Sunday, May 16, 2010

My femaleness is exploding!!!

I've been told several times in my life that I'm "not like other girls". It's not that I'm magical, I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm pretty cool, but my breasts don't shoot lasers and I wasn't chosen to slay the vampires. I'm only human, but when it comes to "typical" female things, I sometimes deviate from the path. I prefer Futurama and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia to Sex and the City or Will and Grace. I love pearls and high heels, but I rarely wear them. I live in leggings and t-shirts at home. I would NEVER wear leggings as pants in public (for one thing, they are clearly NOT pants. And for another, I get that they're comfortable, fat girls, but really? You're making it worse). Ugg boots make me want to punch girls in their babymakers. I think all things butt-related are HILARIOUS. I try to avoid drama, especially at work. I am the opposite of a social butterfly. Babies make me uncomfortable (with a few exceptions). Yes, I can be overly emotional, but I tend to reserve those moments for people I really trust and care about. I hate when strangers can see me cry.


The BF and I were walking around downtown Ann Arbor, after an amazing lunch at Grizzly Peak, talking and laughing, having a grand old time. Up ahead we hear music playing and see some college kids filming something down an alley. As we get closer, we see that it's a homeless man dancing to Michael Jackson. I mean he was gettin down with his bad self. It looked like a for real choreographed routine. Everyone was super into it, taking pictures, watching this guy. The BF and I stopped an watched for a minute or two and then as we walked away the BF commented on that guy having a great time. "I thought it was kind of sad" I said AS I BURST INTO TEARS.


Why did I have this reaction? What is going on? HAS THE WORLD SPUN OFF ITS AXIS??

Normal people see a guy dancing his heart out on a beautiful Spring day and think:

But apparently, when I see the same thing, I cry like a baby.

Am I going to start thinking The Real Housewives of Orange County is compelling? Will I demand diamonds from the bf? OH GOD. Will I start buying t-shirts that say things like Princess and You Say I'm a Bitch Like It's a Bad Thing instead of Hit Girl and Planet Express? HAS GLENN BECK SOMEHOW MURDERED MY COMMON SENSE AND DECENCY? My brain cells are turning to mush and I'm going to become a conservative moron who thinks dancing is the work of satan.

Dear gods, this cannot happen. I MUST PRESERVE MY SCATHING WIT.

Off to find a cure...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

You Shut Your Mouth When You're Talking To Me!

You know what I hate? I hate when it's my day off and I'm trying to run a few errands early in the morning so I can spend the rest of the day in my pjs watching Netflix, but the guy at the post office won't stop going on and on about his recent trip to Connecticut and how his brother hates soup and he has a lot of back problems. What is with that? When did people working in the service industry decide they wanted to talk to customers TOO much? And what part of my relaxed facial expression (which everyone always tells me is "pissed off" looking ) says "Yes, I do want to listen to you. Please, please tell me all about your lame little life"?

I think people need to learn that there is a huge difference between polite small talk and one person just babbling on and on about absolutely nothing while the other just stares at you, completely horrified. And when the horrified person just keeps nodding while glancing to either side, that means that they're looking for an escape! SO STOP TALKING!

I've been working in the service industry for almost a decade now, and I would never, ever assume that the people I'm helping out/waiting on give a rat's ass about me or my thoughts and opinions on this crazy world we live in. They just want friendly, efficient service and they want to go about their day. RIGHT? I mean, is this just me being socially awkward? I can understand if a customer asks you a question, but I've never felt comfortable just striking up conversations with strangers. 98% of the time it's because I don't want to talk to you, but the other 2% of the time, when I want to tell  you I really like your necklace or haircut, I start to panic and feel awkward about it. So maybe this is a combination of me being a weirdo and everyone else being really annoying and much too comfortable with over-sharing.

The BF always tells me about how he enjoys his chats with his tables, maybe there's just something wrong with me that I have no interest in carrying on extended conversations with strangers. Maybe I would make more money if I were comfortable with that, but I mean, what are you supposed to talk about? And what sort of person just starts blabbing about their life to strangers? Doesn't that just make you seem lonely and desperate?

So am I the weirdo here? Or is it everyone else?

I'm pretty sure it's everyone else.

CLARIFICATION: That picture is someone sharing personal life details with me, and I'm barfing. Because that's how I feel when this happens to me. It makes me feel like I want to barf on you and your stupid story.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Why Servers LOVE to be CUT

No, servers are not all emo and into self-mutilation....getting "cut" in the restaurant biz means you get to go home! And everybody loves to leave work and go home, right? I mean, sure, everyone else gets excited when the clocks clicks over to that hour when they get to leave work, but that's just it...most people know EXACTLY when they get to go home. Once 3:00 or 5:00 rolls around, their work day ends. But servers have no actual idea of what time they'll get to go back home.

A lot of restaurants do a first in, first out sort of system, or a numbering system, so if there are 8 servers on the floor, they're numbered 1 through 8, 1 being the first person cut, 2 being the second and so on... and 7 & 8 being closers. So, in most places, you have a general idea of when your work days ends...but even then, it depends on the level of business, etc. 

 But not where I work. Our restaurant likes to make it even more of a guessing game. It's like playing the lottery. There's no rhyme or reason behind it, you can't possibly see it coming, but all of a sudden, there is a "C" through someone's name on the floorplan and OH SWEET JESUS, you really, REALLY hope it's yours. 99.9% of your day, this is the most irritating thing in the whole world. BUT once that "C" makes its way through your name, the amount of sheer and unadultered JOY that ripples through you is unlike anything you can even begin to imagine.

To the naked eye, it looks like this:

But friends, it feels like this:

Suddenly, anything seems possible. You can climb any mountain. Run any marathon. YOU WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. In fact, you're fairly certain you could probably just run the world. WHY NOT? There's nothing you can't do! YOU HAVE BEEN CUT!

Yes, it might be a slight overreaction, but I can't be the only one who feels this way, right? I see my co-workers faces when that "C" is through their name. It literally tastes and feels like we've been given our freedom back. Even if I'm starving, even if I have to pee really bad, I don't care. I will do my sidework and polish my section and GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE. Free soup? F that. Bathroom? It can wait. I'M GOING HOME!!!!

Ridiculous? Perhaps. But a fact is a fact, and the fact is: 8-9 times a week I get to experience liberation. And it's totally awesome.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Limousines are for peeing.

Friends, sometimes my brain just...breaks. Momentarily, that is. Every once in a while I'll slur several words into one completely incomprehensible outburst of nonsense. Or combine two words into one. Or replace a word with another totally unrelated word. When we first started dating, The BF would respond to these brain breakages with, "oh god, did you just have a stroke?", but now he's used to them. They always make us break into hysterical fits of laughter. It didn't occur to me until just now that maybe it isn't so funny...maybe this is just like in season 4 of Bones when everyone thought it was hilarious  Booth hallucinated Luke Robitaille (I had to google him to spell it correctly) and Stewie from Family Guy, but later Brennan makes him go to the doctor and no one was laughing then because BOOTH HAD A BRAIN TUMOR. And we all felt like jerks for enjoying those hallucinations episodes. We were laughing in the face of death at Sealy Booth's expense. How many hot FBI agents do we think there are? Because Mulder is gone, people! JESUS.

Do you think I have a brain tumor? Please send reassuring comments that I am not dying.

Anyway, despite the fact that I may be dying, these weird little things I do are really funny and I think from time to time I will share one with you guys, even if you end up judging me for it.

Here for your amusement is one that happened just the other day...

First you guys should know that I like to make random comments at the TV and usually The BF is reading the internet and doesn't pay much attention to the crazy gibberish I'm spouting at commercials or the insults I throw down (like a badass) at annoying, overly picky homebuyers on House Hunters. The point is, these comments are almost always stupid and not at all funny. (i.e. "shut your butt" or "so's your face).

So, when this particular brain breakage occurred, I was watching a commercial for some overactive bladder medication. I tried really hard to find it for you guys, but I seriously don't think anyone else on the internet cares about it enough to post it on youtube. Anyway, the announcer was all, "you know how when you want to go to the museum, but you really have to pee and so you miss every exhibit because you're just peeing everywhere? Now you can actually appreciate art because our medication makes you stop pissing yourself!"

First of all, this commercial's ridiculousness speaks for itself, but I apparently decided I was going to say something stupid about it anyway. What I meant to say was something like, "but museums are for peeing" which I realize makes no SENSE, but whatevs. At least it makes some sort of sense in the context of the commercial. I think I was trying to convey that it's possible to spend several hours in a museum so most people will probably pee a few times anyway. I know I would. BUT what I actually said was, "but LIMOUSINES are for peeing". Immediately The BF looks up from reading some article about our recent technological advancements and says, WHAT did you just say?

But I was already laughing hysterically, because wtf. Why was my brain even thinking about limousines enough to pick that word? Because it is totally and completely broken. Every now and then a tiny explosion occurs and I'm suddenly shouting  LIMOUSINE! at the TV.

Now that I've typed all this out, I think this is probably funnier to The BF and I.

Oh well, your problem.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How To NOT Be an Asshole (while eating in a restaurant)

Recently, I left my job in retail to return to waiting tables. I thought I had experienced every form of jackassery during my 4 years of retail, but I was wrong. Very, very wrong. I forgot that while dining out, human beings have the ability to catapult their jackassery to the highest degree. In short, people are assholes.

Let me start off by informing you of a few things you may not be aware of. Servers make $2.65 an hour. This is why we rely on the tips you leave us - that's how we pay our bills. Servers also have to tip out a percentage of their sales to other restaurant employees. It's different from restaurant to restaurant, but I think the typical amount is 3.5% of their sales. This means we are taking a pretty decent amount of our hard earned money and paying the bussers, food runners and bartenders. Every time you don't tip 20% you are royally screwing over that server. That server also has bills to pay and mouths to feed. Know the restaurant you are eating at beforehand. If you don't want to spend $60 on dinner for two, plus a 20% tip (which is pretty typical at my restaurant), GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. Go to Red Robin or Applebees. Go to McDonalds. But don't come to my restaurant, spend beyond your budget and make up for it by leaving me a shitty tip.

I'm going to go through a typical experience waiting on a table in order to demonstrate the things that are sure to annoy your server, and therefore are things you should try to avoid doing in the future.

1. Greet

First of all, at my restaurant, we pour water at the table automatically and greet the table as we are doing so. As a greeting, I might say something like "Hi there, how is everybody doing tonight?"  Common responses are:
"fine" <---not very polite
"doing just fine, thank you, how are you?" <---this is acceptable
and my personal favorite, a totally blank expression, kind of like this:

This is so irritating. Why would you not respond to a simple question like, "how are you?" In any other circumstance, it would seem rude to everyone involved. But not in a restaurant,here it's totally acceptable.

2. Drink Order

Me: Can I start you off with a cocktail or a glass of wine tonight?
Most irritating response: No.

Really? Just "no"?. Would you like a beer? A Coke? Iced Tea? Lemonade? You fucking idiot. Clearly, I'm fulfilling a job requirement by offering you a cocktail or a glass of wine first. They are expensive and we want your money.
Here are a few acceptable ways to respond:

"No thanks, I'll just stick with water"
"I'd like a Coke or a Pepsi, whichever you have"
"What kind of beers do you  have on tap?"
"Yes, please. I"ll have a Manhattan"

Yesterday, I was waiting on a young couple, so instead of offering alcohol, I informed them that we had coke products, iced tea and lemonade, to which the boy replied "Uhh, do you have coke?"


3. Appetizers

I always offer appetizers. My main objective as a server is to get your bill higher so that even if you are a cheap bastard and you don't leave me 20%, you're still tipping me more than $5. Appetizers add at least $7-$10 onto your bill. I expect almost everyone to say no. That's totally okay with me. What isn't okay is what usually happens (note: You should probably click on the picture to enlarge it so you can see what these poorly drawn stick people are actually saying):

Either people make ridiculous comments about the choice of appetizers, or they all stare at each other and wait for someone else to make the decision. I'm always willing to give you more time, so if you're not sure, just tell me to come back. Don't make me stand there while you mumble to each other while looking confused and irritated. I have other tables. I have sidework. Essentially, it's like if you were at work, you have a million things to do, and people keep putting you on hold when all you're trying to do is get a couple of quick phone calls out of the way.

4. Entree Check

 Most of the time when I approach a table after they've had a chance to try their entrees, I expect to be annoyed. That's because it usually goes like this:

Me: How is everything tasting over here?:


What is the deal with this? Why do people start looking at each other like I just walked up to their table and said hey look what I can do! and started tap dancing?  Remember me? I'm your waitress. We've met. I'm just here to make sure that you're happy with your food. I'm not here to steal your food. This isn't the wild kingdom. You needn't hunch over your plate protectively and look at me sideways. As always, JUST ANSWER THE FREAKIN' QUESTION.

5. The Tip

As I've said before, unless your server called you a fatty, made fun of your baby and dumped food all over you, you really should be tipping 20%. Nothing is more upsetting than knowing you gave excellent service to a table and opening up the book once they've left to discover this:

Another really annoying thing is tipping ONE DOLLAR less than 20%. What lesson do you think I'm learning from that? That I'm really good, but I should try a tiny bit harder? Because mostly what I'm getting from it is that you're an asshole. A recent example would be $31 on a $162 bill. What? You really needed to save that one dollar? What are you going to do with it? You can afford to spend $193 on dinner, but not $194? What does that mean? My mind is boggled. I mean, don't get me wrong. I love that my restaurant provides the opportunity to make $30 off of on table, but come on.

So there you have it. ANSWER QUESTIONS and TIP WELL and we won't think you're an asshole. Treat us like human beings (because we are).  

Or, if you must be an asshole, for god's sake, stay at home.

UPDATE: I think sick and twisted humor may have found its origins in the restaurant biz. I mean, when servers are having a bad day, a conversation might go like this (this is an actual conversation I've had):

Me: You know what we should do?
Coworker: What?
Me: Go out for drinks and plan the perfect murder
Coworker: Fuck yes.

Then later, I come home and draw this:
and think that I'm the funniest person alive.

Also, the fact that I don't drink to excess several days a week makes me the exception in the restaurant biz. When you are an asshole, you're driving people to drink. You're ruining people's lives!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Boys are crazy. I love sammiches.

Very often I find that I have become what some might refer to as a "video game widow". Especially on days when I work doubles (almost always), when I come home, The BF is very, very focused on whatever game he is into at the moment (Modern Warfare2, Gears of War, StarCraft). I can talk and talk, and he really only absorbs two or three words here and there. I really have no issue with this, since I like to come home from work, babble about my day for a few minutes, take a bubble bath and check my emails and the facebook and such. But man oh man, the game is always SO LOUD that I usually end up taking my laptop in the bedroom so I can watch something awesome and not have to listen to people chainsawing each other's faces off or blowing each other up with nukes. ANYWAY. The other night I noticed that The BF was also logged onto facebook, and rather than talk loudly enough for him to hear me from maybe 15 feet away, I decided to start a facebook chat with him. It went something like this:

Me: make me a sammich!

The BF: oh noooes! I have no sammichs

Me:  yeah, you just have to make one. that's how sammiches work. 
        there aren't any, and then you make one
        and then there is a sammich

Me: lets hang out for one hour, and then I will sleep and you will chainsaw creatures in the chest.

The BF: I'll be done in 10 minutes. Are you hungry?


I found this conversation absolutely hilarious. It was just as effective as trying to talk to communicate verbally while he's very focused on something, except he took the time to read what I wrote, formulate a response, type the response, and then still did not remember a thing that happened. Boys are very silly.

Anyway! Sammiches!! I love them. And I want one of these:
k, thanks!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Green Thumb; Thumbs up

Holy crap, guys. I'm growing stuff!

For Easter, my mom filled my  basket (bag) with lots of cool kitchen-y stuff...a zester, a new tea kettle, an adorable apron, a candy thermometer, etc. Also in this basket o' goodies were three tiny little pots and seed packets. My mom had given me the gift of life! (ha! puns!) I was gonna grow chives, parsley, and basil. IN MY OWN HOME.

I was so excited. And then I got home and realized....I have never successfully kept a plant alive before. I couldn't remember really even trying, but it seemed likely that I had tried, and the plant died and I just blocked it from my memory so I would never have to remember what a huge embarrassing failure I am. I had a total moment of panic. I stared at the tiny, adorable little pots for a while, then I set them down and slowly backed away from them.

I stayed away for an entire week before I decided that the possibility of making pesto whenever I wanted to (for almost free!) was too enticing to let my fear of failure prevent me from even trying. So I planted the little buggers and put them in my bedroom window. I repurposed the "hey cat, stop doing that" spray bottle as a "please, please grow tiny plants" spray bottle and put it on my nightstand so I would remember to use it. AND I DID. And a few days ago when I woke up and went to water them, I saw this:

They're growing!! woot woot! I did it! My guess is that the chives are in the forefront, basil to the right and parsley to the left. Since I know absolutely nothing about plants, I'm just assuming that's what they are based on the shape.

This is way too gratifying of an experience for me. It's a little weird, right? I mean, should I really be this proud of myself? I've kept two cats alive for 2 years now, and no one ever bought me a congratulatory gift. So what's the big deal with plants? Because I totally feel like The BF should be buying me a present with a card attached that says something like, "wow, you did it! Great job! You are so good at stuff you've never been good at before".

I can't explain why I find it so thrilling, but I do. I really, really do.

I used to think gardening was so lame. I couldn't think of anything that sounded like a worse pasttime to me. I wouldn't have even made my Sims do it if you couldn't eventually grow your own food, and also I like my Sims to be experts at every skill possible so they can own/run the entire Sims world. ANYWAY. This has totally turned me around. I get it now. When people tell me they love gardening, I will no longer picture Martha Stewart or some other crazy old lady with her gardening gloves and knee pad-thing. I'll just nod my head knowingly. "Yeah", I'll say. "I totally get that. I grow my own herbs. Suck on that".