Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lonesome Joe Sixtop ©2013 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     Thank you for visiting These American Servers™, America's premier restaurant-centric internet column (OK, server blog) to be presented by a guy named Joe, at least as far as I'm aware. And as to the afore-mentioned internet, the search engine terms (SETs) for today's installment include: Tim Hudson injury—and even after this weekend's disappointing series in Atlanta, I hate that happened—Gold Cup Final, Cyclospora, 孫旗 (a subject I'm not conversant on but that a lot of Chinese people seem to be interested in), rock's all-time greatest frontman Mick Jagger and Siohvaughn Funches. I'm not keeping up with the dispute she's having with NBA standout Dwayne Wade 'cause I don't care and it's none of my business and according to Google Trends she's dropped off their charts, yet remains in our hearts. Well, mine anyway. Whatever else Ms. Funches may be about—and I'm being serious here—she deserves mad props for having that world-class great name!
     And speaking (or more accurately, typing) of restaurant-centric internet columns, if you work as a server in North America, you probably have one and it's better than These American Servers. If you work with servers and bartenders but aren't one, you're a dishwasher, say, or a cook, door whore, manager or barback, you probably don't have one. What's up with that?
     Now where was I trying to go there? Oh, yeah. If you have a server blog, do you ever get any weird little synchronicities with it? It's happened with me, more than twice. Like one time, I was in the early stages of composing something about working with a lot of people from south of the United States and before I was finished there was a bit of labor unrest involving most of my Latino co-workers ("Four Guys from Guatemala," January, 2011) from that job.
     Another time, I was a mere couple of days away from trying to entertain y'all with some of my thoughts on the subject of auto-grat ("Mandatory Gratuicide," January, 2011) when some unpleasantness arose at work concerning that policy ("A Tanya Fiasco," January, 2011, a month where I was really ballin' with my little project here apparently). I could go on with more examples but that's enough for the present.
     Right now I want to see if I can maybe harness the theoretical power of these perceived coincidences by mentioning some things I'd like to have happen.(and yes, I'm totally aware that even in the very unlikely event that these are anything more than just some random coincidences that it probably doesn't work like that). For example, I'm kind of lonesome here lately and I'd like to get myself a righteous new girlfriend. Also, I want to win some insanely fat lottery prizes and I can't help but feel like the latter could definitely facilitate the former. Plus, I think I should  go and get myself another night job, something kinda awesome this time, please! Least likely of all—but what the hey, I'm kind of on a roll here—a substantial increase  in traffic for These American Servers would probably cheer me up some. Please stick around with my struggling internet column and I'll try and keep ya updated with any good news.
     Anyway and as always, thanks for reading and please feel free to share your thoughts on these or any other sixtopics in the comments section, via email, on Facebook or, if those lousy California bastards ever remove the totally unjustified (I swear!) cock-block they done put on me (yeah, really), Twitter @JoeSixtop.

     From a few of weeks later: Twitter removed the totally unjustified cock-block just a couple of days after they hit me with it. @JoeSixtop. Thank you.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cory O Story O ©2013 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     Of all my co-workers ever, present and past, there's this dude named Cory O that's definitely one of them. He's a nice guy and a good waiter. As near as I can tell, none of his managers, customers or fellow employees have a problem with him and that includes me. Pretty much.
     Cory O's about 30 and newly married. I don't know for sure, but I bet they didn't have a pre-nup or anything like that. I've met his wife, she's fairly attractive and real nice. They're both very religious. In fact, Cory O is an ordained (by what or whom I don't know) minister. Supposedly he's on track to someday be lead pastor of his own congregation and then it'll be bye-bye waiting tables, although that's probably a few years away. Cory O's been observed typing up sermons on his iPad® between shifts. Due to his church obligations, he's off from the restaurant Wednesday nights and all day Sundays.
     I've never heard Cory O utter even the tamest of cuss words. Cory O likes to make fun of me. I say "Hell yeah!" a lot. Cory O does a pretty dead-on impersonation of me saying that but he changes it to "Heck yeah!" I try to never cross the line into actual verbal cruelty--except with people I dislike and maybe not even then--but I make fun of people all the time so I have little room to be upset with Cory O for his mockery. Except for sometimes when I'm kind of weeded, he'll fuck with me a little (he'd never call it that, of course) and I don't like that shit at all. It's at the very least unhelpful and can easily be counter-productive. But I think it's not done mean-spiritedly and I try and not let it bother me much.
     One evening about three weeks ago I was at work and Cory O was off. He called me on the company phone to ask if he could borrow 20 bucks from me 'til the next day. That's all he needed to say but he tacked on a convoluted yarn about how he had money but his ATM card was acting up and so on and whatever that, had it come from a less upstanding citizen than Cory O, I'd have thought was the bullshit story of a jive artist with a substance-abuse problem. I didn't get my money back the next day; I wound up being first cut that night and Cory O hadn't received any cash payments by the time I left but I did get it back within a day or two, no biggie.
     Then one afternoon about a week later, Cory O asked me if I had a debit card with any money on it. That struck me as an odd question, yet I answered that I did. He wanted to know if it was Visa® or Mastercard®. I hardly ever use the thing so I had to think a minute before I answered. "Visa." Cory O told me he was paying off a fine on the installment plan that he owed to some governmental jurisdiction, the state I think. He wanted to pay over the phone and save himself a trip downtown. Cory O has a Mastercard debit card and the entity getting his money will only take Visa. Cory O didn't want a loan. He would (and did) pay me the $25 coming off my card immediately. "(A co-worker) usually does it for me but her purse was stolen," he said. I let Cory O pay his ordeal with my card, but reluctantly. I'm mostly a cash, check and money order guy and keep my plastical purchases to a bare minimum. I believed Cory O and didn't think he was scamming or anything. But I have no idea who--besides just the spying-ass NSA--may have garnered my information that was transmitted via cellphone. Cory O paid me cash right then. That was a little over a week ago and I haven't detected any suspicious activity on my bank account.
     This past Saturday night, Cory O and I were on the same shift again. When I got to work as scheduled at 5:00 PM, I was very happy to note that I was in the station that's customarily first cut. Cory O'd arrived at 4:30 and was in a later-cut, though non-closing, section. As purely a station, I prefer the one Cory O got assigned to that evening and I'm sure he does too. But since I'd be cut earlier, I was cool. I worked my section and Cory O worked his. When cuts were made, Cory O got cut and I didn't! WTF? I asked him what was up and he mumbled something about him having to be at work a little earlier than me. Big fucking deal. At least two other employees were scheduled even earlier than Cory O was and had to close. Cory O had used his 30-minute arrival advantage to finagle the new rookie manager into fucking me over.

     What do Emmy Nominations, Behati Prinsloo, British Open, Rolling Stone cover, Honky Boo Boo, Rachel Jeantel, Detroit and Talia Castellano have in common? I'm guessing that they all have Twitter. Well, guess what? I've got Twitter too! @JoeSixtop . If I'm doing the math right, as of last time I checked my next follower on there will increase my Twitter crew by a whopping 100%! Plus I'm trying to work out a deal with the New England Candy Company to supply free Clark® Bars to my next 600 Twitter followers, but those people wouldn't know a great promotional opportunity if it kicked them in their ass, so don't hold your breath waiting for that one, OK?

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Absorbent Strings c2011 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved (repost)

      It's Canada Day and I wish a happy one to you and yours. Speaking of Canada, I've only got one Twitter follower and they're from Canada. So if you want to be the first from the United States to join me on there, that'd be great! @JoeSixtop. Anyway, I've been trying to get a new installment of These American Servers up here for ya but I can't seem to come up with anything that even rises to the low standards already set for my struggling internet column here. Therefore, I'm rerunning an episode that I kind of like from back in March of 2011. If you haven't read it (and you probably haven't) it's new to you, right? Enjoy!
  It was Margarita Monday, our busiest night of the week. I guess Smurf, our badass barback, had requested off because they had me taking his place that evening. I'd wash glasses, run bustubs back to dish, change out beer kegs, shit like that. They also had me helping the cocktail servers in the bar area. The bar was where it was at nighttimes but we had a fairly busy, separated, dining room. Like most nights, the buser in there was a young man named JimBop.
     CRASH! Colleen, the usually sure-footed cocktail waitress, had dropped a trayful of drinks and appetizers. "Joe? Can ya help me take care of this? Thanks, sweetie!" she told me, not really meaning the "help me" part of her request. I cleaned as best I could with a dustpan, a broom and my hands. Then I got the mop and finished the chore.
     A couple hours later, most of the bar clients began noisily fixating on Table 113. You would have thought it was a sudden-death cage match between musical entertainer Colin Meloy and a reanimated L. Ron Hubbard but no; just a couple of fat guys arm-wrestling. BAM! One of the combatants suddenly emerged victorious but in so doing managed to knock over a shitload of brewski. I went and got the mop.
     On my way out the kitchen, I saw JimBop. "How's it goin', dude?" I asked him.
     "Pretty good," he replied, "I'm not as busy down here as y'all are. You doin' OK up there?"
     "Yea, not bad. But dude. This is, like, the third time tonight I've had to mop some shit up," I exaggerated, "next time's your turn." JimBop agreed to wield the O-Cedar® product if it was needed again and we went back to work.
     At last it was getting near closing time and had slowed down considerably. A middle-aged redhead in a white coat was sitting at the bar. She had a margarita and some chips and salsa. I noticed that she wasn't using the chips very much but was mostly scooping up and eating her picante with a fork. Maybe it's a crucial tenet of Scientology or just some weird diet ordeal. Who knows? Oh well, not my business or my problem.
     And then she threw up. She managed to step away from the bar and hurl onto the floor. Poor lady, she wasn't drunk—she'd only had part of one 'rita—and she didn't puke on purpose. She was pretty embarrassed, hurriedly paid and left. I knew what was expected and who it was expected of. "I'll go get the mop," I lied.
     Of course I didn't go looking for the absorbent strings. I went looking for JimBop. I found him in the employee smoke hole, standing there with Colleen, about to spark up a Newport 100. "Dude," I told him, there's some kind of spill up there in the bar and it is your turn..."
     "I got it, no prob," said JimBop, postponing his nicotine fix, "where's the mop?" I told him where it was and took my own trip to Marlboro Country. I told Colleen about the contents of the bar spill JimBop was attending to. We laughed and smoked our cigarettes until JimBop returned.
     "What was up with that?" I asked him innocently.
     "Aw, it wasn't nothin'," JimBop told us, "Barney (the bartender) said there was some throw-up but really somebody'd just spilled some sour mix and some salsa."