Monthly Archives: August 2011

Rock Me Like A Hurricane

In case you live under a pile of dirty sugar caddies, you probably have heard that New York City is bracing itself for Hurricane Irene that will cunt punch us Saturday night and all day Sunday. Everyone I know has made sure that their liquor cabinet is stocked and their Igloo cooler is full of ice. Other than batteries, tuna fish, crackers and candles, what more does one need? Thankfully, my boss had the foresight to close the restaurant today and tomorrow. I guess he knew that no one is going to fight 75 mph winds just for a tired ass plate of tilapia. Our mayor also shut down the entire New York City mass transit system meaning that no one could get to work even if they wanted to. True, I only live two blocks away from my job, but whatever. It is surprising that my boss decided to close the place since he is usually so desperate for a few extra dollars that he’ll stay open late for two losers who come in one minute before closing even if all they want is one drink apiece. Sadly, not all restaurant managers have come to their senses. A friend of mine had as her Facebook status the following: I have to go to work in this hurricane since my restaurant is in denial

To that restaurant owner, I say this:

What the hell, dude? Maybe you didn’t hear, but New York City is having a direct hit of a freaking monster hurricane. This has not happened since before the Revolutionary War. (Not sure about that date but I do know it was a long time ago.) But you need to sell three more tacos tonight so you’re good with making your employees come to work in a fucking hurricane? I bet you plan on having delivery open too, right? Because everyone knows how prudent it is to be on a bicycle when the wind is blowing shit sideways. No one is going to come to your restaurant tonight. The news media has made sure that we buy every loaf of bread and gallon of milk within a 125 mile radius so nobody wants to go out to eat tonight. We all have plans to make dried fruit sandwiches and cocktails by the light of our candles. Since you insist on being open during the worst natural disaster to hit the Big Apple since Rudy Giuliani, let me offer you some suggestions of what to do with your time since there will be no fucking customers:

  • Take this time to pull your head out of your ass.
  • Take every menu and clean it with a toothbrush so when your restaurant floods, at least you’ll know your menus were clean when they flowed into the East River.
  • When the storm hits, step into the walk-in cooler for safety but first alert your servers so they will know to barricade the door with a chair so your ass can stay in there while they swim back to their apartments.
  • Clean out the candle holders because you aren’t going to have any fucking electricity and you’re gonna want nice clean votives when you need some fucking light to see your empty fucking restaurant.
  • Ask your servers to save the liquor by putting it some place safe like their backpacks and purses.
  • Have a sing-along of Dexys Midnight Runner’s song “Come On Eileen” but just change it to “Irene” because it’s close enough and that song is way better than “Rock Me Like A Hurricane” by the Scorpions.
  • Play a game of Truth or Dare with your employees and when they dare you to go to the roof and hold a metal spatula into the air, just do it. I dare ya.
  • Use the time to scrape all the gum from underneath the tables and then you can use it for the special of the day on Monday since all of your food is going to go bad when you lose your fucking power because of the hurricane.
  • Grow some balls.

Good luck to all those in the path of the storm. Sorry to Catharine who has to go to work. Be safe, be careful, be drunk.

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The 411 on the #2

poo

In an ongoing effort to keep this blog classy, today I have chosen a topic of discussion that will elevate our forum to a new level of taste and decorum: poop. It is certainly not the first time I have discussed this. How can we forget the unfortunate mishap of poop in the trash can or the story of the poopy diaper left at the table? Both good stories, indeed, but let us delve deeper into the dark brown mystery of pooing in public.

Last week, I had a moment that made me question every life choice I have ever made. It happened when I went into the bathroom to blow out the candles and close up for the night. When I opened the door, a wall of odor knocked me down and raped my olfactory system. That smell tied me up, gagged me, and had its unprotected way with my nose. Someone had way too many lentils in their diet and used our restaurant bathroom to release the hounds of hell from their bowels into our toilet. I don’t know about you, but I need optimum conditions for doing a number two anywhere else but my own home. There is a whole formula that goes into account before I decide if it is worth pooping in a public restroom: how badly do I need to go, what are the consequences of holding it, how clean is the bathroom, is it a single use bathroom, what type of toilet paper is there, what is the likelihood of people knocking on the door and most importantly, will the smell seep out of the bathroom and let others know what I was doing in there? I know we all poop, but I still find it easier to pretend that we all don’t.

I hate cleaning the bathroom at my job. When it comes time for that, a simple sweep with a dry broom is about as far as I am willing to go. My cheap ass manager won’t spring for liners for the trash cans, so when it’s time to empty them, there is always the chance of a runaway tampon popping out to say hello. It’s not easy to empty a trash can without actually touching it, but I have managed to do it with the use of multiple paper towel and good balance. One time the trash can rubbed up against my shirt and I just about fainted right there. The only thing that kept me from fainting was knowing that if I did, I would then end up actually touching the floor with my face. Seeing that I don’t even like my shoes to touch the bathroom floor, my face touching it is not an option.

But there I was last week surrounded by the smell of hell. It was like a skunk made love to a rotten egg and then rolled around in Jennifer Lopez Live Eau de Parfum Spray. I bolted out of the bathroom and looked for the offender. I suspected the cook but the dishwasher looked mighty guilty too. I took a deep breath and went back in to fill the soap dispenser and make sure there were paper towels. Once out of the bathroom, I released the breath and prepared to go back in. I took another deep breath and grabbed the candle and trash can. This process was repeated three times making me hyperventilate and wish that I was anything in the world other than a waiter who had to do a goddamn bathroom check at the end of the night.

I suppose some people can do a number two any time and anywhere and if it means they do it in a restaurant, then so be it. I’m just not programmed for that. At my other job, I work with a guy who has no issue with it whatsoever. On my first day there, I walked into the bathroom where I found him standing next to the stall with his pants unbuttoned and his hands on his hips. “Bad news, dude. The toilet’s clogged and I just took a huge dump.” “Oh, okay,” I said. “It’s nice to meet you.”

What a shitty job I have sometimes. And by the way, does anyone else hate this commercial for Angel Soft where the guy keeps yelling to his wife that they’re all out of toilet paper? “Can you toss me a roll?” he asks repeatedly. You know what, dude? How about you keep the extra toilet paper in the bathroom instead of asking your wife to keep throwing it at you. Or better yet, go get it your fucking self, lazy ass. And also on the subject of toilet paper commercials, I am sick of seeing those goddamn Charmin bears who always have toilet paper dingle berries hanging off their asses. Hey ad execs: bears may shit in the woods but they don’t use toilet paper and everyone I know thinks those commercials are disgusting. Stop it.

And this concludes my classy and elegant discussion about poo.

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Cater Waiters Unite

I don’t know this band and I am not shamelessly promoting my own video (for once) but someone sent it to me and it needed to be shared. I have done my time as a cater waiter and this video epitomizes how we feel sometimes when we are walking around a crowded room with a plate of nasty ass slimy shrimp that nobody wants. People poke and prod you and have no respect. I’m talking to you, Connie Chung. I wanna poke you back.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdq_2NC2aGY?rel=0]

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Earthquakes and Hurricanes

I don’t know if you have heard, but the end of the world is on its way. No, I am not talking about the rapture that was supposed to happen last May, I am talking about the other definitive signs. First off, there is a freakin’ hurricane heading to New York City. That shit never happens and I just canceled my Cape Cod vacation thanks to Hurricane Irene. The only other Irene I ever knew was a friend of my Grandma’s about a hundred years ago. I guess anything and everything named Irene is a fucking bitch on wheels, is that it? My apologies if your name is Irene and you are a nice lady, but I doubt it.

The second sure sign that the end is near was that we had an earthquake in New York City on Tuesday. I did not feel it. Friends of mine did, but not me. When it happened, I was sitting in a park reading the newspaper. No, I was not too drunk to feel the earth move under my feet, it was just so minor here that is was pretty much a non-event. This was my first earthquake and I expected more from it. After all, I saw the movie Earthquake in 1974 so I know all about seismic tremors. My mom took me to see it with her friend Doris when I was seven years old. I have since asked her why she took her child to see such a scary movie. Her reply? “Did I take you to see that? Hmm, I don’t remember that all, I guess I couldn’t find a babysitter.” Well, I remember because it gave me nightmares. How can any seven year old child forget that scene where all those people plummet to their death in an elevator? It was so realistic to me as a child; even that corny animated blood splatter that filled the screen. When I got to work after the earthquake, I expected to see bottles of liquor oozing life onto the floor and parts of the ceiling dangling above overturned tables and chairs. Instead, I saw that we were out of regular coffee so it was going to be all decaf all the time that night. My experience with the earthquake is pretty much summed up in this video:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_Kv5QmEC0U?rel=0]

But now we have Hurricane Irene to deal with. Not only will it wreak havoc with our lives, for those of us in the restaurant world, it’s going to hurt us in our pocketbook too. I mean, how many people are going to want to go out to eat this weekend during a hurricane?

“Honey, I don’t feel like cooking tonight. What do you say we get the canoe and paddle over to the restaurant for dinner? Doesn’t that sound like fun?”

“Well, dear, I dunno. The wind is really strong out there, maybe we should take the sailboat.”

“Oh sweetheart, you think of everything.”

Yeah, not gonna happen. My suggestion to restaurant owners up and down the east coast is to have a Hurricane Special. You turn the televisions to the Weather Channel, make the cocktail of the day a $5 hurricane., take 10% all checks and see what happens. Or just accept that no one is going to come in and close up for the day. That way we can all have our own hurricane party. You fill your house with junk food, liquor, batteries and candles and get drunk off your ass. Turn on the TV and make a drinking game out of it; every time Sam Champion says “wind gusts” you take a shot.

I am off to the grocery store to stock up on food. You know that the the bread aisle is already empty and there is no milk anywhere. In the event of a natural disaster, people always buy up every loaf of bread they can get their hands on. As long as there is still vodka and tequila at the liquor store, I think I can make it through the storm. I just won’t be in Provincetown and that pisses me off. I hate you, Irene. You suck.

Next stop on the End of the World Express: locusts.


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Tequila on the 16th Floor

Yesterday in New York City was one of those stellar days of weather where I can actually fool myself into believing that this really is the best city in the world. Beautiful blue skies and a light breeze with low humidity meant one thing: find a rooftop deck and get drunk. I took my ass over to the Press Lounge at Ink 48 hotel and went to the 16th floor and got my cocktail on. I ordered the Excelsior which was tequila poured over lime juice and ice with sugar and cayenne pepper garnished with a pepper dusted orange slice. Yeah, it was good, but for $16, it ought to be. The view was stunning and when I got there, the only other people on the deck were those of a movie crew who were doing some location scouting. It was all “and then Sarah Jessica could do this” and “then Sarah Jessica could do that.” I assume it was Sarah Jessica Parker they were talking about but for all I know it was the Sarah Jessica Grenburg who works at the Marshalls in Rego Park Queens. The movie crew was a little distracting with all their tape measures and cameras, but one look at the Empire State Building was enough to let it not matter anymore.

After I ordered my second cocktail the deck was beginning to get more crowded. It was full of people who were there using a business Am Ex card. Seated next to us was a group who looked like they were in New York City for some dumb ass team-building workshop for their job. The group started out as one woman who seemed nice enough. She sat down on the couch and patiently waited for her friends or a server. After about five minutes she was joined by two women. One of them was all corporate America bitch with poorly highlighted hair and big clunky jewelry. As as she walked up, she asked the other one, “So how do we get a drink? I’m thirsty.” The seemingly friendly and patient one answered, ” I saw a waitress, but she hasn’t gotten to us yet. I think we just wait.” That’s right, lady. You wait. But Corporate America Bitch doesn’t wait. After about twenty seconds (yes, I timed it) she said, “This is taking too long,” and she got up to presumably round up some service. She came back to her seat and said, “Someone told me she’d be right out.” After another minute had passed, she was up again. She went right to a busser and spoke to him about getting a waitress. She came back to her seat exasperated as if she had done something really difficult. It’s not the Amazing Race, honey. Relax. “Every time, I try to order something, they tell me to sit and wait. I’m thirsty.” That’s right, lady. You wait. Maybe she didn’t see the other people pouring out of the elevator and spilling out onto the patio who also were thirsty. Maybe she was frustrated that her assistant wasn’t there who would normally hop right to it when she needed something.

After an eternity, (two minutes) the waitress finally showed up to ask them what they wanted. And guess what: they didn’t know yet. That’s right. As is typical, these bitches who were in such a fucking hurry to order and were so incredibly thirsty had no idea what they wanted. “Oh, is there a menu? Ummm, lemme see…uh, I think I will have a, ummmm….” The waitress smiled but my x-ray waiter eyes showed me it was a fake one. “I’ll have a prosecco,” said one lady. “Oooh, prosecco, what’s that?” said another. I rolled my eyes on behalf of the waitress who was still fake smiling.

After their drinks came, their group grew large enough to get a little too close to me; one guy sat down on the edge of the couch I was on so now his ass was a few inches away from my hand. I wanted to shove his eleven dollar Amstel Light up it, but changed my seat instead. Their incessant chatting about work and business and leadership exercises made me want to throw them off the deck and onto Eleventh Avenue sixteen floors below. Of course I wouldn’t do that because most of them were way too heavy for me to be able to throw off the roof. In addition to the strength it would have taken, it would very possibly mean the end of my time on the deck.

I sucked down the last of my tequila, ate my orange wedge and stumbled to the elevator. By now the roof was full of corporate mid-level management all trying to impress one another. It was kind of disgusting and I made a mental note to always get to this deck at 3:30 to avoid all the bullshit. I took one last look at the Hudson River and New Jersey and then to the other side I glimpsed Times Square only four blocks away. It truly was a spectacular view. Even though the waitress was stuck serving big wig douche bags she at least had the view to help her through the day. And if it ever got really bad, I would suggest an Excelsior in a paper cup underneath the computer. It certainly was the highlight of my day.

(And yes, that is me on the deck with my cocktail firmly in my hand.)


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Two Bimbos From Queens Walk Into a Bar…

“What are we gonna do tonight?” asked Carla as she lined her left eye with the Ultraflesh Black Magic Eyeliner that she bought at the dollar bin at Ricky’s Beauty Supply. “I think since our husbands took the kids to the game, we should take advantage of it and have a girl’s night out. Whadya say, Loretta?”

“Jeez, Carla, I dunno. Ain’t it enough that I came over to yous apartment and we ain’t gots the kids? Look, I even opened a box of zinfandel. By the way, your ice trays suck, you know that, right?”

Carla began work on her right eye and shrugged. “I just wanna do something crazy tonight like we used to do at Sacred Heart, you know? Live a little?”

Carla and Loretta had gone to high school together and both gotten pregnant at the same time thanks to a pinky swear they had made when they were both drinking shots of Jägermeister. They thought it would be fun to have babies who would always love them so they each allowed their boyfriends to go all the way and were shopping for baby clothes at the Baby Gap within two months. They both got jobs there too in order to take advantage of the 40% discount. Their children were now 10 years old.

Loretta poured herself another cup of wine. “So what, you don’t wanna just hang out here and watch Grey’s Anatomy no more? Why the eff did I bother bringing the DVD then? Jesus H. Christ on a cracker, Carla, what gives?”

Carla looked in her mirror. She put her hands up to the sides of her face and pulled the skin back. “I just feel like we’re gettin‘ old, ya know? I mean, we’re 26 already. Life is flying past us and we never do anything we ever said we’d do with our lives.”

You’s crazy, Carla. We have great lives. Our boys are best friends, our husbands both got city jobs and you’re next in line for shift manager at the Baby Gap. Whadya want, a freakin‘ palace?”

“Remember what you promised me in the cafeteria our freshman year, Loretta? What about that?”

“Carla, I was 14 years old when I said that. I am not making out with you. Lemme pour you a cup of zin over ice and we’ll watch the TV.”

Carla spun around from her makeup table. “Not that promise, Loretta. You told me that we would always be friends and we would always take the road that was fun. I wanna do something fun tonight. Exciting. Just me and you, like the old days.” Carla took a deep breath and leaned toward her best friend. She whispered, “I bought a fifth of Jäger and a pack of cigarettes. Crazy enough for you?”

A smile slowly came across Loretta’s face. “Is the Jäger in the fridge?”

“Behind the milk.”

“Are the cigarettes Virgina Slims?”

“What else would I buy, Loretta?”

The two friends went to the kitchen laughing and pulled the Jäger out from the refrigerator. “I don’t have any shot glasses so let’s just use sippy cups. And let’s go out on the deck before we light the cigarettes. I don’t want Anthony to know.”

Ten minutes and three shots apiece later, Carla and Loretta were sitting on the fire escape reliving their youth. “Remember how we used to call these Vagina Slimes?” said Loretta as smoke billowed out from her mouth and nose and drifted off into the alley. “We was so funny back then, Carla, we really was. I’m glad we’re doing this. I feel like a little girl again having cocktails and cigarettes. It’s just like bein‘ in the bathroom at Sacred Heart all over again.”

“Except now we’re old enough to do it legally,” said Carla. She gently let out Jäger burp that also produced a little puff of smoke. “It doesn’t feel as dangerous as it used to. Let’s go out and do something bad. Really bad.”

“What? What are we gonna do that’s bad? Cross against the light? Try to use an expired coupon at the Met Food? What, Carla?”

“I have an idea. C’mon.”

They teased their hair and added more eyeliner and headed out the door after taking another Jäger shot. They were on their way to create havoc. They were ready to show the world that life does not end at 26 years old. There is more to Carla and Loretta than just raising children, working at Baby Gap and making sausage and peppers every other Wednesday. As they crossed Queens Boulevard they lit up new Virgina Slims. The wind was cool and breezy. It carried away the smoke but did not move their hair thanks to the Salon Grafix Super Hold Unscented Mousse that was on sale two-for-one at Winn’s Discount Dollar Store.

“Jeez, Carla? We’re crossin‘ the boulevard? Where you takin‘ me, the North Pole?”

“Don’t worry, I know a place that we can go and do something bad and wrong and it’s gonna make us feel like we’re fifteen years old again.”

“Well, slow down, will ya? I’m wearing flip flops for cryin‘ out loud.”

Two minutes later they were standing in front of a restaurant. The sign on the door clearly stated that it was closing at 11:00. It was 10:55. “What are we doin‘ here, Carla? I ain’t even hungry and they’s closed anyway.”

“Wait three minutes and I’ll tell you.”

Inside, the restaurant was empty except for one waiter who was finishing up his sidework. He had just dumped the coffee and blew out the candles and was about to run his report for the night and get off early. At 10:58, he saw the door open. He watched two overly made-up ladies came in and sat at the bar. “Hi ladies. I’m sorry, but we’re closing at 11:00.”

The one with raccoon eyes from way too much cheap eyeliner said, “I know you close at 11:00 but according to my watch it’s only 10:58. My friend and I would like a drink.” The other lady put her hand over her mouth to stifle a laugh. One of her flip-flops fell off her foot when she crossed her legs revealing the remnants of a very sad pedicure.

The waiter looked at his watch. “Are you serious? It’s one minute until we close.”

“Well then, we made it just in time. One Margarita and one white russian, please.” Raccoon Eyes turned to Bad Pedicure and said, “See, I told you we’d do something bad. This is awful, right?”

The waiter looked at his manager, fearful of his response. “Coming right up, ladies,” he said.

The bitchy waiter rang in the drinks and handed them to the women. He moved to the corner where he quietly seethed as he watched them sip their drinks for forty minutes. His chance of leaving early was dashed by two bimbos from Queens with cheap ass clothes and bad make-up. When they left, there were three dollars on the bar. As he unlocked the door to let them out, the woman with flip flops said, “Carla, this was the best night I’ve had in five years. You’re my best friend, you know that, right?”

Carla wiped a tear from her eye, smudging her eyeliner into even more of a mess and said, “Sometimes we just gotta get out into the world and shake things up, Loretta, that’s all I’m sayin‘. And goin‘ into a restaurant one minute before they close and making the waiter stay way too long and leaving him a shitty tip is just about the worst thing I can think of to do, I swear to God.”

“Good night, ladies,'” said the waiter as he shut the door and locked it. “Bitches,” he continued once he was sure they were out of hearing distance.