Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Time to Try New Things

I have never been one to refuse to try something new and have a pretty good sense of adventure, but I feel like in the last 6 months or so, I have really branched out into making some real changes, trying new things, and embracing a healthier, greener lifestyle. I recently blogged about eating organic and how much I was enjoying knowing where my food was coming from, and that definitely still rings true, but it goes much deeper than that. I feel as though my perspective on life is shifting...and I think that's something old people say, so apparently since turning 30 this month, I am now "old and wise."

Earlier this year, I tried New Thing #1; I took on a 24 day cleanse/challenge through Advocare with my friend Kattie. Did I want to do it? No, not really. But did Kattie convince me that it was a great way to kick off greener eating? Yes. I definitely had some highs and lows during the 24 days. I had a ton of energy, was losing inches, and felt a lot less bogged down, sleepy, etc. However, the important part of the cleanse - specifically the first 3 days of it - that no one mentions to you (and they should put it in big bold writing on the packaging) is that you should absolutely not stray more than 50 feet from a bathroom, at any time, for any reason, for the initial 72 hours. I don't need to put into written detail why that is, because anyone reading this is aware of what happens when you ingest that much fiber into your body at any one time. Of course, as this information was not given to me, and I never would have thought that I'd be in a situation where I could not wait, but on day 3-ish of the cleanse, I was in just that! I had gone for a walk with my leasing agent in the neighborhood near our property to get out and get a bit of exercise, and I really had to go to the bathroom. And I'm not talking like, walk home to go, I mean I had to go. Right. Now. I decided this could only go one of two ways, and the second option seemed horrible, so I walked right up to the front door of the house we happened to be walking past, knocked on the door, told the guy (and his 2 little kids) that I had an emergency and needed to use his bathroom, and thankfully he let me in! I left his house in pretty much a full sprint and chalked it up to doing something new for the day. My leasing agent was mortified, and I was both embarrassed and amused. Hey, ya gotta do what you gotta do!

New Thing #2, which stemmed from the super clean eating on the cleanse was to start buying as much organic as possible - I buy strictly organic eggs and chicken, and I do my best with produce, depending on seasonality and price, and to start drinking green smoothies for breakfast. Adding what I have always thought to be salad mix (kale & spinach) to my smoothies was a foreign concept to me, but it only took a couple days for me to realize I couldn't taste the difference and I did know that the benefits were outweighing that little bit of aftertaste. I now have kale in my smoothies daily, and I add a bitof green Odwalla juice as well.

Which leads to New Thing # 3: wheatgrass shots. Yesterday after a grueling 5:30AM workout (New Thing #4, by the way), Kattie and I treated ourselves to a Jamba Juice breakfast smoothie, complete with a side of wheatgrass. Gross, was my initial reaction when Kattie suggested we take one. But its Try New Things time, so I did it. And it actually tasted ok. A little bit like grass, but also a fresh taste. And listening to the girl at Jamba, and then reading more online, the benifits of wheatgrass as part of a daily routine are enough for a body to cure a disease. So, I guess I can shoot an ounce of my lawn sometimes.

As I mentioned, Kattie and I have been getting ourselves into the early morning workout regimen this past week. Getting up at 4:45 in the morning is tough, especially knowing you're only up because you have to go work your ass off in a cycle or body pump class. But it is much harder to find an excuse to skip the gym at 5am than it is at 5pm - after work I am always tired, hungry, cranky, and 4 days out of 5, have plans for dinner or have to grocery shop or any number of things. At 5am my only excuse is that I would rather keep sleeping, and I can fight that one off. We started last Thursday with a 5:30am Cycle class. So. Fucking. Hard. Cycle is hard for many reasons - its boring because its repetitive, the music isn't loud enough, and it makes your vagina hurt to sit on a bike for 60 minutes. I swear I couldn't focus on the cycling itself or how hard I was working out because all I could think about what how sore my lady business was getting. Our next gym excursion was Tuesday night Zumba...Zumba isn't an AM class, though I wish it was, followed by our insane double duty yesterday - body pump at 5:30am, Zumba at 7:30pm. Today, I am hurting in places I didn't know I had. I had to log roll off the bed this morning because my legs literally couldn't move. It hurts to sit on the toilet, hurts to type this blog. My entire self is sore. Good sore. Can't wait for another zumba class sore.

New Thing #5 is probably the most important; I am trying to be more relaxed, less stressed, and more accepting of life as it comes at me as opposed to trying to plan everything. I am in the midst of a very crazy life change, between moving out of my apartment and into a new position at work, and I have no control over any of it. It is hard for me to not be in control. I want to have a plan. I don't want to be packing moving boxes not knowing where I am taking them next weekend. I don't want to pack up my office and not know where my next work space will be. But I am focusing on a new, more healthy, calm attitude where, you know what, it will work out. It'll be fine. My family supports me and I have several people I can stay with temporarily. I am a hard worker and a good employee, and my company values me, so I will get a position. By not letting myself freak out, I am doing my entire world a favor.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I'm a Bartender, Not a Foodtender, how dare you?!?!?

I have had a job since I was 15. I have worked in customer service - whether it be retail, hospitality, property management, or food service - for 15 years. I'm good at it. I am good at pretending people don't annoy me (when they almost always do), I can tolerate high levels of shit in any given day, and I understand (usually) that when people are yelling, it is usually just that I am in front of them, they aren't really mad at me specifically. I feel that after so many years working in a bar, I am a better property manager. I am better at what I do now because of what I did for so long. I swear, no one is ever as big of an ass hole than when they are hungry. Hell, where do you think we came up with the term hangry? Uhh, from all those ass holes (myself included) who get mad when they don't eat. And hangry people have taught me that my job could always be worse. I could serve ranch dressing for a living. And I am glad I don't anymore.

That said, this blog is not at all about shitty jobs, nor is it is a rant about how servers are underpaid, undersappreciated, overworked, and tipped shitty. Don't get me wrong, that is often true. But this blog is actually more about the ass hole food servers out there who believe that you no longer have to actually work to receive a tip, and those of us who know how taxes are calculated and therefore feel obligated to leave that damn 13 percent even when your server sucks so bad you'd rather papercut their eyelid with your receipt than write in a tip.

What brought on this rant was the horrible service Kitty and I received from the bartender when we had lunch at our hotel in Las Vegas. This guy was everything you do not want in a bartender. He was rude, condescending, slow, arrogant, SLOW, stupid, grouchy, SLOW, and just generally was the worst person on Earth to be in the public.

Kitty and I sat down at the bar, thinking we'd grab a quick lunch and head back to the pool. We sat next to a very friendly black woman who chatted with us about traveling, her first time in Vegas, and how crappy the service was from the guy who had, in the 10 minutes we'd been sitting there, not yet said hello to us.

Fast forward 10-15 minutes and Mr. Attitude saunters over to where we're sitting, handing us each a water. "Did you want menus?"

Nope, we thought we'd just sit here with this water.

A: Dude does not have menu behind the bar, so he has to go get them from the host. After he cleans the bartop. After he pours a shot. After he picks a wedgie.

B: He is clearly annoyed that we want food. At lunch time.

He sets down menus and walks away. When we wave him down to order, I ask for a chicken wrap and request that they add cucumbers. Sure, he says, and I ask for a soda. Kitty orders a salad and asks that they hold the beans and corn (as any primal girl would). Apparently, adding cucumbers is ok but leaving off beans is definitely not, because Mr. Bartender rolls his eyes. Not a discreet annoyance as he walks away, but a blatant, get the fuck out of here eye roll AT HER. As she attempts to say "and a diet coke," he has already walked away to ring in that incessantly annoying food order we had the audacity to order. So she hollars down the bartop, uuuhhhh and a diet coke please (what a bitch she is, right?!).

And as a side note for all of you bartenders who are thinking, well it is annoying when people sit at the bar and order food without booze, fuck you. I tip at least 20% everywhere I go, upwards of 25-30% when I know I am being high maintenance, and we were the only 3 people in the place. Besides, its your job.

Anyways, so our food arrives and it looks amazing. Too bad I had to just stare at it since I didn't have any silverware. He eventually saunters over with a napkin and fork, and refills both her diet and my regular with utter confusion over why they're not both diet or both regular because 2 drinks means 2 buttons on the soda machine, and asks exactly one time if "it tastes ok."

When our glasses are empty and plates are cleared (napkins on top to indicate we've finished), we stare at our dirty dishes while the guy stares at the wall, picks his nose, daydreams about life, and contemplates how many ways he has chosen the wrong career path, until eventually he brings us a check.

Side note number two. If you are a bartender in Las Vegas and 2 women sit down at your bar, then assuming they don't give you the vibe that they are a couple, perhaps you should consider this sentence: "Would you ladies like one check or two today?" It seems that those words might make life easier for you overall. Instead, we receive exactly one check, which he slaps down in front of us as he walks by, not giving us the option to stop him and ask that he split it. But whatever. Kitty and I are two educated women who can do math. We set the check down with both debit cards on top of it, and here is the real kicker: he walks by, shoves my card out of the way, picks up her card and the check, as if to say, Kitty will be paying for this tab.

By this point, we've been in the bar for well over an hour and have had the worst service I can remember in my life, and now he is trying to just decide that we can't pay separate. "HEY," I hollar as he walks off, and explain that, no, there are 2 cards here to his bewildered, ass hole face. He runs both cards at a snail's pace, brings them back - we ask if we can please sir borrow a pen to sign your fucking receipts - and its time. And I can't do it. I try to write in a zero, or more realistically the words yea. fucking. right. in the tip line, but I am physically unable. Instead, I leave, hoping that I made a valid point with the $1.73 he received to even my charge out to a nice round $20.

What is possibly the most irritating thing about the whole ordeal is that bartenders and food servers don't ever walk away from a shitty tip thinking, hey I really dropped the ball, I probably had that one coming. I could practically hear him calling me a cheap ass bitch as I walked out the door. I obviously should have known that his eye roll, his slow service, his dickhead attitude, and his shitty nature were all just part of his "thing," and known to leave him a big fat wad of cash that he so rightfully does not need to work for but rather just deserves.

Guess what. You deserve your hourly wage. You earn your tips by being nice, or at least civil. I don't expect perfection and have honestly never stiffed a server on a tab, even when it has been warranted. But when I waited tables, I busted my ass and so should this guy. If my plate is empty, take it out of the way. If my water is empty, fill it up. If I want to pay for my own tab, run 2 credit card transactions. And when I order food, don't be mad. You work in a fucking restaurant, dude, and it is 12:30 in the afternoon.