A Drunken Evening…

Maddog is a little intoxicated again.  Whoops.  And contrary to popular belief– that makes it hard to type.  I had the day off today and although my friend Todd told me to go in and pick up a shift I did not.  I thought that I might, but I slept late and by the time I got out of bed it was way too late to really try and make it downtown for a shift.

So I spent the afternoon on the sofa which was a great place to be.  I had CNN Headline News on which I’ve discovered is great to nap to.  They repeat there stories every 15 minutes and it makes for dull noise in the background while I sleep.  I finally got up around 4:00 and decided it was time to get my day going.  I started by calling my friends Brett and David who are  visiting from San Diego to see what they were up to for the evening.  They didn’t answer but I left a message telling them to call me.

So I jumped in the shower, got dressed and headed downtown.  First stop, trouble.  I have been horny for the past 3 or 4 days and so I decided I would spend the afternoon in a house of ill repute.  I won’t get into details but I had a nice time this afternoon.  While I was there Brett called and we agreed to meet for dinner.  So I quickly finished up my business and was on my way.

I met David and Brett and we went to a fun little Italian place in Chelsea.  It was nice and my food was great although the service was a bit much.  The waiter was clearly a musical theatre actor and was  completely over the top.  I think he annoyed all three of us, although we tipped him well when we were through.  I think for the most part we just wanted him to go a way.

After dinner we went bar hopping.  We started at  The View which is a little place in Chelsea.  Not much was happening there although we stayed for a couple of drinks.  We actually stayed until two boys decided to play pool and that meant we had to move from our seats and so we left.  From there we took a cab down to a bar called Ty’s.  It’s a bit of a bear/leather bar.  The boys there were hot and I had forgotten how much a hairy man in jeans with a beard turned me on.  We were there for at least three or four drinks.  It turned out I knew the bartender and had actually played around with him the last time I saw him years ago.  It was nice seeing him and he was just as cute now as he was then.  After a while, we decided that we had had enough and we moved on.

For some reason, I seem to be in charge of where we were going next, so I led the way to Marie’s Crisis.  It’s a piano bar that happens to be my favorite bar in the city.  Everyone stands around and sings show tunes at the top of their lungs while drinking.  What’s not to like.   Brett loved the bar.  And David, who is friendly with everyone quickly met up with two boys from Delaware.  We stayed there through last call and then we were on our way.

The two boys from Delaware made such a name for themselves there that we actually have tables being held for us tomorrow night, if we want them.  So I think we are going to spend New Year’s Eve at Marie’s Crisis drinking, singing show tunes having fun.  I’ll let you know how it is.

How are you guys spending New Year’s Eve?

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Party Life…

I gave up my shift at work tonight.  I was dead tired and the thought of being there all night was even more exhausting.  So I went in and it took about three minutes to get someone to cover the shift.  Of course I could use the money but I wasn’t sure if I could do a 9 hour shift tonight the way I was feeling.

So I got home earlier than normal this evening only to discover that a party was being thrown next door.  The noise level is deafening.  The music is so loud the walls are shaking and the dishes keep rattling in the cabinets.  I’ve been debating for the last 30 minutes about how long I’m going to let this go on before I call the cops.  I kind of wish my roommate were here because the party would have ended hours ago, but unfortunately he’s out of town, so it’s just me.  I also don’t want to be an ass, because god know’s I’ve been the one to throw the party before.  I figure I’ll wait till I’m ready for bed and see how loud the noise level is in my room with the door closed.

Anchors Aweigh!

I had a great night at work.  I made the second most tonight that I have ever made working in a restaurant.  For some reason everyone was in a great mood and tipping very well.  I had one woman tip me almost 25 bucks on a 45 dollar tab.  I have no idea why, but I’m not complaining.  And it wasn’t just her, everyone was very generous tonight.

I have to admit though the best part of the shift was the French Sailors.

Yummmmmeee!  Whoof!

I’m not sure why they are here, but when I got to work there were about 20 or so sailors in the bar drinking.  They were cute, but nothing compared to the 10 boys who sat in my station around 11:00 tonight.  They were HOT.  HOT.  HOT.  And very friendly.  And very touchy feely.  They kept touching me on the shoulder and the arm.  And making jokes.  At one point one of the boys turned to me and asked if he got a present for being in the French Navy.  I just kind of stood there and grinned and thought to myself what “present” I would really like to give him.  They were also very generous and tipped very well.  And the best part, they let me wear one of their hat’s with the red pom-pom on top.  It made me giggle.

What’s not to love, French Sailors and lots of money.  It was a great night.

On the 12th Day of Christmas…

Yippee!!!  Christmas is over.

It actually wasn’t that bad this year.  I was supposed to go to a party at a person from work’s house, but in the end I did exactly what I said I was going to do.   I slept late.  I got up and moved to the sofa and then watched the Hallmark channel.  It worked out that just as I was getting comfy on the sofa, my favorite Hallmark movie was coming on. So I settled in and watched.  It’s a wonderful little movie about a country music singer who dies in a car wreck and is sent back to earth to do a good deed before she can get into heaven.   All of the events take place at Christmas and her good deed involves putting a family back together that’s grown apart after the mother dies.  The movie is called the Unlikely Angel and stars my all-time favorite Dolly Parton.  What’s not to love.  It’s sappy, and silly and I’ve seen it at least three or four times in the past few years.  And if I have my way I’ll watch it again next year.

The other thing that I did on Christmas Day was talk on the telephone.  I decided what better day to let people know that you care about them and love them.  So I probably called 20 or 30 people just to say Merry Christmas and to let them know I was thinking about them.  I actually talked to about 15 people or so.  In fact at 5:00 I settled in to watch Scrooge (the wonderful musical version of A Christmas Carol) and the phone rang about 10 minutes later.  I paused the movie and proceeded to talk to mom for almost 90 minutes.  Her call was followed by another and yet another and it was almost 9:00 before I restarted the movie and finished it.  I had to recharge my phone twice to get through the day.

What I realized was that if you don’t expect too much from the day then you are rarely disappointed.

Now I have to decide what I’m doing for New Years.  Our schedule at work was just posted and I am NOT working which makes me very happy.  Perhaps I’ll stay home and watch the Hallmark Channel movies that I DVR’ed on Christmas Day.   It’s just a thought.

Winter Blues…

I’ve realized over the past two or three days that the depression I’ve suffered with most of my adult life has returned.  It’s a sneaky little beast.  It would be so much easier to recognize if it just pounced on me.  Instead it sneaks up.  I find I’m sleeping a little later/more than I was.  I’m eating more than I should.  I’m a little grumpier than I tend to be.  Little things have started to annoy me.  My bedroom is no longer in order.  I don’t shave every day.   Individually none of these things mean much.  I slept in today because I was tired.  I ate a sandwich at 2:00 a.m. because I was hungry.  I snapped at the person because they snapped at me.  But then I wake up one day and realize that when all of these things are added together and I start to think about how I feel, I realize the depression is back.

I’ve also been dealing with it long enough to know why.  It’s winter and the days are SHORT.  It’s Christmas and the holidays have been depressing for me for many years.  I’m 42 and I’m waiting tables and I don’t like that fact.  I have no theatre work lined up for the next 3 months.  I’m also not as thin as I thought I would be by the end of the year.  And well I could continue the list.  Long story short I know why I’m depressed.

Now the question:  What do I do about it?

First I have to stop sleeping so much.  I need to set the alarm and get out of bed and drink some coffee in the morning.  This makes me happy and gets me going.  It’s just hard to do this when I’m really not feeling it.  I also need to start back on the South Beach Diet.  I have gotten away from it for the past 6 weeks or so, and I’m starting to gain weight, and at the end of the day I feel much better about myself when I’m eating healthy.  I also need to talk to my doctor about the depression when I see him on Thursday.  I usually act as if everything is fine, but it’s really not and I need to tell him so.  I think it might be time to change up the medication.  The tricky part there is I still don’t have health insurance and I WON’T take a prescription that has adverse sexual side effects.  And the ultimate way I’m going to get through this:  I just need to wait it out.  The only nice thing about depression (at least for me) is that it eventually passes and I WILL start to feel better.  The big question is how long that will take.  If you’ve never dealt with it, two minutes of depression is too much, so to think I may have to wait for spring to get her is a little overwhelming.

For the moment though, I just need to get through the holidays.  Christmas is tomorrow.  New Year’s is next week.  And then we’ll see how things are going.

Bah Humbug!!!!

I hate Christmas.

There I said it.

I hate Christmas.

I suppose I should be embarrassed by this statement.  But I’m not.  I hate the holidays.  I end up depressed and alone and wondering how I’m supposed to spend them when in actuality I don’t want to celebrate them.

So I’m sitting here trying to decide how I’m going to spend Christmas Day.   I’ve sort of invited my friends Bret and David up for Christmas Eve but I don’t know if they are coming.  And I’ve sort of been invited to a gathering Christmas Day but I don’t know if I want to go.  So that leaves me wondering what I’m going to do.

I have to work Christmas Eve day.  We are open until 10:00 p.m. but since I work Monday day’s I was scheduled Christmas Eve Day to work.  I’ve been tempted to pick up a shift Christmas Eve Night but I dont’ really want to work a double.  So I’ve told myself “fuck it” and I’m just working a morning shift.  I figure if someone really wants me to work for them they’ll ask.

And so I have off Christmas Eve Night and Christmas Day and I don’t really want to do anything.  I think I’d love it if I could just stay home and watch Hallmark TV movies, order Chinese Food and just chill for the day.  Most of my friends disagree with my assessment.  They think I should do something social, like go to this girl’s house from work and drink mimosa’s and celebrate the day.  I suppose they are right, I’m just not feeling it at the moment.  So right now I’m going to bed and am going to drink a Diet Coke and analyze my options and try and decide what I’m going to be doing.

And the question is:  How are you spending Christmas Day?

My Nose Is Running…

I have some sort of sinus thing going on.  My head is completely stopped up but my nose is running.  It started yesterday and was worse today.  I think it’s probably related to the radiator heat in my apartment which has been on a lot more because it’s been colder.   I feel fine though so I don’t even know what to take for it.   It wouldn’t be much of a problem at all except that having your nose run while you are waiting tables is a bit of a nuisance.  Most people don’t like seeing you wipe your nose on your sleeve while you are at the table.   Maybe I should just call in sick for a couple of days and not worry about it.   (Just kidding).

Speaking of work.

Tonight I had the kind of night that makes me think waiting tables isn’t so bad.  It was the complete opposite of last night.  Everyone was friendly and happy and I didn’t have one difficult customer all night.  I only got one bad tip, but since the check was only 15 dollars it didn’t hurt my average much.  I actually had a lot of fun tonight and as a result the evening flew by.  I turned around and it was 11:00.  If only every night could be like that.

I also got my Christmas schedule tonight.  I work Christmas Eve during the day and then am off that night and all day Christmas.  I’m starting to think that maybe I should try and find some people that are going to be in town to play with.  I had actually planned to order Chinese and watch Hallmark TV movies all day.  Now I’m having second thoughts.  Of course it might be too late to make plans since everybody else probably already has plans but I suppose it’s worth a try.  There are a couple of people at work I wouldn’t mind hanging out with and there are even more people from school that it would be nice to see.  I think tomorrow I’ll send out some emails and see what the replies are.

UGH!!!

All it will take is a couple of more nights like tonight and I’ll be fully motivated to get a real job.  What a ball buster.  Except for my last round of tables every guest I came in contact with tonight was in a pissy mood.  Geez.  I’m sorry half the restaurant is closed for a private party.  I’m sorry there is a two and a half hour wait for a table in the dining room.  I’m sorry it’s cold in the lobby.  I’m sorry that the bartender is slow as Christmas.  But don’t fucking take it out on me.  No one is making you wait for a table.  No one told you to venture to NYC in the middle of the fucking winter.  If your life is that miserable stay at home, cook for yourself, buy your own alcohol to mix your own drinks and leave me alone.  There are of course always nights where people don’t tip well.  That’s bad enough, but when they are in bad moods and NOT tipping well what can I say.  There enough said.

All kidding aside, I think it was the worst shift I’ve had since I started working there.  And for the life of me I didn’t know how to fix it.  I tried being extra nice.  I tried joking around.  I tried giving better service.  Nothing seemed to do the trick.  About half way through the shift I told the manager that I was ready to go home.  Of course since I was closing she just laughed at me.  To make matters worse because I was having a bad evening, the time came to a stand still.  It was 7:30 at least four times when I checked the clock on the computer.  How is that possible?

Luckily, these nights seem to be few and far between.   I’m hoping this is the last of them for a while.  I don’t think I could take it again tomorrow night.

And the total is…

I had a great night at work tonight.  At least I thought I did.  Till I counted my earnings at the end of the night.  Somehow I seemed to be about 50 dollars short of what I should have made.  Which now causes me anxiety.  Did I set money down somewhere and not pick it up?  Did I give someone the wrong change?  Did money fall out of my pocket and I didn’t notice?  Did someone not give me enough money for the check.

One of the worst parts of waiting tables is that you are your own bank.   At least in most restaurants.  This means that you keep the money the people give you to pay for their checks on your person.  You also keep the credit card receipts and all the other paperwork generated while you are working.  This means you have void/comp receipts, coupons, discounts, etc. etc.  All of this while juggling the tables/people that you have, remembering to smile all the while trying to keep your shit together.   I know many waiters who’ve lost theirs minds trying to keep up with the “cash” part of their jobs.  I also know many waiters who’ve worked a full shift and owed money at the end of the night because their receipts didn’t cover the “cash due.”  The only stressful part of this system that I hate right now, is that we get a LARGE amount of cash customers.  That means on some nights I carry around 12 or 13 hundred dollars in cash.  Mostly in small bills.  Which I’m completely responsible for.    For the most part I don’t mind this system.  I’ve worked with it every restaurant I’ve worked in and it’s always been okay.  Knock on wood, I’ve never come up short at the end of the night and I’ve never lost money that I’m aware of.

Which brings me to tonight.  There’s no way for me to know exactly how much money I made tonight.   I don’t track cash tips, I just add the money to the pile and go on.  I’m basing my comments tonight on the fact that I had a great evening and except for a couple of tables I made good money.  So when I subtracted my “cash due” amount and then counted what was left I should have had about 50 bucks more than I did…at least I think I should have.  And so now, I’m sitting here wondering what happened.  Of course, I could have totally over estimated the tips I was making tonight and it was what it was.  But I really don’t think that’s the case.  I’ve had far worse nights and walked with more money.  So now I’m annoyed with myself.

Of course, it really doesn’t matter.  If I lost the money, gave someone too much change, over estimated, it doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t replace, fix, or make it better.  I made what I made and that’s that.  I’ll go in tomorrow hoping to make a lot more to make up for the shortage and that’ll be that.  Even when it was all said and done, I had an okay cash night so I probably shouldn’t complain at all.

I’m #1!!!

Guess who’s ranked number 1 in the restaurant this week?  You’re right.  It’s ME!!!!  Yippee.   The new rankings came out today and I was number 1.  This means I must be doing something right.  It’s all based on your sales averages, and surveys that are completed by the guest.  And I didn’t think I’d ever be first because I don’t sell certain things at the table.  We sell some of our drinks in souvenir glasses and I don’t push them.  The way I see it, if someone wants a glass with NYC on it, they’ll ask for it.  I also don’t do a lot of up-selling at the table, suggesting things like mushrooms or onions on a burger.  Once again, if someone wants it, they’ll ask.  I just give my guest what they want, treat them nicely and give them a good experience.  I don’t go out of my way to make money for the restaurant.  However, somethings working cause I seem to be doing okay.  Now if I can just sustain it.

Tonight was an interesting night.  We had a full restaurant buy out.  Some company decided that it was worth spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to have their company holiday party at my restaurant.  In fact the figure that was thrown around was about 215,000 dollars.  It seems kind of excessive to me, but then again no one is asking me.  All I know was I had to show up to work, move crap around all day, and clean up after people.  The work was not hard, but it’s not waiting tables.  All the food is buffet style and all three bars are open serving beverages.  So my duties tonight were to bus tables and say “Yes” if anyone ask for something.  This is all fine except that I was at the restaurant  for 11 hours.  It makes for a VERY long day.  And to make things worse.  We aren’t working for tips.  We are paid and hourly wage.  It’s not a bad hourly wage, but when you are used to having money at the end of every shift, it’s a little disappointing to walk out empty handed.  The money we are paid shows up in our checks, but unfortunately it’s all eaten by taxes so I’ll be lucky if I get 10 or 12 dollars on my next paycheck.  It’s nice that it covers the taxes, but as someone at work pointed out tonight, you can’t pay your rent with the money that pays your taxes.  We have another buyout on Thursday night as well.  I’m just hoping that next week isn’t more of the same.  I need to make some “real” money so I can stay  ahead in the rat race.