Tag Archives: spanglish

i just got locked inside the restaurant with the motion detector on. nobody move a muscle.

27 Jan

Once upon a time I got to work in the morning with a huge ass to-do list and was so busy for the entire day that I not only got zero things done, but also added like 5 bullets to it. I’m not even talking about work-y tasks, I mean like normal human being stuff (brush hair, put on makeup, pee). This business is like the occupational version of ADHD – it is literally impossible to focus one one thing for more than a fleeting moment. Just when you think you’re gonna have some time to sit down and make a flyer for your “Afternoon Delight” Valentine’s Day special promotion, some bitch finds a hair in her salad that CLEARLY came out of her own head, but she wants a bunch of free shit to compensate for the resulting emotional trauma.

As a result of my inability to get shit done, I’ve decided to start outsourcing some of my roles here at the restaurant.

  • Customer Service. (Unless customer is providing accolades or awards and/or going to provide a decent blog subject for that evening)
  • Employee Relations. (Unless said employee bears any resemblance to Ryan Gosling, Jimmy Fallon, Jason Bateman, the guy who played Marius in the Les Mis movie, Freddie Mercury or Ellen Degeneres and said relations involve a “private meeting about a private matter”)
  • Peeing. (There’s just no time for that shiz, plus the sink in my bathroom is always so cold)
  • Flyers. (I get to choose all the fonts, which actually takes up the majority of my design time, so maybe nevermind on this one)
  • Internet stuff other than Facebook. (This includes Instagram, because I actually LIKE being in my photos every once in awhile. My boobs aren’t going to be like this for much longer, I need to get them some screen time. I’m specifically looking for somebody who can get me like 10,000 more Facebook likes in a week. Also I don’t want to spend any more than $150 total on this person.)
  • Blogging. (I’m not even kidding, please somebody write a fucking guest post so this place is actually interesting again. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be interesting. I just don’t want to take the time to write it)
  • Selling Parties. (I’m just feeling so over false enthusiasm for your fucking wife’s fucking 40th birthday and what fucking colors the fucking balloons should be.)

Since I’m going to have so much free time with all this outsourcing, I’m going to do really exciting things that I’ve been dying to do. Such as:

  • Drink more beer.
  • Wear mascara so I don’t look like I’ve been crying for the past hour, even though chances are that is actually the case.
  • Drink another beer.
  • Make a Pinterest board for the next 5 restaurants we plan to open, as well as our Hashbrown Harry’s food trailer we’re now planning on opening in Austin because it’s the best place ever and we’re totally moving there and I don’t care if you think I’m just bullshitting you plus I’m also getting a tattoo so whatever.
  • Make a seasonal menu, which I have literally been planning to do since late August but I swear it’s really coming.
  • Load photos on a digital picture frame, as well as the awesome flyers Mystery Flyer Man is creating for me.
  • Write a book.
  • Talk nonstop to people about beer, even the people who don’t give a shit.

That’s pretty much it. I just fell asleep on my keyboard, luckily the dishwasher woke me up to tell me he ADIOS. I was like ¡HOLY MIERDA! ¡AY DIOS MIO! ¿DONDE ESTAS MI BABYGIRL Y MI TOTALLY ANNOYING PERRO???? NO ME GUSTAN RESTAURANTES. HASTA MAÑANA.

 

The moral of the story is: If you want to be in the restaurant business you’re a turd.

naughty (and nice, i guess) holiday party roundup.

12 Dec

Something really interesting about the restaurant business is Christmas Parties. (Oh, hey guys, remember Hanukkah? The holiday that it ACTUALLY IS right now? Can SOMEBODY bring a fuckin’ Secret Santa gift that’s wrapped in blue and silver paper for once??? Whatever, maybe next year. Anyway…)

drunk christmas

Right now we’re deep in the heart of party season. What this means for you is that you get to drink with your colleagues and eat a free meal. What it means for me and my staff is that if we could all crawl in some sort of hole and hide from all of you freaks, we definitely would.

No offense, but the holidays bring out the worst in you. Like, we get it. You’re stressed because your kid hates you but you still need to buy him a skateboard (Yo, did I mention I got a skateboard for Hanukkah? A pink one with green wheels? Because I’m a woman-child? And I’m going to break my face open and post gruesome photos of it? And it’s going to be so awesome?) But that’s no reason to be scroogey/too happy/wear terrible festive clothing/berate me because you drank 13 double Jack Honeys on the rocks and we ran out.

What you may not realize is that you don’t all suck in the same way. There are many, many different types of Holiday Parties! And with each party, a different Spotify list is necessary. Spotify lists are essential to the success of a holiday party, because at my particular establishment, we have carpet and so bosses have the perfect excuse to not pay a DJ, disappointing millions of horny secretaries who are sincerely looking forward to grinding on a doctor or partner or other secretary or whomever. Because the best part about the office holiday party is most definitely the one-night-only lift on the company sexual harassment policy. Gotta take advantage of that shit.

Merry Christmas Party Season to the following partiers:

1. Christmas Over-Enthusiasts. These bitches show up an hour and a half before the party starts to “accent” our holiday decorations with their own. Poinsettia leaves strewn across the tablecloths, cinnamon sticks in the water glasses, reindeer antlers hanging on the wall and a personalized rudolph nose for each guest. They play every classic holiday game there is, including an ugly sweater contest, “pack santa’s toybag” and other shit that nobody wants to participate in. PLAYLIST: 100% Classic Christmas, highlighted by the Mariah version of “All I Want For Christmas is You” and “The Hanukkah Song” and the ever horrible “Dominic the Donkey.” They sing along to nearly everything, except when they’re laughing-til-they-cry during the “Naughty or Nice gift exchange.”

2. Cheap Boss. This guy calls in a lunch reservation for 8 people so that he doesn’t need a party package, and throughout the month he needs to “add a couple folks” until the number has topped 40. He fancies up the non-private room with one bouquet of Trader Joe’s seasonally appropriate flowers and gifts his staff with leftover giveaways from the pharmaceutical rep. Half of his staff “goes to the bathroom” together and hits up the bar to take a bunch of shots, because he has decided that booze is not appropriate to celebrate the holidays. After party is back to work.     PLAYLIST: Fuck that, we’re listening to country music. If this isn’t technically a holiday party, then I can technically listen to my regular playlist, and sing at the top of my lungs to every other song.

3. Funeral. Someone needs to tell these people that they’re at a party. They are so dull that if we talk about how boring they are in the server station too loud, they will all hear us and start crying. They all wear festive clothing, which is all ugly. They sit down the second they get to the party, which makes for an awkward cocktail hour with passed hors d’ouerves.  After party is the next morning on Facebook, with elegantly posed photos of each attendee.     PLAYLIST: The Michael Buble Christmas album, followed by the Charlie Brown Christmas album by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, followed by a funeral death march performed by a local high school bagpipe band, with a finale of “River” by Joni Mitchell on repeat for the last hour.

4. Drunken Fools. The holidays are the ultimate time to attempt a sexual encounter with your boss and/or his wife, and there’s no better way to do this than to drink yourself silly. At some parties, this scenario is a sure thing. Except you can’t really fuck a boss who’s passed out in the corner, so there goes that theory. These party people decorate by coming early and taking shots at the bar. After party is at the strip club. After after party is at work the next day, where everyone is still drunk.     PLAYLIST: The Chris Brown Christmas Album, along with whatever else the DJ chooses. Your boss hired a DJ for this one, because he wants to show off his moves and he’s seriously hoping to get his wife laid tonight.

5. Teachers. Teacher parties fall into 2 categories, both of which involve karaoke. Both after parties are bed, there’s school to be taught tomorrow! Except for this one guy. It look’s like he’s gonna need a sub.

  • 5a. Drunk Teachers. Choose the cheapest food package possible. Complain about everything from the very first day of planning. Old teachers are the life of the party. Pay in singles.      PLAYLIST: Karaoke machine. Then the Chris Brown Christmas album.
  • 5b. Sober Teachers. Require more food than drunk teachers, but want to spend less money than them. Complain about nothing except how they don’t have enough food. Young teachers are the life of the party. Pay in singles.     PLAYLIST: Karaoke machine. Then the Michael Buble Christmas album.

6. Segregation City. This group is a mixed bag of blue collar and white collar workers. The sales department and the warehouse guys. The queen bees and the worker bees. People who hire cleaning ladies and people who are cleaning ladies as their second job. This is my preferential group, because it’s sort of like having two parties at one time and it makes me feel more accomplished. Like I brought together separate worlds with my pulled pork sliders. This party typically starts slow and ends with some crazy ass afterparty at the local Spanish bar.     PLAYLIST: Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano and Pitbull and Gloria Estefan and JLo.

7. Cool People. I’m not gonna lie and act like there’s more than one of these a year. It’s a needle in a christmas tree farm. These people drink enough to have a hefty liquor tab, but stay sober enough to not urinate on the party room floor. Everyone is dressed fantastically and many of the women wear amazing sparkly platforms that I try to steal. They smoke pot in the parking lot. We all get contact highs. They leave in a timely fashion and tip extra. The after party is a PJ party in someone’s basement apartment and everyone lays around watching Christmas Vacation until the sun comes up.     PLAYLIST: This.  Because I save cool playlists for cool people.

*Note: I am not exempt from this list, but I fall into sort of a hybrid category. My Christmas Party is a lovely combination of #6, #2, #4 and mostly #7 based specifically on my presence. Plus we obviously have a naughty or nice gift exchange.

me gustan frijoles negros, and other musings in spanglish.

4 May

So as we established a long time ago, I grew up in the restaurant business. I was 8 when my parents opened their first place, and naturally me and my brother were dragged to work with them quite often (This is a pretty gruesome business as far as hours go, so they probably wanted to see us sometimes). As a result, I “made friends” with some alternative characters. For instance, a soft shell crab and a bartender are not necessarily the type of people who an 8-year-old hangs out with. But the best alternative characters I’ve known over the years aren’t my friends at all. ¡¡¡They’re my amigos!!!

Well at first they were my amigos. But then at a certain point, oddly enough right about the time I got boobs, all of my amigos wanted to be my novios. One busboy from Guatemala asked me on a date to see “Dance With Me” with Vanessa Williams and Cheyenne. Another asked me if I wanted to go to Pancho Villas for enchiladas and guacamole (I wasn’t yet turned on to avocados at that point and a date to a Mexican place seemed cliche so I declined). The first Spanish guy who really caught my attention was Omar from Honduras. He was MUY CALIENTE and so charming and tan and he used to run home from work in his wife beater. We would flirt and talk about me being in high school and the owner’s kid*, and shit like that. Then one day I was driving home from work in my fancy base model red Mustang and there was Omar, jogging down the street in his beater, glistening in the setting sun (is this what 50 Shades of Grey is like? Look, you don’t even have to buy this on your Kindle). So I slowed down and I asked him if he wanted a ride, and he said yes, of course because why the hell would he say no? And I got to his house and he kissed me and we fell in love and lived happily ever after. Just kidding, we didn’t live happily ever after because life isn’t really like the movie “Dance With Me.” But he did give me a rose on my windshield one time and it was like the happiest/weirdest day of my life because the rose was doused in his cologne and I couldn’t really figure that one out but he’s so hot that I just went with it.

I think about Omar from time to time, but only because some of the guys in the kitchen know him and they bring him up to me and tell me that he said hi.

After Omar, I tried to keep it light with the guys in the kitchen. (Clearly that didn’t work, as I married one of them.) The keys to restaurant relationships with Spanish guys are Spanglish and short skirts. Spanglish is so they see that you’re making an effort to communicate with them in their native tongue (and also to let them know that you sort of understand what they’re saying so they should shut the fuck up about your breasts). The short skirts are to get them to be really nice to you all the time and make you a sandwich whenever you ask for it, unless you’re on a diet and then they make you lowfat healthy things even if you ask for fried chicken.

The thing about the Spanish guys (who are Spanish as in Spanish-speaking, not Spanish as in of Spain, and NOT ALL MEXICAN) is that they’re so fucking cranky. It’s like, if you don’t come say hola to them in the morning and ask them ¿Como estas? they talk about you en español todo el dia. I know this because for so many years I was super shy around them, and all day long I’d hear “ella, ella, ella” and, being the only girl in the room, I quickly figured out to whom they were referring. I remedied this situation by getting to know them as the actual people they are, and finding common ground such as going to Cancun on Spring Break and songs by Shakira.

Also they like to dance and sing. Harry and I have gone with them a couple of times to the changarro, or as Harry and I refer to it “the place where you go to pay $20 for a Corona and a dance with a chubby Latina with occasional good live mariachi music and bodyguards to protect the white folks.” (Upon discussion with the kitchen guys, I learned that a Coronita is only $10, but you aren’t allowed to do any touching) Well, we didn’t go alone, because you need to go with people who can protect you (from what, I have no idea but that’s what they always say). But we’d go with a group of the kitchen guys and MAN do they love to sing and dance. I thought it was strange in the kitchen that they have their own little lunchtime glee club going on, but wait till you’re sitting in a dark bar and there’s just a bunch of drunk Salvadorians swaying and singing along to the music. Quite the spectacle.

The greatest thing about these guys is their sense of community. Everyone is their cousin. If someone isn’t their cousin, he’s their uncle. I’ve never seen anything like it. As a result, they throw killer backyard parties in the summertime, which Harry and I love to swing invites to. They love their kids and their God and their neighborhood and the little town from which they moved and chicharones for lunch. When I was looking to hire a babysitter for my kiddies, my first thought was to hire a Spanish girl. To raise them right. (Bilingual, for one. And I’d love if someone would cook some fresh yucca now and then….) I wound up finding a regular white girl who is going to be so psyched that I’m writing about her (not sure about this particular post, but what do you want from my life?) and while she doesn’t cook yucca, she’s raising them right anyway.

I’d like to dedicate this post to Sra. Davidson who eats at my restaurant and always compliments me for growing up to be fabulous and amazing and who taught me all of the mediocre Spanish I know. Other than the curses.

*Sidebar on being the owner’s kid. This had it’s advantages and disadvantages. Advantages were that it was fucking awesome and everyone was forced to be nice to me, and I never got sexually harassed unless I said it was ok. Disadvantages were that I developed huge attachment and trust issues to this day as a result of almost everyone I ever attempted to care about either getting fired or quitting and cursing out one of my parents.  Also, once I got to my later teens, the lines got blurry as to who was trying to court me because they liked me, and who was trying to court me to win some sort of contest among “real” employees. Oh well. Pile it on to my gaggle of issues due to this fantabulous biz. Perhaps one night soon I’ll make a big list.