My first night back…

I’m annoyed.

Actually I’m very annoyed.

Did I mention that I’m VERY, very annoyed.

First.

I worked tonight for the first time in nine days.  My last shift was  last Tuesday.  I was off on Wednesday and Thursday and then got sick on Friday.  I called out of work on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday.  Which is a lot when you don’t get sick days, and you only make money when you are working.  But when you are sick.  You are sick.  I’m not one of those martyrs who thinks the world can’t do without them.  I’m just a waiter.  No one is going to miss me, and there’s nothing that I do that someone else can’t do instead.  So I called out.

So tonight was my first night back.

And I’m not as well as I thought I was.  Thirty minutes into my shift, I realized that I might not be 100%.  I was suddenly dehydrated, I was sweating profusely, my head was pounding and my voice was gone.  And it was only 5:30.  How was I going to make it through the next eight hours of my shift?  Ugh.

Then around the same time I was figuring out that I didn’t feel completely well, I walked into the manager’s office.  Just in time to see the NEW bar manager printing out a sign announcing that they were looking for servers to move into the bar.  For those of you new to my blog.  About six weeks ago, I was approached by the old bar manager and asked to be a bartender.  It took me a few days to decide but I decided that I would do it.  AND then I was told it HAD to be okayed by the General Manager.  Then I was told if he said yes training would start mid-February, and it was NEVER mentioned to me again.  While I was in Maine I called to see if the GM had okayed everything.  I was told he had, but that the bar manager had decided that the bar was over-staffed and that it would be at least mid-March before training occurred.  And so tonight when the sign was put up, I commented that it was interesting that they were looking to “audition” people, when I was told that I was a sure thing.  The new manager told me I could apply like everyone else.  I laughed and told him, thanks but no thanks.  I make plenty of money being a cocktail server and that I don’t really like being hung out to dry.  And with that I turned and walked out of the office.

And then I actually had to wait on people.  I’m trying to decide something, maybe you guys can help.  Is it better to get a bad tip from people who are rude to you, and make you run for things and are generally unpleasant.  Or is it better to get a bad tip from people who are nice to you, that chat with you for 20 minutes while you are trying to wait on other tables and who tell you that you are a great waiter.  If I had to choose, I think I’d rather get a bad tip from the assholes.  I don’t expect any better from them.  The other side of the coin makes me want to drown kittens.  Or push small children in front of a bus.  Or stab the very sweet British ladies that were my last table and left me ten dollars on 142.00 down the stairs and kick them in the stomach.  Does anyone have a Valium?

And then some idiot in our sales department thought it would be a great idea to have a party of 170 people sat at 11:30 tonight.  It shouldn’t have effected me at all.  But it did.  My last order took almost 40 minutes because it got to the kitchen after the big order did.  And then suddenly my cocktail area was filled with people who were pissed that they couldn’t get drinks from their waiters.  Who knows?  My guess, some lazy waiter who was upset because they had been asked to stay all night just to wait on this party and were only going to make about 75.00 for the night.  And then all of my tables were gone and all of my closing duties were done and I started to do my checkout, which is where you turn in the millions of dollars you are carrying around in your pocket from where people have paid you all night.  But alas, I couldn’t do my checkout because the 14.00 check for MY dinner earlier in the day had not been discounted.  So I asked the manager to discount it.  And 10 minutes later I asked him to discount it again.  And 10 minutes later I asked him to discount it again.  Finally I plopped my ass down in the manager’s office and stared at him while he was finishing up his paper work until he discounted my check.

And then I get to the subway only to discover I just missed the train.  And yes, there will be another, but it means I have to wait 20 or 30 minutes just to get on a train.  And then it will go “local” which means it stops at every stop instead of skipping from 59th street to 125th street.  So that will take another 40 minutes.  So now that it’s 1:30 it means I won’t be home till 2:45 or so.

And now it’s 3:349.  And I would have been in bed about 45 minutes ago.  But our internet connection is fucked again.  It took me almost 45 minutes to get my grocery order to process because the connection kept flaking out.  I had to restart the box twice before it would let me start my blog post.  I’m terrified that I’ve done all this typing and then won’t be able to post my entry.

Did I mention that I’m annoyed?

Very annoyed.

Really.  Very.  Annoyed.

Actually the whole night would have been fine if I had felt better.  It’s so hard to be nice to people when your head is pounding and they can’t hear you because you have no voice.  And so I’m taking my cold medication, sleeping late and hoping that tomorrow night is better.

Otherwise you might hear about me on CNN Headline news tomorrow night.

Is Your Dongle Insured?

And on Day Five the cold/flu was finally knocked out.

I got to bed around 2:00 a.m. last night.  I’m reading a book that I can’t put down and at 2:00 finally forced myself to turn off the light.  And I awoke at 9:15, just as I was giving my phone number to a very cute red head, whose name I don’t remember.  And I felt okay.  So I continued to lie there just to see.  And except for a slight headache, everything else seemed to be gone.  And I continued to lie there.  Around 9:30 I said what the fuck and got out of bed.  First stop, cold medicine and ibuprofen.

Then I made coffee.  (I’ve made coffee for the past two mornings then drink about 1.5 cups and dump the rest of it.)  And then I got to work.  I got more done in the next three hours than I have in the past two weeks.  I was on the phone for most of it.  I called Iowa to get the details of the show that I’m doing there.  Yep, you get to hear me complain about the land of giants once again.  I fly there on April 9th and fly home on April 26th.  My designs are due on April 7th and the show opens on April 24th.  I’m there a little over two weeks and am getting pay very well so it won’t be so bad.  I also won’t be living in a deserted house, in the middle of winter and teaching students that are full of themselves.  I promise I’ll only complain a little bit while I’m there.

I also made phone calls to find out how much it’s going to cost me to replace some software that I lost when my computer died last fall.  There are two programs that lighting designers use for their projects.  Lightwright which is an Excel based program that tracks paperwork.  And VectorWorks which is a drafting program used to create the drawings.  I owned legit copies of both but am missing the serial numbers for both to reinstall them.  And unfortunately because this is what I do, I need legit copies of both.  So I made the phone calls today to find out how much it would cost to replace them.  I was pleasantly surprised about both.

LW retails for almost 500 dollars but the vendor I was talking to muttered under his breath as we finished the call, “Call company X.  They have a better price.”  I wasn’t sure I heard right, but I did as he suggested.  And he was right.  Company X’s price was 326.  That’s a big difference and a LOT less than I thought I would spend.

VW retails for two thousand dollars and there is only one dealer so I have to pay what I have to pay.  That price is actually less than I thought it would be.  What I didn’t know is that if I have a VW dongle then I get an 1,100 dollar savings.  That’s right if I have a dongle I can get the program for 850.  And what’s a dongle you ask?  Many programs use these now, and VW’s used them on their educational versions.  It looks like a flash drive and plugs into your USB drive and the program will not run unless this piece of hardware is attached to your computer.  It can be a pain in the ass if you take your computer somewhere and forget your dongle, because you are unable to open the program.  It also sucks if you lose it, because they won’t replace it, you have to repurchase the software.  And because the software is so expensive I actually insured my dongle as part of my renter’s insurance.

I bet no one else out there can say they insured their dongle.

So because I had previously purchased the software and owned a dongle I can get a new updated version for only 850.  I was jumping up and down when I heard that.  I have about a month to get the money together and purchase them so that I can do my next design.

I also called my accountant to make an appointment to get my taxes done.  I chatted with a friend from college on line that I haven’t spoken to in about 5 years.  I returned some emails.  Chatted with the stage manager from Oklahoma.  And by the time I was finished with all of these chores, the coffee was gone as was the headache.  And I’ve felt like a new man all day.

Let’s just hope it’s gone till this time next year.

And the winner is…

The Cold.

In the battle of the Cold vs. Maddog, I think the cold is winning.  It’s been four days now and except for the fever being gone I don’t feel much better.  I had to venture out into the wild today to go to Costco to pick up my sanity drugs.  The train ride takes a little over an hour to get there, and then there’s a fifteen minute walk from the train.  It takes more than three hours to get there and back.  The reason I go so far to get my prescriptions filled is because Costco is significantly cheaper than anyone located near me.   By the time I got to the train today I was winded and felt like I’d run the NYC Marathon.  By the time I got to the store and waited in line and then got back on the train I felt more like I’d been hit in the head with a hammer.  And by the time I got home it was definitely more like I’d been hit by a bus.  I came in dumped my stuff on my bed and headed for the sofa.  I’ve been there ever since.  Lying flat seems to help the headache so I tend to only be upright in limited doses.  I’ll probably have to go lie down again before I get this posted.

On my way home from Costco I dropped by work.  I called in sick Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and wanted to just check in.  Company policy states that if you call in three or more days, to be excused you need a doctors note.  I have not been to the doctor and don’t plan on going.   It’s bad enough that I missing work but if I also have to shell out 100+ dollars to visit a doctor I’m going to be fucked.  No one mentioned a doctor’s note when I called in but I wanted to cover my bases.  I also wanted to try and get my shift for Wednesday covered.  That would give me till Friday to start feeling like a real person again.  As soon as I walked in my manager could easily see that I wasn’t lying about being sick.  He asked how I was doing and wanted to know if I needed anything.  I said I still felt like shit and needed to put up a sign to get my Wednesday night shift covered.  He told me not to worry about it and to go home and get better.  They really do like me at work.

And so I came home.  Got comfy on the couch after taking some cold medicine.  And slept for almost 90 minutes.  I almost felt better when I woke up.  Actually I felt better until about 15 minutes ago when I got up and started typing.  I wonder if I can wait tables lying down.  It’s really the only way that I can keep my head from pounding.

I remembered having this same sort of cold thing last year in Iowa.   As it turns out, it was a year ago last week.  I wonder if I can put it on my calendar for next year to take the third week of February off because I’ll be sick.  Just a thought.

Sick As A Maddog…

I’m recuperating from a bout of cold/flu/allergies/sinus infection.   It’s had me home bound, on the couch for the past three days.  It started Friday morning, was worse on Saturday and was slightly better today.   I’m in the come and go stages now.  There were points during the day that I felt like a normal human being and others where I still felt like shit.  I hoping another good night of sleep will help knock this out.  What I’m really hoping is that it doesn’t turn into something that needs antibiotics because that will mean a trip to the doctor.  And without a doctor and without insurance that could prove to be a real pain in the ass and very expensive.  I also can’t afford to miss any more work.  When you are a waiter you don’t get paid when you don’t work.  So this weekend was not very profitable for me.  So keep your fingers crossed that this clears up soon.

Master of the House…

On Friday I left for work at my standard 3:00 p.m.  I walked up the street toward the subway.  At the corner of a major intersection I stopped to wait for the light.  As I stopped, I heard the all too familiar sound of a car shaking from all the bass being produced by it’s speakers.  I stood there annoyed as ever.  Then I realized that the song sounded familiar.  I then listened a little more closely to try and figure out what it was.  At this point the light turned green and the car came closer and turned the corner.  It was at this point I recognized the song.  It was Master of the House from the musical Les Mis.  Yes, that’s right.  The guy driving the car was rocking out to Les Mis.  Only in New York.

Gotta Love Tuesday Nights…

I’m losing all faith in humanity.

My friends say that’s what waiting tables will do to you.

Until this weekend, I would have disagreed with them.

But the deal was sealed tonight.

In my past three shifts I have been stiffed (not in the good way) on 1,200 dollars in sales.  Yes, I typed that correctly.  1,200.  Twelve hundred.  One thousand, two hundred.

It breaks down as follows.  I was stiffed (not in the good way) on 500 bucks in sales on Saturday night.   400 bucks on Sunday night.  And 300 bucks tonight.   If I added it all up, the tips I received would be about 4 dollars.  The worst offender.  On Saturday night I had a table with a check of 175 dollars that left me a 25 cent tip. (A couple of people suggested I tell them where to put that quarter).  The rest of the checks were between 50 and 100 dollars.  And I’ve given up trying to make excuses for these people.  If you want to go out to eat, then you need to have the money to pay for it.  If not– McDonald’s is across the street and you don’t have to tip there.  Or you could try Burger King.  Or Chipolte.  Or any other number of fast food joints that don’t require you to pay more than the check says.

If I had actually received a tip on all those checks, I would have somewhere between 180 and 240 dollars in my pocket.  And the best part of all this.  It cost me 60 dollars to wait on these people since I have to tip out 4 percent of my sales at the end of the night.

I’ll stop my bitching now.  I still walked with almost 15% each night because many tables left more than 20% at the end of their meals, and although it doesn’t make up for the missing money it certainly helps.

But this has nothing to do with why I’m losing my faith in humanity.

At around 7:00 tonight, I walked up to my counter to greet a couple.  I said hello and asked them if they were eating or drinking or both.  I was told they were just there for drinks.  I said great, gave them a drink menu and told them I’d be right back.  When I got back, I took their order.  They looked young so I carded both of them.  They were from NYC and it wast the guy’s birthday.  I got their drinks and everything was fine.  The guy ordered a couple of more beers while they were there.  The girl ordered one more.  At one point while the guy was in the bathroom the girl asked me to do a birthday shout out for her boyfriend.  We agreed on a dessert that was kind of small because her boyfriend was a diabetic and I told her no problem.  On my way back to get the dessert I stopped by another birthday party to get a hat for my guy to wear.  I came back did the big birthday shout out (which is the worst part of my job.  Ask my roommate if you don’t believe me.)  We chatted for a few minutes and then I had to run get drinks for another table.

When I returned they were gone.  GONE!!!  The fuckers walked out on their check.  Didn’t pay a dime.  Didn’t leave me a tip.  I ran upstairs to see if I could catch them but they were nowhere to be found.  I’ve been waiting tables since I was 22 and I’ve never had a walk-out.  Fuck this shit.  After I did a birthday shout out and all.  I was pissed beyond belief.  All night long I’ve been praying that the dude’s fucking chocolate ice cream puts him into some diabetic coma and he learns his lesson.

The worst part of all of this is that when you have a walk-out you are given a choice.  Pay for the tab.  Or get written up.  I’ve seen people actually pay the tab.  I say forget that.  There’s no way I’m buying some punk kids ice cream and beer.  I was all prepared to take the write up.  Luckily, tonights manager liked me.  And told me not to worry about it.  But I didn’t know this till about 12 minutes before my shift ended.  I’d spent  the night thinking I was going to be written up.  Not that I cared tremendously.  It’s just that everyone loves me at work, and I don’t want anything that’s going to tarnish that.

And that my friends is why I’m losing my faith in humanity.

A Very Exciting Night…

I’m sleepy. And a little bit drunk. It’s 6:30 a.m. and I just got home. What was I thinking?

In all I had a great night. The server manager tonight decided he could do without one cocktail server so myself and Danielle split the three sections. It meant I was busy, but it also meant that I made more money. Yippee! for me. He’s the only manager that I know that would allow us to do that. But of course as I pointed out to him at the end of the shift, he had no complaints and except for a couple of kitchen fuck ups the night was relatively smooth. I thanked him profusely at the end of the night.

And since it’s 6:30 you can guess that I went out for drinks after my shift. We did our usual deal and went to a bar up the street and then to the super top secret bar a few blocks away for after hours. I left that bar when the bar fight broke out. It was very exciting. Punches were thrown. Glasses were broken. Names were called. I left before the police were involved. Of course when I left one of the guys was waiting outside to continue the fight. I love straight people.

And THEN…when I got home there was a fire up the street. Just before I passed the Y a guy warned me to be careful and then I noticed that one of their school buses was on fire. Flames were shooting into the air and it was very exciting. Of course being the good citizen I am, I called 911. Almost as soon as I was off the phone, the sirens were blaring. They are still up the street and the smell of smoke fills the air.

So clearly I had a very exciting night. And now I must go to bed. I’m off tomorrow and I don’t want to sleep my day away. For those of you who have to work, enjoy the day.

Restroom Humor

Sorry for the inconsistent posts this week. Ex-boyfriend Curtis has been here and has made it difficult to write new posts and catch up on my favorite characters. He left today so I’ll get back to normal.

I know that I owe you guys some pictures from Maine and a detailed update and I promise I’ll get to it in the next couple of days.

I have been working a lot since I returned from my little working vacation. And luckily the restaurant is busy again. And when I say busy I mean busy. As you know the place I work isn’t fine dining. It’s what a friend of mine calls “slinging hash.” So to make money I have to turn my tables, give awesome service and hope like hell that people tip. Tonight the restaurant was a zoo. And it was like that at 5:00 when I started my shift. In the first 60 minutes of working tonight I sold over 500 dollars worth of food and drinks. That’s as much as I sold in one whole shift in the days before I left for Maine. And to tell you how much I was running, I was selling alcohol two to one to food. I was at the bar more tonight than I was at my tables.

And I would love to tell you that I made a million bucks. But unfortunately the bad tippers were out tonight. I calculated that I was stiffed (and as always, not in the good way) on almost 500 dollars in sales tonight. If you do the math that’s somewhere between 75 and 100 dollars that I should have walked home with. Not that I’m complaining. When you are in it for the volume, you still make a decent amount of money.

The real fun of the evening was looking up to discover my roommate and two of his friends waiting for a table in my section. I had been telling him he should stop in since I started work and he finally took me up on my offer. Of course he got there seconds before I had to do the thing I hate most about my job. A birthday shout out. Ugh. You have to get the dessert, get the candles, go to the table, make the guest stand on a chair and then announce their birthday to the restaurant. You can’t imagine how much I hate this. It’s so bad that some servers just refuse to do it. I figure if it’s the difference between 15 percent and 25 percent it’s worth it. Of course I never give the free birthday dessert. If you want me to announce your birthday, then you damn well have to order dessert. Other wise, I hope your mom sent you a card.

And now for the best question I get asked as a server. Actually they are a series of questions, that I will follow with my answers.

1. Do you know where the bathroom is? No, today is my first day and they haven’t shown me where they are.

2. Do you have a bathroom? No, but Starbucks is just across the street. I’ll tell your server you’ll be gone for a few minutes.

3. Where are the toilets? In the bathroom.

Ah, the fun of serving the public.

Maddog’s Night of Almost Fun

I need you guys to do me a favor.

The next time I even think about bringing someone home with me.  Slap me really hard.

I was on the subway tonight, minding my own business, tapping my foot to the music playing on my Ipod.  I was about 4 stops from home when I noticed a very cute Hispanic boy down the way looking at me.  For a while I ignored him, but it became more and more apparent that he was cruising me.  So I started looking back.  And then he smiled.  And then I smiled.  And this went on till I got off the train.  Just before the doors closed he got up and got off the train as well.

And so he approached me on the platform.  He said hello.  I said hello back.  His English was terrible and I couldn’t really understand what he was saying.  I know he was from the Dominican Republic, his name was Alex, and that he was cute.  And so what was I to do but to invite him home with me.

I should say at this point, that I have lived in my current apartment since July of 2006 and I’ve never brought anyone home before.  In fact, the only action my room has ever gotten was the “action” I get from my right hand.  So this was a big deal to invite someone home with me.

And so we started home.  We chatted as we walked.  Well sort of.  He talked and I said, uh-huh a lot.  He did ask me if I lived alone and if I had a boyfriend.  My answers were no, and no.   And so as we arrived at my apartment I explained that he needed to be quiet and we headed for the bedroom.

And this is where things started to disintegrate.  I went to the bathroom, and when I came out he was almost naked.  So much for the fun of undressing him.  Second, he shouldn’t have removed his hat.  He was mostly bald.  Not that I don’t like bald men, because I do.  But he was not one of the more attractive bald men I’ve seen.  A good example of what I’m talking about is Kenny Chesney, the country music star.

With the hat, very cute.

kenny_chesney_1-1024.jpg

Without the hat, not so much.

kenny_chesney_without_a_hat_4.jpg

And then he grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.  I’ve noticed this in other Hispanic men I’ve been with.  They latch onto  you, like their life depends on it, and there’s not getting them to back off.  After about 15 seconds of this, I was pushing him away with all my might.  And I still couldn’t get him to relent.  This basically went on the whole time we were having sex.  Ugh.  And then there was the sex.  He was terrible.  And because he didn’t speak English, there was no getting him to understand what I wanted.  And trust me I tried.  And when it became clear what this was amounting to, all I wanted was for him to cum and go.  And unfortunately that took forever.  Ugh, again.  Of course I haven’t gotten to the two best parts.  First, he told me he loved me, over and over the whole time we were having sex.  And then would follow that with, mi amour.  And then I love you.  Then mi amour.  And then when it couldn’t get any worse, he asked me if I loved him.  And I wanted to laugh.  Actually I wanted him to leave but what can you do.  And then…………..he finally came.  And then we were lying there.  And it quickly became apparent that he wanted to spend the night.  No way.  I let him lie there for about 5 minutes and then said, well you gotta go.  To which he responded that he only wanted to stay for three hours.  And I said, NO.  And then he asked again.  And I said NO.  And then I explained that he couldn’t be there when my roommate got up.  And then he asked me if my roommate was my boyfriend.  And well what could I say.  YES, YES, YES…he’s my boyfriend.  And this pissed him off royally.  He didn’t speak to me again.  Not while he was getting dressed.  Not when he was leaving.  Not at all.  He shook my hand just before he went out the door.  He was visibly pissed.  But what was I to do.  I hadn’t known him long enough to be in love.  There was no way I was letting a stranger sleep over.  Especially since the sex was bad.  And well he just had to go.

And that my friends, is why I need you to slap me the next time I even consider bringing a stranger home with me.

Of course I should mention, the he was Dominican in every sense of the word.  If only he’d known what to do with it.

Maddog’s Beat!!!

It’s Monday night and I’m tired. It’s been a fun filled, busy weekend. We had rehearsals on Friday night, and Saturday afternoon, a party Friday night, a performance on Saturday night, a performance on Sunday night, I went dancing at the gay bar on Saturday night, got drunk with a really hot femme lesbian last night and talked about sex until 2:00 a.m. this morning, went to the theatre to strike the show today and just got home from dinner. I’m exhausted. I’m going to need ten days off to just bounce back from my ten days off. I have to be up early so this will be a short post, but I promise this week to deliver pictures, stories, and all the fun facts of the weekend.