restroom: how badly do I need to go, what are the consequences of holding it, how clean is the bathroom, is it a single use bathroom, what type of toilet paper is there, what is the likelihood of people knocking on the door and most importantly, will the smell seep out of the bathroom and let others know what I was doing in there? I know we all poop, but I still find it easier to pretend that we all don't.

I hate cleaning the bathroom at my job. When it comes time for that, a simple sweep with a dry broom is about as far as I am willing to go. My cheap ass manager won't spring for liners for the trash cans, so when it's time to empty them, there is always the chance of a runaway tampon popping out to say hello. It's not easy to empty a trash can without actually touching it, but I have managed to do it with the use of multiple paper towel and good balance. One time the trash can rubbed up against my shirt and I just about fainted right there. The only thing that kept me from fainting was knowing that if I did, I would then end up actually touching the floor with my face. Seeing that I don't even like my shoes to touch the bathroom floor, my face touching it is not an option.

But there I was last week surrounded by the smell of hell. It was like a skunk made love to a rotten egg and then rolled around in Jennifer Lopez Live Eau de Parfum Spray. I bolted out of the bathroom and looked for the offender. I suspected the cook but the dishwasher looked mighty guilty too. I took a deep breath and went back in to fill the soap dispenser and make sure there were paper towels. Once out of the bathroom, I released the breath and prepared to go back in. I took another deep breath and grabbed the candle and trash can. This process was repeated three times making me hyperventilate and wish that I was anything in the world other than a waiter who had to do a goddamn bathroom check at the end of the night.

I suppose some people can do a number two any time and anywhere and if it means they do it in a restaurant, then so be it. I'm just not programmed for that. At my other job, I work with a guy who has no issue with it whatsoever. On my first day there, I walked into the bathroom where I found him standing next to the stall with his pants unbuttoned and his hands on his hips. "Bad news, dude. The toilet's clogged and I just took a huge dump." "Oh, okay," I said. "It's nice to meet you."

What a shitty job I have sometimes. And by the way, does anyone else hate this commercial for Angel Soft where the guy keeps yelling to his wife that they're all out of toilet paper? "Can you toss me a roll?" he asks repeatedly. You know what, dude? How about you keep the extra toilet paper in the bathroom instead of asking your wife to keep throwing it at you. Or better yet, go get it your fucking self, lazy ass. And also on the subject of toilet paper commercials, I am sick of seeing those goddamn Charmin bears who always have toilet paper dingle berries hanging off their asses. Hey ad execs: bears may shit in the woods but they don't use toilet paper and everyone I know thinks those commercials are disgusting. Stop it.

And this concludes my classy and elegant discussion about poo.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cater Waiters Unite

I don't know this band and I am not shamelessly promoting my own video (for once) but someone sent it to me and it needed to be shared. I have done my time as a cater waiter and this video epitomizes how we feel sometimes when we are walking around a crowded room with a plate of nasty ass slimy shrimp that nobody wants. People poke and prod you and have no respect. I'm talking to you, Connie Chung. I wanna poke you back.

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Earthquakes and Hurricanes

I don't know if you have heard, but the end of the world is on its way. No, I am not talking about the rapture that was supposed to happen last May, I am talking about the other definitive signs. First off, there is a freakin' hurricane heading to New York City. That shit never happens and I just canceled my Cape Cod vacation thanks to Hurricane Irene. The only other Irene I ever knew was a friend of my Grandma's about a hundred years ago. I guess anything and everything named Irene is a fucking bitch on wheels, is that it? My apologies if your name is Irene and you are a nice lady, but I doubt it.

The second sure sign that the end is near was that we had an earthquake in New York City on Tuesday. I did not feel it. Friends of mine did, but not me. When it happened, I was sitting in a park reading the newspaper. No, I was not too drunk to feel the earth move under my feet, it was just so minor here that is was pretty much a non-event. This was my first earthquake and I expected more from it. After all, I saw the movie Earthquake in 1974 so I know all about seismic tremors. My mom took me to see it with her friend Doris when I was seven years old. I have since asked her why she took her child to see such a scary movie. Her reply? "Did I take you to see that? Hmm, I don't remember that all, I guess I couldn't find a babysitter." Well, I remember because it gave me nightmares. How can any seven year old child forget that scene where all those people plummet to their death in an elevator? It was so realistic to me as a child; even that corny animated blood splatter that filled the screen. When I got to work after the earthquake, I expected to see bottles of liquor oozing life onto the floor and parts of the ceiling dangling above overturned tables and chairs. Instead, I saw that we were out of regular coffee so it was going to be all decaf all the time that night. My experience with the earthquake is pretty much summed up in this video:

But now we have Hurricane Irene to deal with. Not only will it wreak havoc with our lives, for those of us in the restaurant world, it's going to hurt us in our pocketbook too. I mean, how many people are going to want to go out to eat this weekend during a hurricane?

"Honey, I don't feel like cooking tonight. What do you say we get the canoe and paddle over to the restaurant for dinner? Doesn't that sound like fun?"

"Well, dear, I dunno. The wind is really strong out there, maybe we should take the sailboat."

"Oh sweetheart, you think of everything."

Yeah, not gonna happen. My suggestion to restaurant owners up and down the east coast is to have a Hurricane Special. You turn the televisions to the Weather Channel, make the cocktail of the day a $5 hurricane., take 10% all checks and see what happens. Or just accept that no one is going to come in and close up for the day. That way we can all have our own hurricane party. You fill your house with junk food, liquor, batteries and candles and get drunk off your ass. Turn on the TV and make a drinking game out of it; every time Sam Champion says "wind gusts" you take a shot.

I am off to the grocery store to stock up on food. You know that the the bread aisle is already empty and there is no milk anywhere. In the event of a natural disaster, people always buy up every loaf of bread they can get their hands on. As long as there is still vodka and tequila at the liquor store, I think I can make it through the storm. I just won't be in Provincetown and that pisses me off. I hate you, Irene. You suck.

Next stop on the End of the World Express: locusts.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tequila on the 16th Floor

Yesterday in New York City was one of those stellar days of weather where I can actually fool myself into believing that this really is the best city in the world. Beautiful blue skies and a light breeze with low humidity meant one thing: find a rooftop deck and get drunk. I took my ass over to the Press Lounge at Ink 48 hotel and went to the 16th floor and got my cocktail on. I ordered the Excelsior which was tequila poured over lime juice and ice with sugar and cayenne pepper garnished with a pepper dusted orange slice. Yeah, it was good, but for $16, it ought to be. The view was stunning and when I got there, the only other people on the deck were those of a movie crew who were doing some location scouting. It was all "and then Sarah Jessica could do this" and "then Sarah Jessica could do that." I assume it was Sarah Jessica Parker they were talking about but for all I know it was the Sarah Jessica Grenburg who works at the Marshalls in Rego Park Queens. The movie crew was a little distracting with all their tape measures and cameras, but one look at the Empire State Building was enough to let it not matter anymore.

After I ordered my second cocktail the deck was beginning to get more crowded. It was full of people who were there using a business Am Ex card. Seated next to us was a group who looked like they were in New York City for some dumb ass team-building workshop for their job. The group started out as one woman who seemed nice enough. She sat down on the couch and patiently waited for her friends or a server. After about five minutes she was joined by two women. One of them was all corporate America bitch with poorly highlighted hair and big clunky jewelry. As as she walked up, she asked the other one, "So how do we get a drink? I'm thirsty." The seemingly friendly and patient one answered, " I saw a waitress, but she hasn't gotten to us yet. I think we just wait." That's right, lady. You wait. But Corporate America Bitch doesn't wait. After about twenty seconds (yes, I timed it) she said, "This is taking too long," and she got up to presumably round up some service. She came back to her seat and said, "Someone told me she'd be right out." After another minute had passed, she was up again. She went right to a busser and spoke to him about getting a waitress. She came back to her seat exasperated as if she had done something really difficult. It's not the Amazing Race, honey. Relax. "Every time, I try to order something, they tell me to sit and wait. I'm thirsty." That's right, lady. You wait. Maybe she didn't see the other people pouring out of the elevator and spilling out onto the patio who also were thirsty. Maybe she was frustrated that her assistant wasn't there who would normally hop right to it when she needed something.

After an eternity, (two minutes) the waitress finally showed up to ask them what they wanted. And guess what: they didn't know yet. That's right. As is typical, these bitches who were in such a fucking hurry to order and were so incredibly thirsty had no idea what they wanted. "Oh, is there a menu? Ummm, lemme see...uh, I think I will have a, ummmm...." The waitress smiled but my x-ray waiter eyes showed me it was a fake one. "I'll have a prosecco," said one lady. "Oooh, prosecco, what's that?" said another. I rolled my eyes on behalf of the waitress who was still fake smiling.

After their drinks came, their group grew large enough to get a little too close to me; one guy sat down on the edge of the couch I was on so now his ass was a few inches away from my hand. I wanted to shove his eleven dollar Amstel Light up it, but changed my seat instead. Their incessant chatting about work and business and leadership exercises made me want to throw them off the deck and onto Eleventh Avenue sixteen floors below. Of course I wouldn't do that because most of them were way too heavy for me to be able to throw off the roof. In addition to the strength it would have taken, it would very possibly mean the end of my time on the deck.

I sucked down the last of my tequila, ate my orange wedge and stumbled to the elevator. By now the roof was full of corporate mid-level management all trying to impress one another. It was kind of disgusting and I made a mental note to always get to this deck at 3:30 to avoid all the bullshit. I took one last look at the Hudson River and New Jersey and then to the other side I glimpsed Times Square only four blocks away. It truly was a spectacular view. Even though the waitress was stuck serving big wig douche bags she at least had the view to help her through the day. And if it ever got really bad, I would suggest an Excelsior in a paper cup underneath the computer. It certainly was the highlight of my day.

(And yes, that is me on the deck with my cocktail firmly in my hand.)

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Two Bimbos From Queens Walk Into a Bar...

"What are we gonna do tonight?" asked Carla as she lined her left eye with the Ultraflesh Black Magic Eyeliner that she bought at the dollar bin at Ricky's Beauty Supply. "I think since our husbands took the kids to the game, we should take advantage of it and have a girl's night out. Whadya say, Loretta?"

"Jeez, Carla, I dunno. Ain't it enough that I came over to yous apartment and we ain't gots the kids? Look, I even opened a box of zinfandel. By the way, your ice trays suck, you know that, right?"

Carla began work on her right eye and shrugged. "I just wanna do something crazy tonight like we used to do at Sacred Heart, you know? Live a little?"

Carla and Loretta had gone to high school together and both gotten pregnant at the same time thanks to a pinky swear they had made when they were both drinking shots of Jägermeister. They thought it would be fun to have babies who would always love them so they each allowed their boyfriends to go all the way and were shopping for baby clothes at the Baby Gap within two months. They both got jobs there too in order to take advantage of the 40% discount. Their children were now 10 years old.

Loretta poured herself another cup of wine. "So what, you don't wanna just hang out here and watch Grey's Anatomy no more? Why the eff did I bother bringing the DVD then? Jesus H. Christ on a cracker, Carla, what gives?"

Carla looked in her mirror. She put her hands up to the sides of her face and pulled the skin back. "I just feel like we're gettin' old, ya know? I mean, we're 26 already. Life is flying past us and we never do anything we ever said we'd do with our lives."

"You's crazy, Carla. We have great lives. Our boys are best friends, our husbands both got city jobs and you're next in line for shift manager at the Baby Gap. Whadya want, a freakin' palace?"

"Remember what you promised me in the cafeteria our freshman year, Loretta? What about that?"

"Carla, I was 14 years old when I said that. I am not making out with you. Lemme pour you a cup of zin over ice and we'll watch the TV."

Carla spun around from her makeup table. "Not that promise, Loretta. You told me that we would always be friends and we would always take the road that was fun. I wanna do something fun tonight. Exciting. Just me and you, like the old days." Carla took a deep breath and leaned toward her best friend. She whispered, "I bought a fifth of Jäger and a pack of cigarettes. Crazy enough for you?"

A smile slowly came across Loretta's face. "Is the Jäger in the fridge?"

"Behind the milk."

"Are the cigarettes Virgina Slims?"

"What else would I buy, Loretta?"

The two friends went to the kitchen laughing and pulled the Jäger out from the refrigerator. "I don't have any shot glasses so let's just use sippy cups. And let's go out on the deck before we light the cigarettes. I don't want Anthony to know."

Ten minutes and three shots apiece later, Carla and Loretta were sitting on the fire escape reliving their youth. "Remember how we used to call these Vagina Slimes?" said Loretta as smoke billowed out from her mouth and nose and drifted off into the alley. "We was so funny back then, Carla, we really was. I'm glad we're doing this. I feel like a little girl again having cocktails and cigarettes. It's just like bein' in the bathroom at Sacred Heart all over again."

"Except now we're old enough to do it legally," said Carla. She gently let out Jäger burp that also produced a little puff of smoke. "It doesn't feel as dangerous as it used to. Let's go out and do something bad. Really bad."

"What? What are we gonna do that's bad? Cross against the light? Try to use an expired coupon at the Met Food? What, Carla?"

"I have an idea. C'mon."

They teased their hair and added more eyeliner and headed out the door after taking another Jäger shot. They were on their way to create havoc. They were ready to show the world that life does not end at 26 years old. There is more to Carla and Loretta than just raising children, working at Baby Gap and making sausage and peppers every other Wednesday. As they crossed Queens Boulevard they lit up new Virgina Slims. The wind was cool and breezy. It carried away the smoke but did not move their hair thanks to the Salon Grafix Super Hold Unscented Mousse that was on sale two-for-one at Winn's Discount Dollar Store.

"Jeez, Carla? We're crossin' the boulevard? Where you takin' me, the North Pole?"

"Don't worry, I know a place that we can go and do something bad and wrong and it's gonna make us feel like we're fifteen years old again."

"Well, slow down, will ya? I'm wearing flip flops for cryin' out loud."

Two minutes later they were standing in front of a restaurant. The sign on the door clearly stated that it was closing at 11:00. It was 10:55. "What are we doin' here, Carla? I ain't even hungry and they's closed anyway."

"Wait three minutes and I'll tell you."

Inside, the restaurant was empty except for one waiter who was finishing up his sidework. He had just dumped the coffee and blew out the candles and was about to run his report for the night and get off early. At 10:58, he saw the door open. He watched two overly made-up ladies came in and sat at the bar. "Hi ladies. I'm sorry, but we're closing at 11:00."

The one with raccoon eyes from way too much cheap eyeliner said, "I know you close at 11:00 but according to my watch it's only 10:58. My friend and I would like a drink." The other lady put her hand over her mouth to stifle a laugh. One of her flip-flops fell off her foot when she crossed her legs revealing the remnants of a very sad pedicure.

The waiter looked at his watch. "Are you serious? It's one minute until we close."

"Well then, we made it just in time. One Margarita and one white russian, please." Raccoon Eyes turned to Bad Pedicure and said, "See, I told you we'd do something bad. This is awful, right?"

The waiter looked at his manager, fearful of his response. "Coming right up, ladies," he said.

The bitchy waiter rang in the drinks and handed them to the women. He moved to the corner where he quietly seethed as he watched them sip their drinks for forty minutes. His chance of leaving early was dashed by two bimbos from Queens with cheap ass clothes and bad make-up. When they left, there were three dollars on the bar. As he unlocked the door to let them out, the woman with flip flops said, "Carla, this was the best night I've had in five years. You're my best friend, you know that, right?"

Carla wiped a tear from her eye, smudging her eyeliner into even more of a mess and said, "Sometimes we just gotta get out into the world and shake things up, Loretta, that's all I'm sayin'. And goin' into a restaurant one minute before they close and making the waiter stay way too long and leaving him a shitty tip is just about the worst thing I can think of to do, I swear to God."

"Good night, ladies,'" said the waiter as he shut the door and locked it. "Bitches," he continued once he was sure they were out of hearing distance.

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Comment on Comments

Someone done crawled up in my asshole and pissed me off and now I get to write my favorite kind of posting of all, a comment on comments. In response to this post about the man who didn't sign his credit card and ended up stiffing me on a $75 check, a couple of anonymous windbags chimed in to fart out their thoughts on the situation:

Anonymous #1 said...
Wow you got you're panties in a bunch over that?? No wonder you don't get tipped as often as you should. Customers can see fake kindness like a dog smells fear. Maybe change your attitude and you'll increase your tax bracket.

Anonymous #2 said...

I agree with anonymous. This is the life of a server/waiter. If you don't like it, go to school and get a real job. I worked for $12/hr at a call center while going to school to get my masters degree. If you don't like your job or if one person gets to you this badly then it ruins the service to everyone else. Maybe check your tampon. Is it in sideways or something?

Okay, Anonymous #1, I do get my panties in a bunch when someone either intentionally or unintentionally forgets to sign their credit card slip and therefore leaves me no tip. I did not serve this guy $75 worth of food and drinks just because it gave my life purpose. I did it because I expected there to be a tip. That tip goes into my pocket and then it is used to pay for frivolous things like food, electricity bills and mortgage payments. And I don't know where you came up with the idea that I don't get tipped as often as I should. Do I work with you? Are you the IRS? Do you have a copy of my tip log? Yeah, I didn't think so. And when did I say I gave him fake kindness? Contrary to the name of this blog, I am very rarely flat out bitchy to my customers because all that does is put less money in my pocket. I guarantee almost every server you ever had was giving you "fake kindness" because that is the name of the game. That waitress you had in Disney World that time who you thought was so sweet and kind and was so good with your kids? Fake. She wanted a tip, dumb ass. I treated this guy just like everyone else and he is the one who expected different treatment by refusing to wait his turn and come directly to my sidestand in an attempt to pay his check before everyone else. And then he didn't sign his card or tip me. So yes, my Sexy Little Things® Lace-trim Cheeky Panty was all bunched up. And I am still not sure that dogs smell fear. Myth or reality? Let me know.

And Anonymous #2, how many times do I have to tell you this: waiting tables is a real job. If it wasn't, I wouldn't get a paycheck and have to file income taxes. I go someplace for a designated period of time, punch a time clock, do an activity that I was hired to do and then I am paid for it. Yep, sounds like a real job to me. And I did go to school, it just wasn't for waiting tables. I have a degree from a real honest to goodness college that I went to while working full-time. And I actually work with two people who have the all-important masters degree you speak of who choose to wait tables because the money is better. Congratulations on your masters degree and surviving on the $12 an hour job. Let me shit out a parade for you because that is truly inspirational. And I bet since you have your masters degree, nothing at your job ever gets you even the slightest bit irritated, because once you have a masters degree every thing comes to you on silver platters after sliding down a rainbow. When you show up for work does a confetti cannon announce your arrival? Is every second of your day filled with joy and satisfaction? Because that's what a masters degree does for people, right? And I do not have a tampon in sideways or any other way. Just because I wear a Sexy Little Things® Lace-trim Cheeky Panty does not mean I have a vagina. I wear panties because they make me feel pretty.

I wait tables for a variety of reasons. It's easy. The money is good. It allows me the flexibility to do other things in my life. I don't want a job that I am at for fifty hours a week and I can't take an extra day off when I want. If I get a call to work on a movie or I audition for something that is going to take me out of town for four weeks, I just get my shifts covered and do it. That is one of the benefits of waiting tables. It pays my bills so I can focus on the things in my life that make me happy. Twenty-four hours a week pays my bills and leaves me plenty of time to enjoy my life. When I die, my last thought won't be be "I should have spent more time at work." It will be one of two things: "Thank God I found time in my life to be happy" or "Do I have time for one more grapefruit martini?" I have a feeling that there are lots of people with maters degrees who spent 70 hours a week at work and when they died, they wished they had lived their life differently. And as always, if you don't like what I write, don't read it. You can always go here if you want something that is mindless and non-thought-provoking.

The Bitchy Waiter

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dumb Ass at Table Four

We all hate customers who forget to leave their signed credit card slip thereby ensuring that we don't get a tip. It's annoying and I am not 100% certain that it's always an accident. Surely there are some less then moral folks who do that in order to make it appear as if it was a slip of the mind and save themselves the few extra dollars of a tip. It's similar to mailing your electricity bill and "forgetting" to include the check or not sealing the envelope so that it looks like you did enclose payment but it must have fallen out. I was stiffed last night on a $75 check but I think it really was unintentional because the man who did it is a regular who always seems half a step away from complete and utter dumb fuck.

As per the norm, I sweep the room and drop checks as soon as the show is over. I then sweep back and pick up any checks that are ready to be paid, run the cards or make change and then go back to my section to return those checks and pick up the next round. The man at booth four last night watched me walk by twice without ever coming up with a form of payment. As I stood at the bar swiping the credit cards of the four tables who did manage to hand me payment, Mr. Village Idiot wandered into the lobby with his check in his hands and asked nobody in particular, "Who do I give this to?" The man was not the brightest bulb. The lights were on but nobody was home. He was hit in the head with the stupid stick. Now, I ask you, is it that hard to figure out who to pay? There were only two servers, I was the only one who dealt with him and I was also the one who gave him his check and said "I'll pick that up whenever you're ready." To me, it seems pretty obvious, but then again my brain is not the consistency of mashed green peas mixed with bottom shelf scotch. (Truth be told, my brain is the consistency of refried beans and bottom shelf tequila, but whatever...) Enrique the bartender says, "Sir, we go through this every time. You pay your server, who is right here." Old Foggy Forgetful handed me his credit card and I told him I would take care of right it after I get through the stack of checks of people who did not stumble to the bar like lost lambs who just had lobotomies. He was put out by the fact that he was going to have to wait so I realized he was just playing dumb because he thought it would get him out faster. I took his credit card and put it at the bottom of the stack. "It'll be right here on the bar when I'm done with it." He told me he was going to go say hello to someone and would be right back. I very quickly got to his card and placed it on the bar for him to sign when he was ready. Fifteen minutes later, the card and unsigned slip was right where I had left it. Absent Minded Nutty Ass Professor was nowhere to be found. Perhaps the person he wanted to say hello to lived in New Jersey and he just wasn't back yet, but it's more likely that he saw something shiny on the sidewalk and went out to chase it.

After about ten more minutes, it was clear that he was not coming back. Maybe the shiny object he saw was the taillight of a taxi and he was now lying face down on Sixth Avenue and wondering why he suddenly had a perfect view of the back of his own ass. I had no other choice but to close the check without a tip and accept that I was getting stiffed on his $75 bill. Less than moral servers would add a tip but credit card fraud is not on my bucket list so I was willing to eat the loss. A message was left for Shit For Brains on his voice mail telling him that he could come pick up his credit card at his earliest convenience. He'll probably show up today and act all embarrassed and ashamed but you can be certain that he won't leave the tip. That would just be too kind. And we all know that shit for brains foggy forgetful absent minded professors who have mushy green pea brains mixed with cheap scotch will do anything to save themselves seven dollars and fifty cents. (You just know that he was going to leave 10%, right?) The next time he sits in my station, I will make sure to give him his check right away and I won't leave until I see him scrawl out his signature (in the form on an X, no doubt) on his credit card slip. There still probably won't be a tip but I can deal with that. If he can accept that his brain is smoother than the humus on our menu, I can accept that he can't understand that I live on tips. I just hope he doesn't mind that the bottom shelf scotch on the rocks he orders might be in a smaller glass with a shitload of ice and a little bit of water that went over my thumb on the way into the glass.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars

The flight from New York to Los Angeles is a long one even under the best of circumstances. Normally, I am one of the few people who can actually enjoy their time on an airplane. I find the time to be completely devoid of responsibility. It's six hours where you are free to waste your time sleeping and watching bad movies. When you factor in that I was on the flight because someone else was paying for it so I could go on national television and talk about being The Bitchy Waiter, you'd think I was in Heaven at 34,000 feet. Not this flight.

The flight was a full one with not open free seat. Since I didn't buy the ticket myself and had no say in my seat assignment, I ended up smack dab in the middle of the plane. No window or aisle seat for me, thanks. Two rows in front of me was a baby who wanted his presence known. This adorable crotch dumpling (thank you for the word, reader) cried for half of the flight. It was not a little whimper and sniff kind of cry. It sounded like there was a circumcision happening in aisle 33 seat B. I kept wondering when I would see a doctor throw the foreskin into the bag of trash that the flight attendant had as she walked down the aisle. I looked at the plastic bag my American Airlines blanket had been in and wondered if the baby would like to play with it despite the warning on it that said "this bag is not a toy."

To the left of me was a man I envied because he told me was taking an Ambien and a muscle relaxer. He did just that. Then he put in earphones and blew up his little neck pillow and drifted off to slumber land for the entire flight. I considered asking for an Ambien but the only thing I had to barter with was a granola bar and half empty bottle of water. Thankfully, he didn't snore and had he left his bag within easy access, I would have pilfered through it trying to find some peace and quiet in the form of a pill..

To the right of me was a very large man who looked like he had just come from doing extra work on Yentl. Oy. He poured himself into his seat and his odor drifted into my seat along with a portion of his extra body mass. You know what your gym shorts smell like after you do cardio and you maybe had just had a bowel movement where some baby wipes would have been helpful but you didn't have any so you settle for "clean enough" but who cares since you're going to the gym anyway? I wish he smelled that good. Something about layers and layers of black wool being worn on a hot muggy day creates an odor that is very special indeed. Add to that a big gray beard that goes to your chest and holds onto sweat the way I hold onto a margarita glass and you have a really miserable seat mate. And why does he not realize that the arm rest is for both of us to share? Of course he fell asleep almost instantly after having three phone conversations as we taxied down the runway. When he got up once to go the bathroom he returned with whatever stench had been living in the toilet. He fell asleep again but this time he made sure to face me so his foul breath could come in my direction as he snored. I was holding on to a fart for about two hours but eventually let it go in a futile attempt to freshen the air.

When I finally landed in The City of Angels, my driver was waiting to take me to my hotel. I checked in at midnight and ignored the idea of beauty sleep and called a friend to come get me. We ate at some 24 hour diner called Mel's. With my love for Flo, how could I not? We spent the late hours walking down the Hollywood Walk of Fame looking for the stars of Florence Henderson, Polly Holiday and Shirley Hemphill. When I found Ann B. Davis' star, I knew I had made it. I was in Hollywood! Dr. Phil was waiting for me, so I forced myself to get some sleep in preparation for the next day where I would go on national television and proclaim my hatred of children in my station. So what, I only had three hours of sleep? Surely, Dr. Phil's people would have some concealer to cover the bags under my eyes.

Stay tuned to hear more about my Hollywood adventure.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I Am Not a Morning Person

I am up at the ass crack of dawn today. If there were roosters in New York City, they would be cock-a-doodle-dooing right now. Instead, the rats are looking at me like, "Why the fuck are you up so early, lazy ass?" No, I am not serving breakfast or still up from my night of drinking. Alarm goes off at seven and you start uptown. You put in your eight hours for the powers that have always been. Till it's five P.M. (Bonus points for you if you know what that line is from.) I am taking a break from food service in order to pursue my other calling for a few days, selling pottery. And when I say "pursue my other calling" I mean "this job I got off of Craigslist." Twice a year, I am a sales rep for a big time pottery company and sell plates and vases and crap to the likes of Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and little old ladies who own stores in Cape Cod. It's a sweet little gig except for the whole getting up before the cows come home thing.

I am not a morning person as is evidenced by the scowl that is on my face right this second. I once lived with a friend who worked the breakfast shift and she had to be at work at some crazy fucking time like 5:30 AM. She would be done with her day by 11:30 and come home with a fist full of dollars, take a nap and be good to go. I never could do that. Morning people are just as foreign to me as those who have children. I know they exist but I can't wrap my brain around how they do it. Kim would pop out of bed and be on her merry way to the breakfast shift at the diner while I would on my water bed asking her to please hurry the fuck up and turn the light out. I always envy morning people. They seem so productive, getting their laundry done before The View and all, but I just can't do it. I've tried, believe me. My aunt is a morning person who wakes up before the sun has even thought about rising and has a cup of coffee and does the crossword puzzle and then will have all her household chores done before 9:00 AM. The downside of being a morning person is these people have to go to bed early to do it. Do they know what wonders they are missing that only happen after 10:00 PM? Like the news, or Jimmy Kimmel, or House Hunters International on HGTV?

My point is, today I am a morning person. Since I don't drink coffee, anyone who sits next to me on the 7 train better watch out. My grump could accidentally spill over onto them and cause second and third degree burns. I cannot fake a smile or have a conversation and during my shower this morning, I don't even think I had the energy to use soap. If you happen to see a guy today selling pottery who looks like he is one grumpy ass bitch and who's hair is matted down in the back because it took too much effort to wash it, that would be me. Come up to me. Say hello. And if you see a rooster who is trying to cockle-doodle doo, punch it in the gut for me will you? And speaking of roosters, click here to see one big cock.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Blood Mary is The Girl I Hate

(This is a repost because I am busy preparing for my trip to Hollywood where I will be a guest on a national talk show. I will give the details on that when I have them. In the meantime, enjoy reading about this bitch who likes Bloody Mary's.)

It's been a while since I had a real bitch in my station that made me need to vomit out my feelings about her, but last night she slid into booth number one. I only had one nerve when I got to work and that bitch had to get all up on it. She was wearing a lot of make up, like Tammy Faye (may she rest in peace) levels of make up. And she was wearing a black top that had sequins on it. It may have had some feathers around the collar too. I'm pretty sure it did, but I already tried to erase her image from my memory and parts of last night are gone forever. The loss of memory may or may not have something to do with the alcohol that was consumed after work; not sure.

"How's the the Bloody Mary?" she asked, when I queried about her cocktail of the evening.

I acted like I have tasted one before and said that it was delicious. They get ordered all the time and no one ever returns it, so I assume they're good. People really think I have tasted every cocktail on the menu? What do they think I am, a fucking alcoholic who sits around at work and drinks every night? Okay, maybe they do know me, but I have never tasted a Bloody Mary because that would involve a vegetable serving and I try to avoid those at all costs. I brought her Bloody Mary and later on when it was time for the second drink, she whispered to me that the Bloody Mary was awful and she would have a Cabernet instead. Fine. I don't give a shit.

After the show, she called me over to again let me know that the Bloody Mary was horrible. "Oh, I'm sorry, I said. And I was sorry she didn't like her drink because I knew it was expensive. "A lady over there had two and she really enjoyed them."

"Well, it was horrible," she said as she rolled her eyes to the back of her head.

"I guess it's a subjective opinion then. I'm sorry." End of story, I thought.

"No, I'm a bartender and I know. There was no vodka in it. It was just tomato juice and horseradish."

She was wrong of course. I know for a fact that it had vodka in it. I watched it being made and we don't leave liquor out of drinks. We just don't do that. I gave her the check and she looked at the $45.73 total and gasped. "Is the tip included?"

"No, ma'am."

She shot me this look that said, "Are you freakin' kidding me?" She gave me a twenty dollar bill and a credit card and told me to put twenty to the check and the balance on the card. So I took her credit receipt back to her with a total of $25.73 on it and she looked at and grunted. "No, I wanted to put twenty in cash and then the balance on the card!"

"I did that, ma'am. Twenty dollars cash plus $25.73 totals $45.73, does it not? I believe that is the total of your check, correct?

She looked at it again and then snorted out, "Fine!" Like she was doing me a fucking favor. Look lady, I didn't fucking invent math. Do I look like Pythagoras? Pay your bill and shut the fuck up.

On the way out, she of course had to let the bartender know that the Bloody Mary was horrible and that she was bartender and she knows best and blah blah blah. I don't get what her deal was. If she didn't like the drink she should have fucking told me. The lady at the next booth sent her drink back and had more juice added (because we did pour liquor into her drink). I hate when people complain after it's too late to do anything about it and they won't accept an apology and they just keep bitchin' about it.

This lady was a windbag. A big gassy bag of wind that had Bloody Mary and Cabernet breath and was rocking a black sweatsuit looking ensemble with sequins and fucking feathers. 'nuff said.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lesson #352: Don't Exaggerate to Your Waiter

Customers are notorious for exaggerating their situation to make it seem like it is much worse than it really is. For example, when someone says, "This coffee is ice cold, I want another cup," that is an exaggeration. We know the coffee is not actually ice cold. Really? You're saying to me that the coffee I poured into your cup about six minutes ago has somehow managed to drop 160° from the recommended 192° all the way down to to 32°? Right. Exaggeration! Or when someone says, "Where is our food? It's taking forever," that is an exaggeration. Really? Forever is a long time and how can we really define forever until the end of time has happened, which it hasn't so nothing can take forever. Exaggeration! A lady last night at table 42 was guilty of this gross exaggeration but I proved to that bitch that she was wrong.

It was a busy night at the club with a lot of people all showing up at once for a 7:00 show. Most of them did not get there at at 6:30 as we suggest. I was training someone last night so my regular routine was talking a bit longer than normal since I was having to explain how to do everything rather than just do it. (I won't even get into the fact that when I got my first restaurant job this trainee wasn't even born yet. If I let myself dwell on that, I will take the apron from around my waist and strangle myself with it.) I could see out of the corner of my eye that table 42 had been sat with a six top and I slowly was making my way to that side of the room to get their drink order. When I got to them, the lady was visibly upset.

"How are we supposed to have a two-drink minimum through the course of the show when we have already been sitting here for thirty minutes without anyone taking our first order?" she snorted.

I inhaled deeply and counted to one. With a smile on my face, I said, "I don't think you've been sitting here for thirty minutes."

"Yes, we have and no one has been to us yet."

"No ma'am, you haven't."

"Yes, thirty minutes."

Clearly I was going to have to set this lady straight by stuffing a stop watch up her mop twat. I looked at my watch and saw that it was 7:02. We didn't open the house until 6:40. The section this tardy bitch was in is sat last because it's at the back of the room meaning they got there too late to be seated anywhere else. I cleared my throat. "The first person was sat twenty-two minutes ago when we opened the house. I know that you were not the first person sat, therefore it is impossible that you have been sitting here for thirty minutes."

"Well, we have been at the club for thirty minutes, then."

That's different. If you're in the bathroom I am not going to crawl into the stall and ask you if you want your fucking white zinfandel with ice or not. If you're in the lobby, I'm not going to walk out there and randomly ask people what they want to drink on the off chance that they might end up in my station. She had been sitting at the table for about twelve minutes. "Well, I'm here now and the show hasn't started yet and you still have a two-drink minimum. The show is an hour and fifteen minutes long, so I think you will be fine. What would you like to drink?"

She ordered a Cosmo and told me she wanted it for her second round too. I brought her drink about four minutes later and then about ten minutes after that I took out her second Cosmo just so she could have plenty of fucking time to drink it since she was so concerned about it. You know what, lady? If you have such an issue with the time, maybe you should invest in a watch and then use it. Don't show up at 6:50 when we advise you to get there at 6:30. And don't exaggerate to prove your point. I bet she also says shit like:
  • "The mall was so crowded; everyone in the world was there." No, 6.94 billion people were not shopping at Chico's.
  • "Can you turn up the air conditioning in here? It's so hot, my blood is boiling." No, your blood is not boiling, that's impossible. Zombie bitches who shop at Chico's don't have blood.
  • "Aren't these earrings the cutest things in the world?" No, they are not. Nothing in the world is cuter than a monkey wearing a hat while riding a goat.
  • I haven't had sex since the Dark Ages." Okay, I'll give her that one.
Please don't exaggerate to your waiter. If you tell me that you ordered your food thirty minutes ago, all I will do is go to the computer to look at the time stamp, print out the dupe and bring it to your table to show you that it has only been sixteen minutes. You will be embarrassed and belittled. Don't make me do that. Because I will.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Old Irish Eyes Are Smiling...and Bloodshot

I went out for drinks last night in a Queens neighborhood which has a very high population of Irish. Every other bar on the Queens Boulevard of Death is an Irish pub, so we eventually settled into one that had a lush backyard garden, cheap beer and a sign that said "Live Trad Tonight." Not knowing what 'trad' was, we went inside and quickly realized it's a type of Irish music that sounds like a leprechaun should be dancing to it. We found ourselves on the patio and at the table next to us was a group of rowdy youngins who were downing pint after pint of Guinness in between forkfuls of corned beef and cabbage. One of them seemed pretty drunk and this was confirmed when he stood up and started yelling at the window of the apartment above the bar on the second floor. He really wanted the attention of someone so he proceeded to throw things at the window, the first thing being a tea bag, presumably Twinings Irish Breakfast Tea. Anyone who isn't drunk would know that a tea bag would not fly very far, much less to a second floor window. Even if it did hit the window, the sound it would make would be indistinguishable. He threw it anyway and the tea bag fell to the patio where he did not bother to pick it up. Nice. He went back to his bowl of potato soup sprinkled with Lucky Charms and then decided he really needed to get to the second floor. Now, I'm not Irish (I'm half regular) but I would have gone out of the bar and then into the building and used the stairs or elevator. But this guy had a better idea. He Riverdanced his way over to the fire escape ladder which was just a bit taller than his leprechaun size and therefore over his head. We all watched him and wondered if this Irish O'douche bag was really going to pull down the ladder to climb up to the second floor. He was. But since he couldn't quite reach the ladder he decided to stand on a planter because everyone knows it's a good idea to stand on the edge of a planter when you are drunk and trying to climb a ladder up to the second floor. I sat back and prepared for the show. His friends egged him on as they drank Shamrock Shakes and discussed Sinéad O'Connor's new haircut. As soon as he put his weight on the planter it toppled over sending him to the ground along with the plant and all the dirt. "Why didn't I have my cell phone ready?" I cried out. His friends laughed and he stood up with a stupid shit-eating grin on his face and ran back to his table to take another bite of Irish soda bread. He cared not that he had created a huge pile of dirt that was directly in front of the door to the patio that the server would now have to step through. A minute later, the server, who was also Irish, came out and we warned him to avoid the pile of dirt and he looked down just in time to hop over it and not trip. "What happened?" he wanted to know. We pointed to the culprit who was searching for a four-leaf clover. "He knocked it over, but his friends might be able to explain why." Not one of the people at his table acknowledged it. They completely ignored that their drunk ass friend had made a huge mess of the patio and carried on with their recipe swap of Shepard's Pie.

The server got down on his knees with a bucket and began sweeping up the dirt. As he did this, the drunk guy stumbled past him and left the patio and another person came up from the table to ask for change. If that ain't rude, I dunno what is. My Brit friend said to the waiter, "I thought you Irish could hold your liquor." "Some of us can," he replied. The rest of the hooligans left the patio after the server was finished cleaning up the mess their friend had made.

I was thankful that wasn't where I worked. Had that happened in my station, the whole group would have been asked to leave as soon as they had told me where to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I just had to sit there and feel uncomfortable for the waiter who had to clean up dirt because a drunk guy couldn't control himself. The luck of the Irish must have been with the waiter though because I bet ten minutes later the guy would have tossed his Irish Oatmeal cookies and dirt is a lot better to sweep than puke. It's ain't magically delicious.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

If You Can Dream It, You Can Achieve It

Do you know what a platitude is? According to the final and foremost authority on everything in the world, Wikipedia, a platitude is "a trite, meaningless, biased, or prosaic statement often presented as if it were significant and original." In other words, it's that tired old saying that you hear over and over again that wasn't even funny or interesting the first time you heard it. We all someone who throws out these statement one right after the other, don't we? You know that guy? I work with that guy. He talks like he learned English from reading inspirational posters at a Hallmark shop in the mall. He's a nice guy, but just once I wish he would say something that wasn't first said by a kitten hanging from a tree limb. He calls me "brother" too. I don't like that. I have two brothers and they are free to call me brother anytime they like. I call them brother and they call me brother because we have the same parents, ergo, we are brothers. The line cook with the greasy face and greasier hair is not my brother. In other words, when I say to him, "Man, it's really busy tonight," he should not respond with, "hang in there, brother, hang in there." Here are some other nuggets of joy he has dispensed to me as he hands me an overcooked burger that I rang in as medium rare:

  • One time I brought him a cup of coffee that he asked for and he said, "You're the best, I don't care what anyone else says." (Followed by a laugh because that is so funny.)
  • When I get to work and ask "how's it going?'" he always answers with "So far so good, but the night is young." (Followed by a laugh because that is so funny.)
  • If I question how much longer it will be for a salad he will invariably say "all in good time, all in good time" or "good things come to those who wait, my friend."
  • Whenever he says thank you he follows it with "you are a gentleman and a scholar."
  • When we run out of the special and it is replaced with something else, he tells me we must "go with the flow, my man, go with the flow."
  • "It's all good" is my least favorite saying that anyone can say. It has become a catch all response for almost anything. Running late? Too hot in the kitchen? Rang in the wrong appetizer? "It's all good, my brother."
  • Once he actually said he doesn't like to assume anything because that makes an ASS out of U and ME. Yeah, that was hilarious when Walter Matthau said in in 1977 in The Bad News Bears. Today? Not so much.
  • If it's a slow night for tips, his words of encouragement for me are, "Tomorrow is another day, my man, tomorrow is another day."
  • "If you've got time to lean you've got time to clean." Really?
These may seem like minor nuisances, but it gets tiring hearing them day after day. The only thing more irritating to listen to is the regular who comes and sits at the bar and tries to break the world record for using the words "like" and "basically" in one conversation. I tried to count how many times he said "like" last week and I basically, like, could not keep up:
So like, basically, what I'm saying is like, if you basically like want to order something off of Amazon, then basically what you're doing is like taking business away from like every small mom and pop store so like basically you're essentially like putting them out of business, basically.
At my job there seems to be a lack of respect or command for language. Lord knows I can barely string threes sentences together, but the people I am surrounded by up there are pulling the English language into the depths of despair and taking me with it. I want them to try to come up with their own sentences and not rely on filler words (like, basically) and phrases that were once spewed out by an inspirational speaker they heard in the cafetorium in the seventh grade.

What is your least favorite platitude?

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

How To Scam Free Food

Someone posted something the other day (shout out to Rebecca) that made me remember an event that happened years ago. She was mentioning that age old custom of giving your tables a survey or comment card to fill out to ensure that they had wonderful service and enjoyed their crappy pre-cooked food. Most of the time, people will only bother filling out a form when they want to complain about something. No one ever takes the time to really compliment you on these things except on very rare occasions. The little forms suck, but there is a way you can make them work for you rather than against you. It just takes some effort. And stamps.

When I was working at the now defunct Houlihan's in lovely Times Square, we were always busy with tons of tourists who came into the restaurant because of its familiarity. Don't ask me why anyone would get into an airplane and travel hundreds or thousands of miles and then end up eating dinner at a place that is also in their local mall. But people did. I guess once you're in New York you get so homesick that you need nachos and Sysco food products. Now we didn't have comment cards or surveys there but plenty of times people would ask to speak to a manager in order to complain about the quality of food or their service. It was always surprising to me when people thought their steak or salmon tasted less than ideal or that they thought the service was sub-par. C'mon. It's Houlihan's. In Times Square, for fuck's sake. Of course everything there will suck ass. Eventually I had had enough of people dissing my service. Granted, my service sucked, but I was sick of bitches telling my manager about it. I devised a plan. A very special Bitchy Waiter plan.

One night I typed a letter from a "customer" that praised my serving skills. I went on an and on about how I went above and beyond their expectations. How I recommended what they would like the most on the menu and then how delicious the food was. I even wrote some fake ass bullshit about how good I was with their children and how I made them laugh and finish their veggies. I also wrote that I suggested which Broadway shows they would enjoy. Basically, I said that I was an angel sent from Heaven so that I could serve at Houlihan's. I then put that letter into an envelope, stamped it and addressed it to Houlihan's. Then I put that envelope into another envelope and sent it to my friend who lived in Georgia and mailed it to him. When Ron got the letter, all he had to do was drop it back into a mailbox so it would be postmarked Georgia and no one would ever suspect that I wrote it about myself.

A few days later, the letter appeared. My manager was elated. She was so proud of me that she stapled the letter to the bulletin board so everyone could see what high standards they needed to live up to. I was the superstar waiter of Houlihan's Times Square. Only a couple of people knew that I wrote that shit myself while most people just couldn't believe that someone would write that about me. But there it was in black and white and hanging in the kitchen. And it was postmarked from Georgia so it must be true. The letter stayed there for a few weeks. Best of all, my manager rewarded me with a $50 gift card for TGIFridays. Yep. And all it cost me was about ten minutes of time and two stamps. It really is one of my proudest moments. My manager would be so disappointed if she knew the truth. There was no family in Athens, Georgia who loved me. I'm sorry, Gladys. But thanks for the free food.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Happy Birthday, Lucy

I love Lucy. Today would have been her 100th birthday and it's pretty amazing that she can still make people laugh even though we have all seen the clips a million times. There was one classic episode of I Love Lucy that means a lot to The Bitchy Waiter; Episode #92, "The Diner." It aired on April 26, 1954. It's the one where the Ricardos and the Mertzes buy a diner together and it culminates in an all out food fight at the end of the episode before they sell the diner back to the original owner. How can something filmed over fifty years ago still seem so fresh and funny? All four of those actors were comedic geniuses, that's why. Well, Desi Arnaz was just about the best straight man ever and could set up a joke like nobody's business. I can never get enough of a good pie fight. It has been my dream ever since I was a little waiter to have one but the opportunity doesn't present itself very often. Or ever. I did manage to have an egg fight once which was pretty good. About twenty years ago, my partner and I went through a dozen eggs as we threw them at each other and laughed our asses off. I was running out of the apartment to escape the next egg being thrown my way when a neighbor saw me and said, "What kind of life ya' livin' where you got egg all over ya?" I'll tell you what kind of life I am living. I am living a life where I will do anything and everything to have a laugh and make a great memory.

In honor of Lucille Ball's 100th birthday, I give you two of my favorite moments from I Love Lucy. First is "The Diner" followed by episode #172, "Lucy Does the Tango" from March 11, 1957. In the second clip, she ends up covered in eggs just like I was in 1991. What kind of life ya livin' where ya got egg all over ya? A damn good one, that's what kind. Do your best today to create a memory that will last you the rest of your life. Cleaning up that egg mess twenty years ago was a pain in the ass, but it's one of my fondest memories that I will ever have. Happy birthday, Lucy.

(sorry about the ad before this clip...)

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Rice Tragedy at Table 16

Obviously, any post having to do with children really touches some nerves. I'm referring to the post about children being banned at a restaurant which received over forty comments and 1,500 hits. There were some good points made on both sides of the argument. I was almost convinced that maybe a restaurant didn't have the right to ban children but then a couple showed up to work last night with their two-year old son. Thank you, couple, for reminding me why I bow down to the greatness of any restaurant owner/manager who says, "Take your kid and shove it."

The lovely young family were very kind and polite. Without any hesitation, they ordered a glass of wine, a beer, some calamari and two roasted chicken breasts. They did not order for their son. I assumed that were going to let him eat off of their plates. I wish. As soon as I dropped off the chicken, they asked for their check because they said they didn't know how long the kid was going to remain being so calm. "I totally understand, I said. As I printed their check, I thought about how conscientious they were being. They wanted to be able to make a quick getaway if he started to act a fool and I really appreciated it. They gobbled down their chicken and bolted out surprisingly fast. I thanked them as they breezed past me at the bar and I headed back to clear the table. What was waiting for me was a shocking mess.

I thought the parents were both humans but I now realize they must have been made of grains, for they had produced a spawn made of white rice. The kid had left piles of rice all over the place. I didn't even serve them rice. Is rice the new Cheerios? There was enough rice on the floor to make a dozen California rolls. It looked like a rice ball had exploded. Or maybe a rice and bean burrito, hold the beans, had thrown up. It looked like the monkey cage at the zoo. When I was kid, I went to the Houston Zoo once and saw a monkey taking his own crap and throwing it all over the place. Was this kid pooping out rice and doing his best chimpanzee impersonation? There was rice everywhere. On the table, in the booth on both sides, on the floor, under the table next to the booth. There was probably some on the ceiling but I refused to let myself look up to see because then I would be responsible for cleaning it. No wonder they left the restaurant so fast. They were ashamed of the Terror of Rice that was happening at table 16.

I went to get the broom and dustpan and started sweeping it all up. Have you ever tried to sweep up cooked rice? It doesn't sweep. It sticks to the floor and the broom and just moves from one spot to another refusing to go into the dustpan. The table next to Rice Hell gave me a look that said one of two things: "I'm sorry you have to clean up after that messy kid" or "I'm sorry about your whole life choice situation." One of the women at the sympathetic booth was very pregnant and it was hard for me to not tell her something like "You'd better not become one of these kind of hateful parents who let their kids do whatever they fucking want in a restaurant." (By the way, when Preggo ordered her hamburger she made sure to to tell me three times that it needed to be very well done because she was pregnant. As if I care why she wants her burger well done. And as if I couldn't tell she was pregnant. I think elephants gestate for less time than this woman. Her baby's arm was practically hanging out of her vagina trying to grab a french fry.)

Mr. and Mrs. Rice Paddy had a check that was $63.00 and they left me a $12 tip which was right at 20%. However, when I have to get on my knees under a table with a roll of paper towels, I expect more than 20%, people. My knees are weak and it takes a lot of effort to get on them. (And no I am not talking about when I get on my knees under a table with a roll of paper towels to give a blow job. That is 30%, thank you very much.) Cleaning up enough rice to feed a Chinese family of four deserves at least a 25% tip and also a "really sorry about the mess" acknowledgment. So ban children under the age of six? Bring it on.

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