Sunday, March 30, 2008

Waiting Squared

You may or may not know I am a server at a smallish restaurant here in Ruidoso and normally I like my job. Or maybe I just like the money and lack of stress to take home with me when the day is done. That’s not to say that many a night during the summer I didn’t have crazy awake-dreams where I thought I was still at the restaurant, or that customers were at my house waiting to eat or something, but usually most of the manic stress happens at the P.O.B.

This is also not to say that I haven’t broken down from time to time (what my boss refers to as "cracking up"). I try to keep those instances to a minimum and just keep my adrenaline to myself until later, but I have been formulating a list in my head about stuff that makes me NUTS about restaurant customers, and thought I’d share what I can remember here....

Special eaters - Go the F*CK home. No one wants to deal with your aversion to butter or salt or peas or cheese or meat or eggs or capers or cumin. That’s why you go out to restaurants... the food tastes better because the cooks use more of that "bad" stuff to taste up your normally bland food. And your server pretends to care, but we don’t. We secretly loathe you and honestly, unless someone has a severe allergy, I probably don’t even say anything and neither do you because -GASP- your food tastes good that way! ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the time someone designed a recipe one way because it works. They know what they’re doing. Leave well enough alone.

Ten percenters - The year is 2008, not 1958. The norm for tipping these days is twenty percent. If you can’t afford to tip your server, you can’t afford to eat at an establishment that employs people to refill your drinks, bring you your food, ask you if you need anything else. Go to Arby’s. They don’t expect tips because they get paid more than three bucks an hour. And seriously, I don’t think restaurant patrons know how much this means to a server. Give them the twenty percent, and maybe give them a dollar more. ONE DOLLAR. You have no idea how you could make someone’s day.

Well-done steak eaters - Stop kidding yourself when you try to order a steak medium-rare by saying, "Wellllll... What’s medium here? I like it just pink in the middle, but still juicy." "Medium is still going to be a little bloody, dear patron." "Oh, no, no, no. No blood." Mental note: Hmmm, ok. How about medium-well, you nasty bastard? And when you say it’s too dry and ask for steak sauce you can kiss my ass because we don’t have any.... Just effing order the steak how you want it. I won’t say anything to your face...

Flavored tea drinkers/straw users - Let’s start here with a question: Who started this flavored tea trend? Trust me, I love a flavored tea as much as the next idiot, but I would never expect an establishment to carry flavored teas unless it was like "Aunt Bea’s Flavored Tea Emporium". So stop acting so surprised when I tell you we only have regular iced tea. And to those of you who require a straw to drink a beverage... I don’t get it. If you have serious tooth sensitivity, you should carry your own straws with you. If you don’t like your lips to touch a restaurant glass, you are a lunatic. And if you’re a kid, too bad. You need to learn how to drink out of a glass like the rest of functioning society.

Obese people - You gross me out and I don’t even want to feed you because it’s like enabling an alcoholic. You ask for a fourth basket of bread and extra butter and another Diet Coke, and I die a little bit inside. Then you can’t decide if you want to get dessert because you’re so full. Just get it. You know you’re going to eat that half gallon of rocky road when you get home regardless. Might as well add another six bucks to my sales...

Old people - You don’t have an appetite, so don’t go out to eat. You want your coffee at temperatures that cause evaporation. You ask for ice to put in your wine. You tip badly. You smell. You ask for salt and pepper before I have even given you a menu (Which reminds me to tell you that you are an uncouth jerk if you season your food before you taste it). You complain more than anyone and that makes me hate you.

Wannabe sommeliers - Having you taste the wine before I pour you a glass is NOT to see whether or not you like the wine. It is to make sure the bottle has not turned because of the cork, etc. If you don’t like it, that’s your fault because you don’t know what kind of wine you ordered/like. And by the way, smelling the cork is for morons. If you want to squeeze it to make sure it’s not dry or rotted, be my guest. But smelling it forces me to probably give you a look of severe disdain that you don’t recognize because you don’t know me. And to those of you who drink white zinfandel... I am not even going to go there. You are just revoltingly lame.

Table movers/chair swappers - I’ll keep this simple. The host seated you in one place for a reason. Stay there unless there is a REALLY good reason to move. And leave the chairs where they are. If you have a bony ass or hemorrhoids, carry around your donut cushion because that is not my fault.

Wow. I honestly probably have a list ten times this long with more nuggets you can’t live without. It’ll get worse. Maybe I’ll get some more written down. Until then, if you haven’t seen Waiting, watch it. It’s incredibly accurate where restaurants are concerned and if you’re never going to wait tables to see what it’s like, you need to be taught a lesson by Ryan Reynolds and Luis Guzman. Watch it immediately if not sooner. If nothing else, it’s funny as hell.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Exaggerated perceived benefits of big city life

I desired to move to a bigger city for three main reasons that I can think of:

  1. More people
  2. Music scene
  3. Shopping

Not sure why you’d want to live in a friggin’ huge city otherwise, because as I have learned, it sort of sucks (well, Dallas sucked kinda). I have found that there are as many things that I love about living in a small town as there are things that irritate the hell out of me.


Right now the number one item on my list of aggravations are tourists – from Texas and Mexico. They drive like shit, act like shits, look like shit, and even smell like shit because they’re all over-cologners. But on the flip side, they leave (they come back, but they do leave). In a big city, you have idiots driving all over the place from out of town, or even from the other side of town, constantly. They have no idea where they are or what’s going on… I have been this idiot on many an occasion.

So there’s one part of the "more people" item on my list. I figured, "There’s got to be more cool people in a big city as compared to this tiny mountain town…" No, not really. Maybe in some bigger cities the average age is lower, but as the city grows, so do the number of assholes inhabiting it. I believe that’s what we call correlation. So in a large town you’re just as screwed as you are in a small town. It’s all about statistics.


Next on my list is music. I really enjoy going to concerts of bands I like, and there aren’t a lot in Ruidoso, or even New Mexico for that matter. I think Smash Mouth (You remember them… they’re on all the bad 90s compilation albums and the Shrek soundtracks!) just played out at the Inn of the Mountain Gods. Awesome, no? I check on tours of bands I’d like to see, and the list of venues maybe goes something like this: Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco (three dates), Seattle, Denver, Dallas, Washington, D.C., New York… you get the idea. The thing is, I really don’t have too much to complain about. We have a decent live music ring here and I am pretty sure I am dating the ring leader, who can talk DJ Pete into letting my East Coast BFF touch his afro (and there is definitely a picture of said ’fro-pulling in my pics, so check it out). So we have a good time regardless, I suppose.

And then because I am lucky and know like five people, sometimes I get cool opportunities to become the lucky recipient of two $100 tickets to see Willie Nelson out at the Inn before he stops touring. And by "stops touring," I mean dies, because we all know he’s going to smoke dope and sing songs until that day, right? That concert would have been insane if the venue hadn’t sucked and crazed hicks weren’t screaming, "WILLLLLAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!! WILL-(gasp)-layyyyyy…" Actually, that was incredibly entertaining all by itself.


Shopping. All I can do when confronted with this topic is sigh. Too much thought could send me into fits of tears. There are a couple of cute shops in Ruidoso that may seem quaint and novel to visitors, but to me they’re just a bunch of Forever 21 clones in a charming store’s pajamas. The one shoe store SUCKS ("These shoes rule… these shoes SUCK!"). J. Roberts carries decent jeans from time to time that are reasonably priced, but unless you’re into buying $70 tops that fall apart after one outing, you’re effed. There’s no way someone else could borrow your top, betch. My purchases usually occur online or out of town, unfortunately. The good thing about this, however, is that I don’t do a lot of impulse buying. I give online purchases more thought and dedication because it’s a chore, and you can never be quite sure if what you’re getting will fit right, etc. A good Coach bag always fits, but anyways. I think I’m going to go to Walgreens now and look at the hair care products…

There are a plethora of other reasons why big cities suck or little towns suck in comparison to each other, like public transportation. Equally scary and entertaining if you ask me… wonky eyes on the Metro, the BP-riddled DART, breaking down on the El, Mohammed the cabbie in DC…

This blog brought to you by Sack, Amanda, and the letter B. Sack gave me the title and Amanda wrote a similar, but less cynical blog not too long ago. Thanks, yo!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Tales of Carbon Monoxide

I find myself at my house less and less these days, thanks to my own personal Latch Key program, also known as my boyfriend. When I am at my house, I'm tucked away in my "lair", tooling around on the internet, getting ready for work, doing laundry... Things that do not require my presence at the front of the house, which is maybe why I have the little bit of motivation it takes to do the things that construct my life. I suspect that some sort of a carbon monoxide leak is happening in the front of my house, ergo whenever I come home my family is mimicking the lives of house cats: sleep, eat, play (which equals watching TV), repeat. I really do think some sort of a gas leak must be the culprit.

I get it. I do. When I moved backed to Ruidoso from El Paso last April, I was (as Amanda has me saying) in a "bad way." Although I don't think I slept any more than normal (P.S. my "normal" is like nine hours... seriously), I think I had a daily routine of television and just hanging out, but that got old after about a week. I went and got my old job back, started jogging again, had my usual conversations with friends abroad via the computer and phone, etc. That's when I stop getting it. After two weeks of being a zombie, don't most people start to get stir crazy and need something other than programs hosted by Bill Kurtis to fill their days?

It's not like I do anything important, either. I'm not running marathons, or curing the HIV, or devising a plan to eradicate hunger worldwide. Monday I spent two hours at the tire place to find out I have to buy two new tires for my Jeep (while writing in my Moleskine about living with crazy people, which I have deduced I am really, really good at). I go to work every other day. On days off I run errands, go to the ever-popular shopping mecca of Ruidoso (Wal-Mart), have a meal or two with my beau, yog if the weather's nice, paint the lair... things like that.

But coming here, where narcolepsy reigns supreme, disrupts my well being for a few moments out of every day. How to motivate people, though? I'm not very good at motivating anyone by means that do not include "Dr. Philling" them, because I think most things are incredibly obvious (unless you're dealing with people who communicate on a purely metaphorical level daily). Por ejemplo, if you know you're not happy, don't you usually know why? Don't you know what could probably make it better, whether it's getting a pet, or exercising more, or finding a new job, or buying a new bag, or keeping your distance from crazy people? Someone send me a link for a book about lighting a fire under someone's ass without simultaneously destroying the shred of self-esteem they may or may not have left...

I am going to stop now. Before I become one of those idiots who blogs about their life as if other people actually give a shit. For some reason I have nothing interesting to say. :)