Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Don't Call Me "Boy," Rafael!

     U.S. Senator Rafael "Turd" Crud (R-TX) weighs in with some typical Republican bullshit. Most people in our industry that care about politics at all tend to vote for Democrats, but a significant amount prefer the Nazis. When will they learn?.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Run Tell the Children

     Wow. It's been about a year. My how time flies. I've had a few adventures during that time. You probably have, too. If anybody read about mine, I might post more often. If three people hit me up, on email, Twitter or whatever, I'll tell about what's going on, OK?
    Meanwhile, do you have a college radio station or a non-profit community radio station where you are? If so, I recommend checking it out if you haven't already. A lot of them stream online, so there's that, too. My local one played this excellent record by a new (or at least new to me) band called The Untamed recently. I can't seem to find out much about them, but their two songs I've heard are awesome. Especially this one. You're welcome.

Fun fact (that I just made up): The money to record this great track came to the band when one of them finished as runner-up in an Izzy Stradlin lookalike contest!

Monday, July 22, 2019

Please Tip Your Über Eats® Driver ©2019 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     Please tip your Über Eats® driver. As well as your driver for Postmates®, Lyft Chow™; Deliveroo®, Take Out Taxi™, Grub Hub®, Amazon Restaurants®, Waymo Calories™, Door Dash® and Bring Glutton ™,  But don't order cookies! Just check out These American Servers™, we've got plenty of 'em  here! Thanks.

     What was I on about last time? Oh, yeah. I shared how my friend Jakey G works for an app that's about delivery of restaurant grub. And how I've occasionally ridden along while he worked. The first time I rode with Jakey G was almost my last. When we got near the restaurant, Jakey G asked me to get out of the car and stay out of sight. Same deal when we got to the client's place. None of this had been discussed prior to us starting out. I thought it was dumb, didn't like it and said so and declined to do any more ride alongs.
     About a year later, Jakey G asked me to go on a run again. He explained that a lot of single moms do Take Out Taxi and the like and bring their kids along, not having good childcare options. Therefore, Jakey G thinks it's Ok. He doesn't know the actual company policy and I can't seem to find out. Hey, if any of y'all know, hmu, Ok? Anyway, I went.
     Our first ping sent us to a nearby Burger King®. We got there quick and the drive-thru line was crazy. I suggested that he try to go inside. He didn't want to. Have you ever heard of someone with a "can-do" attitude? Jakey G has a can't-do attitude. He argued that it would be a waste of time. He used to work for Burger King and knows they close the lobby at 10:30 and blah blah blah. I pointed out how crowded and slow-moving the drive-thru was and that it couldn't hurt to try, even though it was a little after 10:30. He reluctantly tried the door and it was unlocked. 
     We went on five more runs over the next three hours. Twice to that same Burger King and once to a different Burger King. By then doors were locked and the drive-thru wait each time was at least 20 minutes. We also went to a pizza joint and a bar that's famous for great burgers. All the deliveries were within two miles of where the chow had been ordered, so Jakey G wasn't getting a lot of cash that night. Drivers don't get paid for getting to the pick-up point or for waiting around for the product.
     After about three hours, we decided to call it. Jakey G had kept glancing at his mobile device. "Damn. They didn't tip me," he kvetched after each delivery. From what I can gather, Take Out Taxi's clients have quite awhile to tip on the app but most either do it soon or not at all. A few tip in cash but it didn't happen that night.
     We weren't far from my crib and got back quick. Jakey G came in for a minute. He looked forlornly at his phone. He'd only made $25. I know he'd burned at least a ten-spot in gas, so not a very lucrative night for my friend. He was about to turn off the app when it chimed. Jakey G smiled. "Remember that last delivery?" he enthused. "That lady tipped me five bucks!"

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Chinga La Migra Hot Wings ©2019 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     I've got this friend, Jakey G. He's signed up for two— maybe three—of those ride-sharing/chow-delivery apps. He's been with them for about three years. One of the services he's with doesn't operate in the small city where he lives and business isn't exactly stellar up there for the others so he mostly comes down here to work.
     Jakey G's a late-night kind of guy. He gets to town about 7:30 or 8:00.  Depending on weather and how he's feeling or whatever, he works about six nights a week. Sometimes, when I'm likely to be home from work but still awake, Jakey G will find himself in this neighborhood. And then he's liable to knock on my door. Jakey G usually hangs out here for 15 or 20 minutes and then gets back to driving for a few more hours. But there's been three or four times when he's invited me to ride along.
     Of course, if I were to ride along, it would be delivery only; he'd nix the "Accepting Passengers" setting or turn on an app that was delivery only. Even then, I was reluctant to go, though intrigued. Jakey G's none too bright. I was concerned that my riding along could cause him a problem with his employer that neither of us could foresee. The first time he invited me, I declined, citing that reason. A few weeks later, he asked again That time, I was like "fuck it" and tagged along.
     Jakey turned on the app. It pinged him in a few minutes and sent us to Chinga La Migra Hot Wings™. Jakey G stopped near the strip mall that was our destination. "Ok. Jump out here and wait for me to get this order and I'll be back in a minute." I didn't like that shit and said so but didn't argue and did as I was bade. I wanted to get this done and go home. I'm a grown-ass man and I don't have to sneak around.
     My concerns about riding along had not been with picking up and delivering the chow, they'd been about the company that runs the app, Jakey didn't tell me before we began our adventure that he didn't want me seen. If he had, I wouldn't have gone. Does the fry cook or anyone else at Chinga La Migra Hot Wings give a rat's ass if the driver picking up an order has a passenger, in the unlikely event they notice? Hell no. Is the half-drunk stoner playing Fortnite­­® on his big screen, rabidly jonesing for chicken to slake his munchies, concerned about how many people were in the vehicle that brought him his fix? Not bloody likely. But when we got about a block from the half-drunk stoner's crib, I was asked to dip out and wait again.
     On the way back to my pad, I told Jakey G that it was kind of fun except the part about getting out of his car and hiding. I laughed and told him he's a 'tard for stressing about what the restaurateurs and clients think about him having a passenger, on the off-chance they might even be aware of such. Our convo wasn't contentious or anything. I basically said it was a bad idea for him to have a ride-along when he was working and to not invite me again. And he didn't. For about a year.

     Oh yea. I almost forgot to mention. If you like a website that uses cookies, BINGO!

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 smoothly. 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 entrée 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, "Your 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.