Sunday, April 1, 2018

Joe's Easter Story ©2018 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     I'm happy to announce to all and sundry, especially to any theoretical reader(s) in the European Union, that this site is completely and utterly devoid of cookies.
APRIL FOOLS! There's cookies up in here. For real.

     I guess it was two, maybe three weeks before Easter. It was a busy weekend night, of that I'm certain. The kitchen had closed. The bar still had a little something going on and a few straggling tables occupied one of the dining rooms. I'd had a pretty good night.
     We'd been busy but nothing we couldn't handle. My clients were nice and everything went smooth. If I could hustle up with the broom, me and my $250 could get out of there before 11:00.
     I was sweeping a dining area that had closed and subsequently emptied out. And I swept the shit out of it. I tidied up some real estate that wasn't even in my jurisdiction. When I got through, I had a heaping mound of detritus, too much to ethically put in the little trash can at the hostess podium (c'mon, you know you've done it). I scooped it all into a cardboard box and headed toward the big dumpster out back.
     But I wound up making other arrangements. Standing face to face by the garbage area were the owner/GM of Chez Swanky™, Donny J, and the chef, whose name, like mine, is Joe. He usually goes by Chef and there hasn't been any confusion.
     Anyway, I couldn't quite hear Chef Joe's angry words and didn't want to, but Chef Joe, the younger, taller and imminently more fatass of the two, was staring down Donny J and obviously giving the owner verbal hell. Donny J just seemed to stand there and take it. As soon as I realized what was going on I went elsewhere. It might have been my imagination but I think I saw Donny J flinch a little under the wrath of Chef Joe.
     There often seemed to be some tension between those two. Sometimes it was kind of jokey, but not usually. When spoken to by his boss, Chef Joe answered back kind of sharpish. Chef Joe calls everybody "dude." Chef Joe'd had custody of his daughter the previous Christmas and had taken off on Christmas Eve, the busiest night of the year at Chez Swanky. Donny J was pretty unhappy about that. I'd seen a few minor, testy exchanges between owner and chef before that evening and a couple afterwards. I only witnessed the bitch-out by the garbage bins briefly and didn't hear what was said, er, shouted. But I was a little taken aback. I'm real sure their confrontation never turned truly physical, but to me it was redolent of the threat of impending violence.
     Now, unless it's Christmas Eve, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or New Years Eve, Chez Swanky is closed on Sunday. And since Chez Swanky is a dinner-only restaurant, we're closed every day. Except we serve brunch on Mother's Day. And Easter Sunday. We do decent on Mother's Day but it's nothing to write home (or a blog post) about. But our Easter brunch rocks balls.
     Brunch service starts at 11:00. We open the doors at ten of. Last year, as usual, everything went well. None of my co-workers seemed hungover or pissed off about working Sunday morning. Most of our guests were in a good mood, and besides a couple of weirdos who sat in stations other than mine, were real nice and tipped well.
     We were real busy for a good couple of hours and then business didn't die but just began to kind of peter out. This would have been about 1:30. We'd advertised seating until 3:00. Chef Joe was very adamant that there'd better not be any entrĂ©e orders rung up after 3:30.
     A little before 2:00, owner/GM Donny J and his co-owner/occasional assistant manager the (no shit) very lovely Mrs J, sat down at Table #24 to enjoy some Easter brunch their own selves. I remember thinking that it'd be real cool if they'd hold off  for about a ½ hour before they ate. The wave had crested but it was still breaking on the shore some and maybe we could still use their help, but oh well. A couple of my co-workers, Mikey B and the lovely Shannon, also expressed that sentiment.
     You know who else had that opinion? Chef Joe. Mr and Ms J had sat in cute blonde waitress Shannon's station. As she'd rung in their order, she told Chef Joe who the food was for. That's good restaurant protocol, by the way, alerting the kitchen when chow is for managers, owners, VIP's and the like. But on that Easter, it didn't work out so well.
     Chef Joe went batshit livid. "That motherfucker ain't eating until shit around here blah blah blah whatevs!" said the angry chef. He instructed his crew not to make any orders for Table #24. After awhile, Donny J figured out, or was told, what was up. He got Mikey B to ring in their order, still on Table #24. I don't know if using another table number was contemplated or would have worked out any better. Chef Joe wouldn't allow that order to be prepared, either. I don't know if they ever got to eat.
     Brunch eventually ended. The clientele left, we cleaned up and moved a few tables and things around so we'd be ready to start serving dinner in about 25 hours. Several of us were at the booths in the upstairs dining room, rolling silver, when Donny J sidled up and bade us join him out back on the benches by the parking lot. "I wanted to tell all of you that I just fired Joe. Maybe you know that he wouldn't make our food a little while ago. I wouldn't have fired him just over that. This has been coming for awhile," said Donny J. Then he paused.
     That's when I announced to the assembled crew, "Anybody have a bet on me being the first Joe canned out of here? Better pay up, motherfuckers!"

     Have a happy Easter, everybody.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Jersey Mike's Way ©2018 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     Hurtie G's not a bad guy. He just did a bad thing. A shitty, inconsiderate, discourteous, sorry-ass, impolite, rude, thoughtless, bitch-ass, ungracious, tactless, Johnson-skulled, unkind, imprestigious, boorish, pompous, haughty, supercilious, douchebaggy, motherfucking bad thing.
     Hurtie G is friends with my friend Shaquille. And we all have some other mutual acquaintances. That's how I met Hurtie G. It turns out Hurtie G lives just a couple of blocks down the road. Easy walking distance for me but not for Hurtie. He's often mentioned that he's got some bad feet. Living so close, Hurtie G and I have hung out a couple of times. Hurtie G didn't have a car or a driving license for the longest time. He scored both of those things last month and good for him.
     A week or so before Christmas, Hurtie called and asked if I might spare an hour or two one afternoon upcoming to run him by his bank and to take him to Snippy's™ to get a haircut. We were crazy busy at Chez Swanky™ in December and I was usually working six nights a week so I told him I couldn't promise. But when the schedule came out a couple of days later, I saw that I was off on Tuesday. I called Hurtie G and told him I could help him out that day.
     It actually worked out pretty well for me. Across the street from the large strip center where Hurtie wanted to get his haircut is a big liquor store. I parked close to The Hair Port™ so Hurtie wouldn't have to walk far—he's got some fucked up feet—and I strolled over to get a couple of liquid Christmas presents. I told Hurtie to either wait at Great Clits™ or by the car if he was done before I was.
     I got back to the hoopty just in time to see Hurtie G emerge into the parking lot with his shiny new haircut (I didn't see any difference in his conservative-looking, middle-aged white man 'do but I didn't tell him that) and said, "Cool. Let's go."
     Hurtie asked if it was OK if he went next door to Jersey Mike's® Sub Sandwiches  and got something to go. This may have been discussed and agreed to earlier. I didn't have a problem with that. I went in with him. Even though I like Jersey Mike's and have been several times I wasn't trying to get anything there that day. Hurtie G planned to get a really big sandwich and make several meals out of it. He generously offered to buy me something or give me some of his sub, but I declined.
     You know how Jersey Mike's works even if you've never been to Jersey Mike's. There's a menu board and a cold well full of ingredients and condiments. You can get whatever, but you're encouraged to get it "Mike's Way," which is a suggested combination of the ingredients and condiments. Hurtie G ordered his big sandwich from the young man running the store. The guy did a good job; he was courteous, efficient and professional. He tried to sell Hurtie some chips and a cookie.
     Then he rang Hurtie up. Hurtie paid for his big sub, which looked to cost him about 15 bucks or so. They thanked each other and we prepared to leave. I'd been eying the tip jar located next to the cash register, hoping Hurtie would put something in it. Hurtie G just then noticed it. That's when he announced—in a rather loud voice —to the Jersey Mike's guy, "You're salary's just going to have to be sufficient for you today. I can't contribute anything right now."

Monday, May 15, 2017

So I Met this Super-Awsome, Incredibly Good-Looking Young Woman!... ©2017 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     Hey. If anybody in Europe or its suburbs is reading this, I just gotta tell ya something. There's cookies on this here US-based struggling (life support? lol) restaurant-centric internet column. I got one third-party cookie thing I put on here myself. That's only because Google® (unless they got some kind of shady stuff I don't know about) has asked me to tell y'all about it and because it's there and Google's own cookie ordeal will not even give me US states, much less communities within the land of the brave.

     So that's all I need to tell y'all. But I'd like to also tell everyone that I'm still alive and still "in the game" and I expect a few more episodes of These American Servers™ will happen. Who knows? Maybe a lot of them. I just need to chill out and collect my thoughts and plan my next moves.
     All right. It's theoretically possible that someone might occasionally read this and be interested in my story a little. Everybody's OK. I told her (at least 26 and, praise Jesus, maybe 31) straightaway that I was interested in her in a good way. That good way includes but isn't limited to the physical. I told her some of this in front of a grown man that I diagnosed as her Dad. I wasn't told different. But I now realize that while my guess was the best and most likely case, he could easily be her big brother or even her significant other.
     Hey. Sorry. It's Joe here. I like this episode here. I must. I keep coming back to it and rereading it a lot. In case anybody else reads it (unlikely but theoretically possible, I think) I just want to make a couple of things clear: One is that [fem name redacted] has some personal problems. She has (I think) two kids. I'm pretty sure some family of hers is helping out (even I can tell her clothes come from Target, and she looks beautiful in them!) but the baby daddies aren't much in the picture. Just a real good guess on my part. I really have no idea where she lives, but I'm thinking it might be around here. I'm VERY confident she is overcoming an addiction to recreational intoxicants of some kind. I'm thinking some prescription shit or worse. She's probably got Hep C.
     The dude I refer to on here as "that motherfucker?" His name is actually Gilby C. No, he's not the secondary guit-fiddle slinger for a classic lineup of Guns 'n' Roses. He's just a work-friend that gets on my nerves sometimes. I called him about something work-related and maybe to just yak a little. He knows he shouldn't have mentioned [fem name redacted]. Gilby and I are cool. The only thing I'm even a little concerned about is someday in the far future, I'll find out that she asked him for my digits (she's probably aware that Gilby and I are some kind of buds) or email or something in 2017 and Gilby, in 2019 or so, will be like, "Oh. Sorry, dude. The way you yelled at me when I even mentioned her name around you, I thought [whatever stupid excuse he'll come up with] you wouldn't want her to contact you. Did you ever think to call and ask me, Gilby? Risk my irritation in 2017 and save our "friendship" for the future. Ok, bro'? Anyway, I'm a grown-ass man. I'll probably be all right. I often am. Ok. Go read the rest!

     So I quit that job. With notice. I'm on good terms with everybody as far as I can tell. I have the option to return when and if I want to and I suspect I will eventually. So I called this guy that kind of works there, tonight. On his landline home phone with my cell phone. He's like a keyholding host person that occasionally does some stuff in the kitchen and he got hurt (not on the job) and is off for a few days. So I called him and Specifically from Jump Street told him not to tell me ANYTHING about [fem name redacted because I'm superstitious via Dio lyrics, I guess]. Then we had a mostly pleasant chat (I think he may be fucked up because of some legit prescribed pain meds) and then he told me how she'd been at work.... whenevs, whatevs. And I screamed at the motherfucker through the phone.
     "Didn't I just TELL you to not MEntion to me ANYTHING about [fem name redacted b/c she's so awesome and pretty that typing her name might affect my computer somehow... or maybe turn it into a MacBook Pro®]?!
     Oh, well. Everything'll work out in God's own good time and way, That's how it's always worked so far.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

    Sorry. Stuff. Trying to fix things. I've waited on a few tables. I've been trying to find a way that works to tell everyone that Google has cookies on here and has been kind enough to allow this project here. I also use a product that I found on the internet. I've had that here for awhile. If Google would allow me a little more information as to location, I wouldn't have used that. A brief break of a few minutes. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Snacks are Often Candy ©2017 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     Do you work with an attractive young waitress named Julie G? I do. All that needs to be told today is that Julie's real nice and she brings snacks to work. 
     Julie always offers to share. The snacks are often candy, which I always decline—that shit's hella bad for you—but sometimes I'll sample her crackers or pretzels. The other night. I believe it was a Tuesday, Julie and I were the only waitpersons scheduled. We arrived at the same time. Julie broke out a bag of chips and asked if I'd like some. The chips were a kind I'd never heard of, Lay's® Kettle Cooked. I poured myself a modest handful and shoved them into my piehole. They were good!
      Julie ate a chip. "Yuck!" she exclaimed as a grimace crossed her pretty face, The chips were salted with a flavor called "Geektown Gyro™". I wasn't knocked out by that particular flavoring either—I mostly enjoyed the texture and crunchiness—but it wasn't offputting. Julie really hated it, though.
     Our three rezzies (seven total covers) all showed, along with a like number of walk-ins. Neither of us had to work all that hard and we each walked with well over a hundred bucks. We clocked out a little after 10:00 and prepared to walk to the parking lot together. "Hey. You want these chips? I didn't like them," said Julie.
     "Sure, thanks," said I and we walked into the night.
     It was kind of chilly out, and inside my whip too until the heat kicked in, so I put on my coat. It's real nice, an MLB officially-licensed Saint Louis Cardinals one. It was given to me by a now-former girlfriend who cruelly dumped me when I was diagnosed with commitmentphobia. On the way home I didn't buckle my seat belt (#FuckDonnyT-Rump!) but I did rock my Cards gear and started thinking about dinner. Since I already had chips, I decided on hummus. To get to a store that carried it and was still open, I detoured down a nice, quiet residential street.
     I was pretty close to the 24-hour Foodtown® when a siren blared and some blue lights flashed behind me. I wasn't speeding and I was totally sober. I have a valid driving license, car insurance, good tags and my registration, so I wasn't too worried (even though you never know how shit's gonna go down in these instances!). But I was, technically, in violation of America's oppressive seat belt laws. "Damn! That fascist pig has really good  eyesight," I thought to myself, bitterly.
     But seat belts weren't mentioned. Unbeknownst to me, I had a brake light out. I promised to fix it tomorrow and was permitted to leave, unticketed. I buckled up and headed to Foodtown, still clad in my bright red Saint Louis Cardinals merch.
     I was rung up by Msericka, a good-looking young white woman. She complimented my jacket and my choice of team to like. I think I was the only customer in there, so we had time to chat a minute. It turns out that Msericka's biological father was from Saint Louis and she'd inherited her fandom (and I guess not much else) from him.
     I left with my Supremely Spicy hummus by Sabra® product in a pretty good mood. I just met a cutie who liked my favorite team and had daddy issues!
     The radio was tuned to the "Everything that Rocks!" station and Led Zeppelin came on. I cranked it. I must of been pretty exhilarated because heading home, via the same quiet street I'd just gotten pulled over on, I forgot to buckle up.
     How was your night?

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Failed Doctrine of Trickle-Down Economics ©2016 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

The other night at my job, Chez Swanky™, it was just two of us on the floor, my good work-friend Mikey B and me. Things were pretty slow. Mikey B loves the biz and he's pretty knowledgeable. With little to keep us busy except ogling the tumbleweeds roll through the dining rooms and watching the hostess stand (Chez Swanky usually doesn't have an official door whore on weeknights), Mikey B and I commenced to chatting. The subject was tip-outs.
     We often don't have to tip out anyone but a bartender. They get 1½ %. We also have to kick back 1% of our credit card (not cash) tips. I don't like the latter but it's pretty much standard policy at a lot of your higher end eateries like Chez Swanky. I have no problem whatsoever tipping out the bar and 1½ %'s pretty reasonable. If more than one bartender's on, they still just get 1½ % and divvy it. But here's the thing: Chez Swanky being a small, independently owned fine-dining restaurant, it's not that unusual for owner Donny J to be the evening's booze-slinger. He still gets the tip-out.
     I mentioned to Mikey B that I didn't think that was right and it might even be illegal. Mikey B disagreed, although he conceded that I had a pretty good argument.
     It's not that big a deal to me, though. I make pretty good money at Chez Swanky and for the most part respect Donny J. I know he's not getting rich and it won't surprise me any if Chez Swanky closes down sometime in 2016 when the lease is up (although I think it's more likely that a new lease will be signed and we'll keep rocking). I don't at all begrudge him the tips he gets from patrons who actually sit at the bar. If I owned a bar (which I have no ambition toward), I could easily see myself picking up a little extra cheese (but not from my employees) behind the taps occasionally.
     Anyway, not a big deal to me and I'd probably never mention it to Donny J▬or anyone else unless I was asked▬except that a day or two after my convo with Mikey B, Donny J brought it up himself.
     He didn't actually ask me about how I felt about him getting tip-outs, of course. He asked me how I felt about having more bus help more often, which would naturally lead to me tipping out more. I'm all for it! He told me about a couple of ways it might be done and then asked me for my input. I shared it and, while we were on the subject and he'd kind of brought it up, told him that I was wondering if his being the owner and receiving tip-outs from the waitstaff might be borderline unethical and maybe illegal.
     Donny J stammered something about our tip-outs being pretty reasonable for that type of restaurant by industry norms (true) and a weak defense of his little bit of extra income that sounded a lot like the failed doctrine of trickle-down economics. Then he changed the subject and shortly after, our discussion ended, without rancor.
  Hi It's been a minnit. Sorry about that if you've been jonesing for some new material here on my struggling internet column. I'll try and find some solace in knowing that it's extremely unlikely anybody has been so hankering.
     Anyway, if you're reading this on the day it appears (and thanks for that, or whenever you might be kind enough to stop by) you might be able to vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary election tomorrow. If so, I encourage you to push the button for Senator Bernie Sanders. And speaking of politics, if there's a politician you don't like and want to call them a name that's rightfully theirs but they try to go by something else, please be aware that the Republican hopeful commonly know as Ted Crud (R-Douchebagville) is not really named Ted. His real name is Rafael. You should call him that. And he's from Canada, so ineligible to be President here anyway.
                         Cheers, _____-Joe