Friday, September 27, 2013

Always Have a Plan ©2013 by SkippyMom all rights reserved

     Do you know my friend Skippy? She's awesome! I don't want to embarrass her with too many kind words so here's just a few: Skippy's a terrific writer (as you're about to find out if you didn't know already) and she does a great job facing the blessings and challenges life has given her. AND if it hadn't been for her kind words and encouragement early on, I might've gotten discouraged and given up on These American Servers™ but please don't hold that against her. Enjoy!

Here I am!  SkippyMom. . .on Joe’s blog. . .and well?

I lost a bet and I owe Joe a guest post about my days in the restaurant biz.

I gladly lost this bet because I am as die hard a fan of baseball as
our pal Joe - his team just happens to be a helluva’ lot better than
mine.  My [Washington] Nationals lost a 3 game series 0-3 to Joe’s
beloved [St. Louis] Cardinals earlier this week.  Honestly?  They
whooped our behinds.

So be it.  ::sniff, sniff:: I honor my wagers and I loved my days in
the biz, so here goes. . .

Always Have a Plan

During the early years of my marriage I worked at a restaurant that
was close to my parents’ home.  It was a bit of a drive from our home,
but I was familiar with the neighborhood, clientele and the people
working there.   It worked out well and my coworkers and I had a great

With one teensy, tiny exception.

Eight months after the opening a new manager was hired and no one
inside the restaurant [with the exception of the owners] knew the guy.

The staff was in the twenty to thirty year old range, but the new manager?

Some us had parents younger than this guy.

It wasn’t just that he was much older than us, he was. . .how do I say this?

He was all of 5‘6, with a slicked back pompadour, Sansabelt polyester
pants, shiny loafers and thick, dark lensed eye glasses.  He didn’t
exactly seem to understand that the millenium was upon us in a few
years. Mmmmkay?

I am pretty sure this guy thought he had rocked the Disco Era when the
rest of us were eating snack in third grade.  Even then I think he may
have been 10 years too old for Disco.

He was sketch before the word was invented.

Still, he was a good manager. The books balanced every night.  He was
equitable with the schedule. He didn’t yell or demean anyone - FOH,
BOH, customers? No one.  He played fair.

His greatest downfall?  He loved to drink and he loved to let the
staff drink too.

I think he allowed all of us to drink so he could hide his
consumption.  Now, don’t get me wrong. None of us drank on the job but
him. I swear by this. He might imbibe, but if someone on staff did it
on the clock he fired them. The owners looked the other way on him
because, as I said, he was good. He made them money. But he always had
a silver milkshake mixer container filled with ice and Scotch at the
ready.  Tho’ we never saw him drunk or less than professional.

Until THE night.

In the restaurant biz it is common to allow the staff to have one
shift drink after the restaurant is closed, our banks are turned in
and everything is ready for the next day.

We relax, talk about the night and count our tips.

This night Michael, the manager, took it to “sharing a drink with the
help” to a whole other level when he realized that the only ones
staying for the shift drink were the bartender [the most competent and
fabulous bartender I have ever met, Miss Tammie] and me.

He told Tammie to go to the other side of the bar and allow him to
serve us.  She looked at me a bit askance, but did as he asked and sat
down next to me.  I should point out that I was fresh out of college,
with a husband and two new babies - read: **LightWeight**, but when
Tony asked what we were drinking I stupidly shouted out “Wild Turkey!”

Tammie smacked me hard and laughingly whispered in my ear “Are you
nuts?  That will wreck you Skip!”

What did I know?  I saw that the “high octane” Wild Turkey was “Top
Shelf” and I knew it meant it was the best, plus? I could mix it with
my favorite Coca Cola, so I was going for it!

Michael had other ideas, as it became evident as the evening passed.  The
Coca Cola mixer became less and pure shots became more.   We were
laughing, carrying on - but something was weird with Michael. He kept
leaning closer and closer towards me over the bar. I kept leaning
farther and farther back - until Tammie had to grab me by the back of
my tie and jerk me upright to keep me from falling off my stool.

She saw what was going on and didn’t like it. Still holding onto my
tie she said to Michael “I think Skip needs to pee, “ and then she
dragged me to the bathroom. [Yes, by my tie.]

Now Tammie was a great woman. I loved her to pieces and she took care
of all of the younger staff. She had been around the block in a good
way. She got me into the bathroom, backed me up against the wall and
in all her tiny girl glory poked the crap out of me while hissing
“Michael is getting you wasted just to get into your pants. Now STOP IT!”

I protested.
I was married.
A MOM for goshsakes.  [As if being a Mom had some hidden power or something?]
We were just having a good time.  Right?

All my denials just miffed her off more and she finally said “Okay, if
you are going to be this stupid have at it.”  I didn’t want her to be
mad so I told her I had a plan.  When she asked what my plan was I
replied, “I’ll let you know tomorrow.”

Because, obviously, I was making this up as I went along.

The night progressed and we polished off that bottle of Wild Turkey.
Tammie’s husband was the head Chef and he drove her home, but I was
in no shape to drive.  So, of COURSE [did you not see this coming?],
Michael offered me a ride.  I told him it was too far to take me to my
house so if he could take me to my parents that would be great.  I
called my parents and they said “Sure. See you in a few. Use your
key.” I called my husband and he was okay with it because I would be
home for the kids before he left for work in the morning.

I walked to the back, slipped on my husband’s leather jacket, grabbed
my purse and stumbled outside.

As we were all piling into the cars, Tammie pulled me aside and said.
“I have to know what this plan is or you aren’t going.”  At that point
I had  so much to drink the entire world was spinning and I couldn’t
focus. I am pretty sure my words weren’t even coherent, but whatever I
said convinced her to let me go with Michael.

The drive to my parents house was less than 10 miles and I was sure I
could ward off a pervy manager with a couple of slaps from my hands
[Which? In hindsight I probably couldn’t even feel my hands at that

I hardly remember what Michael was saying, but his intentions were clear.

The man was drunkenly enamored with my very young, very married self.

When the conversation got to the point of no turning back I felt all
the liquor begin to churn.  The combination of not being a drinker and
the idea that someone who wasn’t my husband was hitting on me made me
ill. I told Michael to pull over for a moment as I didn’t feel well. He
insisted that he could keep driving as he needed to further tell me
his feelings.

I protested but he didn’t listen.

Then and there I decided on the plan I was going to tell Tammie the
next day.  As Michael droned on I leaned forward and whispered “If you
don’t shut up now and pull this car over I am going to show you
exactly how I feel about what you are saying.”

He refused. And he kept driving. And talking.

I inched away from him and slowly slipped out of the leather bomber
jacket. I opened it up and laid it across my lap.

As my manager yattered on I said “Last chance. Shut up. Or....”

But he didn’t.

With his words still coming, I turned my head, stuck my finger down my
throat and hurled 7 shots of Top Shelf Wild Turkey into the beautiful
silk lining of that expensive coat.

Along with that mess came a few tumblers of Coca Cola and my shift
meal of Fish and Chips.

I am pretty sure he never got the smell out of his car.

I know I never got it out of my husband’s coat.

End note to this story:  I stumbled into my folks’ house that night as
drunk as I have ever been in my life [before or since] and fell asleep
with my face pressed up on the cool tile of the guest bathroom.

I woke the next morning to sound of my Dad slamming cabinets in the
kitchen.  Not out of anger, mind you, but fun.  He knew from my phone
call the night before. As I worked my way down the hallway and fell
into a chair at our table my Dad grinned and continued to slam
cabinets.  He glanced back over his shoulder and slyly said “So Skip,
how does your first hangover feel like?” We laughed about that episode
for years after the fact.

And Michael?  He never hit on me again, and remained a pretty good
manager after the fact.

There you go Joe. I hope it is what you wanted. It was a funny memory
then and it is to us now.

     Thanks Skippy! I feel I was way more than adequately compensated for our bet. And if any of y'all want to see what's up with Skippy nowadays (and I encourage you to do so) you can always pay her a virtual visit at her excellent blog, I Make Soap. Thanks for joining us today and Skippy and I'll see ya on the flipside!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Best Drinking Games ©2011, 2013 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

    So the pope,  Merritt Wever, NFL Standings, Rose Byrne and, maybe it was actor Jeff Daniels Michigan (no relation to Jack Daniel's Top), stroll into a bar. I think it was the Magic Eight Ball over on beloved Tenth Avenue (Freeze-Out?). They're intent on playing one of the best new drinking games, it's called SEO Optimization. The bartender, an efficient, personable, young(ish) man named Joe suggested that maybe that trendy activity was washed up and how about a game of These American Servers instead? It's more fun and way cooler. That didn't really happen! I've been working feverishly on some new material but it just isn't ready yet. So here's a slighty edited righteous repost of a blast from the past, including last year's disclaimer. And yeah, I know that if there was a time to rerun this episode it was a couple of weeks ago instead of now but, you know, whatever. And I don't really give much of a rat's ass (just some) about football until the allmighty Saint Louis Cardinals (you know, they play a real sport) are done and right now they appear to be far from that!

    In honor of ESPN's Monday Night Football, and pro football in general, starting back up, here's a (slightly modified) righteous repost from last year that was kind of popular. And by "kind of popular," I really mean "nobody saw it." If you haven't ever checked it out, it's new to you, right? Enjoy!

     Do you ever play drinking games? For example, there's Monday Night Football. Watch Titans at Chargers, for instance, and every time Joe Buck or Mike Tirico or whoever, says, "First down San Diego!" everybody takes a drink. Then there's Fox News, where every time one of their resident douchebags says "Democrat" when they should have said "Democratic," or decries something called Class Warfare (bring it!), your whole crew has to down a shot. I think it's safe to say that either of these drinking games will get anyone playing it fucked up pretty quick and there are a whole lot of other variations out there.
     I don't play drinking games, even when I'm hanging out with people who are. I binge at my own pace and get wasted just fine, thank you. Neither do I advocate drinking games. I think they encourage individuals who already like over-consuming alcohol to get even more hammered than they would if left to their own devices. But if folks are going to play them anyway, I want some of that market share! So here's an awesome new drinking game called These American Servers™. Play at your own risk.
     Everybody get out their internet-connected device. Log onto your favorite search engine. I like ixquick because of their privacy claims, and Google works pretty well too. Have someone call out a phrase or a title from These American Servers™. The first one to find a  reference to my internet column gets to make everybody else take a drink. Or you can deny the others a drink and have one yourself. Remember, and this is very important, you have to actually click on the link to These American Servers or your win isn't official.
     Try different search engines. If you want an easy, fast-paced game, go with Google. If you're trying to not get too blitzed too early, see what Yahoo or Startpage have for ya. They're not as friendly to These American Servers as some of the others are. Maybe you could see what Chinese Google has to offer.
     Whatever alcohol you imbibe when playing These American Servers is up to you. Perhaps the Chili's crew in cooler-than-you-probably-think Tulsa, Oklahoma—where a popular search engine query is "Tulsa OK weather"— enjoy the game with 40 ounce jugs of Schlitz® Malt Liquor after work and you might have a good time with those. Watch out though. That shit is way more powerful than the weak-ass  "light"  beers that so many people are into these days.
     Please don't operate a motor vehicle if you've been playing These American Servers or while you're playing These American Servers. If you run across any rumors that poor, allegedly talented, yet troubled, entertainer Cory Monteith  was playing These American Servers this past July 13, please disregard them because, while Cory (God bless his soul) was an enormous devotee of the fun drinking game based on my struggling internet column, he was kind of superstitious and never played it on the 13th of any month and it was something else that unfortunately took him from us.
     "But Joe," I might be asked if anyone actually read this, "I really want to play These American Servers, but ever since I read your excellent post from December of 2010 entitled "A Righteous Proposal," where you advocate a boycott of adult beverages until America ends its fucktarded "War on Drugs," I've given up drinking. Is there anything that I can do?"
     Well thanks for joining me, my hypothetical brother or sister. Just so you know, I haven't consumed any alcohol since that post went up either and I applaud you for being part of the solution instead of the problem. Together, we can make a difference. As a matter of fact, I do have a couple of suggestions about that. Instead of using Colt 45® say, or bourbon, you could substitute dankity-dank bong hits! Or maybe swap the booze for Caffeiene-Free Diet Pepsi®. Of course, if you go with that last one, you and your friends are probably some irredeemable wussies.

     Oh, yeah: if anybody cares, I got my three comments (and some awesome new LIKES on Facebook!) so here ya go. I bought Sweetie a phone. I kept asking her if she wanted me to or not and she never gave me a yes or no-type answer. Since my policy is if I ask a question and don't get a comprehensible answer (or an answer at all) then the answer is whatever I want it to be, I bought her a phone. I went by myself. I activated it in my name (I felt creepy activating it in her name without her direct consent so I didn't) and paid for the phone, activation and first month's phone bill. One of her passwords is my birthday, one is her birthday. I was assured she can change any of that shit if she wants. The nice guy I dealt with at the store threw in a free song download. I have NO IDEA what she likes musically (since she never would even go drink coffee with me and I've been shut out (like the Montreal Expos will be tonight in Saint Louis!) on my opportunity to converse about such things with her), so I went with a favorite of mine, Bruce Springsteen's best record, "Prove it All Night" which, if Sweetie would be my girlfriend, would get my vote to be our song. What's in it for her (besides me)? Why, a gold ring and a pretty dress of blue, natch, and I'll even throw in a long white bow she can tie her hair back with!

     I keep feeling so compelled to update this thing that I should of just done some all-new material instead. O well. Sweetie is super hella good-looking. She's in NO WAY a gold-digger AT ALL and she's an AWESOME waitress AND she's never asked me for ANYTHING and she's VERY INTELLIGENT, easily enough so to be WELL aware that she's had it within her power to TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ME BIG-TIME (I practically begged her to) yet she never did any of that. The only three drawbacks she has in my eyes are that she doesn't seem to care about me (good or bad) to any significant degree and that she's geeked out on that shit most of the time and she seems to have a really tough time telling people stuff that might hurt their feelings but really needs to be said and I could easily get past those last two. This disclaimer  is being presented because I don't want y'all to get a bad, wrong idea about someone that I think is magically awesome!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I Think I'm in Trouble c2013 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     Just to let you know, I live in the Yom Kippur apartments and you are often on the ballot when I early vote at the Colorado Flooding branch library. If you've been the Democratic nominee in a general election since about 2004 when I moved here, then I voted for you and even though I'm a blue collar-type 43-year old white man from this second- (or third)-rank state I'm a very reliable Democratic voter. I'm WAY more lefty than you are or at least can say in public.
    I have an issue that I believe is medical in nature, probably. It may be psychiatric. It's not too major or dangerous to anyone but I'm a little concerned.
Since we don't live in a real country like Canada where there's health care, I was wondering if I can avail myself of some kind of public deal where I can maybe talk to someone about it. I don't mind paying something (although I'd rather not), I just don't want to go nuts with the checkbook and then be told that's merely the registration fee and if I need anything else it'll be another C-note or something like that (I'm very well aware of how cut-throat and mercenary the private sector is). I'd be happy to drop $25 or $50 for 15 minutes of convo with someone who could maybe say, "Mr. Sixtop, what you need is an endocrinologist (or whatever). Unfortunately the governor just gutted our funding for that so we can't help you but here's a list of very good private ones that won't sexually assault your wallet too much AND here's a list of instructions on how to find one on the internet."
If you can tell me anything about something like this OR give me advice on how to maybe find something out it would be greatly appreciated.
And I'm sure you'd treat this communication the same even if I didn't claim to favor your political party but it's all true so I thought I'd mention it.
     The preceding was an email I sent to my state rep and state senator, the ones I haven't heard back from. I'm not looking for charity. I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm not looking for kindness. I just wouldn't mind a little help in the form of advice from someone whom I've been led to believe is getting taxpayer dollars to "represent" me. Anyway. I've got to talk to someone and I'm counting on the one person who usually gets me out of trouble to come through for me again: me. And that statement is only mildly accurate at best; I've been much more blessed with friends and family than I deserve to be. BUT in this case I think the statement is true.
     I got fired a week ago but I still work there. I feel kind of as though I was manipulated (by people with nothing but kindness (and probably pity) and good intentions in their hearts) although manipulated isn't nearly the same as having a gun pulled on me. Anyway, I regret I even showed up for that meeting. I should have just been grateful for the time and started healing. Plus I could have bailed on them with probably a shred of imagined self-dignity.
     And what would be the difference, when I plan to march my ass in there Monday morning and give two week's notice? I doubt I'll chicken out but I might bother GM Brenda B (whom I feel I'm letting down) tomorrow on a day that she's off and I am too with a text or phone call about me leaving 'cause I don't want to wait til Monday.
     I guess I'm a little burned out by the restaurant business and that restaurant in particular and that's what I'm going to tell Brenda, but the real reason I have to get the fuck out there is this super-attractive, intelligent, awesome co-worker named Sweetie (and my fondness for her still wouldn't let me tell you this unless it was true and it is:), she's a truly GREAT waitress.
    I really like Sweetie; I can't help it. I ask her to go out with me ALL THE TIME and she NEVER does, although she doesn't seem to MIND me asking, and I guess at least she kind of likes the attention. She's been sad lately because her Smartphone broke and she's having trouble buying a new one even though she's somehow managed to finagle her way into working, like, 60 hours a week there. Of course, she needs a lot of money because she's a single mom. Or is she? I'm totally convinced about the mom part but less so about the single, even though when I asked her about her singleness and freedom to be dating and stuff, she assured me  she was single and free. Anyway, she's never asked me for shit but tonight I practically begged her to let me take her to some phone store early next week and buy her one. I'm interested to see if she bites.
My smart brain knows that I don't have any realistic chance with her but my big heart (and other anatomy, I guess) wants her so bad I can't give up. If I quit working there I won't have to see her any more and my ardor will surely cool off after awhile and I can start to focus on my REAL problem, which is trying to find out WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME (even though I actually feel pretty good, mostly)
     It's late. I worked hard and very late tonight. Since I no longer sleep, I just figured that I'd throw out another episode of These American Servers™ at ya. This is my most stream-of-consciousness installment ever. I'm just typing right now. I hope everyone's OK with that and I'm gonna at least TRY to proofread this thing.
      If Brenda has any sympathy in her heart AT ALL (and I believe her to be a very kind person) she WON'T try to talk me into staying. If I have ANY idea of what needs to happen, I won't be talked out of leaving.

     OK. If I cave again, I WON'T share that with y'all unless it's just a really awesome story or something. This paragraph is about 12 hours or so more recent than the rest of today's installment. I went to one of those "walk-in clinic" ordeals at Walgreens today and fucking HATED the experience. I plan to have a brief convo with Brenda B tomorrow if she's not too busy but don't think I'll actually give notice at least until I speak to a medical professional about my situation where I feel just a little too good most of the time and I think I can get an appointment with a real MD tomorrow after my day shift.  So that's what's up with me at the moment. What's up in your life?

     OK, ONE MORE little addition to the currently current episode and then I'll chill. I was at the laundry. While washing clothes I penned an installment of my little project here. It was about awesome co-worker Sweetie. I'm tired of stressing about her for now so that story may never be told on here. Anyway, I'm taking (funzies) bets on if she takes me up on the phone offer. It has to be me and her and no one else go buy it and I told her the offer expires when Wednesday, September 18, 2013 does. Since no actual betting money's on the line here, I'm going to say she DOES NOT accept my offer but if it was real money I'd try not to bet a lot. Even though this phone'll run me about $150 or so, I kind of hope she lets me carry her to go get it. Yeah, I want to spend time with her that bad and please don't judge me until you've worked a closing shift in my black slip-resistant moccasins from SR Max, OK?
     And I'll tell what happens with the phone IF I get at least three comments after this here post right here. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Poor Self-Opinion ©2013 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     I've got Low Self-Esteem. Was it circumstances growing up or DNA? Probably some of both but really, it doesn't matter. I won't get all psychological on y'all except to say that I believe it was something subconscious that made me stumble into a "career" where a big chunk of my income derives from how much some strangers like me.
     And it's got it's good side too, believe it or don't. There're actually like three, I think. benefits to LS-E but I can only think of one right now. When I walk, I tend to hang my head and look at the ground before me instead of facing the world straight-on and I find way more money than you.
     So just call me a big wuss I guess. I went to the meeting. I signed a write-up, my only one in nine years there. I asked to take a piss test (in the hope of finding out why I feel so fucking good all the time) but was declined. I'm aware that someone nice went out on a limb for me. And, while I wish she wouldn't have done it, for a man with Low Self-Esteem it's virtually impossible to pay back that sort of intended kindness with anything resembling scorn. I'm almost able to delude myself that my really good GM Brenda—no homo—(and if that's offensive please let me know and I'll remove it) might actually like that I work there instead of just feeling sorry for an employee she inherited from a previous administration.
     Our Area Director (GM Brenda's immediate boss, for those who don't wear an apron at work) Shane is a good guy. I've known him for years, before his impressive and deserved rise to his  coveted gig in the organization. So I wasn't expecting anything less than cordiality. But what I got was a veritable smorgasbord (that's what those of us from Ohio call a buffet) of high-calorie treats for the person who has everything except self-worth. "Asset to the organization" was mentioned. So was "Never had a problem out of you (which I believe to be technically untrue but close enough)." I was already reeled in but just in case I wasn't "Model Employee" was dusted off and put on the showroom floor for a minute. I would have felt like a horrible, ungrateful, despicable shitty excuse for a human being (you know, the usual) had I not leapt at the opportunity to stay on. Even though I swear that I meant every word of yesterday's post  when I was typing it, I caved at crunch time. I kind of feel as though I've let you down somehow. I'd be hoping I didn't lower anybody's good opinion of me if I could imagine anybody having one in the first place.

     This typing on the fly internet columnist shizzle is the bidniss! Why kill myself a couple of times a month trying to come up with something that had a lot of effort behind it when I can just think about  my Sixtopics for a few minutes, maybe take a couple notes, hop on the internet and there ya go? Shit Hell Damn, I might just compose me another episode tomorrow!


A (Former?) Waiter's Prayer ©2013 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     It'll probably be a good thing. I'm particularly happy for (now-former) co-worker Sweetie, who I have been, OK, I admit it, BEGGING to go out with me. She's way too nice to tell me to fuck off and now she won't have to. I didn't ask to like her but I may as well have. I'm also embarrassed to tell ya that not ever seeing her again is BY FAR my biggest regret about losing this job. I hope her life goes great and she manages to stop being geeked out on that shit all the time. Oh well, not my business or my problem, hunh?  O yeah. This here episode is the first-ever one where there was no rough draft or anything and I'm just thinking it and typing. You thought previous installments were lame? Stick around for this one!

     The age mentioned and the (in actuality non-Mexican) restaurant named are inaccurate. The rest is true.

     Here's a joke for ya: What was the old definition of a pathetic loser?
     A 53-year old man who's been a waiter at El Chico for nine years.
     What's the new definition of a pathetic loser?
     A 53-year old man who used to be a waiter at El Chico for nine years until yesterday when he got fired!
     Not bad, hunh? No brag, just fact: I made that up! Although it is based on true events.
     I'm trying to tell the story correctly and succinctly. I'm sure I'll fail miserably on both counts but here goes: I felt like shit all the time for years and it sucked. After lots of trial and error and research and a little effort on my part,  I finally have a handle on that. I consume only healthy foods. If it's something I like, I can't have it. Plus I get a lot of exercise, mostly jogging and lifting some weights. They're not that heavy but if you lift 'em a lot, it feels like they are. It seems to be working pretty well too, 'cause right now I've never felt better.
     I've always been a kind of a high-stress server (only because I care so much!) and that's how I roll but here lately it's gotten a little out of hand. I smile out front at the clients but I've been kind of a (seemingly but not actually) speed-addled dickhead to work with here lately. Like, I rang up something with honey mustard on the side the other day. It was run to the table by someone without the honey mustard. The table was a young couple who were very nice. They politely asked me for some honey mustard as though they'd just now thought of it instead of like we'd fucked up and God bless them for that. I freaked and SCREAMED at the kitchen crew something about thanks for ruining my goddam life and if I didn't get my honey mustard immediately I was going to come back there and skullfuck somebody. Recently I totally went off on my nice co-workers because of some very minor procedural disagreement about how they were rolling their silverware. I apologized later and they were all kind enough to forgive me and I'm very grateful for that. I've been freaking out in the BOH but managing to seem pretty chill in the FOH. Except the other night at the service well, I'm about to have a heart attack because some beverages have taken too long when the bartender informs  me that some crucial ingredient is unavailable. "Ya know," I told her in a voice just a little too loud for such convo and that may have been heard by some of the bar regulars, "I used to think I was a pretty good waiter but now I realize I suck and it's all because I work at El Chico!"
     So last night I was special guest fill-in bartender. I'd been on shift for about two hours and things were going well (I've been REALLY TRYING to chill and I believe I was finally getting somewhere with that) when GM Brenda B (a great manager and a better person) called me aside. "It's been alleged that you were observed huffing from a whip cream container last night. Would you please write your version of events on this here piece of paper please?"
     My version of events was, and I wrote, "Thank you for a great nine years! Good-bye," and signed my name. I told Brenda B I was truly sorry for putting her in the unpleasant situation and told her so long. I obviously have been very hyper lately and I promised her I was not on any recreational intoxicants and, while I swear to God that's true, if you'd of seen my recent behavior, you might have a hard time believing me. I really don't know what's wrong. I mostly feel great but work stresses me out more than ever. Could kale and store-brand V-8 juice from a blender really be that powerful?
    Brenda advised me that I wasn't fired yet. I was to show up for a meeting the following afternoon with the (Area Director) Shane, a good guy I've known for years. "Don't be so pessimistic," Brenda said. She's smart but she doesn't get it. I'll show up this afternoon as a courtesy but I feel as though I'm being treated shabbily and can't imagine a scenario where I'd ever condescend to work for that lousy company ever again.
     Oh yeah. Did I woof N²o out of an empty (I'd never do it if the can still contained saleable product; that would be theft!) whip cream can? Between you and me, yes. Usually I'm very discreet about such things but I was kind of showing off for a pretty girl. I can't remember who. I also told Brenda the truth. I don't know what I'll tell Shane this afternoon but I absolutely won't cop to the charges. The shit that charges the whip cream can will get you pretty fucked up but it goes away in like two minutes. It's not like I was smoking blunts on the back dock or doing lines off of Sweetie's ass in the parking lot (Sweetie and her lovely ass and me in the parking lot?! Hell yeah! If I got all that going on, I can personally do without the coke! ). I have a lot of regret and guilt about my life but not about some lousy whip cream deal, the only recreational intoxicant I've allowed myself for years. I want to thank my erstwhile co-workers ( who I pray to God never read this) for their patience, kindness and friendship. Whether or not this is the last installment of These American Servers™ ( and it probably isn't) I want to thank everybody who ever commented, LIKED, followed, read or just accidentally clicked to this cause they thought "servers" was computer-related, thank you so much and God bless you.   
                                 Cheers, ______-Joe