Wednesday, July 15, 2009

168 - When people reckon I don't drink/smoke/dance with no good reason

The people at my work think it's funny when I drink, smoke and dance, because I don't do it at work. They saw me do all three for the first time a couple days ago when we all went out together. They just laughed, because the me at work is totally different from the me in a club.

I do drink, and I do smoke, and I do dance, when I feel like it. I simply choose not to, when I reject offers and invitations. Just because I don't drink six bottles of beer every night doesn't mean I can't hold my drink, and doesn't mean I'm some coward who listens to my mother's preachings on how alcohol causes damage to your liver. Just because I don't smoke three packs a day doesn't mean I don't know how to, it doesn't mean I care about the risks of lung cancer. And just because I don't bob my head, or tap my foot, to the beat of every upbeat song that's playing around me, doesn't mean I can't/don't/dislike to dance.

I drink and dance a lot. Everybody that really knows me, knows that. Judging by my appearance at work, where I am an employee, is not a fair assessment on the part of my colleagues. I'm there to work, not to pick up girls or anything, why the Hell would I dance, drink my body weight, or light up a cancer stick?

I guess my coming into work with a book in my hand every morning (and after every break) doesn't help my image much either. What kind of club-dancer reads in his spare time? What kind of person possesses a high threshold for alcohol, yet also knows the capital of Kyrgyzstan?

Well, how many people can even pronounce Kyrgyzstan, or point to it on a world map? (Or how about how many people there are that read during their lunch breaks nowadays?)

Bah, screw stereotypes, seriously.

Oh, but about smoking, I really don't smoke a lot. I have to really love you before I'll accept one from you. It's a weird thing, but smoking, for me, is like a special medium by which I can bond with other people, and um... if I don't take one from you, it means I don't want to bond with you over a smoke. I like the smoking, always do, but if I reject your offer, it means I don't like you.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

167 - When people are impolite

At my job, I work alongside another bartender. He's actually been bartending for years, and has way more experience than I do, but there are some things I just do not understand about his behavior, because he lacks some qualities that I would normally expect from an experienced barman.

One of these things is the fact that he has extremely bad manners. There are many times during the crazy hours of our job (6pm to midnight) where the two of us must co-operate in order to handle all the food, drink, and customers, properly. Sometimes, I'll ask him to help pour that gin and tonic, and one coke, while I, at the same time, pour three glasses of beer. That's just a typical drinks order from a five-person table in our restaurant.

Even though I may sound bossy and rushed, I always ask him to help me out with some large orders, and I follow it up with the magic word, "please". When the job is done, I say "thanks, man", because I know I would've handled it much slower without his aid. He, on the other hand, never follows up a request with "please", and he never responds with "thank you" after I help him out. It just irks me because I was brought up to be well-mannered, while he offers not the slightest hint of such courtesy.

He never says "excuse me" either. He's a big guy, which means I always have to let him have the most convenient route while we both navigate around the bar, lest I might get trampled. He is so rude, and so unknowingly aggressive. He just talks in my ear while I'm taking a customer's order, nudges me while I'm pouring six glasses of wine, taps my shoulder while I'm cutting a lemon, practically knocks me over while I'm squatting down to grab bottles of beer out of the fridges, pushes into me while I'm carrying two cups of hot coffee, bumps into me while I'm cleaning the shelves...

In this respect, I hate working with him. First of all, it adds risk of injury to my job. Plus, it just makes me want to swear at him (e.g., "Two glasses of hot water, please, for table 5!" ...graceless asshole).

That's not good.

That ain't good at all.

Monday, July 6, 2009

166 - Spam e-mails telling me I've won the lottery

So, let me ask you this. Have you ever received anything like this:

Good Day,

My name is Sir Jack Parkinson, I work with the UK Lottery. I am soliciting
your assistance for a swift transfer of 4,528,000 GBP, should you be
willing to assist me in this project, you will be giving me just 40% of
your winnings. Just as a brief, due to my position in the company I can
make it happen that you would be a winner of the above stated

Naturally, every body would like to play a lottery if they are assured of
winning. I am assuring you today to be a winner, please do not take for
granted this once in a life time opportunity as we both stand to
collectively gain from this at the success of the transaction. Should you
be willing to assist me in this transaction please do respond to my
secure e-mail:

Sir Jack Parkinson

What the Hell was 'Sir' Jack Parkinson even knighted for? Offering 60% of lottery winnings to strangers out of the goodness of his heart?

You know, I've probably won the lottery over a thousand times since I got my first e-mail address. I would be the richest man on Earth if all that junk mail was for real. I would have multiple mansions all over the world, I'd drive the big branded cars, I'd fly from place to place in a jet, I'd eat outrageously pricey caviar and drink expensive wine everyday, I'd start my own book publishing company, and my own school, and I would get the newest and the best clothes, the best computer models, the newest games, the VIP passes at concerts, the best medical care, the most impenetrable security to protect me, my family, and my property - to sum it all up, the most wonderful life.

But no, I don't really win the lottery that many times, not even once.

And that's why I hate these e-mails.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

165 - Bad breath

At my workplace, I am not the sole bartender there is. There is one other, and he is a tall, Nepalese man in his twenties. He has a lot more experience doing this than I do. He can make a large variety of drinks, tell a lot of good jokes to keep the atmosphere buoyant, reach bottles and glasses on high shelves effortlessly, and perhaps best of all, spot the beautiful ladies at the bar as soon as they appear. There are some things that he still has to learn, though, and one of them is the fact that he has bad breath.

Restaurants and bars get pretty noisy, especially around 8 to 9pm. The music is blaring, people are chit-chatting, and the boss, the waiters, the waitresses, the barmen, the chef, and the sous-chefs, are all shouting at each other about this table and that, in order to keep the food and drink running smoothly.

And since it's so loud, us bartenders must sometimes resort to approaching each other, up close, to communicate. And when my partner comes up to me, and wants to clandestinely mumble something to me about this red wine nearly running out of stock, or how that customer over at table 28 is a total asshole, that moment is when I get a whiff of his odorous sigh.

I'll admit, I don't have the best oral hygiene. For the past few years, there are times when I'm just too tired and lazy to brush my teeth. I try to brush my teeth during my morning shower, but you see, keeping my teeth clean is not the point. The point is, I chew on gum, and I nibble breath mints, and I eat mint chocolate chip-flavored ice cream, in order to keep my breath fresh. (Okay, that last one sort of works against me in the long-run. I'm just joking about that.)

I don't mind if people don't use any soap when they shower, so long as they use deodorant/perfume before I see them (but of course, using soap is... preferred). There are just some things people need to do to be presentable around others. My bartending friend is fit to be seen, but his breath is utterly revolting.

Friday, July 3, 2009

164 - When people don't seem to care that you're working and inconsiderately distract you with phone calls anyway

People keep calling me and texting me, expecting me to call them back or text them back while I'm at work. People still ask me if I'm free on this day, or on that evening, and it's just ridiculously aggravating because I've already told them when I'll be at work and consequently unavailable to talk to them.

The other day, three friends of mine (all female, by the way) were wandering around the restaurant at which I work. They called me four times, and when I finally rushed into the storeroom to pick up their call, they exclaimed, "HEY! WHY DIDN'T YOU PICK UP?!?!"



It's a good thing that you're sorry.

"Natalie, Trina and I have been shopping the whole day, and we are SO hungry right now..."

Seriously, you're doing this to me?

"Oh, right, yeah, sorry. Um, may we come over?"

Sure, but on your way, can you please stop by the kitchen and give them an order for fries for table 27?

"Um, where is your restaurant exactly?"

I already told you last night...

"Oh, yeah, just up the road from Cotton On."

Fuck, I'm supposed to make two double espressos...

"Well, Natalie wants to go to 7-11 first, so we'll probably take like fifteen minutes. She just wants..."

..And I still need to change that beer keg...

"Oh, wait, do you guys serve Sprite?"


"Oh, yeah, sorry, sorry, SORRY for bothering you. We're coming."

Thank goodness it's over.

Around ten minutes later, they still haven't shown up, so I sneak into the storeroom to call them again. I find out that they've started making their way home.

Because It's raining, they're getting tired and they can't find my restaurant.

Poor them.

They're hungry, and they're tired.

It's so great that they get to go home to rest and eat.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

163 - When people complain about being tired

When people tell me they're tired, I don't know what exactly they would like me to do to help them. Is this just something that is a 'problem', an 'issue', a matter that deserves multiple people's attention? Does it make them feel better if they confide in me about their exhaustion? Or do they expect me to make them a double espresso, made with extra strong-tasting Coffea arabica beans, and with an additional dose of sugar/sweetener added? Or do they expect me to sing a lullaby to them? Perhaps count sheep with them? Get them home and in their jammies and tuck them in?

It's annoying how people say they're tired in the morning, although, it is understandable since they just woke up. But then again, people also say they're tired after they finish their dinner, and when they' realize just how late it is when they stay up in the middle of the night, and the next day, they complain, yet again, about their tiredness after vigorous exercise during the daytime, and after a good long afternoon of playing games, or work, or day out with the family.

You see, I am tired, if you want me to be frank. I work from 11:30am 'til past midnight for six days a week as a bartender. I have to keep a smile on my face, and talk to customers, my coworkers, and my boss constantly, as if I enjoy washing and polishing a thousand glasses a day. I have to pour over a hundred glasses of wine in a day, over twenty cups of coffee, and over two hundred glasses of beer. I have to remember the names of over fifty different beers, and what their corresponding bottles, glasses, and coasters, look like, as well as memorize each glass and bottle's locations amongst the shelves in the bar, their brewing methods and distinct features, their country of origin, and their prices. I have to remember all the food on the menu, all the ingredients in each dish, how they're cooked, what the chef recommends, what the manager recommends, what wine goes well with what meat, what sauce goes well with what meat, and to which customer every dish coming out of the kitchen should be served. I also need to know a lot of miscellaneous crap, like where to find the spare limes to make garnishable lime wedges, where to find the milk, where to find the various kinds of tea bags (English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green, Peppermint, etc...), which dial or switch adjusts and controls which light in the restaurant, what music to play at what hour and with what atmosphere, and which credit cards we take and which we don't.........

Uh, of course, I'm tired.

But I don't complain about it, because that doesn't help anybody. It never helped me when I was primary school, 'cause that just made my parents bring me home earlier to put me to sleep. It doesn't help at school, it distracts you, it gives you a reason to not pay attention. It also gives you a reason to be lazy at work. And
It doesn't help when you run, when you swim, whenever you do exercise, 'cause that one breath spent on expressing your fatigue could've been used instead on invigorating you one breath bit further.

I suggest people should just suck it up. If you're that tired, if you're really tired, then forget about your work, or your studies, or your friends and family, all your responsibility, and just go home, go to bed, go relax, go to sleep, go take a break, go rest your eyes, until you're not tired, and generally, just shut up, 'cause I get most of my tiredness, from listening to that one line too often: "I'm tired~"

Argh. People can be so damn whiny. (Oops, was that a bartender's pun?)