Children, Family, Friends, Happiness, Hope, Truth

Spring into action

It’s dumping snow outside… and my dirt is frozen in the greenhouse. I’m a sad farmer when the planting is delayed, because I like for my tomatoes to come up around my son’s birthday; April 8th. Unfortunately, we have 4 feet of snow on the ground, and accumulating…so I don’t dare plant them yet. It’s going to be an even later start this year, but it’s coming!

Happy March! It may snow and rain and suck, but it’s the gateway to April, when all good things return. My babies birthdays begin in April and continue on into the summer. Everyone in our small circle, celebrates another trip around the sun. It’s the best time of year…

Flip-flops, raspberries, fireworks and ripe tomatoes, are on the way. There’s a lot of great things to look forward to!

More importantly though?

pussyhat

Click for the pattern and make some to share if you’re feeling particularly knitty. ♥

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It’s MARCH! You can find me knitting pink hats for the women I love, or marching for them. ♥ #resist

march

 

30 Days of Truth, Family, Friends, Happiness, Truth, Victory!, work

30 Days of what the hell…

I’m back to dreading this and I was just remembering how much peace I found in clearing my head with a thousand typed words.

That 30 days of truth shit is no joke… and I’ve been in a particularly difficult head-space. With bills piling up and a surplus of coworkers during a shortage of tables, I’ve been extremely overwhelmed.

I have been at the same restaurant for nearly 4 years. Things have been rough lately and I’m in a place I never dreamed I’d be. I’m burned out, but tied inexplicably to the little old lady with an avocado allergy, who loves how I make her drink, the little kid who comes in when he gets good grades and brings his spelling test to show me, the family that drives hours to catch me up on their winter and their college kids, and the wonderful woman who made me an incredible gingerbread house this Christmas. customerloveI love the customers, and they love me right back. I get requested a lot. It would be easy to write off as me having lived in our small town forever, but I’ve met all these affectionate strangers, over their first bowl of rice with us. I always wanted a big family, and serving has given me one, because I adopt each of my favorites.

One of those customers has become a dear friend, both in appreciating my taking good care of them during their dinner, and outside of work, as a mother and friend. When I was offered a job in their restaurant, with completely different food, etc, I agreed immediately and panicked afterward.

I hate being the new girl. But.

The bills aren’t paying themselves, and as the months tick by, it isn’t getting any easier. I’m ready for a change of scenery if only to cure the cabin fever that sets in during the lengthy grey season. I had just agreed to take the job, when the phone rang with the nanny job of my dreams.

Isn’t it funny how the whole damn world stops on its axis when it realizes you’re willing to get your shit together and do something to help yourself be happier?

Ask and ye shall receive…and receive…aaaand receive.

I started the new job and it’s wonderful. A breath of fresh air with a small menu, friendly helpful staff and spectacular food. Exactly what I needed to shake off my server burnout.

Ooooh and the nanny job. Be still my heart. A 2 year old dumpling to match my own, and a squishy pink newborn gentleman. I was born to rock babies and play tea party. That’s all there is to it.

Thank you, Universe.

Now if I could just get through the remaining 25 days of excruciating truth.

Blogging, Children, Love, Truth

Along the way…

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I’ve been silent… and just plain exhausted, for two years. Somewhere along the way, I got lost in my own head and stopped writing. Having my words held against me during my custody battle, stole the joy out of blogging.

I’m really sad that I’m missing those two precious years from my journal. Regardless of the very public nature of my blog, it keeps the significant moments in my life that run together in the daily chaos, somewhere I can find them. The struggle of single parenthood means you spend twice as much time doing, and half as much time reminiscing. Blogging has allowed me to do both.

I burn the candle from both ends at an Olympic level. Last week, it caught up with me. I’d been up for 3 solid days and nights with a sick toddler, and our entire world was peppered with vomit, diarrhea and snot. Hers and my own. We were a hot mess, literally. Flu, my ass… I’m pretty sure we had the plague.

And I needed to wash diapers. FML.

Sneezing, coughing and struggling to throw the wet bag full of ungodly-smelling diapers into the washer… whilst sterilizing jars in preparation to can chili and black beans, because I STILL have tomatoes from the garden this summer.

Oy vey… I had to sit down and laugh/cry… because this was certainly not the Happy Ever After I envisioned when I fell in love with her father.

I wasn’t all wrong about her Dad. He helps in the ways he can from a few states away. He lets her live the life of a normal kid, and not one forever split between two parents that wanted her more than they ended up wanting each other. It’s not her fault that we aren’t together, and I’m thankful her life isn’t fractured on a weekly basis. He got engaged this fall, to a woman that suits him perfectly. They’re a happy couple and he’s a father to her three kids. All is well that ends well… aka: I work hard to bite my tongue. I lose my temper and text war breaks out every now and then, because while his not being here allows her to live a normal life and I’m grateful, she also deserves to have her dad around.

After the most recent argument, I spent a little time cleaning up my blog and deleting random mindless crap from the past few years. Reading back through the blogs I wrote is always good for a healthy reminder of why things are the way they are. I don’t always like to read back, but it always reminds me that once upon a time, I thought he was the one. I’m glad I wrote about it because it reminds me not to be a bitch to him, now most of the time.

I do believe my ten days two years of puke, mucous and shit entitle me to a little righteous indignation, but my 39 years should also grace me with enough maturity to be kind. I’m grateful that I gushed embarrassingly then, so that I can remember now to not say what does not NEED to be said.

I’ve learned a lot by being quiet. Leaving something unsaid is far more powerful than having the last word, and given how short life is, I sincerely hope that the words I leave with people on a daily basis, are kind.

Except Thomas. That guy can still go fuck himself.

Truth, Whine/Rant, work

Disenchantment.

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I’m disappointed in people these days. My job is taking a toll on me and I hate to sound like an old lady… but people rarely have respect or manners any more. I’m disenchanted. It sucks. I like seeing the good in people and it’s getting increasingly more difficult.

I’ve come to the conclusion that working with the public is basically prostitution without the touching. Every time I smile and nod yes when a customer snaps their fingers or shakes their glass at me, part of my soul dies. Every time someone demeans or disrespects me because a) their food is taking too long b) they’ve had a few drinks or c) they’re just an asshole, I lose a piece of the strong woman I’ve worked so hard to become.

I had a table of seven last night. All early 20’s. 5 men, two women. All of them drinking, somewhat heavily. As a server, I pay close attention to this type of situation because I am liable if they are over served and people of that age group (in my experience) tend to drink more recklessly than others. The douchebag at the end of the table confirms my fears immediately by ordering a double Jack on the rocks, and a Coors Light. We don’t actually sell Coors Light on our menu, but our sister restaurant next door does, so I let him know I’ll have to grab one from next door, and I drop off his glass of whiskey. The beer follows a second later as I found one in the cooler. Ten minutes later, he orders another round. I give my manager the heads up that he’s on his second double and second beer. I can’t find a damn Coors light, and stop to check in with them to let him know I’m going to grab one from next door when he interrupts me, mouth full and eyes on his plate.

DB- My beer. Get that… and it’s been a while, so I’m not paying for it.

The entire table burst into laughter, and I walked away. I dropped their check and let my manager handle it from there on out. At a certain point? Enough is enough. I can only hold my tongue and allow people to be rude to me, for so long. Even when it’s busy and we’re making $35 an hour taking the abuse with a smile. I had a regular customer order a shot of tequila last week and when I delivered it with a lime, he acted like he was going to throw it at me and I flinched. He laughed. I’m still horrified that 1. He thinks its even ok to joke about throwing something at me, and 2. That I laughed it off after flinching instinctively.

As you do when someone throws something at you.

These are the moments that I shake my head at myself in disbelief. I don’t know what comes over people when they walk into a restaurant, but it isn’t pretty, and it’s only gotten uglier.

Would someone ever snap their fingers at workers at the DMV? Good luck with that. I doubt the response would be favorable and I guarantee it wouldn’t be in the ballpark of what mine is to a customer snapping at me for another beer.

Would you ever walk into the phone company and announce that it’s your birthday, in expectation that they give you a free days worth of service? People regularly complain to me that we don’t give them anything for their birthday, or anniversary. As if I’m intentionally withholding my highly influential server powers to change restaurant policy and deliver them the free chocolate cake they deserve for being born.

I work in the line of service. I knew what I was getting into when I went into this line of work. I’m happy to go above and beyond to help someone have a wonderful experience, but hate that my financial stability depends on me swallowing my pride and accepting what the worst customers can throw at me.

There seem to be more bad apples in the emptying barrel and during the slow season, the bad apples leave an even worse taste in your mouth because there are fewer positive experiences to offset them.

Maybe it’s time to go apply for a job at the DMV.

Truth, Whine/Rant, work

Drunk Assholes… aka: the bane of my existence.

I turned 39 this year. I’m too damn old to be waiting tables. When I read The Bitchy Waiter on Facebook and see posts from shitty tippers screaming that we should get “real jobs”… sometimes I agree with them.

I don’t love it…. but I don’t hate it. There are faaaaaar worse things I could do for less money and longer hours. That said, we take a serious amount of abuse before we ruffle any feathers. People treat restaurant servers, abominably. The behavior we see on a weekly basis, would scare teachers, and that’s saying something.

We see problems walk in the door, regularly. Tonight was no exception.

A bubbly blonde brought a birthday cake in before we were open, and asked me to put it in the cooler until they came in for dinner. No problem. It happens a lot and we’re happy to accommodate a birthday. She told us they’d be kayaking in for dinner, and so there was a sailboat on the cake.

?

I should have recognized that as the first sign. I didn’t . We didn’t see them until late enough in the evening that we’d begun to wonder if the strange sailboat birthday cake had been abandoned.

If only.

They stomped in an around 8:30 and ordered a bottle of wine. Instantly we realized… She’s a laugher. Not a single soul on the patio missed her joyous cacophony. Unfortunately, my large table of foreign exchange students and host families were just introducing themselves for the first time, when her drunk idiot husband decided to perform a river-dance. He made sure to get up and dance a full circle around our patio, so nobody missed his fabulous experience, either.

It’s truly amazing to me, that two people can ruin a good time for 40 strangers, in minutes. The only thing that mystifies me more, is how oblivious they always are to their negative effect.

The idiot makes his way to the bathroom, with a multitude of attempts to clear the doorway and avoid the table of people within a few feet of his path. He’s blinking slowly, grinning and shuffling his way past me, when he stops.

I- Bathroom.

J- Straight through and to your right.

I- That way or that way?

If you are middle aged and do not know your right from your left, I am cutting you off. You can hate me. You can call me any name in the book. I have been called all of them by customers who should not continue to be served. They always come back, and they never apologize.

Our manager went to talk to SuperNasty, his caustic wife. She told her she understood they were having a good time and was happy to help that continue, but they needed to keep it to their table.

Supernasty started to walk around to the other tables to apologize.

That’s always fun.

This is the biggest problem with drunk assholes. They’re completely oblivious, and absolutely certain that everyone loves them. Worst combination, ever. It’s even worse when they start to actually confront the anonymous strangers that hate them. That makes my job so much more exciting.

These two are offending the masses and throwing fuel on the fire.

I hear her snub her server.

SN- So why do you have a problem with a good time around here?

Well that’s a fun question to answer when you really just want to know what they want to eat..

It devolved from there. It always does when a spoiled brat doesn’t get her way, or is confronted about her behavior.  There’s really no other way to slice it. For whatever reason, and ladies, I’m looking at you, some women feel incredibly empowered to be demanding, rude, condescending and insulting when you are either unable or unwilling to meet their outlandish demands.

She went to complain about who knows what and couldn’t be anything more than offended. She was just plain rude with two glasses of wine on board. SuperNasty stomped back and glared at me.

SN- Get me my fucking bill, without the food.

She stared at the hostess.

SN- And get my fucking cake.

Which is when I realize who she is. The lady who was kayaking over.

LMFAO. Hell yeah I’ll get her that cake.

She continued to berate one of the teenaged bussers, until our beloved boss comped their entire experience, and asked them not to return.

They gladly took their food to go… without paying for it and after shitting all over everyone in their vicinity. I was so bummed for my poor server friend who had to deal with them firsthand all night… but as I was leaving a little after them, I realized the wind had picked up.

They deserved every crashing wave, and I’d love to give them a birthday wish.

Dear Drunk Idiot & SuperNasty,

I hope you had an awesome kayak home after your free amazing birthday party with us. I hope your free food was delicious. I hope the sailboat cake was every bit of lemony heaven the grocery store label stated it would be. I hope the evening was worth what you cost those around you. The paying customers.

I hope your hangover is legendary and your shame, bone deep. I hope you wake up, look in the mirror, and wonder where to begin in apologizing. I hope you were experimenting with drugs and spend the next week searching for the perfect flowers and chocolate to adequately convey your horror and regret at such terrible and uncharacteristic behavior.

Unfortunately, I know that’s delusional. You’re going to wake up offended, with your deluded head, pounding. You’re going to blame the untouched food and smashed sailboat cake, on us. You’ll call a few people, who’ll call a few people… and those people will come in for dinner more often because they’re guaranteed you wont be there. #truth

You kept saying “I’m going to remember this” and all I sincerely hope you do. I wrote this, just in case you don’t. It helps us remember that when one person systematically abuses every single employee, whether associated with the table or not, you (unfortunately) stand out. Most people are nice… but some people are like you.

How bout we start fresh? You sober up, get some shopping done and work on your speech. We’re open late tomorrow, so come on by whenever. You can apologize to us as a group, or individually if you prefer.

Oh and… they make bras for strapless dresses now.

xo J