And how would you liked that cooked?

I just worked my first swing shift. A swing shift is when you go in midway through lunch and stay until the restaurant is off the wait for the evening. Today I got to work at 1:30 and my station was cut at 10:30. Overall it was not a bad day, and I do have to admit that my new outlook is working great. For the last two days I’ve had great shifts, worked hard and made good money. And basically I just tell myself that no matter what’s happening there is no reason to be upset. It’s not worth losing your job over, yelling about, or losing your cool. And for the most part it’s worked.

I do have to admit though, that I had to take a couple of very deep breaths at the end of the shift tonight.

My last table of the evening was four British women who were sat around 9:30. There was nothing out of the ordinary about them and they were okay nice. They didn’t want to have fun, but they were pleasant enough. I should have known better. They ate at a snails pace. It took them almost an hour to finish their main courses. And when you have an appetizer, entree and dessert, that can take a while. They also had three rounds of cocktails. When it was all said and done, their bill came to $241.27 and they had been my only table for well over an hour by 11:30. At around 11:45 they finally paid their tab. They were very sweet and told me to keep the change.

And so breathlessly I took the money to the wait station and said a little prayer. And counted it.

They had given me $250.00. Good lord. And I got to keep the change. All$8.73 cents worth.

You have to be FUCKING kidding me. Eight bucks on a $240.00 tab. And it’s caused me to be at work an extra hour. Goddamn it.

I just stood in the wait station, cringing. I was afraid to go back on the floor because I didn’t want to be tempted to say something to them. With most corporate restaurant jobs, the one sure way to be fired is to say something to a guest about a tip. The same holds true in my restaurant. But at the same time you have to be kidding me.

Just to break things down for you. I have to tip out 4 percent of my gross sales. So let’s just do the math. 4% of 240 is 9.60. Yes, that’s right, it’s actually cost me money to wait on them, and in the end I didn’t make a penny. And I’m still at work at midnight, when if they hadn’t been here I could have been home by midnight. AAAAAHHHHHH.

By the time I got home, I just let it roll off my back. There’s no use getting upset about it. It really doesn’t do any good when it’s all said and done. I still managed to walk with 13% of my sales for the day and that was still a significant amount of money. But I just keep thinking how nice the fifty bucks would have been if they’d tipped the 20 percent they should have. Ah, wishful thinking.

And now I’m going to go to bed, so I can have my new outlook during my shift tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

Advertisements

A New Outlook…

During my shift waiting tables on Tuesday night I came to the realization that I hated my job and I was completely over it.  This is not something you want to realize when you have only been at the job five weeks.  The past three or four shifts have sucked for various reasons, and I haven’t made nearly as much money as I should have and this only makes it worse.  So on the way home on the subway Tuesday night I had a little chat with myself.  I basically said to myself that I needed to stop taking the job so seriously, I needed to stop getting upset by things when they didn’t go my way, and I needed to realize that the job for better or worse was excellent money and that I needed it.

I had the same conversation with my roommate who agreed with me that it was not good to hate a job you’ve only had five weeks.  He also reminded me that it was a means to an end and that if I hated it, that would keep me motivated to look for a real job.  I reminded myself of all of this on my way to work tonight.  And without a doubt I had the best shift tonight that I have had since I started working there.  I didn’t make the most money, but I dealt with every thing without getting upset and just let the crap roll off my back.  And all though it wasn’t THE BEST money night, it was the 2nd BEST money night.

And trust me when I say it was not a smooth night at all.  The restaurant just spent a trillion dollars getting a state of the art computer system with all the bells and whistles.  And it sucks ass.  It has a response time of about 20 seconds.   Meaning you touch the screen to ring up a burger and it takes 20 seconds to register that’s what you want.  This means it adds minutes to every check you deal with every night.  To make matters worse, the entire system was down tonight when the shift started.  Luckily it was back up withing 20 or so minutes so it didn’t create too much havoc.  Unfortunately at about 10:30 when I was very busy it lost all of my checks.  Well sort of.  I could see them.  I just couldn’t access them.  So anytime someone ordered something new, I started a new check.  And then when the table was ready to pay I had to get a manger to override the system, combine all the checks and then print it for me.  And then if a table was paying with a credit card, once again the manager had to override the system and do the card manually.  Of course all of my tables wanted to pay at once and it took forever to take care of them.

But I did not get upset.  I just explained to them all that it was a new computer system and that I would get them out as quickly as possible.  Most of them found it funny and were fine.  Trust me when I say I could have let that ruin my night, but I didn’t.  I just rolled with it and let it go.

I also had one bitchy table.  They hated everything from the word go.  I didn’t get the drinks right.  They weren’t in the right glasses.  The drink wasn’t pink enough.  I wouldn’t give them separate checks.  Needless to say, I realized about three minutes in I wasn’t going to get a tip, so I cut my losses and ignored them.  I waited on them as much as I had to and was as nice as I could be.  They left me exact change on the tab with no tip, just as I expected.  I just laughed about it.  Some people are just unhappy and there’s nothing I can do about it.  The way I see it, 42 other tables thought I was great tonight.  One didn’t.  I don’t think it was me.  On other nights yes, it was me.  But not tonight.

Tomorrow (Friday) I have to be at a meeting at 9:00 a.m. for the shows in Oklahoma for next summer.  Maybe tomorrow’s post should be Oklahoma Day One?

Two and a half weeks till Thanksgiving…

My goal of sleeping in this morning was short lived.  I had set my alarm to go off at noon, and the coffee was supposed to be finished brewing by then.  But I rolled over at 8:30 and was wide awake.  I tried for about thirty more minutes to go back to sleep and finally said screw it and got up.  Although, I’m tired I did manage to get most of my errands done today and I’m not so sure I would have if I had slept till noon.  I do know that staying up till 4 a.m. and then getting out of bed at 9:00 takes it’s toll as the day wears on.  I fell asleep watching Saturday Night Live tonight.  Of course that might have been because it was one of the worst episodes ever, but I’ll just say I was tired.

One of the things I did do today was go to the gym to weigh myself.  I’ve mentioned before that my scale at home will give me five different readings if I weigh myself five different times.  It gets a little frustrating sometimes when I’m trying to figure out if I’m losing weight or not.  The scale at my gym is this huge industrial scale that gives an exact reading every time.  According to the scale today I’ve lost five more pounds.  That brings my grand total weight loss to 57 pounds.  I’m very proud of myself.  I actually wore clothes today that I haven’t been able to wear in three years.  I went through most of my clothes a couple of weeks ago and pulled out the things I should be able to wear soon.  It’s the one advantage of having saved all my skinny clothes.  I have lots and lots of things to wear as the weight comes off.  I’ll be really excited when I get down to 185 because I’ll have an entire wardrobe of things to choose from.  Not to mention it will be fun to wear nice clothes for a change instead of clothes that are baggy that I try to hide in.

I also took everyone’s advice and called my doctor today.  We didn’t talk but I’ve asked him to call me tomorrow morning before he starts his office hours.  I want to at least discuss with him what happened yesterday and find out what I can do to try and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

And on a last note.  I’ve been too busy bitching about waiting tables to talk about my real career.  I have booked another show and will be traveling to Kentucky next week to do a little musical for a friend of mine.  I’m especially excited because I’ll be staying with my mom and getting paid to be there.  The show shouldn’t be too much work and I’m hoping to get to visit some friends while I’m in the area.  I fly there on November 1 and will return to NYC on November 11.  The event I’m most looking forward to while I’m there is Thanksgiving dinner.  I haven’t had a Thanksgiving meal with my family since 1997 and my mom and I were talking and she decided that the family should just do it early this year.  She called up everyone and they all agreed so my whole family is getting together on November 10th for a huge Thanksgiving meal.  I can hardly wait.  I won’t be able to eat for a month after that with my diet, but it will be well worth i t.

Rethinking My Bad Day…

I was all prepared to bitch about my night.  I was going to tell you that it was 5% night at the restaurant and that I barely walked with 10% of my sales.  But I just got off the phone with my friend Todd and and our conversation has put things in perspective for me.  At least for the moment.

He lives in San Diego and has for many years.  Tonight he’s watching the news to follow what’s going on with the fire that’s just north of San Diego.  In 2003 a fire that started in nearly the same location  and moved southeast destroyed three buildings in his condo complex.  Although he’s in no immediate danger the fire seems to be following the same path which means that if it continues to do so, in the next day or so his house could be threatened.  So tonight he’s preparing for the possibility of having to evacuate.  A friend of his actually lives in an area that’s been evacuated.

All of this makes my bad night at work not seem so bad anymore.

As I was talking to him, I realized that I can’t really complain.  I have a money in the bank, a home that’s in no immediate danger, friends who care about me, a job, food in the fridge, and unless someone knows something I don’t, I’m healthy.  My bad night seems quite insignificant when I think about it.  Of course, I have to make myself stop and think about it to keep it all in perspective.

I did make Todd promise to keep me informed about what’s going on.  Because this is not the fire in Malibu it’s not getting nearly the national attention so it’s hard to follow.  But I also don’t want to lose any sleep worrying about him.  Of course, I’ll be checking out the San Diego new’s websites tomorrow to keep up on what’s happening.

On a different note, something did happen at work tonight that concerns me.  I’ve been taking medication to help stabilize my mood for about six years.  It’s worked for me since the first day I’ve taken it.  It wasn’t exactly a miracle but it’s made a world of difference.   I still get angry and upset, but I’m less unreasonable about it.  Until tonight.  I got to work and sat through my pre-shift meeting and I was in a perfectly good mood.  And then my shift started and something happened.  For absolutely no reason, I was pissed at the world.  I was angry and was not even pretending otherwise.  I growled at a couple of tables, in one case so badly that they moved.  I yelled at the girl making desserts and had to apologize later, and snapped at one of my favorite co-workers.  The entire time this was happening, I was conscience of the fact that it was happening and that there was no reason for it.  I was even aware of the fact that if I continued I could likely be fired.  And yet I was powerless to stop it or control it.  This lasted for about three and a half hours and then it slowly lifted.  The rest of the night I was still pissy, but normal pissy, not unreasonable pissy.

I was actually scared by the events of the night.  I can’t afford to be fired and don’t want to be fired.  Most days I actually don’t mind my job.  I also don’t want to become the person I used to be.  In the old days I was a regular Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.   With no provocation I could turn on a dime and become just hideously ugly.  It explains why I was fired from most of the jobs I held during the late 80’s/early 90’s.   I hated that person but was unable to control myself.  I’m not sure if I should just hope that it was a freak occurrence or if I should call my doctor and talk to him about it.  The problem with not taking action is next time I might do something I really regret, like throw a tray filled with drinks at a manager.  I would get fired for this, I’m quite sure.  And I know this from personal experience, because the last time I threw a tray filled with drinks at a manager I was fired.  Go figure.

I need a vacation…

My ass is tired.  I worked from 10:45 this morning till 1:00 a.m. tonight.  I’m way too old to be on my feet for that many hours.  This Maddog is worn out.  And that is the reason that I gave away my shift for tomorrow morning and am only working tomorrow night.  I was supposed to work another double tomorrow and I realized about half way through my shift tonight that it just wasn’t going to happen.

Today for the most part was a good day though.  I made decent money tonight.  I walked with almost 15%.  And I really can’t complain about that.  For most of the day I was in the lead, having sold more food and beverage than anyone else.  It wasn’t until the last hour or so that a couple of people passed me.  I’m sitting here trying to decide who I should bitch about tonight.  The Italians still suck ass.  Three bucks on a $50.00 tab.  And I was even nice enough to tell them that the service was not included.  Or how about the two businessmen who paid with their platinum American Express and left me 4.15 on 65 bucks.  But the tip of the evening was the woman and her two teenage kids who were one of my last tables.  The son was clearly gay, and they were all as nice as can be.  The joked around with me, had me take their pictures and drank about 14 glasses each of ice tea.  And they left me 70.00.  On a 67.84 dollar tab.  I hope they got mugged going home.

But tonight for every bad table there were four or five good ones.  There was the young man who had me do a birthday for his wife.  They left me 20 bucks on a 50 dollar tab.  There were the young Italian Americans who left me 15 on 65.  And I could go on.  I really didn’t let the bad tips bother me tonight.  I just said fuck it to myself and went on.  Sometimes it’s hard to do that.  Especially when you need to make money for some reason.

My favorite table of the night…the young British couple who were sat at 10:30.  They ordered beers and I quickly brought them to the table.  I then asked if they were ready to order and was told they needed some more time.  I told them to take as long as they needed and I would be back.  About 4 or 5 minutes later I returned.  They still weren’t ready.  I returned 4 or 5 minutes later and they told me they were going to order a starter but they hadn’t figured out which one yet.  I once again told them to take their time and I would be back.  When I returned, I was informed that they had decided to wait to order until midnight.  This way they would order at the exact time of the man’s birthday.   Like fuck you will.  I was very polite, but told them that the section of the restaurant that they were in would not be open at midnight and perhaps I could get them a table in the main part of the restaurant that would be open.   They were somewhat confused by this, but I explained again that by midnight I would be ready to leave and they wouldn’t be able to get food from me, but there were better tables in the main dining room that they could stay at for hours.  Finally they seemed to get the idea and I collected the money for the beers and sent them back to the host stand.  I had already alerted her that they were coming.  If I had let them sit there, I wouldn’t be typing this now, I’d still be at the restaurant waiting to come home.

The restaurant I work in has three dining rooms.  The big main dining area.  A still large but less easy to work dining room, and a smaller private dining room.  The still large but less easy to work dining room was booked for a party tonight so I was in the smaller private room.  It was being used to seat general public tables, even though the atmospere sucks and it’s kind of cramped.  It’s also isolated from everything.  I counted tonight and I was 123 steps from the kitchen.  If you don’t think that’s a lot, try making a couple of trips for mayonnaise and you’ll change your mind.  It was only slightly closer to get to the bar.  So all night I prayed that no one would order drinks from the bar and that I wouldn’t have to go the kitchen for anything.  Needless to say my prayers weren’t answered, but I made the best of it.

A night in the deep end…

I’ve become the worst blogger ever. I used to post everyday, and felt guilty if I didn’t. Now I barely post once a week. What am I becoming. A lot of it has to do with just being tired. Waiting tables is taking it out of me, so that even when I don’t work I’m exhausted. I’ll try to be better. I promise.

I worked tonight. It was actually an adventure just starting my shift. On Tuesday night I was approached by a manager asking if I’d be interested in picking up a cocktail shift for Friday night. Seems a server’s mother was ill and she was going to be out of town all week to be with her. I needed the money so of course I said yes. Fast forward to today. I get to work and am pulled aside by a different manager. Seems the girl with the sick mother, came back early and showed up to work her shift. So now they have two people to work in one station, even though I signed the book and it rightfully belongs to me. Not one to be bitchy (well most of the time) I asked what was going to happen, and I was assured that I’d get a shift, if I just let them work it out.

About 25 minutes later, the same manager comes back to me and tells me I’m going to be in section 5 and that it’s all worked out. This makes me happy because although it’s not as good as the section I was supposed to be in, it’s still good and I won’t have to work as hard. Fast forward 10 minutes. I’m sitting with the crew, waiting for pre-shift to start (this is where they fill us in on the specifics for the evening) and the same manager tells me there might be a problem with my shift and to just sit tight. Then another manager pulls me aside and tells me the shift is mine, but that someone else is there to work and I just have to wait until they talk to her before I can take it. Then the original manager comes back by and tells me not to say anything during pre-shift and just pretend that I don’t have a shift until they can figure it all out. And so that’s what I do. I sit there and listen as everyone else is told where they are working and what’s happening for the evening. I now realize that a girl named Amy is in my section but I still have no idea what’s going on.

Pre-shift ends and everyone scatters to start their shift. I’m told to go wait in the manager’s office and await further instruction. At about 5:15 it’s announced that everyone needs to leave the office so there can be a meeting with a server…Amy. I get up and stand outside chatting with other employees. I’m chatting and don’t see her go in. It’s now almost 5:25 and they still haven’t told me what’s going on and they’ve just taken Amy into the office to talk to her. I wait, and wait, and wait and suddenly the door opens Amy bursts out crying and storms off. I have no idea what’s happened or why. Then the manager comes out and tells me I can now start my shift.

I head off to my section to find it completely full and find out from another server it’s been full since 5:15. Which means that people have been sitting there for almost 15 minutes without being helped. I’m now going to have to do some damage control if I’m not going to be stiffed on my first round of tables. I greet all the tables and tell them that the server who was supposed to be waiting on them has had a family emergency and had to leave. I apologize to them profusely and tell them they’ll be in the best of hands now. It seems to appease everyone. I’ve now said the same thing to all four tables and I think everything is under control. And then, while I’m standing at the computer entering orders an entirely different manager comes up and starts to bitch me out because I have been missing in action for 30 minutes and my tables haven’t been waited on. I wait until he stops to take a breath and tell him to go speak to George about where I’ve been. That I was doing exactly what I was told and that every thing was under control. His response. Perhaps he should give one of my tables away since I don’t seem to be able to handle them. I grunted and walked away. About 20 minutes later he came back up to me and ask how everything was and apologized that he was yelling at me, when clearly no one had kept him in the loop about what was going on.

And that was my first 45 minutes of work. I’d love to say that it got better from there but it didn’t. It was 5% night tonight. At least 10 or 11 tables left less than 10%. And if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a 1,000 times. Italian tourists suck ass. If they tip at all, which they don’t always do, it’s never more than 5 bucks no matter what the tab. Oh, and to the very nice teenage four-some that was the last table seated in my section. You know, the ones who took forever to order. The ones that took forever to eat. The ones who made me do a birthday when no one was in the restaurant. The one I gave the free dessert to because it was your birthday. $6.75 on a 75 dollar tab is not acceptable. In fact it’s insulting. If you are educated enough to tip, then pull out the calculator on your cell phone and figure out what 15% is. And since you got free food, and a birthday…why don’t you make it 20%. I’m just saying.

And that’s a wrap…

It’s 3 a.m. and I just got home.  I have to be back at work in 7 hours.  Something tells me I’m going to be a little tired tomorrow.

Monetarily tonight was the best night I ever had waiting tables.  I walked with almost 20% of my sales.  Of course I ran my ass off all night.  I was in one of the cocktail sections and it’s a much different beast than just waiting tables.  The pace is much faster, people drink more, and you have to be one step ahead all night.  I was originally scheduled in a regular section but someone wanted to switch because the cocktailers are there till close.  I wasn’t sure I was making the right decision but it meant I didn’t have to go up and down any stairs so I said sure.

At first I thought I had made a mistake.  There were no tables and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen.  And then almost at once, all my tables filled up, my rail filled up and there were several people deep wanting drinks.  This was around 6 p.m. and it didn’t stop until 1:30 a.m.  What’s funny is I’m not really tired.  I had such a rush of adrenaline, that I’m wide awake and I could run a couple of miles before bed.

For the most part everyone was tipping really well tonight.  I had probably 6 or 7 tables that tipped 30 or 40%.  Of course as always there was the one or two people I just wanted to smack.  My very first table of the day was  the 4 twelve year old homos from Pittsburgh who were in town for the day.  They got great service because I wasn’t busy at all yet, and I even gave them directions to the train section.  They were kind enough to leave me 6 bucks on a 65 dollar tab.  I hope they got hit by a cab crossing the street.  They should know better.  And as usual, my one and only Italian table left me 5 bucks on a 75 dollar tab.  Someone really needs to do some international relations with them and explain that I only make a few dollars an hour without the tip.  And then I had a few tables at the end who left pretty shabby money, but by then it was clear I was going to clear a lot of money tonight so I just didn’t care.  In fact I made enough money that I spent 30 bucks and took a cab home tonight.  20 minutes by cab verses 90 minutes by train when you have to be up early in the morning makes it worth it.

So the night ended by my telling the server manager that I would work in cocktails anytime she wanted.  Most people hate it so it shouldn’t be a problem getting the shifts again.  It’s hard work, but the money is good and that’s why I’m there.

Have a great Sunday all.

I’m Maddog and I’ll be your server today…

So I fully expected to come home tonight and rant and rant and rant about work tonight.  But alas that is not to be.  I had the best shift tonight that I’ve had since I started working there.  So I think I should wait until I have a really bad shift to do some ranting.

I went in to work today to pick up a shift.  I was only scheduled two shifts this week, so I’ve been a little desperate to get shifts.  I managed to pick up one on Sunday but that was it.  So the rest of the week has to be the lottery.  I’ve mentioned this before.  We show up an hour before the shift and everyone who’s there gets their name put into a hat and then the names are drawn out.  You are then ranked from 1 to whatever.  That’s the order shifts are given away.  Whether you get a shift depends on whether anyone’s called out sick, or whether any of the servers who show up to work want to say fuck it and go home.  Last night there were four of us who wanted shifts and none of us got one.  Tonight there were 6 of us wanting shifts and I think four of us got them.  I was number 2 on the list and that was great because I got my favorite station in the restaurant.  I was the station closest to the kitchen.  It’s not huge, but it means the work is easier.  Fewer steps to the bar and kitchen means less stress with getting your food and alcohol to the table.  Trust me when I say it’s great to be two steps away from both.

The night started out great and remained great throughout the evening.  Almost every table tipped 20% with a five or six tables doing more than 30%.  One foreign table double tipped me, but I have no idea what that was about.  And I only got two bad tips.  The first one was from two ladies who were clearly in a bad mood when they arrived.  I could have tapped dance while balancing things on my head and they would have been pissy.  They left me $4.00 on a $44.00 tab.  10% is better than no tip at all, but it’s not great.  My last table of the evening left me $5.00 on $75.00.  They were Italian, and I think I’ve mentioned before, people from Italy don’t tip.  And I don’t mean the Italians that live in Queens.  I mean the Italians that flew over two days ago on Delta.  I have yet to have them tip me more than 5 or 6%.  But what can you do.  There’s no point in getting mad.  All it does is ruin your evening and that doesn’t help you in the end.   The one saving grace is that the Italian boy who didn’t tip well was BEAUTIFUL.  And I say that with a capital BEAUTIFUL.  And was very flirtatious.  All though cute and flirtatious don’t pay the rent, they are better than ugly and pissy and non tipping.

Before my shift tonight I had a conversation with my friend Daniel who’s a manager at the restaurant and helped me get my old job back.  We’ve chatted many times since I’ve been back.  One of the things we’ve talked about is how awful the staff is now.  I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here or not, but it really is the worst staff of any restaurant I’ve ever worked at.  They are childish and petty and only look out for themselves.  There’s no teamwork and definitely no helping out of other people who are working.  They don’t say please and thank you and have no appreciation when someone does something to help them out.  So I’ve told my friend Daniel this.  Well, seems they had a manager’s meeting this morning and the attitude of the staff came up.  He took this moment to tell them a couple of stories that I’d told him about things that have happened while I’ve been working there.  They were concerned about how I reacted, but he assured them that I was a grown up and took it all with a grain of salt.  I don’t care that he told them, I just hope they start trying to do something about it.

In the meantime, I’m off tomorrow so I’m going to try and pick up another shift.  And then I’m scheduled Saturday and I picked up a shift for Sunday, and I’m scheduled Monday and Tuesday.  My goal is to make the rest of my student loan payment and all of my rent over the weekend.  With any luck it will happen.

AND YET ANOTHER MEME

Haven’t done a meme in a while, so here you go. I’ve got about 10 of these saved from over the past several months. This is the one I chose for tonight.

1. Do you know anyone who lives in Alaska? I have a cousin who teaches high school in a VERY small village in northwest Alaska.

2. What tv heart-throb did you have a crush on as a kid?
Sean Cassidy. I was in love with the Hardy Boys

3. Name 3 odd facts about you.
I have a number of scars on my back from being scalded with hot water when I was a child.

I have no idea what my father looks like. I was given a name about 6 or 7 years ago, but haven’t had the courage to see if he’s still alive and living in the area.

I’m terrified of snakes.

4. Anything green near you?
Fort Tryon Park is a couple of blocks from me.

5. Best quality about yourself?
I’m on time 99% of the time.

6. Who knows you better than anyone?
Michelle

7. Ever caught anything on fire?
Yes.

8. What color shirt are you wearing?
Dark Blue

9. Name a food you refuse to eat
Liver

10. If someone was to give you a gift right now, what would you want it to be?
A new computer…I want an Apple desktop.

11. Biggest pet peeve?
People who are constantly late

12. Do you consider yourself political?
I become more and more political everyday.

13. Most embarrassing thing to ever happen to you would be…..
I won’t talk about that here.

14. What is on your fridge?
A bunch of magnets

15. Favorite room in your house?
The living room

16. If you could move, where would you move to?
Downtown. I’m happy in Manhattan but would love to be living in The Village rather than Washington Heights.

17. Sushi? (Gross or tasty)
Gross

18. Can you play any instrument?
I love playing the piano, but I’m not very good at it.

19. Any event ever changed your life?
There have been many events that have changed my life.

20. Favorite place to shop?
I hate to shop.

21. Last person you talked to?
Chuck.

22. Do you have any nicknames?
Maddog

23. Are you a “go with the flow” or high maintenance/stressed out person most of the time?
Usually go with the flow, but I can be a bit stressed out at times.

24. Who is your best friend?
Michelle

25. Favorite fancy restaurant?
City Hall

26. 1 word to describe how you feel at the moment
Tired

27. Are you easy to get along with?
Most days

28. Can you cook?
Not very well

29. Do you trust people easily?
Not much anymore

30. Done anything adventurous lately?
Not really

A Day In The Life…

Sorry about no post for the last two days.  On Sunday I didn’t get home until almost 3 a.m. and had to be back at work at 10 a.m. so I cut my losses and went straight to bed.  I had an entire post figured out in my head last night but the Internet connection at my house was completely fucked so I bagged it and went to bed.  Let’s hope it last for 30 minutes or so so I can get this posted.

Last night I was all prepared for ranting, but I think I’ll save it for a night when I’m a little more angry.  Tonight I’m about as chilled as I ever get.

I had a great day today.  I slept until almost 2 p.m.   I set my alarm to get up at 11 a.m. but slept through it.  I might still be asleep if my friend Jeff hadn’t called to say hi.  I didn’t take the call but it did wake me.  I got up and made coffee and started my day.   I spent the next two hours on the phone.  I called a bunch of people I owed phone calls to and actually got to speak to a couple of them.  And then my friend Kelly called.  She worked with me this summer in Oklahoma and was calling to tell me about her latest adventures.  We talked for exactly an hour, catching up and telling each other all about what had happened since we left in July.

After the phone calls I left to run some errands.  I needed to go to the bank, to Bed, Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, and to buy some jeans.

First stop the bank.  When did customer service people stop saying please and thank you.  I just started banking at Commerce Bank in New York.  I opened a savings account there because I’m trying to restock some of my retirement money that I’ve been living on for the past year.  It’s an account that I’ve put my change in and I’m dropping in 10% of everything I earn from here on out.  So I got to the bank, filled out the deposit slip and went to the counter.  I handed the girl my money and the slip and apologized for not having my account number.  She didn’t even look at me.  She just snapped at me to give her my ATM card.  I took a deep breath and explained to her that first of all demanding I do something was borderline rude.  And that she might try asking for the card next time.  I then explained that I didn’t have a card.  She then grunted at me to tell her my social security number.  I found this interesting, since we live in a time of identity theft and she wanted me to just say the number while I was standing three feet away from two other customers.  I finished the transaction, all the while thinking that I just might need to close the account and reopen the account in a different bank.  It’s not a lot of money but it’s enough that I don’t think I should have to put up with the attitude.

Next I was off to buy jeans.  I only have one pair of work pants and I’ve been wearing them everyday.  Which means they aren’t exactly clean when I have to open the restaurant after closing the night before.  I had put off buying them because I was hoping to be down a pants size before I did it.  I headed cross town to the Causal Male XL store which is the only place in Manhattan that I know that sells big boy clothes.  I got there, looked around while the sales guy was helping someone else.  He finally got  to me and I asked him for a pair of jeans in my size.  When I bought my last pair they were size 46.  I was guessing that I was down to a size 44.  He brought them out to me and I went in to try them on.  They were huge on me.  I was happy to say the least.  I gave them back to him and be brought me a pair of 42’s.  They fit perfectly.  Yippee.  Of course I bought them.  When I was checking out, the girl waiting on me asked if I would like to be on their mailing list.  I told her I didn’t plan on being fat long enough to take advantage of it.  Let’s hope that’s true.

While I’m on the subject of weight.  As of today I’ve lost 51.2 pounds.  I’m finally under the 250 mark.  It’s been a long time since I could say that.  I still have over 60 pounds to go, but I’m getting there one pound at a time.  I just have to keep my eye on the prize and keep up the work.

After the jeans I was off to Best Buy.  Yesterday on the way to work, I caught the head phone cable to my Ipod on the door walking into the restaurant and broke it.  The headphones, not the Ipod.  So I needed to get a headphones.  I found where they were kept and started looking.  While I was standing there and man walks up and without even blinking steps between me and the shelf and begins his own shopping.  And it’s not like I was 10 feet away from it.  There was just enough room for a person between me and the shelf.  I was somewhat taken aback.  I stood there for a moment, cleared my throat and said…”uh, excuse me.”  He turned and looked at me like I had three heads but at least moved aside.  I picked up the pair I’d been looking at and headed to the counter to buy them.

My question is, and I’ve been meaning to ask this of you guys for a while now.  When did we as a society stop saying excuse me.  I’ve been super aware of it for the last several months now and almost no one says excuse me any more.  People bump into you, push you, move you, and not one of them can say excuse me.  And it’s not one particular type of person.  It’s black, white, Hispanic, Asian.  Male, Female.  Gay, Straight.  It really makes me wonder what lies ahead in the world of courtesy.

After my adventures at Best Buy I was off to Bed Bath and Beyond.  I was indulging myself.  I bought a foot spa to soak my feet in after my long nights waiting table.  My friend Michelle suggested it today and I thought, what the fuck.  It certainly can’t hurt.  I got it home tonight and tried it out.  I don’t know if it will help the pain I have while I’m on my feet, but it certainly feels good in the moment.  So I’ll keep you posted as to how it works.

And that was my day.  How was yours?