Thursday, November 26, 2009

A very special Holiday Edition....

Wouldn't it me nice if during this oh-so special time of year all of us at Captain Rigaton's developed warm, fuzzy and tolerent feelings towards the world? Read on to see how we all mose certainly do not.....

Christmas arrived early and with a bang at Captain Rigatoni's. All thru the pre-Thanksgiving week we turned that place into a huge, gaudily decorated Christmas Nightmare. My astute observation as we neared the end of the madness was it appeared that Santa Claus had thrown up Holiday spirit everywhere. Being that I refuse to decorate my house, despise all things tchotchke, and have a deep dislike for teddy bears dressed as the three wise men this has been a trying time for me.
It is not mystery that I am in the best physical (and mental) shape of anyone there. This does not usually turn out to be a good thing for me, as I am sent on multiple missions to haul around objects which are larger than myself. When it came time to string the 22,000 feet of garland Jan climbed the step ladder once and in a state of near cardiac arrest declared that it was to be my new favorite job. Let's all pause and count the ways I'm lucky!

Business has continued to be fairly slow, and at the very least being responsible for the creation of the most vomitous Christmas ever keeps the boredom at bay. And, for spying on people being the designated step-ladder wrangler has its advantages.
As I was struggling to heave a dinosaur sized reindeer onto a rafter above my head a piercing screech shattered the silence. Curious, I paused mid-lift and peered down thru the masses of garland, tinsel and reindeer legs. In came a family and several very ornery children. Much to my chagrin, they were placed in very close proximity to my step ladder. Much to the chagrin of all the other patrons in the restaurant, we soon discovered that even the farthest corner of the building was too close.
These kids were fully out of control. The shrieks of hysteria grew louder by the minute and from my excellent vantage point I could see pasta flying in every direction. I thanked my lucky stars that they were seated in an area with easy to mop floors! I was reminded of a child that used to come into the last restaurant I worked in; the aptly named (by us) Rice Baby. It doesn't take too much imagination to figure out how she earned that dubious distinction. She would destroy that place, there would be rice in places that you didn't know rice could get into. It was a bad scene of epic disaster- and to add insult to injury her parents would leave a 12 cent tip and moan in ecstasy about how darling she was. Oh puuuuh-lease!!

The parents of the super-lung-capacity screamers were completely oblivious to the decibel level that their precious little pumpkins were achieving. Also, nobody was taking appropriate parental control over the frantic running thru the aisles of the restaurant. I was becoming concerned that the little sweet munchkins were going to run into my ladder and knock it over, which would have given me just cause to beat them soundly.

I was sensing a different family dynamic and from Spy-central USA I figured out that the men were together as were the ladies. I am a super open minded person and that does not bother me in the least. But Mom's and Dad's- y'all still need to grow a set and take control of your offspring. Even though I am a super relaxed marry-whoever kinda gal it seems some of my coworkers are not- and since the tension due to the noise level was already so high there were definate grumblings from a few people. A few rude comments later and I was smacking people with salad tongs to get them to knock it off- I mean REALLY, show a little kindness!!

By the end of the meal there was pasta, gelato, bread, sauce and who knows what else all over the surrounding area. Waste had been laid to Captain Rigatoni's and there was no end in sight. The server responsible for this table of incredible insanity was on the brink of loosing his cool. He had been grabbed, spat on and smacked and had only just been able to dodge a flung juice cup. "Get them out of here" I declared "They are ON CRACK!!!" "I KNOW" he moaned in despair "I have never seen such a thing. I frigging HATE kids!!" I told him that he did not, he just was a hater of crack babies and parents who won't control them.

Finally they left and as their screams faded the hostess pranced in, all a flutter and a tizzy because she had inside info. "You know those kids that were just here?" she stage whispered "No, WHAT KIDS." I deadpanned. Rolling her eyes she continued "I overheard a long conversation that the Mom's and Dad's were having and all of the kids are adopted. And their biological parents are METH addicts!!!" By this time several other servers had sidled over to catch the gossip of the day. "Holy Crap" was my reply, as I congratulated myself on being fairly accurate with my "crack baby" appraisal "That's a lot to take on!" The server who dealt with that mess was so put out by the whole debacle that he had worked himself up into a fine state. Throwing his hands into the air he declared that he had reached his limit and could be found outside smoking crack. I mean cigarettes.
It took several of us a bit of time to clean the crack baby table and surrounding area. I think that this really goes to show that even during the Holiday season, when all of is are (supposed) to be feeling magnanimous please do not bring your messy meth freak children out and let them cause death and destruction. I might get coal in my stocking for feeling that way but I'm willing to risk it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Youth Of America: Part 2, Where we sing about Troll Tolls

**Note: This episode of MAW is not going to seem very funny if you do not watch It's Always Sunny (especially last season.) You have been warned**

During my time at Captain Rig's the number of funny things that have happened are so small that I can count them on one hand. With one finger (and you know which one, ohhhh snap!) The arrival of the youth of America has not changed that much, or I didn't think so until a few nights ago....

Recently, Karen has taken over the title of the Axis Of Evil in our little world. This is an amazing feat as the trifecta of Bobbi/Ashley/Jan were all well in the running. However, Karen truly is a vile woman with no soul. More on her antics another time.... Anyway, as she spews her vile bile all over us (word vomit, ok?) I think sarcastic things in my head and am so glad that she is not a mind reader!! Essentially, any chance to give her a hard time id very much looked forward to- and almost impossible to find. (and unlike Jan- giving her trouble does not get her to lighten up. it makes her mad!)

It was a slow night, which is the norm at this time of year. It gives me plenty of time to think about how lucky I am that I do not have a bubble over my head that all my thoughts pop into. Boredom makes everyone crabby, and as I observe their grouchiness I run a bit of inner commentary- not always polite. As I made my way to the server station to help Random Male Youth Of America learn how to make a cappuccino Karen stepped out and blocked my path. She was in an unusually jovial mood, and this was her way of having a laugh. "No entry" she declared "until you pay the toll." "Hmmmm" I mused aloud "Would that be a TROLL TOLL Karen?" RMYOA's head snapped up in interest at the change in events. Piping in he said "Yep. You have to PAY the Troll Toll, to get into the boy's (long pause) SOUL?!!" Snapping my fingers solemnly, I continued in severe monotone and with a stern expression "You have to pay the TROLL TOLL to GET IN." At this point we were both snapping along in rhythm, and reaching the end of our tune, we firmly declared in unison "TROLL TOLL" Completely baffled and looking rather gob smacked Karen declared us both to be certifiably insane, and retarded. To her retreating back I said "It's ok that you don't get it Karen, it's NATURE, shit HAPPENS there's nothing you can do!" I heard a little humming from the RMYOA which sounded suspiciously like a mention of karate and friendship for everyone.... We mentally high fived each other, and continued with the day like nothing ever happened. Freaking. Awesome.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Youth Of America, Part 1

At Captain Rigatoni's I am indeed a middleagedwaitress in the sense that my age accurately represents the median of the employees (but median-aged-waitress does not have the same cheerful ring to it..) There are the crusty old codgers along with a rather sudden appearance of the Youth Of America.

I have befriended one of these innocent young things, in the hopes of corrupting her youthful mind. Just kidding, it's more along the lines of "the new people have to stick together." Spending time at work with her makes me reminisce about my younger days. (which is not something that I long for wistfully, believe me.) I wonder fairly often, if she is actually as innocent, naive and hopeful as she seems or am I just jaded, flawed and old? Psssssh- we're certainly going with the first choice on this! Poor girl, she in under the terribly misguided impression that the world can be changed if she speaks up. She is still basking in the youthful glow of hope, that her words can change a nation. Or in our case, the kitchen. Sadly, what she does not see is that by saying what is on her mind she is being labled as a "complainer and troublemaker" and her stock is going down in the eyes of the management. I have gently attempted to guide her in a different direction, one that I call "shut the f%%&&** UP!!" as sadly, one "BAD SEED" makes life a bit tricky for the rest of us. Don't get me wrong- she is right in what she is speaking up about. However, in CR's twisted system the mention that something might not be quite right is a huge offence. (which is the #1 sign of a dysfunctional company, according to my sources.)

This gal and I "hang out" at work- meaning that we fold many thousands of napkins, slice forty billion croutons and speak in hushed tones in code about our magical work experiences.

The trouble with this little arrangement is that when Bobbi sees us together she imagines that we are creating a force against her. A Dumbledore's Army, if you will. DUN, DUN, DUN, DUNNNNNNN!!!!! (that's doom music.) Bobbi thinks that instead of chatting about our houses, pets and husbands/boyfriends we are probably talking about overtaking her evil empire (which we clearly are.)

All of this insanity came to a head the other evening when abruptly, at 8:45 (on a Friday night) the Youth Of America was cut- and so was I. I was baffled, to say the least because to cut people that late on a Friday is unheard of. Fortunately, one of the other new girls (who is old like yours truly) snagged me and dragged me into the walk in cooler. "You have to hear this" she said- nervously looking around for any signs of ears on the walls "You, and the rest of the YOA are being POISONED against this place by your work friend- according to Bobbi." "WHAT" I screeched indignantly, "WTF???" "No, seriously" she continued with gravity "You have to watch your back." "Hmmm" I sniffed" with irritation "I am clearly going to have to find a remedy for this poison....."

In real life, a situation like this would make me want to really create some sort of force against crazy unstable Bobbi, and slowly take over her Empire of Hate. But, I know better. If she continues to think that we are all doing the Devil's work she will systematically cut our shifts until all of us are forced to quit. So, I dished out a bug ration of (skewed) reason to the YOA and persuaded them to keep the complaining to a minimum.

Stay tuned to see if my advice fell upon deaf ears....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wait, did I take a wrong turn and end up back in third grade?

Never ever, have I ever worked in a place where the staff has their behinds so firmly planted in high school. I'm simply not the kind of middleagedwaitress that sneaks around like a creeper, listening to peoples innocent convos, reading all sorts of things into them and then ZOOM scampering off to the manager to tattle. Why, you might ask? Why not jump on the bandwagon of tattle tailing mania since it seems to be the cool thing to do? Hmmm, because I am not 7 years old perhaps.

I had the audacity the other evening to suggest the fact that I had other things going on in my life outside of Captain Rig's (gasp!) The setting was a lighthearted chat about vacations (what are those?) and how if the opportunity arose to take one I would jump, no LEAP at the chance. "Well" snipped my coworker "You couldn't go then, or then, or then because you'd have to be here." Looking at her out of the corner of my eye with a fairly high level of amusement/disgust at her unyielding dedication to our fab job I suggested that I could probably manage to get over the terrible guilt, especially if there were palm trees and cocktails involved. My tone was clearly one of jest, and her expression was clearly one of horror in the fact that I could so betray my loving and tender employers in such an appalling fashion. She literally scuttled off to promptly tell Bobbi that I was a slacker, sub par employee and that I shouldn't be there. HAH!!

Basically, everywhere you turn at Good Old CR's there is somebody stabbing somebody else in the back. It's par for the course and I have become fairly good at ignoring everyone else's drams. Or at least getting a bit of amusement out of it.

Stay tuned for my next episode of tales from the world of insanity to see what happens when, against my will, I become a victim of the drama llama!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gosh, I don't know if I can count that dang high!

You can tell a lot about a person by what they want to drink. I feel that after spending 42,000 years on the front lines of the chaos I'm a pretty good judge of what sort of beverage might suit your needs. Chardonnay and White Zin remain the highest selling items for the ladies, Cosmos have fallen out of style in the past few years but are still pretty popular as are most combos of vodka/citrus whatev/cranberry. Yuck. For the men I can usually guess that you'll have "what's on tap" (um, the ONE beer??) or a one-mix mixed drink. Age plays a part in this as well, with those crazy youngsters wanting margaritas of one sort or another, and the more mature crowd wanting the old standbys like gibson's, and your run of the mill gin-martini-up-olives-side-ice.
I decided from an early age that if I were ever to have the misfortune of dating a boy who drank purple hooters or sex on the beaches I would kick him to the curb. Thank heavens on our first date the middle aged huz drank a sensible beer!!
Men trying to impress their dates will often ask for wine using ridiculous and misunderstood terminology. I love this very much and try to hang around to listen to their insane wine-expert speak. It's typically something fantastic like this: "Oh, this chardonnay is so very smooth. It hits you with butter in the front of the palate and rose petals and unicorn breath in the back. There are also lingering hints of leprechaun's gold and bricks." Yes, just like that! Always good for a laugh.
I had a table of two the other evening who informed me that they were from the Very Big City and wanted some Seriously Good Service. Oh No! I struggled to pull my frumpy dumpy country bumpkin head from my bum in order to perform to their high standards. Inwardly rolling my eyes I took their drink order, taking into account the door knob sized diamond that the maybe 23 year old female wore, and the AARP card carrying boyfriend/fiance. Not that there is anything wrong with that, seriously. I digress. After raving about the amazing liquor selection that Capt Rig's has (which is oh, so wrong. There is not one bottle of high or mid end scotch or whiskey, the best rum is Captain Morgan's, There is no good vodka or gin- you get the pic) the female ordered a Hypnotic martini. OMG, like totally!!!! I brought it to her and she was all "OMG, this is so nasty." I said "OMG, no kidding! hypnotic tastes like gum!!!" (in my head.) Her fix was to add more hypnotic, but there was none to be found. So I consoled her with some sort of cosmo made from extra fruity infused vodka, and lots of pink juice and garnishes. She was veryvery excited and told me so, using all sort of tricky to understand (for my country bumpkin ears) words such as "LIKE" "TOTALLY" "OMG" and "HEHEHE." Her Fiancee then decided that he wanted one too (kick to the curb) and he explained to me very slowly (so that I could understand his technical city-speak) that he wanted extra pink garnishes and a side of rocks. Barely able to hold this impossible directive in my head I scampered off to get him a tampon and to take his man card once and for all.
These cute little people continued drinking ridiculous things in various shades of pink and purple, and continued to speak to me like I was an Appalachian hillbilly. Which was awesome. When the check finally was ready to be picked up I had had about enough of their shenanigans, and when I was asked to give them change for a large bill I said (oh dear) that I simply didn't know if I could count so dang high. And I kid you not, Mr. AARP gave me a calculator. It just about killed me when they left me a really big tip- not sure if they felt bad or thought i needed the money to take care of my inbred starving babies. We'll never know...
And the moral of the story is: Hypnotic is not high class, coming from "the big city" does not automatically make you high class, and treating your server like she is 50% retarded is also not high class. Let that be a lesson to you all!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Excellent Jan-isms

As the months pass on, I have grown oddly fond of Jan. To be sure, she is a cold hearted snake and certainly not the most friendly or personable individual but she is quite honest about this. She also has the ability to say things that are so painfully obvious that they make me laugh hysterically, after I slap her for being suck an epic dork. I have some fine examples prepared for your amusement...

The scene: The end of the night at the restaurant. Time for me to clean up the salad station! Uh-Oh, I am not able to find the kind of bag that I usually put the lettuce in. Time to find Jan!!
Me: "Jan, I can not find the normal lettuce bags. Shall I take a trash bag from over by the dish washing station?"
Jan: "Yes. BUT IT CAN'T be a DIRTY Bag! The lettuce can NOT go in a dirty BAG!!!!"
Me: Feigning complete ignorance "It can't?? Really??" (slaps Jan upside the head) "DUH!!" "I am not 50% retarded. I know that lettuce can not go in a DIRTY bag..."

The scene: The beginning of the night. The chairs need cleaning.
Jan: "You know that when I said that the chairs need to be cleaned it means the WHOLE CHAIR, RIGHT??"
Me: (puts on the worlds dumbest expression, complete with slack-jaw and big wide eyes.) "Nooooooo, they dooooooo?"
Jan: (getting quite worked up) YES, I mean the BACKS, the BOTTOMS, THE LA-DE-DA BLAH, BLAH BLAHRGH."
Me: (interrupting ranting.) "JAN, NO CRAP!" Calm Yourself!!"
Jan: "Don't make me hurt you"
Me: "You couldn't even if you tried....."

The scene: The gellato cooler, prior to opening.
Jan: (working frantically to remedy the mistake that my fully incompetent self has left her poor weary hands to deal with.)
Me: (in head) "Ummm. Hmmm. Where's the fire?" (in out-loud voice) "Jan why are you taking all of the gellato out of the cooler."
Jan: "Because you put in all the WRONG GELLATO!!!! xx**##@@
Me: (confused to the max) "How can that be? I took it out of the freezer like always!"
Jan: "It should be coning out of THE OTHER FREEZER!!!"
Me: "What other freezer. I had no idea there was another freezer."
Jan: "Well you should have asked."
Me: "Why on earth would I have asked that? I had no reason to think that there would ever be more than one gellato freezer!"
Jan: "Well, you should have KNOWN!"
Me: (massages temples with exaggerated motion of irritation.) "OK Jan. No problem. I will just read your mind and continue to learn my osmosis...."
Jan: "I'm going to kill you"
Me: "I might kill you first."
Jan: "You can't! You would already be dead!"
Me: "No, I'd just be faking to trick you."

The scene: Busy busy night. Many things to do.
Me: "I just dried 4 racks of silver, put away 5 racks of glasses, ran food, took care of my tables and still have enough energy to give you trouble."
Jan: "Well. How cone I didn't see you doing any of that?"
Me: "Hmmm. Just because you didn't see it happen doesn't mean it didn't. And maybe because you are hard of sight? Or because I'm unusually fast and clever?"
Jan: Takes a swipe at me which I easily dodge...

The final scene: The VERY end of the night. We are all leaving. As we walk out Jan makes the horrific discovery that one salt shaker is missing several grains of salt. Unable to contain her disgust at the laziness and inability of her coworkers she goes into full blown ranting.
Jan: "I had better not get that section tomorrow!!! All of you are going to catch hell from me!!!" ....and as she exits the building her voice reaches a raspy fever pitch.... "YOU.... ARE.... ALLLLL..... DOUCHE BAGS!!!!" she screams into the night.
ME: walking with coworker, laughing hysterically. "Well, that just about says it, doesn't it?"