Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

File Under: Always Nice to Hear

I'm running around like crazy at work. I have two four-tops in the addition, a four-top in the 200s, and a nine-top in the 60s. I have a stack of plates I'm trying to balance long enough to get them to the dishpit. I'm so scared I won't make it that I consider praying for help. Just then, one of the bussers takes them from me.

Me: Hey, thanks so much!
Busser: I'm only doing it because you're so beautiful.
Me (stopping momentarily mid-run because it's such a startling comment. Then I recover and keep going): Beautiful. That's a new one. No one ever calls me that.
Busser (calling after me): You arebeautiful.

I suppose a simple "Thank you" would have sufficed, but such a sudden, lavish, and undeserved compliment throws me off. Also, if he weren't such a hottie, I would have had an easier time taking it. But he's the kind of hottie that always gets me: crooked smile, shaggy hair, easy demeanor, completely unaware of his charm, and (dum dum duumm) he's a musician who's far too young for me. Perhaps one day, though, he will fly me away from the food-and-beverage industry in his Beautiful Bus Tub of Love.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Jiffy Pop Goes the World

Me (pulling my car up to the Jiffy Lube): Hi! I just need an oil change today.
Mechanic (nodding): Does Jan still work there?
Me (looking around to see if he's talking to me): What?
Mechanic (pointing to my work t-shirt): Does Jan still work there?
Me (smiling): Of course. She's been there for years.
Mechanic (taking my keys): Does Desiree still work there?
Me: Um... oh, yeah. She does.
Mechanic (filling out the form): Does Daniel still work there?
Me (shrugging): Which Daniel?
Mechanic (pausing to look at me): Daniel.
Me: Which Daniel?
Mechanic (looking at me like I'm stupid): DANIEL Daniel.
Me (giving up because I want my car in a hurry): Oh. THAT Daniel. No.
Mechanic: He doesn't?
Me: No.
Mechanic: You sure?
Me (Good lord. No, I'm not sure): Pretty sure...
Mechanic: How sure?
Me (0% sure): 87% sure?
Mechanic (stopping to look at my face. He thinks I'm fucking with him. I think it's the other way around): 87 %... That's not very sure.
Me (getting annoyed. Did he quit taking math in the third grade?): It's mostly sure.
Mechanic (shaking his head): It's pretty sure.

There is a moment of silence. I can't figure out: 1) how this conversation got started; 2) why it continues; 3) how to get out of it.

Me (I also want my car in one piece): Well, sorry I can't more certain. I haven't seen him around for awhile though.
Mechanic (suspiciously): Well, maybe you're just working different times.
Me (Geez, I didn't realize you were dating): Maybe so. How long have you known Daniel?
Mechanic (shrugging and giving the keys to another mechanic): I don't know him. Just curious.

???!!!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

I'm a Loser, Baby...

Three ladies sat down at a table today. They were dressed in matching red blazers. I took them for real estate agents.

Lady 1: You know, you just have the nicest disposition; has anyone ever told you that?
Ladies 2 and 3 nod and affirm their agreement: "You do! You really do!"
Me (blushing): Thank you. I got that last night, actually, and it's always nice to hear.
Lady 1: A lot of people you have to get to know to see how they are, but you just sparkle!
Ladies 2 and 3 nod and affirm their agreement: "You do! You really do!"
Me (reddening further): Thank you. That's very nice of you to say.
Lady 1: You know, we all sell Mary Kay...
I just blank out, a smile plastered on my face. She keeps babbling about the wonders of Mary Kay, her automotons nodding and exclaiming affirmations at appropriate intervals. I wonder if they actually intend to order any food today, or just smear my body with Mary Kay's lacquer-like foundation and leave me to die a horrible death like that woman in "Goldfinger."
...Lady 1 (wrapping up her sales speech): Have you ever considered a career with Mary Kay?
Me (straining to appear interested and, well, awake): Why, no, actually. While I've always admired Mary Kay's products, I'm very happy with my career choice.
Lady 1 (looking confused, but trying to be polite): You're happy waiting tables?
Sigh. Why is it that people can't see past the uniform? I don't assume all Mary Kay reps have chosen to sell Mary Kay as a career, and that they don't have lives outside of their... okay, well, yes I do.
Me: No. I wait tables on the side. I'm a public relations representative by trade and I just graduated from college.
Ladies nod politely and smile at each other like they know something I don't. I hate them.
Lady 3 (speaking for the first time): My daughter just graduated from college and she can't find a job. She's a music major.
Me: You know, she might consider marketing for a smaller record company to see if she likes it, or trying music journalism. They look for a background and a knowledge base in music.
Lady 3 (brightening): Would you be willing to talk to her?
Me (NO!): Sure, if you think she'd like me to.

Lady 3 pulls out what I assume is a business card. As I begin to write my name on the card, I realize it is a card requesting a makeover. Damn. They got me.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Advantage: Taken

I'm an intern at a state agency. They aren't paying me even though I'm covering shifts for a person they fired, doing general office duties, and basic accounting procedures. I know I'm just an intern, but I'm a marketing intern with actual responsibilities and projects, not a secretary.

Executive Director: Stacey, when you get done with that, could you do something for me?
Me (seeing an opportunity to suck up to the head guy, I set my telephone list aside): Sure! This can wait.
Executive Director (leading into his office and to the conference table, where he motions me to sit down): Okay. I need you to rewrite this letter to the state board of licenses to help my wife get her teaching license renewed and up-to-date. This is really a crappy letter she's written.
Me (smile beginning to fade, but looking over the letter. It IS bad. It's in all caps, she doesn't list her job experience chronologically, and her request isn't clear. I don't want to rewrite this thing): Ookay. Isn't there a simple application to the state that takes care of this?
ED (looking a little confused): Um, I don't think so. They told us to just write a letter.
Me: Who told you that? I'm only asking because when my mother looked into renewing her teaching license, I'm pretty sure there was an application.
ED (looking over the letter): Uh, well, that's what they told us.

How did he get this job?

Me: Why don't I make a few calls?
ED (looking doubtful): Okay.
...

Three hours later, I'm rewriting the letter. I've found out that the wife never even had a license in the state. She has to go through the application process from the beginning, there IS an application process, and this letter is just begging them to backdate the license - 40 YEARS. The kicker: They're going to use it partially to apply for state retirement in a couple of years, if they will backdate it. What a scam! Regardless, I wrote the damn letter.

This is a misappropriation of state resources and I thought the point is that I was going to college so that I wouldn't have to work as a secretary.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Holiday Heyday

I walked into my marketing internship at 9 a.m. sharp on a bank holiday. No one told me that my boss wouldn't be coming in, and without her, there's not much I can do. I worked on an individual project that I assigned myself, then decided to pick up a shift.

Walking in the door a few minutes after opening, I am greeted with the following scene:
  • To my right, a waitress is leaning over the silverware bin, crying.
  • To my left, one of our regulars is sitting at the bar. Judging from the empty glasses in front of him, he's already pounded two Roadhouse Teas, our signature drink that is effectively a Long Island Iced Tea with GRAIN ALCOHOL and a flavored liquor added.
  • In front of me, two of the cooks are shouting at each other behind the glass barrier.
  • To my right, one of the hostesses is standing at the hostess stand - actually, I think she may have been sleeping.
  • Behind me, two dishwashers carry in huge plastic containers of ice from another restaurant because our ice machines are still broken.
  • A manager shoots by the door at a dead run.
This does not bode well. I freeze, and reconsider the idea. I realize that if I stand around too long, one of the managers is going to put me to work. But, suddenly, I am spotted. Three servers rush up to me. The scent of desperation hits me like a punch to the stomach.

All at once: Are you picking up?!
Me (starting to back away): No, I'm just checking the schedule.
Girl I hate anyway because she's a drama queen (tears welling up in her eyes): Are you sure?
When I nod, she runs off, sobbing
Me: Yeah. But you guys have a good time.
Guy: You know you need the money! It's going to be slammed today.
Me (laughing): I don't need the money this badly.
Guy (stomping off): Dammit!
Girl I adore (smirking): If you're just checking your schedule, why are you wearing your uniform?
Me (laughing): Man, this is insane. Last night was bad enough. I don't want any part of this.
Girl (glancing around): Yep. It's looking pretty bad. It seems we didn't make enough bread yesterday, so they're rationing bread today.

Just then, a manager spots me, and starts toward me.

Manager: Hey, Stacey! Are you picking up?

The other server grins at me. I grin back, then turn and sprint out the door. I don't look back.

I have a dream. This isn't part of it.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Breaking Up Is Not So Hard To Do

Boyfriend and I broke up (which is why I haven't posted in a while, because he reads this blog) over what he thinks is sex but is really his lack of physicality. I'm not really attracted to him anyway - not physically. The problem is that the mental attraction was strong enough to override the lack.

Reed:
Have you talked to (ex-boyfriend)?
Me (scoffing): No way.
Reed: I thought you were cool with this. You've only dated half of Augusta since you broke up.
Me (laughing): I'm fine with it. It's not as though I hadn't been thinking about breaking up with him for a while.
Reed: So what's wrong?
Me: He wrote me this e-mail detailing how I should conduct myself now that we're not dating.
Reed (incredulous): What?!
Me: I know! About how I can't talk about certain things with him, and how I shouldn't do certain things...
Reed: That's stupid.
Me: I know. He tried to make some joke in the middle about President Bush and a spelling bee, but the whole thing was tense and weird and pissed me off. He said not to write back if I was in the mood to fight - which is apparently only his prerogative - but I wasn't until he wrote that shit.
Reed: Was he always that way?
Me: What way?
Reed: Immature.
Me: I don't think he'd see it that way, but sort of. I think he lived with his parents for too long, and he's still figuring out how to be an adult. He's kind of a big crybaby.
Reed: And gay.
Me (snicker): Possibly. You would know!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Travelin' Gypsy All-night Birthday Party

I attended the Travelin' Gypsy All-night Birthday Party for a friend of mine. I spent the entire evening putting out fires and trying not to put myself out into traffic. At some point, the birthday boy and I spent about an hour outside a late-night bar half screaming at each other because he was running around acting the fool. He's like a two-year-old. I always want to smack him upside the head and say, "Use your words!" He did, at one point, use his words to say, "I don't have any friends," which apparently meant that I was getting full-body frostbite for absolutely nothing. The next day, I wrote a one-act play about it. Here is a sample of the dramatic monologue I perform at the climax of the action.

An excerpt from "Jesus Christ, Will Everyone Please Just Shut the Hell Up?"

No, Katie, Mike really does love you.

I think you've had enough to drink, Tommy.

Yes, Mike, Katie really does love you.

No, Jonathan, Cherie really does love you... well, okay, maybe you shouldn't have slept with Rebecca. No, wait, come back, I'm sorry!

I think you've had enough to drink, Tommy.

Okay, random bar person, you need to get your hand off my ass. Wait: what’s your name? Hey, Brian.

No, Tommy, don't hit him. No, Brian, don't hit Tommy.

Hey, new hottie at work, how are you? No, Tommy, don't hit the new guy.

Here, Jonathan have a Kleenex. You need to tell Cherie how you feel. Well, she's already not speaking to you, how much worse could it get? No, wait, come back, I'm sorry!

No, Katie, don't leave. Mike really does love you."

Saturday, October 04, 2003

Animatronic Boyfriend

Not only did he come over while I was at work today and seek and destroy my terrorist bug, but he also made my living room pretty and brought my garbage can up from the street. Now if I can just get him to clean my fridge...

He is such my bitch.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Eek!

Boyfriend won’t come get my bug. I have a bug the size of Wisconsin on my couch. I think it has ties to al-Qaeda, but he doesn’t care that this bug threatens our national security – or, at least, my personal security.

I’m sure that I’m being childish and petty. He also says that I’m insane. Probably. But I am terrified of bugs, the way people would generally be terrified when staring down an escaped Bengal Tiger. I want to run, I want to make myself invisible, but I end up screaming and crying. Seriously. I’m sure that makes me incredibly infantile, but I have no intention of ever going to Africa or Asia because they have roaches as long as a school bus, and not the short kind. I would die of a heart attack right on the spot – and on the off chance that one touched me, I would crumble instantly to dust.

Boyfriend doesn’t understand that, as the man in this relationship, he has a role to play. He’s “protect” and I’m “nurture.” If the goal was to give the bug higher self-esteem, or to encourage it to be a gentler, kinder bug, well, that would be my department. Killing, maiming, injuring – that’s him. He has the penis; he kills things. I have the vagina; I take care of things.

In reality, I only invoke this rule when there’s something I’m scared of doing. Like killing a bug, or taking out yucky garbage. Otherwise, I take care of myself. But it’s a decent trade-off forhim. I usually pick up the check. I think of our dinners out as my corporate shell through which I launder my bug-killin'-garbage-totin' money.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Brevity

Saturday, September 27, 2003 By , No comments

Boyfriend and I are lying on my bed, talking. He's relating a story that seems to have no point, and yet goes on for hours.

Me (with mock exhaustion): God, I've had dates shorter than this story!
Boyfriend (poking me with his finger): You're about to have a relationship shorter than this story if you don't shut up.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Hairless Monkeys

In abnormal psychology, we were often asked to evaluate the behavior of a videotaped subject. The members of the class would give their opinions on what the behaviors signified, if anything. I am convinced that there is a whole universe, somewhere, where the stars have been replaced entirely by psychological diagnoses which have no merit whatsoever, besides getting their "discoverer's" name in the DSM. Chief among these, in my mind, are the "personality disorders," which are not recognized as having bio-chemical, genetic, or traumatic origins. They are defined as an inflexible pattern of inner experience and outward behavior that deviates significantly from the expectations of one's culture. They often (but not always) result in unpleasant experiences, and may cause psychological, social, or occupational pain. Mostly, however, they cause pain, discomfort, or irritation to people other than those experiencing them. Finally, according to the DSM, it is possible to have more than on personality disorder, or "just a touch" of one.

Me (to professor): So, it's not like these are classified as mental illnesses, is that correct?
Professor: Yes, that's correct.
Me: And, this behavior isn't caused by a correctable chemical imbalance, or a traumatic experience in someone's life, or by bad genes?
Professor: Yes, that's correct.
Me: And, the disorders aren't the same across cultures, like depression, psychopathology, or schizophrenia?
Professor (with a look of "Aren't I patient?" on his face): No, they aren't.
Me: And, usually, the people themselves don't receive the brunt of their personality disorder? I mean, the people around them are the ones disturbed by it?
Professor (now he has a cautious look on his face): Yes. What are you getting at?
Me: Well, is it possible that what we have here is just a list of 10 different ways that people can act like jerks?

The entire class turns to look at me. A couple of people grin. Most of them roll their eyes. One guy is asleep. The professor pauses for a moment and looks around the class.

Professor: Yes, that's certainly possible. Can anyone else think of another explanation?

No one raises their hand. In their defense, this particular professor is extremely intimidating. It took several weeks before I had the courage to speak up in class. But now he can't shut me up. I raise my hand.

Professor: I think we've heard your theory, Stacey.
Me (feeling retarded): No, I have another one.
Professor (deciding that he would have to indulge me before I will shut up): Okay.
Me: Well, it occurs to me that these classify about all the people in my high school who were outcasts (ha ha. Like me. Look up Borderline Personality Disorder). The onset for a diagnosis to be rendered is adolescence. This sounds like social ineptitude.
Professor (looking at me like I have two heads): Then why classify these behaviors as a disorder?
Me (suddenly much less sure of myself, but still with the verbal diarrhea): Because conformity is encouraged in school. Students who can't get along are considered "troubled," and a lot of these behaviors are attention-getters. Dramatics, histrionics - I mean, what is a conduct disorder? Who decides what conduct is an actual "disorder," and what conduct is just "disorderly?"
Guy across the room: That's just semantics.
Me (okay, now I'm pissed): I don't think so. A disorder carries the stigma of an illness, of being sick or unbalanced. Acting "disorderly," that's just breaking some relatively harmless policies.
Girl in my row of desks: Oh, so bringing a gun to school is relatively harmless?
Me (Did I SAY that?!): No, nor is using hyperbole to make an argument. They're both stupid, and neither is condusive to addressing the real issue. Which was, I believe, whether or not these behaviors should be in the DSM in the first place.
Same girl (scoffing, probably because she doesn't know what "hyperbole" means): You can't just take things out of the DSM.
Dee, who sits right behind me: They did it with homosexuality.
Hyper-religious Man, who thinks that if he can relate something to a biblical quote, he's made a good point.: Yeah, and that IS a disorder.

There's a moment of silence in the classroom. I, personally, can't believe he thinks that. Well, I can, but it's just alien to me. Dee snickers suddenly.

Dee: Well, since it really only bothers OTHER people, it's just a personality disorder.

Damn. That was good, Dee

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Vanity, thy name is "me"

Saturday, September 13, 2003 By , No comments

Weird Religious Guy (getting ice for his table's drinks): Good grief, girl!
Me (swiping a credit card to take payment on a check): What?
Weird Religious Guy: Your teeth are inordinately white.
Me (I've never thought my teeth were white): Really?
Weird Religious Guy: Oh, don't act like you don't know.
Me (I hate it when people think you're pretending not to know something): Okay, whatever.
Weird Religious Guy: Oh, puh-leeze. You get up every morning and look in the mirror and say, "Wow, my teeth are SO white."
Me (laughing): Well, not recently.
Weird Religious Guy: You do. I know it. I saw you putting on lipstick the other day. Do you even know how vain you are?

I pause and look at him to see if he's serious. I can't tell. I go back to finishing the check.

Me: I don't think putting on lipstick makes me vain.
Weird Religious Guy: You were doing it AT WORK.
Me: I forgot to put it on before work.
Weird Religious Guy (mockingly): SUuuure.

I decide to do my work elsewhere.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Social Skillz

So out of the blue the other day, one of the new guys at work comes in the kitchen, where I'm prepping a tray of drinks for a table. It's loud, noisy, hot, and mid-shift - which means that it hasn't been long enough to forget about the stupid tables you've served, plus there are stupid people you have yet to serve. So it's a little stressful. And without preface, he strikes up a conversation.

New Guy: So, do wear, like, bathing suits and stuff?
Me (hoping that I misheard him): What?
New Guy: Do you wear bathing suits?
Me: What - like, just around?
New Guy: Well, I mean, I be looking at you, I admit it. And you seem like you'd look good in a bathing suit.
Me (taken aback, I don't know what to say. I'm always at my most eloquent then): Uh, yeah?
New Guy: Yeah.

There's a moment where we just look at each other. I don't know what he expects me to say, but it's clear he expects a favorable response. But it's just so inappropriate.

Me (as I leave with my tray): Well, you're wrong, but thanks for the vote of confidence.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Huh?

Wednesday, September 03, 2003 By , No comments

Manager (holding a mid-rare filet mignon): Stacey, do you mean table 44 or 45?
Me (confused...and yet so very articulate): Huh?
Manager (looking at me with derision): Where. Does. This. Steak. Go.
Me (more confused): All of my tables are already eating.
Manager (getting pissed that I'm taking up so much of his time with my utter nonsense, he finally pulls the recook ticket out of his pocket): Yes. This is the recook. The first steak was too done.
Me (looking at the ticket): Oh, this isn't mine, I -
Manager (interrupting, and raising his voice): Then why is your name on the ticket?!
Me (looking at him steadily): [Name deleted], this ticket is two hours old. It's for a ribeye, not a filet, and the side item should be a loaded baked potato, not a sweet potato. This is not my steak.

Manager throws the item back in the kitchen's heat window and stomps off.

Me (quietly, and to no one in particular): How is that my fault?

Monday, August 25, 2003

Chief Negotiator

Me: And do we have any questions about the menu?
Guy (looking like he smells something bad): No.
Me (thinking: uh-oh): Great! What would we like to order?
Guy (sighing heavily): Do you have a meal with chicken fingers and hot wings?
Me (antsy, because I have another table to greet): No, sir. But we do have the adult chicken tenders platter, which comes with a side item and a salad.
Guy (looking back and forth across the menu, as though hoping something will just LEAP out at him): But you don't have anything with both of them on it?
Me (What did I just say? I turn and nod to the table behind me, so that they know I see them): No, sir. But the chicken fingers appetizer comes with fries, and although the hot wings appetizer comes with chips, we can substitute fries for a small up-charge.
Guy (sighing heavily): I don't know what to do. See, I want chicken fingers, but I also want hot wings.
Me (having a sudden inspiration): Well, you could get the chicken fingers platter, and we can coat them in the hot wing sauce. Then it would be like boneless buffalo wings.

Guy looks at me like I'm crazy. There's a moment of silence.

Me (oooo-kay, then. I close my order book): Well, just an idea. Why don't I give you another minute or so to look over the menu?
Guy (raising his hand): No, no, no, no, no! We're ready to order.
Me (opening my book again): Great! What have we decided?
Guy (sighing heavily): Well, I really want the chicken fingers, but I also want hot wings.

Oh. My. God.

Me: So, what's the solution, do you think?

How about pick one and live with it?

Guy: Well, if I get the chicken fingers platter, can I get potato skins instead of fries?
Me (You want an entire appetizer substituted for a side item?): No, sir. But we can do a side of cheese fries with bacon and sour cream or ranch dressing for a small up-charge. It's almost the same.
Guy (shaking his head): No. It's totally different

No, actually, it's not.

Guy: How about an order of chicken fingers, and an order of hot wings. But I want fries.
Me: Well, the chicken fingers appetizer already comes with fries. Did you want more fries?
Guy: Well, if you can just sneak them into the basket with the hot wings...

I just walk away. Later, as I bring out the two appetizers he ordered, and the steak his date ordered...

Guy (look up, incredulous, and says loudly): It only comes with three chicken fingers?!
Me (realizing that other guests are looking at us): Yes, sir. It's the appetizer basket. But it also comes with a side of fries.

He sighs heavily. Dear god. Will you grow the fuck up and stop with the dramatics?

Guy: But, only three?
Me: Yes, sir. Do you guys need anything else to go with your entrees? Worcester sauce, Heinz 57...?

Guy is picking up his chicken fingers, looking at each one, and tossing them back into the basket, like a four-year-old.

His date: How much would it be for just two chicken fingers?
Me: Let me go see what I can do.
Guy (sipping a Roadhouse Tea): Do I get to keep this glass?
Me (Giving him a look that I hope says, "Is there anything else you don't want to pay for?"): No.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Fools' Paradise

I minored in psychology. Those classes are a fool's paradise. There is no village idiot because the whole village is inhabited by idiots, with a few others of us wandering around simply confused as to why was it that we chose this minor. I thought it was supposed to teach me to better read people. You know what taught me that? Waiting tables. I swear, that's the best PR and psychology education anywhere, and I get paid for it. Fucking brilliant! Anyway, I'll be posting a few excerpts from my forthcoming book: "When I Was Young and Stupid: A Psychology Undergrad Exposes the Bitter Truth About Psychologists - They're Really Just Guessing."

Friday, August 15, 2003

Five Minutes to Closing, and My Last Customer is A. S. Shole

We get this certain kind of person every once in a while, the kind who can kill a restaurant if the management lets them. They lie and steal to get a free meal, pulling hair out of their own heads to put in their food, complaining about even perfect service, and making a scene if they don't get their way. They are selfish and make others' lives harder for no reason other than it makes them feel more in control, or that they're getting something they're owed anyway.

This is their story.

Me (distributing entrees to table. Two steaks, one rack of ribs, and one Southwest Chicken): Now, do we need anything to top off the meal? Heinz 57, extra barbecue sauce, or perhaps honey mustard for your fries? I know I use a vat of it on my fries.
Stupid Bitch (looking with theatrical distaste at the chicken): What's this?! I didn't order this!
Me (laughing): Yes, ma'am, that's the Southwest Chicken you ordered. Chicken, topped with barbecue sauce, cheese, onions, bacon, and mushrooms, with a side of fries.
Stupid Bitch (shaking her head): No, that's not what I ordered.

The members of her table are eerily silent, staring at their plates. I sense that high noon was approaching, meaning, she was about to pull some crap she'd pulled somewhere before. I realized I'd probably be discounting their ticket, regardless of what happened from this point on. As a matter of principle that, frankly, I can't afford, I decide that's not going to happen this time.

Me (pulling out my notebook to check): Gosh, that's what I'd written down. What did you intend to order?
Stupid Bitch (narrowing her eyes at me): I didn't INTEND to order anything. I ORDERED the 16 oz ribeye.

I smile, but return her stare. No fucking way she ordered the 16 oz ribeye, and I'm sure it's just a coincidence that the steak is $10 more than the chicken.

Me: Really? Then I wish you'd corrected me when I called your order back and said southwest chicken.
Stupid Bitch (getting really angry and shoving the plate across the table at me): Just get me my steak.
Me (smiling and taking the plate): How would you like that cooked?
Stupid Bitch (smiling back, thinking she'd won): Well done.

I laugh. She's either going to eat that fucking chicken, or she's going to go hungry. Hell with her.

Me: That's going to take at least 20 minutes.
Stupid Bitch (mouth open): TWENTY minutes?!
Me (looking up in feigned surprise): Oh, yes. That large a steak, that well cooked, it's AT LEAST 20 minutes.
Stupid Bitch (looking around at her table mates. They're intent on their meals): I've NEVER heard of a steak taking TWENTY minutes to cook.
Me: How unusual. What side item would you like?
Stupid Bitch (realizing I don't give a crap): No, I don't want to wait 20 minutes.
Me (How long can I stall putting her order in without getting in trouble?): Like I said, it might be more. There are other orders ahead of you at this point. (A blatant lie. Recooks get first priority)
Stupid Bitch (huffing): Well, I ORDERED the steak. YOU wrote it down wrong.
Me (shrugging): My bad. What side item did you want?
Stupid Bitch: Did you hear me say that I didn't want to wait 20 minutes?
Me: Yes, but it's an unfortunate fact that I can't make the steak cook any faster. Unless you'd like us to microwave it for you.
Stupid Bitch (loudly): MICROWAVE?!

I see that her next tactic was going to be a temper tantrum, I decide to end this charade. Fuck my tip, and fuck her. I'm not as nice or philosophical a person as Waiter Rant. He's probably much smarter, and from what I read, works at a much better establishment. Yet, I digress.

Me: Those. Are. Your. Options. Now, I'll tell the kitchen to cook anything you want, any way you want it. But next time, if you'd just say the right item the first time, we won't have to play this game. Either way, I'll have to adjust your check to reflect the item you eat. If you'd like to speak to a manager, I'll be happy to have Dave come to the table. But I still need to know what it is you'd actually like to eat tonight.
Stupid Bitch: Well, I DON'T want to wait. I guess I'll just try the chicken. But I ORDERED the steak.
Me: Whatever you want. Will there be anything else?

Silence.

Me (turning to walk away): Enjoy your meals. I'll check back by in a couple of minutes.
Stupid Bitch (huffing): Uh! Now my food is cold!
Me (turning back with a smirk, seeing steam rise from the point she cut into her chicken): Like I said, we'll be happy to microwave it for you.

Stupid Bitch stabs at her plate angrily... but silently.

Me (returning): And how do we find everything?
Table, except for Stupid Bitch, says variations of "Fine."
Me (seeing that Stupid Bitch has eaten half of her chicken): And how do you like the Southwest Chicken?
Stupid Bitch (refusing to look up): It's not a steak.

I wait. There is silence.

Stupid Bitch (looks up, thinking I'm gone): It's FIIiiinnne-uh!
Me (smirking and walking away): Great! Be sure to save room for dessert, guys!

Cheap-ass fuckers should go to the Wal-Mart meat department. Incidentally, although everyone but that one lady tipped me 20%, one of the guys discretely pressed a $5 bill into my hand as they were leaving. It was nice of him, and I appreciated it, but I'd rather they kept their friend on a short leash.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

This lady is the reason postal employees shoot up their offices.

I know most of my posts are bitchy, and I'm really not a bitchy person. I just work in an economically depressed area in which everyone segregates themselves by income level. Although I make decent money for the area, I work in a casual steakhouse that serves giant mugs of Long Island Ice Teas into which they also mix freaking grain alcohol and a flavored liquor. People come here to get wasted. It is frequently a very unpleasant mix of people who act with very little class in the first place, and who see me as lower class than them because of my employment. Oh, gods of the degree confirmation, I await your reply.

Lady: I'd like the hot wings. Now, are those hot?
Me (looking up from notepad to see if she's serious. She is): They're about medium, I'd say.
Lady: How hot is that?
Me (midway between hot and not-hot?): I suppose hot enough to taste, but not hot enough to burn.
Lady (looking pleased): Okay, but I want them double fried.
Me: Sure, I -
Lady (interrupting): Now, I don't want them fried twice as long. I want you to fry them, take them out of the grease, sauce 'em up, fry them again, and sauce 'em again.

I have no intention of telling the kitchen this. It will ruin the oil and render that fryer useless for the rest of the evening.

Me: Sounds great. No problem.

Later that meal...

Me: And how do we find our meals?
Lady: These wings is greasy.

Must... control... fist of death... She wanted her wings fried a really long time. Did she think they would come out all low-fat?

Me: Oh?
Lady (holding one up and actually squeezing it): See? It's just dripping!
Me (seeing as how I don't really give a crap): Would you like for me to have the kitchen make you another batch?
Lady: I don't know. These is making me sick.

ARE! ARE! As in: Your lack of education ARE making me sick!

Me: Shall I get you something else? Here, feel free to choose something else off the menu.
Lady (hardly even glancing at the menu): Just give me some fried cheese sticks.
Me (looking up from notepad to see if she's serious. She is): So, because they're too greasy, you'd like to replace fried hot wings with fried cheese sticks?
Lady (oblivious): Yes, thems sound good.
Me: My pleasure. That will be just a few minutes.

Ya'll, seriously, it isn't even the stupidity of this woman that irritates me. It's that good grammar costs nothing.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Before going out in public, the following guidelines must be met:


1. If you don’t shave your underarms, check for deodorant turds in your armpits.
2. Or, don’t wear a sleeveless shirt
3. Or, never, ever, ever raise your arm from the shoulder.

Seriously, these people go out to eat like this. They ruin other diners' dinners with this crap. For some reason, the combination of armpit hair and deodorant turds makes me nauseous. If the armpit is shaved, fine. If the armpit is unshaven and turd-free, okay, too. But both: [retching noise].

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Reading Comprehension

Sometimes I have to remind myself that murder looks bad on a resume.
Me: And do we have any questions about the menu?
450-pound-mouth-breathing-high-school-dropout-who-has-somehow-convinced-herself-that-I-am-beneath-her: What's this? (pointing precisely to the Southwest Chicken)
Me: The Southwest Chicken? Oh, it's delicious. It's a -
Cretin (pointing furiously): No, THEE-is!
Me: Oh, that's the Chopped Sirloin.
Cretin (rolling her eyes): Yes. What is it?

It's made out of fucking chicken, lady. What do you think it is?

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Stupid Exchange of the Day

Since my car is broken, I've been bumming rides back and forth to work. While my boyfriend is striving to win the Boyfriend of the Millenium award, he can't always be - nor should he always have to be - there for me. But a cab ride from work to home is $20, and, frankly, waitresses don't make that much. I ain't sportin' no bling-bling, know what I'm sayin'? Besides, all my money should go towards car repairs.

So I tried to bum a ride at one of the places I've been working from a girl who was going to a store in the same strip mall as my other job. I normally wouldn't ask, but I've given so many rides to people over the years that I figure someone will return the favor. I am wrong.

Me, to server (who-just-turned-18): Hey, since you're leaving anyway, do you think I could bum a ride?
Server (and-this-is-her-first-job): Well, why don't you have a car?
Me: I do. It's in the shop. I'll be happy to pay you gas money.
Server (and-her-only-bill-is-her-cellphone): Well, why can't your parents come get you?
Me (suddenly realizing to whom I am speaking): Because they live in Atlanta. You know what? Nevermind. I'll figure something out. (muttering): Anything else.
Server: Okay! Well, if you need anything, just let me know.
(???!!!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Check, please

I just started at a new restaurant, and let me tell you how demeaning it is to be trained by a 19-year-old fellow server who announces brightly that she's been "with the company" for 6 months, and is hoping for an exciting career - forever.

Trainer: Also, we don't serve our coffee on saucers here.
(I start to leave with it anyway, 'cause now it's already dirty)
Trainer: No, really, put it back.
(oooookaaaaaay...)
Trainer (stopping me again): And they only get one creamer.
Me: They'll want more.
(four years of serving and bartending taught me never to bring out only one creamer)
Trainer: Well, how do you KNOW they'll want more?
Me: Nevermind. One creamer. Got it.
Trainer: Can you remember that?
Me: Of course. (Am I cross-eyed and drooling?)

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Smarty Boyfriend

Boyfriend and I were talking about when we first met. I wasn't sure if he was asking me out as a date or not. Apparently, he wasn't. It was some weird pre-date screening process. Good thing for me that I passed, but poor Boyfriend.

Boyfriend: I thought about planning a few things to say, but decided to be spontaneous. But I remember you asked me: “So, what made you decided to become a librarian?’ And I thought to myself: ‘She put some thought into this.’
Me (slightly less embarrassed than a level that would bring on instant death): I did!
Trey: I could tell.
Me: Crap.

I had some idea in my head that I was all Barry White about it, but when have I ever accomplished that?

Thursday, July 10, 2003

The Tau of Serving

Trainer: ... and for tomorrow's test, you'll have to know the eight steps of bussing tables.
Me (aghast): Eight?! I thought there were just two.
Trainer (interested): And those were - ?
Me: Get the shit off the table and wipe it down.
Trainer (morbidly serious): No.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Stupid Exchange of the Day

For anyone kind (or bored) enough to read my journal, let me repay you with some sage advice: Just because Krystal's is selling a bag-o-burgers for $4, does not mean that you should eat them every meal for two days.

Me (with exuberance): Hi! Welcome to (name of establishment withheld)! May I start you with a beer, or perhaps a glass of wine?
Guest (quietly, never raising his head from menu): I'll herbaschmerbanerbatwerba.
Me (with joy): I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. Did you ask for herbal tea?
Guest (sighing): I said I'll habaschwabataba.
Me (with a zest for life rarely seen in humans not vying for canonization): Wow, the music is so loud. One more time, and I'll have it.
Guest (head bursting into flames): I SAID I'LL HAVE A SWEET TEA!
Me (spontaneous combustion being a daily occurance): Great! I'll be right back with that!
Guest: mmbaporchwatina

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Stupid Exchange of the Day

I thought of my favorite stupid customer exchange. It happened about four years ago, so it's a little out of date. But that's okay.

Me: Hi! Welcome to the (establishment name deleted, where sexual harassment is a way of life). What can I get you to drink?
Elderly Lady: I'll have a sweet tea, and he'll have unsweetened tea.
Me (returning): Here we are. Sweet tea for the lady, and unsweetened tea for the gentleman. Now, have you had a chance to review our menu?
Elderly Man: Miss, I asked for unsweetened tea.
Me: Yes, sir. (nodding and gesturing to the glass) This is unsweetened tea. Would you like to hear about our featured items?
Elderly Lady: No, honey, he wanted UNsweetened tea.
Me (confused): Yes, ma'am. And this is unsweetened tea in this glass here. Yours is sweet.
Elderly Man: Look, can I just get a glass of UNSWEETENED TEA?
Me (giving up): Sure. I'll be right back.
Elderly Lady (as I walk away): What happened to the good service we used to get?

Monday, July 07, 2003

Stupid Exchange of the Day

I'm not new to serving. I've been serving and bartending for four years. I was a trainer at my last place of employment. At this restaurant, however, I am regarded as an idiot simply because I am new. Thus I get a lot of redundant directions that end with me insisting: "Yes, I've already done that. No, everything is fine."

Me, to HottieLineCook: Can I get an extra side of house dressing?
CrabbyServer (with a sigh): Look, here's your salad, here's your chicken wings, and here's the nachos. What's the problem?
Me: The salad still needs extra dressing.
CrabbyServer (rolling her eyes): Can I get an extra side of house dressing?
HottieLineCook: How many do you really need? She already called back one.
CrabbyServer (even crabbier): Why didn't you tell me that?
Me (picking up dirty plates and walking away): I'll just let you handle this.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Hello.


This is me. Nice to meet you.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

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Disclosure statement

Wednesday, January 01, 2003 By

For questions about this blog, please contact Stacey McGowen-Hudson at stacey(dot)hudson1@gmail.com.

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About Me

Wednesday, January 01, 2003 By


A 40-year-old mom and PR professional in Augusta, Ga., raising a little girl, who wants to be a princess/ninja, while trying to keep the ties that bind from choking the living $#!T out of me! Contact me at stacey(dot)hudson1(at)gmail.com. 


The star of our show, 9-year-old Emerson, who doesn't so much live life as she does perform "Emerson: The Musical."