Rantings by Maddog

Sorry I’ve been MIA for the last week or so.  The exhaustion of working at the restaurant has been kicking my ass.  When I haven’t been there, I’ve been on the couch or in bed.  There was also part of me that was worried that my blog was going to become the restaurant complaint forum.  So I kind of avoided it for the past week or so.   But no more.  I’m still tired, but less so and well if the blog turns into a complaint corner, so be it.

So what has annoyed me this week?

People who stop at the bottom and tops of stairs and escalators for whatever reason.  This is especially true when it’s an escalator.  There is a flow of traffic behind you that cannot stop.  You must keep moving or risk being run over.   If you need to figure out where you are going step aside or move out of the way.  And if you don’t, then don’t get pissy when I step on you.

Along the same line.  Don’t stop in the middle of the side walk during rush hour to check your Blackberry, I-Phone, Palm, Beeper, Text Message, etc.  When everyone behind you is moving as fast as they can in an effort to get where they are going as fast as they can, it’s dangerous to stop.  It’s the equivalence of stopping your car on I-5 during rush hour to check your messages.  If you need to text, or email, or scratch your lottery tickets then step out of the flow of traffic either to the edge of the sidewalk or against the building.  This way no one is in danger or running you over or pissing you off.

People from Italy tip for shit.  And I don’t mean Italian-Americans.  I mean, born there, speaking Italian, visiting our country.  Perhaps before you visit next time you might pick up a tour guide and read about the customs and practices of eating out in the U.S.  You might then realize that waiters make around 2 bucks an hour and if you sit at my table for two hours and then leave me absolutely no money on your 100 dollar check that is not a good thing.  In fact it’s a bad thing.  It could almost be considered insulting.  Do us a favor and don’t do it.

And on a side note.  I live in the U.S.  I don’t think English should be the national language, and I have no problem with the realization that many of the people who live here don’t speak English.  But when you come to eat in my restaurant don’t get pissed off when I wait on you in English.  I’m sorry, I don’t speak Italiano.  I don’t speak Spanish.  I don’t speak French.  I don’t speak German.  I don’t speak Japanese.  I speak English.  I’ll help you as much as I can.  I will speak slowly, and talk to you in very basic English.  I’ll be patient and let you take as long as you need to order.  But DON’T and I repeat DON’T get pissed because there is no one to offer an Italian, Spanish, German, or Scottish or Irish interpretation.  Especially Spanish.  If you wanted someone to speak Spanish to you, you should have requested it at the host stand.  Do NOT expect me to get another waiter to wait on my table.  And don’t punish me for this by not tipping.

And just to clear things up.  Even if I don’t get tipped from a table.  The government still assumes that I made money off the table.  And I still have to tip 1% to the bartender, 1% to the food runner, and 2% to the busser based on that dollar amount.  So when you stiff me on that 100 dollar check it costs me 4 dollars plus tax on 15 dollars.  So when that lovely Italian table stiffed me it actually cost me around 5 dollars to wait on them.  Seems kind of unfair if you ask me.

If you don’t know anything about theatre, don’t assume that you can do it because you think it’s fun.  It’s insulting to those of us who’ve taken the time to study it and learn it as an art form.  Just because you have a desire to direct and  can convince your rich friends to spend money on your show that blatantly rips off Gilbert and Sullivan does not mean you should.  In fact, you should not.  There’s more to the directing than telling people to walk stage right and pick up the newspaper.  You need to actually figure out what the play is about, convey that information to your cast, and then get them to perform the piece as you see it.  You also should never tell your lighting designer that the last time you directed a play was in college 30 years ago and that you know nothing about lighting.  And then make up for this fact by letting the actors give notes on the lighting during tech rehearsal.  If you know nothing about lighting, then try taking a class on it, or talking to someone, or trusting your lighting designer.  DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT let it become tech by committee.  It just pisses off the people that know what they are doing and makes them want to throw a follow spot at your head.

Do not assume that just because I’m new that I don’t know what I’m doing at the restaurant.  Just so you know, I was waiting tables when you were in kindergarten.  I’m not proud of this fact, but it is a fact all the same.  On any given day, I can wait circles around you, make twice as much money as you, and still have time to grab something to drink in the kitchen.  I don’t care that you are twenty years younger than me.  It doesn’t make you smarter, and it doesn’t make you good and nothing will help the bad attitude you display at every given moment.  If you hate your job so much then get a new one.  Or are you worried that you’ll never get another one because you are so bad at the first one.

If you tell someone you are going to be some place at 9:00.  Then be there.  I don’t want to get there and wait for 90 minutes till you finally arrive and then discover that you aren’t ready to do the work anyway.  That’s what happened today at the theatre.  I arrived at 9:00 to start rehearsing.  The actors were supposed to be there at 10:00.  At 10:15 only two of the 15 actors were there and no one from the theatre had arrived to let us in.  Most of the actors didn’t arrive till after 11:00 and we weren’t let into the theatre until 11:30.  At which point we discovered that nothing had been set up for our rehearsal.  It took another hour to get the space ready.  At which point we started rehearsal only to discover that several of the actors had gotten bored and gone shopping.  You may not realize this, but theatre isn’t my hobby.  It’s not something I do for fun.  Yes, I enjoy it but I take it seriously.  I expect you to do the same.  If you just want to play at it, do community theatre.  I’ll never see you at a community theatre rehearsal because I don’t do community theatre.  So there.

That’s all my ranting for tonight.  Tune in next week when I’m sure there’s bound to be more.


9 thoughts on “Rantings by Maddog

  1. Mikell October 2, 2007 / 05:52

    Don’t worry about ranting about work too much. I think you’ll remember that we suggested that if you took the job it would give you blog fodder for the posting.

    All your other points are spot on, and transcend the theater world.

  2. Kelly October 2, 2007 / 06:02

    It your blog, vent if you want… besides, you are correct on all your points…

  3. Lemuel October 2, 2007 / 06:53

    I’m with you in all your rants. Justified!
    You actually enlightened me on the required “sharing” of the “profits” to the barkeep, etc. I was not aware of that. In particular it sucks when *you* get no tip!

    I was intrigued by your comment on the Italians. I have pen pals in Germany. A few years ago they visited the US. One of their reactions was that “everyone” wanted to be tipped. I was a bit surprised that either they had not researched or their tour guide had not told them how things are here. When I visited Germany in 1971, I took time to research and to know those kinds of things.

  4. Troy October 2, 2007 / 06:57

    “Would that the stage were a tightrope where no idiot dared to tread.” – Can’t remember who said it, but it sums up my feelings about people who play at putting on plays.

  5. Cincy Diva October 2, 2007 / 07:08

    When I worked in room service at a major hotel, they would brief us on European guests. It seems that in most of Europe, they pay their service providers an actual living wage so that they do not depend on tips. Not trying to justify them stiffing you. Just showing how the US is still woefully behind the rest of the world.

  6. Paul October 2, 2007 / 15:45

    From rants come raves. We’ll stay tuned.

  7. urspo October 2, 2007 / 23:14

    dear me
    well i hope that helped; you needed to vent some frustration; and where else by here, where we can lend you support?

  8. Donnie October 4, 2007 / 08:38

    I actually enjoyed reading this “rant post”. If it was cathartic for me reading it, I KNOW it was even moreso for you, Maddog.

    *big hug*

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