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heavy petting: secret to my success.

1 Jan

So lately at work, like for the past year or so, there’s been some heavy petting going on between Harry and Thing 2, one of my middle aged spinster party waitresses. I let it happen because I like to keep morale up in my joint, and what the hell do I care if some weird lady wants to pet my husband’s hair?

Oh wait, did you think I meant that he was like feeling her up or something? Yeah, no. She just really likes to run her fingers through his thick locks. And I’m like “Whatever, Thing 2. I’m just gonna sit here and watch you pet my man,” and she’s like “Oh man, Shelby. Thank you so much, it just makes me feel all hot and bothered” and me and Thing 1 just sit there rolling our eyes at them.

That’s the thing, you guys. You need to keep your employees happy. An upbeat work environment makes for a productive staff. Even if said employee is unhealthily obsessed with your spouse and it requires essentially pimping him (his hair, let’s not be dramatic) out.

This weekend Harry and I are catering our wedding for some other couple in a barn someplace on Long Island. An event like this requires a team stronger than titanium (and I need like sooo many Xanaxes and weed brownies) to run smoothly. Naturally, Things 1 & 2 are vital components to this team, because they know that I’m an anal bitch when it comes to certain party details (angle at which to place tables / level to which water glass should be filled / EXACT time candles must be lit) and that they should BACK THE FUCK OFF and just do whatever I say, and they always have a good stash of pot for the end of night. Knowing these facts, I remain content, which, in turn, keeps Thing 1 cucumber cool. Thing 2 is a different story. She gets a little snippy if I don’t let her fondle my husband, so that’s a concession that I make. Just for her.

It also keeps Harry feeling young and virile, like he’s some strapping pornstar celebrity chef. And in case you didn’t know this about the restaurant business, a cranky chef is a FUCKING DOUCHEBAG. Ask anyone who works with Harry. I mean, a chef. Not Harry, he’s like never cranky. Like ever.

Anyway, Charlie is also working the party. I got him to do it by telling him that I knew for sure that there are going to be some hot guys as guests. Charlie never turns down the chance to rip a heterosexual out of the closet, even if it’s only for a few hours. I’m paying him in bottles of vodka and condoms. There’s also a redhead working the party. But if I write about him he may lose his day job. So we’ll just call him Gregory and say that he would also like to be paid in vodka and condoms, but substitute the vodka for Charlie.

Do we know how to throw a party or what?????

Ya we do! We’re so good at throwing a party that I WROTE A HAIKU ABOUT IT!!!!!!

PARTY PARTY PARTY

Hire us for fun.

There may be weed in your apps.

Pigs in a blanket.

Also, this happened today. It is a clip of me being interviewed by the CW 5pm news about something really crunchy and professional. Which proves that you can be a hippie who wears inappropriate footwear to a legislative session and skateboards around her development on a custom neon pink Penny Board, and still occasionally appear to be somewhat of a responsible adult.

Disclaimer: I like never ever ever associate my blog with my actual restaurant, but due to extreme vanity and egomania, I am doing so this evening. Kindly do not sue me because suddenly you’re putting 2 + 2 together and you realize that I’ve been writing shit about you all along. Moreover, don’t be scared to bring your children to my restaurant just because I talk like a sailor and have a brain like a pervy fifteen-year-old boy. Thanks dudes.

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if i could change anything about you it would be this:

30 Dec

A couple weeks ago, I noticed that I’m like thisclose to publishing 200 posts this year, and that’s like fucking amazing considering the last time I wrote on a regular basis was never. We sure have been through a lot together, not that I have any clue what it is because I’m way too busy to reflect on the writing I’ve done from like January through December 15th. But what I do know is that I’m terribly interesting to approximately 35 people, and just for those chosen geniuses, I vowed to get to the magic 200.

But vows are made to be broken, my friends, because there is no fucking way I’ve had enough time to do things like open my computer and type six sentences. Just hasn’t been in the cards.

For one thing I got a puppy. So most of my days are spent wiping up urine and washing my hands. I’d say a good 77%. This is my first foray into raising non-human babies (unless you count my new 8-line beer system, which I obviously do) so I had no idea that all puppies do is shit where you don’t want them to, pee where you don’t want them to, whine and eat your 2-year-old Babygirl. Alas, I have been preoccupied in the evening when I roll home from work, doing things like buying stock in Brawny and putting a second coat of Neosporin on my bite marks.

And I’ve actually been having to WORK at work, which is such bullshit. Place has been so busy that I had to call my mom and dad (aka The Big Guns) for a bailout a couple times, because I couldn’t handle the volume on my own. The funny thing about calling your dad for help when he hasn’t come to work in six years is that you still fight like it was yesterday. We didn’t even make it fifteen minutes before I was whining to Harry and my dad was bitching about me to my mom. Just like the good ole days! Except this time he quit and fired him.

So yeah. No 200 blogs. I know you’re really upset.

To make you feel better, I made a list of things I’d like you to stop doing in 2013.

  • Get off your phone at the dinner table. The only excuse you have to be on your phone is if you and your kids/boyfriend/waiter are arguing a fact and you desperately need to google something. Otherwise, put it in your pocket and have some real human interaction.  Whether it’s your fourteen-year-old sexting at the table, you playing Words with Friends under the table or your husband “checking work email,” give it a rest. You don’t get this time back. 
  • Stop being allergic to everything. It’s so annoying. Get an Epipen and eat those peanuts, friends!
  • Please please please don’t ask me to put something “regular” on tap. I have just spent the past 3 months completely immersed in the craft beer segment. And if I’ve learned nothing else, it is that Bud Light tastes like ass. So if I’m doing you the favor of turning you on to something that is actually worth your time and calories and money, do me the favor of shutting the fuck up about Amstel.
  • Don’t be a vegetarian. Life is too short not to eat a cheeseburger with sautéed onions and fries. Seriously get over it. 
  • Don’t tell me that you “used to be in the restaurant business” and that I’m “doing it wrong.” You just waited 45 minutes for a table on a Wednesday night. I think I’m doing it pretty right. 
  • DO NOT. I repeat DO NOT order a turkey burger or a cobb salad if you’re on a diet. I don’t have time to be a nutritionist, but Tuesday morning when you wake up with your big lose weight resolution, please don’t come by my place and order one of these items.
  • Seriously just get off your phone. If you make no other change this year, make it that. If you don’t know the color of your father’s/son’s/boyfriend’s/waiter’s/gorgeous restaurant owner’s eyes, then you’re sincerely missing out on the finer things in life. Such as life. 

In other news, my personal New Year’s resolutions are to hang out with Charlie more often and FINALLY get a tattoo. And get my dog to stop eating my kid.

a jew walks into a bar…

25 Oct

So today I found out that one of my new waitresses is a Jew and it was like big, shiny, dreidel-shaped fireworks going off when we made the connection. Because something maybe you don’t know about the restaurant business is that it isn’t necessarily overflowing with Hannukahs. It’s mostly you Christmases with your Lent and your pasta and your admirable height and athletic prowess. Perhaps it’s due to the manual labor, or maybe the fact that it requires working on the Sabbath, but for whatever reason, we’re in short supply when it comes to strapping on an apron and dishing out burgers. And when we find each other it’s just magical. Nearly as magical as when you discover that your camp bunk mate is best friends with her brother’s intern in a game of Jewish Geography (vocab of the day: Jewish Geography is the game you play to see how many Jews you have in common. Like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon but with the guy who asked you to the Purim Carnival instead of Tom Hanks). Now there are THREE JEWS AT WORK! It’s so very very very exciting. It’s nearly a minyan!

The reason that I knew she was Jewish is because she told my liquor rep that she looked familiar and asked if she had ever been a camp counselor.

Rule #1 for identifying a Jew (especially in this neck of the woods, not sure what it’s like in Michigan or whatever, where there are camps for Christian people and Mormons and shit): Camp. Not sports camp, just regular camp. There’s a serious difference and if you don’t know what it is, then you aren’t one of us.

Here are some other Tribal Traits:

  • We love love love rainbow cookies
  • We find many forms of fish (smoked, canned, gefilted, Swedish) both tasty and acceptable.
  • We have had at least one form of elective plastic surgery.
  • It is said what we do not enjoy giving blow jobs. I have figured out that this is most likely an urban legend. I wasn’t positive until today when a Tribal customer said the word “vagina” really really really loud, and if the prude Jewess ever existed, I assure you she’s long gone.
  • We don’t accept flowers whilst mourning a loved one, unless it is of t the Edible Arrangement variety. However, we much prefer rainbow cookies.

    My shiksa doppelgänger Nicole en route to a Shiva call. Thanks to me she has the perfect form of condolence! YUM!

  • We all play tennis or golf. Or got a Tiffany’s box for our Bat Mitzvah. Or all of the above.
  • We never wear the same outfit twice to temple. Or anywhere.
  • We all fear picking up a penny on the floor because we’ll be ridiculed for being “typical,” but we absolutely cannot resist a quarter.
  • We are all extra religious when it comes to leaving work early for holidays, buying new dresses for parties and eating at our mother-in-law’s house for a holiday.
  • We use the fact that we can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery as our reason for not getting inked, when in actuality we’re just really scared of pain.
  • We are all connected to Billy Joel in some way.

Interestingly, if I had used “they” instead of “we” on this list, you’d be totally accusing me of being a prejudiced whore (I threw in whore because I discussed oral sex and that’s not ladylike at all). Lucky for us I had a Bat Mitzvah so the same exact shit now comes off as educational.

Like seriously what’s the deal with this. Why is it that we can stereotype ourselves but not others??? My professor from college wrote this book or two or three and won some serious (Pulitzer Prize) acclaim. And it’s like basically just Spanglish and bitches. And it’s like, wait. Hold up, ese. I can totally write Spanglish and bitches! Where the fuck is my Pulitzer? Or at least where is like a paid advertiser on my blog? I asked a Spanish guy at the restaurant how much credibility I’d have writing a piece of fiction about a Guatemalan dude and you know what he said? NONE! Like, it’s fiction, Spanish guy! Am I not entitled to spout out stereotypes as though they’re complete truths even if I have pretty much no exposure to the private lives of Latinos except for Mexican Poker with the line cooks when I was in high school? Why do I have to stick with my people??? Have we not established that the highlight of our existence is colorful pastries and misshapen chunks of ground fish and ???? THAT IS BORING!

 A chick I know (FROM CAMP, HOW’S THAT FOR IRONY???) started writing this blog about her adventures around the boroughs wearing an afro wig and it’s catching a lot, like a LOT, of slack for being racist and [other mean words] and ignorant towards the deep cultural history of the fro, dating back to slavery. If she were a black chick (wait, do I really need to clarify that she’s white? I did just tell you that we went to camp together, did I not?) people would be singing her praises for talking about something REAL. But here’s someone thinking out of the box, and delving into someone else’s stereotypes for a change. Because honestly? Writing about the underworld of the New York Area Jew gets real old real fast (oh who are we kidding, it doesn’t get old because we’ve got botox for that). So kudos to you, Michelle Joni, for being bold enough to participate in some cliché other than bagels on visiting day.

Speaking of stereotypes, I miss Charlie so much. I have like no Asians in my life now except these random customers and some kid in my babygirl’s nursery school class who dresses way too well (no offense Chaz but he’s giving you a run for your money). And there’s this gay hole in my heart to boot! Now when hot guys come into the restaurant, I have nobody to talk to about it except Harry, and that gets like super awkward.

another day, another doily.

22 Aug

Today was my first day back at work after spending 3 luxurious days in Amish Country with the fam (Just in case you’ve been frantically searching for some new entries, it was virtually impossible because my babygirl had to listen to Spotify on my phone and watch Yo Gabba Gabba on my iPad, literally cockblocking me from technology and FORCING me to read September issues of fashion magazines while I sat in the back seat of my father-in-law’s pickup truck ignoring the kids.

It was just your average Wednesday workday, with normal things happening from dusk ’til dawn. These things included:

  1. I used my trusty pink tool kit. Today it was to disassemble an easel chalkboard and hang the two sides on the wall so that I can have a fancy craft beer list. I used the following tools: level, phillips head, tape measure, (I had to take the one off my keychain because as I’ve mentioned in the past, some asshole fucking stole my pink one and now it clashes with the rest of my tools and it’s bullshit) pencil stuck behind my ear. And when I went to Home Depot to pick up what I needed and some chick who worked there asked if I needed help finding something I just looked at her like “I built this place, bitch” and rolled my eyes at her, shooed her away and continued shopping. Like, who does she think I am? Someone who can’t navigate a hardware superstore? COME ON.
  2. I chatted it up with my shrink. Subject matter today ranged from the high quality mac & cheese that one of my competitors concocts to my having the maturity level of an old tween to me being sad that I didn’t get to go on more roller coasters at Hersheypark. We also discussed how good I am at throwing parties in barns and how I should be accepting of Harry even if he’s sometimes annoying, because I’m sometimes annoying too.
  3. I ate my weight in carbohydrates. Charlie has been like starving himself and doing some ridiculous workout video (I think it’s with that sexy guy Richard Simmons but I’m not sure. Just kidding. It’s Insanity. Give Charlie some credit) and he’s got this crazy will power, and I think that every time he tells me that he’s getting harder abs and bigger arms, I eat one entire birthday cake. It’s like, I look at how motivated he is, and instead of feeling inspired to get my heart rate above 45 for more than 22 seconds, I give in to the fact that I’m a mom with a station wagon and only medium good looks and an overgrown haircut and I console myself with sugar and then I feel like I’m on top of the world. Being thin is not as great as a short stack of homemade chocolate chip pancakes with Trader Joe’s organic butter and whipped topping.
  4. I googled shit. I’m in the midst of planning a party for someone who wants a real rustic theme, so I needed to find this old-soda-crates-and-shit store upstate that I once drove past when I was planning my wedding. So I used the Google street view thing and proceeded to spend 2 hours taking a “driving tour” of Kingston NY. Exhilarating to say the least. Other things I googled today: curiosity shops in Brooklyn, Prince Harry uncensored, “wagon wheel mason jar,” cool beer.

In addition to normal things happening, weird things also happened.

  1. 7 customers asked for 7 different checks. Normally this situation would be normal, but today was an exception because the group was ALL DUDES. They were old dudes, so that makes it a little more normal, but they all ordered pretty much the same thing (burger, water) so why did they need separate checks? Why couldn’t they just split the check? And why couldn’t one of them use cash? How many miles are you getting with a hamburger? The highlight of their meal was that one of the old dudes insisted that a little old(er than them) lady at a nearby table give him a hug goodbye.
  2. Pandora played 5 BEATLES SONGS IN A ROW. Look. I’m as big a Beatles fan as the next guy. So don’t think I don’t appreciate hearing a little bit of Taxman and Octopus’s Garden. But I wholeheartedly LOATHE hearing the same artist two times in a row (and five? a lyrical tragedy) when I’m listening to a mix. After the 3rd song I said “If they play another Beatles song in this hour I’m taking the Pandora and throwing it in the dumpster and we’re listening to my Spotify mixes. Pandora’s being a real asshole.” And sure enough, they played again. So out went the Human Genome Project, but not in the dumpster because frankly I’m super scared that there will be a raccoon out there and I’ll be all alone and trapped in the fence and I’ll get rabies and die and honestly proper disposal of my music thingy isn’t worth it. I just threw it out the back door.
  3. I shot a thing of watermelon Italian Ices all over my face. This actually happened at home, because apparently whilst we were frolicking in the meadow with the Amish folk, my freezer decided to crap out on me and turn the entire contents into garbage-o. So for some reason it was near my face and for some other reason I squeezed it, yada yada yada, watermelon ices up my nose.
  4. A food critic called me out. At some point in time, I informed the restaurant reviewer  at a local popular newspaper of ours that I recognize her voice anywhere as a result of our occasional gossip sessions about the industry. I told her this because she’s a regular customer and I didn’t want her to think that she had to wear a wig and fake mustache every time she came in because I don’t know her by sight, only sound. However she called today and caught me off guard, and so for some reason I played really really dumb and didn’t acknowledge that I knew it was her and she CALLED ME OUT BIGTIME and now she hates me and I’m never going to get press again and the restaurant is going to go out of business and I’m going to have to sell my computer in order to make my mortgage payment and I won’t be able to keep up with CNN and therefore won’t be able to have a normal conversation with anyone and will become a recluse and write an epic novel that I am too ashamed to publish and it will come out of the woodwork long after I am dead and be published and win the Pulitzer but it will be too late because my babygirl will already be totally fucked up and socially awkward and have hippie children that she home schools in her trailer and won’t give a speech to accept the award on my dead behalf so they’ll revoke it.
  5. A child magician left a note on a doily for one of my waiters. See?

Another day, another doily.

ode to my cranky bitch waitress and my gay asian waiter.

16 Jun

Tomorrow marks the end of an era, because it is the last time that Charlie, Nicole and I will ever work together. They’ve both moved on to greener pastures (that’s not a death reference, is it?) and gotten themselves career-building jobs that smartly have nothing to do with the restaurant business. Yes, it’s possible that both of them will fail miserably and come crawling back, begging for their old schedule and maybe a couple of extra shifts to cover the newly acquired rent that they have to pay since they prematurely moved out of their cheap/free/relative-owned housing before deciding if they were good enough at their fancy pants job to hack it. But chances are that this is it (since it’s actually not possible at all that they’ll fail seeing as Charlie and Nicole are perfectly suited and prepared [by me] to go off into the world and leave their mark). Gone is the banter between the three of us about which new server looks like a ho. Gone are the days of sorting and classifying gossip. Gone are the arguments, the trash talking about each other and then denying it, the photo sessions at random bars, the laughter, the tears…. um wait, I’m not the gay one? Oh yeah. I forgot. What I’m trying to say is that it’s really weird that they’re not gonna be at work with me, and that nobody who I’ve been close with in recent years is left on the payroll, and everyone is new and irritating, and once again I’ve been left all alone (with my regular husband and work husband and the rest of the staff. But you know what I mean).

Today Nicole and I were eating lunch and she asked me “How do you feel about the Sophomore Class?” I wish this new group of servers was only the sophomore class. I surpassed the Super Seniors before my Bat Mitzvah was over. When you hear people talking about the turnover rate at restaurants, you forget that some people aren’t going anywhere. I’m that people.

This isn’t the first time that a staff has turned over nearly completely and left me starting over, learning lessons, vowing to never get attached ever ever ever again. It has always happened and it always will.

The vicious cycle.

One day there’s this group of tightknit homies who spend all of their time at work, and often out of work, together. And then the next day, two quit, one got fired, one went away to school and suddenly you’re left with one or two lonely veterans and a bunch of new annoying people. And then the annoying people start to grow on you, and the conversations begin to be a little more casual, and then they’re taking place at a bar after work, and then at the beach on your day off, and then one more time, like clockwork, they’re off to the next stop on their resumé.

Sometimes it’s on good terms, and you say you’re going to keep in close touch. You meet up once or twice, but your schedules are conflicting. Suddenly you see photos of their kids on Facebook and they’re graduating elementary, then middle, then high school and all you can write is “Wow. Time sure does fly. Hope you’re well…”

Most of the time, probably 85%, the terms are not okay. It’s an abrupt firing or “I quit!” and suddenly the people who you came to trust and learned to be yourself around turn into dark versions of themselves in your eyes, and vice versa. And then, as quick as they filled out their application in the first place, they no longer exist in your world (until you start writing a blog, of course).

The fact of the matter is, the type of work relationship I have with my buddies could be my last. Charlie and Nicole started at the restaurant before they could legally drink. They were kids who were trying to make some cash after classes ended.  I was just a little bit older than them, and I wasn’t married and I didn’t have kids or a mortgage payment. I watched the Disney Channel. But things have changed. I’ve graduated to ABC Family and have things like responsibilities and life insurance policies and a firmer grasp on my temper. Charlie went through 75,000 hairstyles and bottles of hair product and is this confident and motivated Asian braniac (who still can’t drive). Nicole had nightly near-fist fights with Harry for rolling her eyes too much (now this only happens like 2 times a week instead of 5). They have both offered me their shoulders to lean on so many times that I long ago stopped doubting whether they truly cared or were just trying to get the best shifts. But now when I hire servers who are too young to drink, I’m way too old to have anything in common with them (except my occasional Disney Channel marathons). They don’t even know who the Stone Temple Pilots are. Forget that, they consider “Friends” historical television.

When I was 8 years old I looked up at the servers at my parents’ first restaurant and thought that I’d never get to be so tall or be talented enough to carry a tray. Then I learned how to wait tables and all I wanted was to be invited to hang out with them after work. By the time I went to college I was the epicenter of the social scene, making friends with all the wrong employees and learning my lesson over and over again by getting ditched and used. Now I’ve outgrown them, and I’m one of the moms, tsk-ing in the corner at how careless and lazy all these kids are. Oh, and somewhere in there I met Harry. He was the first person who ever stuck around (other than this Salvadorian Herman who has technically known me the longest, as in since I was like 10) and I think I scored pretty fuckin’ big. I spent so much of my childhood and young adulthood feeling constantly alone, and now suddenly there’s someone handsome sharing all the gains and losses with me. Because even though he won’t admit it, and maybe he doesn’t even realize, Harry is really really really gonna miss Nicole.

how to be a memorable customer (but in a bad way so be forewarned).

17 May

In case you’re looking to leave a lasting impression the next time you go out for lunch or dinner, here are some sincerely original ideas for you to implement. And by original, I mean that we’re so tired of people like you and you bother the shit out of us (especially #12!). Unless you’re hot/family/a fantastic tipper/a magician/that really nice family of tall people who are always inappropriately chipper. Then you can do all of these things (except #12!) and we won’t hold it against you.

  1. Excitedly coo “oooooooh!!” when I dim the lights. This is completely not required. The romance is not intended directly for you so you don’t have to directly react.
  2. Call the owner the wrong name. For instance, my name is not Shelly. Nor is it Michelle.
  3. Come in every week like clockwork and order the same exact thing every time, but always ask for the specials “just in case.” This is especially irritating on a busy Saturday night when your server could really use that extra 45 seconds to make an espresso or pee. On second thought, I actually think it’s a good idea for you to keep doing it. Because one day we’re going to run your usual dish as a special just to make your decision more challenging.
  4. Berate the owner in front of the entire staff. Whoever told the woman today to scream in my face over extra shrimp instead of extra chicken and not let me apologize and make good on it was really really really mean and just so you know you made me cry.
  5. Order the Asian Calamari if you’re Asian. I don’t know, I’m just not one for irony. Plus, there’s always going to be some awkwardness, especially because Charlie is 100% going to be your server. Because if I didn’t put every Asian and/or Gay in Charlie’s station, life would be no fun at all.
  6. Ask me to scoop your roll if you’re Jewish. Again with the irony. Speaking of Charlie and Jews, he will happily scoop your bun, because he’s totally down with The Tribe.
  7. Have your 17 year old order off the kid’s menu. Rule of thumb in life: if your kid isn’t a virgin, they need more sustenance than 2 chicken fingers and 14 french fries and a Shirley Temple with a lid.
  8. Mispronounce Gorgonzola. Goddansola. Gondonzoga. Gonnzana. Like I could see if it were 1987 and like the only cheeses that were available to the world were Velveeta and American and Swiss and Cream. But come on. We’re like this fancy ass society with a palate for Acai berries and Starbucks and Artisan Breads. Learn how to pronounce your damn cheeses.
  9. Steal the servers’ tips. The other night Things 1 & 2 were serving a party and had 2 $10 bills sitting inside the server station. Thing 1 noticed a guy creeping around that general vicinity and when she walked over, the money was gone. She asked him about it, he denied it, but then a few minutes later, he happened to find 2 $10 bills sitting on the bar. Stealing from waitresses, even if it’s temporary, is mad mad mad stupid. Because if you steal from them THEY WILL FUCK YOU UP. Especially Thing 1. And probably also Thing 2.
  10. Be on a blind date with someone who is way too hot for you. Thanks to camera phones that produce pretty high quality photos without the flash, we have a fairly intense compendium of inappropriately matched first dates. Thank you, JDate and match.com for not requiring people to post accurate profile pics!! We owe you one!
  11. Ask where the bathroom is while standing less than 3 feet from it. OK. So here’s how this works. There are four walls in this restaurant. One wall is all windows and one wall is all wall. One wall is mostly window, with a door in the corner. The last wall is kitchen on one side, coat room on the other side, and in the middle is a hallway with a sign that says “RESTROOMS.” Perhaps if you looked up from your iPhone you’d see it.
  12. Let your child “do poopy on the floor” during lunch service. Unfortunately, the answer to the question in your head right now is yes. Fortunately one of my waiters intervened and took him down the impossible-to-find hallway before any mass evacuations were needed. Thanks Jimmy for keeping the shit from hitting the fan.
  13. Call for a reservation without figuring out how many people or what time. Basically you just want me to doodle your name. Because without a time or a party size, there’s really no reso.
  14. Be too good for the garbage can. Whether it’s the Family Size box of Cheerios that your toddler just dumped on the floor or the paper towel that you just weren’t able to sink in the ladies room trashcan, it’s still kinda sorta expected that you’ll retrieve it (to at least some extent). Even though we’re a privately owned entity (and not, let’s say, a park or highway) littering still is not encouraged. Perhaps I’ll set up a closed-circuit camera in the bathrooms and give my dad the job of sitting by a monitor all day, and when some bitch drops her dirty paper towel wherever she feels like, he can press a magic button and lock her inside and insist over the loudspeaker that she clean it up before he’ll free her. I’m honestly just trying to help, my dad really needs a new hobby and I want him to feel happy and fulfilled in life. I’m such a good daughter….
  15. Go Vegan. This is especially annoying if you’re a regular, because I’m not ever ever ever going to cook you tofu and you make me feel so GUILTY about it. Because all Nouveau Vegans are Jewish, or at least on Long Island that’s how it is and Jewish Guilt is like pure, unadulterated, conscience-wrenching disgrace. Plus, Vegans get all preachy and want you to stop using animal byproducts in things and wear shoes that aren’t leather and STOP EATING PIZZA and basically ruin your whole entire life. Worst of all, that black bean dip you’re eating has bacon in it and you’re forcing me to keep terrible terrible secrets from you, because even though you just ruined my life by taking away cheeseburgers, it doesn’t mean that I’m going to ruin the greatest chip dip in the world for you.

Are you excited for tomorrow night’s post to be in all one-syllable words? I sure am! Nothing says “I’m a fucking dweeb” like high school writing exercises implemented into your everyday life!!

how the restaurant business can really fuck with your day.

18 Apr

So I noticed that Hashbrown Harry’s website got like way more hits today than my blog because the menu is finally posted. I’d like you to know that I think that’s some kind of bullshitty bullshit. Am I not far more interesting than some AMAZING 7-COURSE FARM TO TABLE POP-UP LATE-NIGHT BREAKFAST JOINT???? I didn’t think so.

Something really interesting about the restaurant business is that you never really know in what way you’ll be busy. For instance, one Wednesday you might do rockin’ lunch business and you’re running around bussing tables, occasionally schmoozing with regulars but really you’re far too busy bringing cheeseburgers and chicken caesar salads to their rightful owners to have any sort of meaningful convo. The next Wednesday might be slower, but there’s a book club draining all of their energy by complaining about the ambient temperature/server’s body odor/size of one salad compared to another. Or another day, the phone is ringing off the hook because the communion dates just got released and everyone is trying to beat their churchgoing buddies to the punch. Or there’s also the chance that you maybe forgot to put a party in the reservation computer and didn’t realize until they started walking through the door.

What I’m trying to say is that you just never know.

Today I made a modest list of things to do, hoping to complete it FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME IN MY ENTIRE LIFE:

  • Call in beer & liquor
  • Buy new first aid supplies and finger condoms
  • Replace 2 lightbulbs
  • Email a chick about a party
  • Print our new seasonal menu
  • Find recipes for marshmallows
  • Buy wicks for my egg candles

I later added a few things that I had already done so that I’d feel more accomplished:

  • Arrive at work
  • Buy cilantro for the kitchen because they ran out
  • Drink a glass of water
  • Print a list of upcoming party menus
I came soooooo close, but my fucking font obsession totally got in the way of printing the menu. I must have downloaded 305 fonts looking for the perfect serif to go with my really amazing seasonal menu. Plus it was busy, plus there was a party, plus EVERYBODY AND THEIR SISTER (literally) wanted to book a bowling dinner, plus I had to deal with an eager beer rep who wanted to know what was with our sick Jimmy Buffet obsession, plus I had to eat 3 breakfasts as per my One Week Happiness Diet.
Sufficed to say, I didn’t cross off every item.
PLUS (did you really think I was done?) on top of lunch being a little busy, there was a new server so it required a touch of babysitting. But she got compliments from every table she waited on. I’m convinced she’s paying them off, but either way I’m considering chaining her to the front door so she never ever ever ever leaves.

Oh, that’s another awesome thing about the business. Every time you decide you like an employee, it pretty much triggers a 72 hour countdown to them giving their 2 weeks. The ones you can’t stomach never leave (like Charlie, for instance).

Who is by the way BACK IN TOWN!!! See???

Note: Even though you can't tell from this photo, Charlie and I do, in fact, have the same number of teeth.

Thank heavens!!!!

Anyway, the moral of the story is, to-do lists are not for cool cats like me.

Oh, you know what? I bet you don’t necessarily know what finger condoms are. In the fun fun restaurant biz, when you get a cut you need to keep the bloody mess away from the food that you’re preparing/serving/eating. So you get these things that are little tiny condoms that you roll down over your wounded finger. They were most likely originally fashioned to be regular sex condoms for possums. They come in S, M, L and XL. In a world where we get sued for sexual harassment at the drop of a pin, how on Earth do these puppies still exist????

it’s baaaacckkkkk…..

15 Apr

Sunshine Week that is! Back by popular demand, not because I want it that way.

Sunshine Week Mascot.

During this particular Sunshine Week, I’ll be going on The One Week Happiness Diet, which I invented a few minutes ago.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You eat anything you want, including 2 Crumbs cupcakes in one day.
  2. You do whatever tickles your fancy, such as buying a kayak or sitting on your couch for 30 hours straight watching “She’s All That” on a loop or getting a Peace tattoo on your midle finger.
  3. You are not permitted to complain about how fat/poor/wacked-out/unproductive you are, not even once.
  4. You are restricted from swimsuit shopping for 7 days.
  5. Exercise frequently, but only in the form of non-traditional workout activites – darts, bamboo forest exploring, karaeoke, reading “50 Shades of Grey,” laughing, spring cleaning.
  6. You must take Happiness Diet vitamins 2x daily (also known as some groovin’ tunes according to yours truly).
  7. When people ask you why the hell you keep smiling, you tell them that you’re on the One Week Happiness Diet, which you read about on the greatest blog of all time ever ever ever.

Are you going to enjoy Sunshine Week? I sure am!

Since Sunshine Week hasn’t yet begun, I’ll let you know that I’ve decided to pen a novel. The title is:

Instead of Complaining, Just Tell Me What You Want For Free

& other stories of a saturday night.

See you tomorrow for CHARLIE’S RETURN FROM LAS VEGAS!!!! Can you think of a better way to kick-off Sunshine Week than the reunion of the century? Me neither.

if you’ve got them, flaunt them. i’m talking about dimples. and breasts.

13 Apr

Tonight at the restaurant this really cute guy came in for dinner with his wife and 1-year-old daughter. A real family man. Except that he kept flashing his dimples at every girl in the room. First it was one of my waitresses. Then another. Then me. Then Charlie (just kidding, he’s still in Vegas). We all sat in the corner fluttering our lashes like giddy schoolgirls.

“He needs to put those things away in front of his wife. She’s starting to get pissed.”

But what’s a guy with dimples to do? Is it really hurting anyone to gaze into a girl’s eyes and make her feel like a million bucks? The fact that my waitresses felt so attractive to such a hottie made them work harder and more enthusiastically than I’ve seen in quite some time.

That’s why which bra I wear is so so so so important.

Some girls like the Victoria’s Secret cleavage, but not me. I think I’ve been shopping there for so long I consider them the “mom jeans” of bras. Every time I walk in all I can think about is the hunter green “2nd skin satin” sets me and my bunkmates bought on our trip to Montreal during sleepaway camp because the boys told us it was their favorite color. So I’m kinda done with VS. I’ve moved on to the far less mature nymph-haven, Gilly Hicks, which is literally Abercrombie & Fitch but with less fabric, if that is even humanly possible. I didn’t think that my Adele-ish body would work in an environment that is tailored towards 14-year-old America’s Next Top Model contestants (not the plus size ones, the regular ones) but this one gem I unearthed truly does the trick. I have it in 27 colors.

My Gilly Hicks underthings aren’t for everyday. They’re reserved for: days off when I’m wearing layered tank tops, nights out with Charlie or Harry and, most importantly, weekend nights at work. It is imperative that my boobs be pushed up and together, but without a hint of anything making that happen.

My weeknight work brassiere is far less romantic. It’s reserved for booking parties for ladies’ bowling teams, schmoozing with the regulars who are interested in the food more than me and running around doing liquor inventory. It’s usually paired with Spanx, control-top tights and a high-cut top. I feel lumpy and droopy in them, which is why my midweek blog posts are usually so bitter.

But tonight was a Gilly Hicks night, and let me tell you, my stories were sooooo interesting to sooooo many (male) customers. And Harry made me chocolate milk that was extra chocolatey.

The moral of the story is, if you’ve got adorable dimples, you can make a lot of people happy by letting them shine.

Sidebar: Tonight I was chatting up this guy at the bar (Did that make me  me sound like I was picking him up? I’m thinking it did, especially after this particular post, but let’s just be clear that it is my job to have conversations with men and occasionally women at bars). I confessed that I want Adele to play me in the sitcom version of my life because I really love the accent and think I deserve to be British (more Eliza Dolittle pre-Henry Higgins than post), he told me that she seems really angsty and that’s just not me. I spent the rest of the night crying under the desk in my old office in the basement playing Joni Mitchell and Bjork. Who the fuck is he to tell me I’m not angsty?

how to be a super professional and totally fabulous restaurant gal.

11 Apr

In case you’re overwhelmingly jealous that I’m in the restaurant business and you’re not, here’s a peak into my completely average day:

  • I arrived at work in normal fashion, greeted by matzo brei with caramelized apples (and Harry).
  • Made a quick phone call to my friend who keeps telling me
  • I froze my ass off in the beer cooler doing inventory and trying to decide what new brews to bring in. All I came up with was this one called Wild Blue which is basically blueberry juice and wine combined and labeled beer. Harry drank 3 on Easter so I figured if we don’t sell them I’ll know of someone who can make use of them. If you have any ideas let me know.
  • A regular customer brought her two young daughters in for lunch, one of whom didn’t remember me. As I spoke to her mom, she looked me straight in the eyes & said “I don’t like Shelby.” She quietly returned to her iPad game. The mother seemed unaffected by this total weirdness so I just smiled and talked to her about her facialist and said hello to the kid’s stuffed kitty cat as she shoved it in my face.
  • I drank 3 gallons of water hoping to lose thirteen pounds by 4pm. Even though I was wearing 2 layers of Spanx I was still feeling super bloated.
  • There were two booths without people occupying them in the dining room – one clean one and one recently vacated dirty one. On the way to the clean booth, the three women I was seating stopped me. “We want to sit at this one.” They sat down at the dirty table and seemed extremely inconvenienced as I cleaned the table around them. One woman turned the napkin upside down while I was trying to put the fork on it. Couldn’t really figure that one out.
  • Four minutes later, a family walked in and sat down at the table that the mom and the kids and the kitty cats had just vacated which was also not wiped or set yet. So not only did I have to clean around them, I also had to clean under the kids’ electronic devices. When I put the menu down the mom said “Oh how fancy! It sure was worth the drive” and turned it upside down. Is there some new trend that I don’t know about?
  • I ran three salads to a group of Jappy women. Seat 2 was getting a Chopped Salad with Pulled Chicken, (no blah blah, extra blah blah blah, allergic to blah, light blah blah) which I stated just to confirm. Seat 3, assuming the plate was headed in her direction leapt up and shouted “NO! THAT IS NOT WHAT I ORDERED” and smacked me in the face so hard that my glasses fell off and landed in some business guy’s lentil soup. I might be exaggerating, but only slightly. Bet she felt like an asshole when her friend accepted the salad with open arms.
  • A gentleman berated me (over the phone at least) for charging his credit card twice. I’d like to state for the record that this was entirely Charlie’s fault. I don’t normally like to exploit my dear friend’s errors, but right now he’s in Vegas getting into the most insane trouble ever, and I just don’t think it’s right that I have to be an adult and he doesn’t have to be, even if I’m like way older than him. So under the bus you go, Charlie!
  • Harry and I discussed what types of cheese we’re going to bring in for a cheese plate special we’re going to start running. I made puppy dog faces and made annoying marital promises so he would agree to put honeycomb on the plate. Then we made a list of every type of breakfast food one might prepare so we make sure not to leave out any staples on the Hashbrown Harry’s menu. It turns out there are quite a few. We made some menu decisions, like Carrot French Toast with a Maple Something Something Icing and perhaps a smoked grapefruit with honey & crystalized sugar.
  • I read recent diner feedback on our OpenTable account, which was almost completely positive except for this one person who gave the food a 1 out of 5, but then wrote about all the things that she loved about her meal. At first I was really upset because my rating really matters to me, but at least she didn’t write about what a bitch I am, because that usually makes me cry.
  • Booked a party for a guy who wanted me to give him a firefighter discount, which I really don’t do. I gave him an extra hour for free, because I started having these visions of my car/house/restaurant burning to the ground and him howling with laughter on the side of the road with a limp hose and a handful of bitter sexy men in uniform.

Kindly note that all of these things happened before 2pm.

During the latter part of the afternoon I plotted how to steal the audience and book deal from this blogger that I’m obsessed with, looked up bloody marys and porridge on pinterest, tried to find appropriate packaging for hash brownies & listened to Harry complain that he can’t get the vanity plate he wants because you’re limited to 6 characters, which he claims wasn’t always the case.

Tomorrow I’ve got big plans in store, such as buying nice pieces of wood on which to serve my cheese and sanding them down so nobody splinters, listening to the new Lionel Richie album on repeat and cleaning out the toilet paper cabinet in the ladies room. I really think it’s time for you to quit your day job and join this uber-glamourous profession, don’t you?