Thursday, August 19, 2010

In The Weeds (Part 3)

I tried really hard to be a better waitress thereby giving Crazy Curly less ammunition. I ran around like a nut. I had the menu memorized, and I worked the computer fast. I had Panty Peeler lay off on being so sweet to me in front of her. The kitchen staff loved me, so whenever I screwed anything up, all I had to do was go back into the kitchen and tell them the mix up, and they fixed it no problem. The more love I got from everyone around me, the less love Crazy Curly had to

give. Suddenly, I was the enemy instead of the friend. We were besties no more.

Then one day she just lost it. We were understaffed, and it was raining out. Never a good combination. We had a big outdoor seating area in the restaurant, so whenever it rained we were doubly slammed. She came out to the center of all the tables and just started yelling at me. Panty Peeler saw what was happening, and he walked over and got involved. I guess since he had history with her he thought it was his place. They had this huge fight, and he quit. He walked right out which basically screwed all of us who were still working. She barked and screamed at us for four hours straight, and the next day I found out my parents’ brothers’ neighbor had broken off the engagement. Crazy Curly was dumped days before her wedding.

The rumor about Crazy Curly getting dumped spread throughout the restaurant like a yeast infection. Quick and nasty. People were loving that this psycho-bitch finally got what was coming to her. But at the same time, they were sad because this meant that Crazy Curly would be at work instead of away on her honeymoon for two weeks. I figured she’d start screaming the moment she arrived, but instead she came into the restaurant deflated. She had obviously been crying for hours. Even though she was a menace, I felt bad for her. Bad curly hair. Crazy. And now a broken engagement. How much could one person take?

It was the end of the summer, and I had a new waitress job somewhere else. I wouldn’t be dealing with Crazy Curly anymore. During my last days at the restaurant, Me and Pothead, listened to her go on and on about how sad she was about her broken engagement. Hot-Ass Sandwich Guy pretended to be sympathetic while she talked about how she felt blind-sided. Panty Peeler came back, and he was even nice to her. Seemingly Straight But Gay feigned interest while she talked about how my parents’ neighbors’ brother was the love of her life. I had started to see Crazy Curly as the person she was when we first met.

On my last day, I worked my shift, and then walked in to say good-bye. I had already told the assistant manager that I was going, and he had advised me to leave without saying anything to Crazy Curly. He didn't think telling her was a good idea. But after listening to her pour her heart out for days, I knew that couldn’t be right. Other White Girl had left the week before, and I didn’t even know if she had noticed. Now it was my turn to leave.

I walked into her office, and said, “Sorry to bother you, but I wanted to let you know that today is my last day. Thanks for hiring me and giving me my experience. I wanted to say good-bye.” She looked at me, and she was genuinely touched. It was as if all those bad days had never happened. She hugged me and wished me luck. Human. I had made the right decision. I mentioned that Other White Girl had also wanted to say good-bye before she left, but that Crazy Curly had already left for the day, so that’s why she never got to. With this piece of information, Crazy Curly didn’t disappoint. Her face went from happiness to something else. And she said, “I’m glad that cunt is gone.” And with that I left.

The next restaurant I went to fired me after a few weeks. They were even less understanding about all the broken glasses, tripping while carrying dinners, and all the falling on customers that went on. I had no future as a waitress, and I knew there was only one other thing I could do. Back to sales. If I was going to put up with bullshit, I might as well make more money. I got another sales job working for a guy who thought he was a dog in another life. I guess

the people who run things are always crazy. But at least he was nice. Nuts, but nice.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In The Weeds (Part 2)

The restaurant was a midtown Italian joint with a big lunch crowd. Frank Sinatra blared from the loud speakers while the wait staff changed in the closet. I had no experience, so I was nervous. It should’ve been perfect for me because they only gave me two night shifts a week which allowed me to do stand up on the other nights, but I was the worst waitress. I was perpetually "in the weeds."

When you’re "in the weeds" it means you need help, you're overwhelmed, and basically you're fucked. I was "in the weeds" from the moment I arrived until I left. I was really, really bad. I had no balance. I dropped stuff all the time. And I couldn’t carry a tray to save my life.

Crazy Curly was understanding of my lack of skills at first, but when I spilled a bottle of Pellegrino in a customers purse she lost it. She berated me right in front of the customer, and then later on again. I was surprised my "bestie" got so mad, but I shrugged it off and thought it must be wedding

pressure. I knew I needed to get back into the good graces of Crazy Curly. Ever since the Pellegrino in the purse, I was treading lightly with her. She noticed every drink spilled, every dish broken and every mistake. I was really trying to impress her with something.

Crazy Curly was always telling us stories about how when she waited tables they took revenge out on the customers. One shift Other White Girl was telling me and Crazy Curly about a jerky customer she was waiting on. He was trying to impress his date by being rude to Other White Girl.

Crazy Curly was busy doing inventory, but I was done with my section. Jerky Customer was a dick, so I thought he should eat dick. I made his dessert look like a penis with whipped cream, icing and food coloring. There was no mistaking what his dessert looked like. It was a penis. He was halfway through when the horrified date commented on his penis cake. Other White Girl and I loved it. We were laughing so hard, but it seemed to piss off Crazy Curly. It was like she was jealous. I started getting yelled at more and more by Crazy Curly. It was like I couldn’t do anything right. The penis cake was the last joy I had. Well, not exactly.

A new waiter started working at the restaurant. He started a few weeks after me. Crazy Curly kept telling me that this other waiter would be coming to work here soon. She knew him from another restaurant, and he would just be here for a month or two. She was going on and on about how hot he was. That he was in this amazing band, and that he was a total player. She wanted all the girls at the restaurant to watch out, but especially me. She kept calling him a panty peeler, i.e. a guy who can easily get you out of your panties. I figured she was exaggerating about all of it.

Me and Panty Peeler started hooking up pretty quick and soon everyone in the restaurant knew we were together. He was hot and cool, but I also thought he was a nice guy. Totally attentive. Would do anything I wanted. Really sweet. He always helped me with my section because he was great at waiting tables. Crazy Curly hated that he helped me. The nicer Panty Peeler was to me, the meaner Crazy Curly became. I found myself in a pissing contest with my boss while she was stressed out about her wedding.

Once Panty Peeler showed up things got worse quickly. Crazy Curly was fighting every day with my parents' neighbors' brother about the wedding plans. She wanted to honeymoon in Mexico, he wanted Bermuda. She wanted roses, and he didn’t want flowers. She had wanted a DJ, but he had hired a band. She’d yell at him on the phone arguing about all these things and then come out and yell at me. I was the wedding scapegoat. The shit was rolling downhill fast.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

In The Weeds (Part 1)

The next time you eat out, do me a favor. Double tip your waiter. No, actually triple tip. Seriously. I realize that waiters do what anyone can do. Carry shit to your table and ask you what you want to eat. But trust me, it’s a bitch waiting tables. Not only because you make a dime a day (or at least I did, because I sucked), but it’s an insane business. Waiting tables was one of the most brutal times in my life, and I’m a comedian and a sales person - I know brutal.

My parents’ neighbors’ brothers’ fiance was running this restaurant in midtown. She needed help for the summer, and I needed a job. I had met her once. She saw me do

comedy, and she seemed okay. But I should’ve known; she had really curly hair.
I’ve noticed that white people with naturally tight, curly hair - you know the kind that you couldn’t straighten with an iron and a vice grip - tend to be angry people. I get it. They have bad hair. Now when you’re a kid, and you have curly hair, it’s cute. Everyone always goes crazy for your curls. But then at some point, you get to an age where nobody likes your curls. Then you start not liking your curls. We all know, bad hair = bad life. Curly haired people only get to have one style, and it's a bad one style. They look like idiots with their big bush of curly, no-style hair, but it’s not my fault. Don’t take your bad hair anger out on
me! So when I saw the hair, it was definitely a warning.

My first day at the restaurant, like at most jobs, I was lulled into a false sense of happiness and security. Crazy Curly kept telling me how happy she was that I was there. She loved my comedy and told me I was going to fit in perfectly. We talked about her upcoming wedding. She was so in love with my parents' neighbors' brother. She was crazy excited about her wedding, and I was overjoyed for her. She saw me as her younger sister, taking me under her wing and showing me the business. We talked about guys, sex, drinking, and crazy jobs. We became “besties” overnight. I had just quit a sales job working for a single-neurotic-angry-upper-east-side-corporate-America bitch. Having a fun summer job with a cool boss was just what I needed.

I met everyone on staff, and they all seemed friendly enough. There was some girl who was new to the country. A gay guy. A drummer. The bartender was a pot head. A hot-ass sandwich maker who didn’t speak any english and didn’t need to. And an assistant manager who dreamed of opening his own cafe. Nobody really spoke English, but there was this other white girl who worked there. She was like me. I was pursuing comedy and this was my day job. She was a director and had started working at the restaurant a few weeks ago as her day job. We quickly became friends.

It felt pretty cool to be surrounded by all of these people. Artists and immigrants following their dreams of art or of coming to America. It all seemed romantic. And then I stood on my feet for 14-hours straight and thought about how much it sucks to have to support yourself while you’re an artist. Much better to be rich and have someone support you. Now that would be romantic! I had so many standing on my feet

problems while I worked there, I wondered if I’d become crippled in my 20s. It was horrible, but who knew that standing on my feet would be the least of my problems?