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!


  1. ::blushing:: You gush my friend. I am just sorry we didn't get to talk more baseball this season, what with the move and all.

    Next season we'll have to up the ante. Then again. .. I've already lost one bet. And it IS the Nats.

    Enjoy your post season. I am definitely rooting for the Cards now. Good luck and much love xo

  2. thx. I'm expecting great things from these guys and as we learned the other night, that Michael Wacha is for real. Thx again for GREAT guest post. ttyl and soon!

  3. Great story.....I could visualize it, especially the greasy, slicked back pompadour.

    1. hi, it's an awesome episode, isn't it?!
      Thx 4 reading and commenting and I hope you'll come back sometimes!