Welcome to the Whine Bar

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I know my profile says that I’m unemployed, but technically, that is kind of not true.  It ought to  say that I’m not gainfully employed.  What I mean is this:  I have a part-time job as a server in a wine bar.  But since I’m paid minimum wage I make like $50 a week*, and I spend like $40 a week* on public transportation to get to and from my “job.”  So I don’t really know if it counts as a real job, or if it is just evidence of my masochism and poor money-management skills.

Add to that the fact that the owner (who is also the manager and cook) doesn’t exactly pay me on time.  Or ever.  Well, ok, he has given me one paycheck.  In the past two months.  It was for $318.  It would have been for $368, but he “withheld” $50 for taxes.  Which is funny, since he hasn’t entered the W4 I gave him on September 11th.  In fact, he doesn’t even know my last name.  So I’m thinking that he is a douche-canoe who doesn’t want to have to pay payroll taxes, or even payroll for that matter.  Awesome job, huh?

As livid as I am about the bologna that is this job, that is not the subject of this post.  This is a post about perspective.

Until March of this year, I worked for a Big Bank.  It was pretty terrible, but the pay was decent.  I made about $19 an hour to answer phones and put up with old people’s bullshit and ineptitude.  Seriously, have you ever walked an 80-year-old through the process of signing on to his or her online account, complete with three layers of security questions?  After about ten minutes of back and forth, I finally asked one client, “ok, what is it that you see on your screen right now?”  He replied, “it says Yahoo Search.”  He hadn’t even figured out how to type in the url.  Oye.

I was pretty arrogant about it, too.  I was one of the best and the brightest!  I went to college!  I took leadership skills and time-management courses!  I was too intelligent and important to be wasting my time with this crap!  Someone else could answer the damn phones; I thought I should be doing the real work.  What an idiot I was.  Not for thinking that I was too smart for that work, because I was.  No, I was an idiot for not appreciating the cushy job I had.

What I mean is this: when you can’t afford food or rent, it suddenly doesn’t sound so bad to be paid $19 an hour to answer phones and let old people gripe at you all day.

So back to the wine bar.  The other night the urinal got backed up.  As in, pee-water-all-over-the-floor-of-the-restaurant-eww-gross-backed-up.  Thank goodness it was only the urinal.  It was the end of the night and there was only one couple sitting at the bar (the pee-free zone), so the owner had me mop up the mess in the back of the restaurant while he took care of the customers up front.  That’s the scene.  Me mopping up pee, and a cute young couple drinking wine at the bar about 25 feet away. Can you picture it?  OK, good.

While I was playing janitor, I overheard one customer say to the other, “Today sucked.  They had me stuff envelopes all day.  I mean, really!?  There are mail services who you can pay to do this.  Why don’t they just hire them?  They want to pay me $25 an hour to stuff envelopes?!”  She was outraged.  She was irritated at being treated like a lowly intern when clearly she deserved to be the CEO.  Meanwhile, I was mopping up urine for $8 an hour.  I was thinking about my job at the Big Bank and wishing I was being paid $19 an hour to talk on the phone and wear cute shoes instead of wading around in the piss puddle for minimum wage.  I bit my tongue and kept it to myself, but what I wanted to do was shout at her, “Really, bitch?!  If you wanted to pay me $25 an hour to stuff envelopes I would be like HELL TO THE YES; WHERE ARE THE FUCKING ENVELOPES?”

Perspective.  Now I have it.

*These figures might not be exact.  I probably make more than $50 a week.  It’s probably more like $70.  And I actually only spend about $39.46 a week on public transportation.   In a few months, I’ll have saved enough to buy a pencil.


I Can’t Believe I Just Did That

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I’ve been applying for jobs for months.  Any type of job.  Office work, nanny gigs, housekeeper, you name it.  Nobody is hiring.  Rather, nobody is hiring me.  I had thought that it was because of the economy.  It’s a hiring market and there are hundreds of more experienced (read: older) people competing for the same jobs.  I used to have an edge (or I thought I did) because I’m young and cute and willing to work for very little money.  Unfortunately, all of those experienced people are now also willing to work for very little money, and cute doesn’t mean shit unless you want to work for a chauvinistic asshat.  At least that’s what I thought.  Now I’m thinking I’m not getting hired because I’m an idiot.

Earlier this week, I applied for an admin. assistant position at a school in the neighborhood.  The hours are looooooooong but it is close to home and it would pay enough to get The Cock and me out of the coop.  Guess what.  I got a call the same day!  Of course, I missed the call by 15 minutes, and immediately called back.  I was a little worried that I couldn’t understand the lady’s last name in her message, but I caught the first name and figured I could ask her to repeat her last name when I talked to her.  No biggie, right?  She didn’t answer and I left a message.

I was bummed when she didn’t return my call, and I couldn’t figure it out until this morning when I listened to her voicemail a few more times.  And you guys, I. Am. An. Idiot.  I didn’t realize that I also couldn’t understand the phone number she left in her message.  She had said “nine” but I heard “five.”   So I called some total stranger and left a message telling them that I was interested in the position and I was available anytime.  I’m sure that didn’t sound pervy at all.

Suffice it to say that I’m pretty sure I won’t be getting this job.  Because she either thinks I’m an asshole who didn’t call back for two days, or she thinks I’m an asshole who can’t even write down a phone number correctly.  I may as well have overlooked a typo on my freaking resume.  For all I know, maybe I did!  Apparently I’m not as “detail-oriented” as I thought.  Fuck.  There’s probably something funny about this, but I’m not seeing it right now.

Note To Self:

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Next time you stop by the liquor store after work to buy two shooters of cheap vodka, don’t pretend you won’t finish them both by the time you get home.  A little vodka-cran cocktail on the train is nice, but Come On.  You’re a big girl and it’s time to put on your big girl panties.  Just buy four or five shooters and take the rest home.  Better yet, buy a freaking flask.  Because you know that as soon as you walk in the door to the coop that you will wish you had more.  And it is really hard to explain a midnight walk to the liquor store.  Glad we had this talk.

How To Iron A Man’s Shirt

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The other morning, the Cock said, “there is a specific way that a shirt should be hung up.”

Really?  Because I thought that your preferred method was to take off your nice dress shirt and to throw it on the floor next to the dirty clothes hamper, leaving me to wonder if it is clean or dirty, or if you are just storing it on the floor to avoid my terrible shirt-hanging style.

Apparently a shirt should be hung with the top button buttoned to preserve the integrity of the collar.  That way the shirt doesn’t lose its shape when squished into the overcrowded closet.  Who knew?

I believe I said something really mature, like “Gee, sorry.  I’ll stop hanging up your shirts for you and just leave them on the ground where you drop them.  Is that the specific way you like to hang them?  You can just take care of your own shirts and I’ll stop messing it up.”  Nice.

After he left for work, I didn’t really think it had been a fight.  Maybe a less-than-mature conversation, but neither of us are morning people, so I chalked it up to that and figured I could make a nice gesture by ironing some of his shirts for him.

That’s when I realized I don’t know how to iron a man’s shirt.  I mean, I wore collared shirts for my last office job, and I ironed them, but it was kind of a half-assed effort.  I would iron the collar and the front of the shirt and go to work confident that my sparkling personality would distract from my wrinkles.  I plan to apply this same logic to my face, as I age.  Anyway, his shirts apparently require a specific technique.  I mean, if hanging must be done in a certain way, I figured ironing must require some sort of specialized training.

I googled “how to iron a man’s shirt” and let me tell you, there is some INFORMATION out there!  Who knew that it was a 74-step process?  Or that reading the instructions would require not one, but two dictionaries?  I found one woman’s blog post on the subject particularly helpful because it included pictures.  Seriously.  And the best part about it was the wallpaper in her living room.  I’m talking early eighties, faded flower print EVERYWHERE!  It was awesome.  I think she may have had matching upholstery on her sectional.  Plus, she suggested tucking a sweet love note into the pocket of your man’s shirt, which is pretty cute.

As I was doing this important research, my phone rang.  It was my man.

“Hi babe, what’s up?”

“I will never argue with you about how my shirts are hung up.  I don’t want to, thirty years down the road, be that guy who’s screaming, “Well, you never ironed my shirts right anyway” as you throw all of my stuff out onto the lawn.  Anyway, I have to get back to work.  I love you.”

I love that man.  I’m thinking the love note in his shirt pocket may just have to be a naughty one.




A Mark, A Mural, A Skid

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Who doesn’t keep some sort of scrub brush in their bathroom?  Mother Hen, that’s who.  You know the brush that people use to clean the toilet bowl?  You probably have one sitting in the corner behind the commode, where it belongs.  And when your guests come over, you may not know it, but I bet they use that brush to remove any evidence of their activities in there.  You know what I’m talking about.  Yes.  That.  The skid.

Have you ever left a skid so monstrous that you were afraid anyone who saw it would think you were deathly ill?  Not so much a skid MARK, but a skid MURAL?  A double or even a triple flusher?  Well, if you haven’t, we probably shouldn’t be friends.  Because I have.  In fact, I just did.

There isn’t much that is more embarrassing than knowing that the next person who enters the bathroom will witness the destruction and know it was your doing.  Add to that the fact that the only other people who use that bathroom are the Cock and the Rooster, and well…so much for ladylike behavior.

Okay, this isn’t going anywhere, but I do have to make a terrible confession.  Once, I actually used my own bare hands and a baby wipe to remove the mark of the beast.  I was so disgusted with myself that I haven’t stopped washing my hands since then.  Well, I stopped long enough to type this.  But when this is published, I’m going straight back to the sink with a bucket of bleach and hot water, because just thinking about it is giving me the heebie-jeebies again.  I’d share a picture with you, but…ew.

Instead, enjoy this picture of the bathroom scrub brush that I never ever ever want to own.  I’m not sure if the creepy thing is smiling because it is happy to help out, or if it is laughing at me for making such a large deposit in the porcelain bank.  Either way, I’m probably going to have nightmares tonight.

VERY Scary Toilet Brush

"HAHAHA! I know what you did this morning, you disgusting duckling you. Now I'll haunt you forever."

Tuesday Fail

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4:15am: Wake up, get up for a glass of water; notice that the Rooster isn’t awake.  Wonder if he is okay?  Go to the bathroom.  Go back to bed.

4:19am: Accidentally kick the Cock while climbing over him to get into bed.  Notice what time it is.  Chuckle.  Realize I’m the least mature person I know.

5:00am: Look at the clock.  Can I still really be awake?  I never have a hard time falling asleep.  Consider crying.  Roll over and put pillow over head in an effort to induce sleep.

5:10am: Pillow-darkness is relaxing.  Feel tired.  Drift back to sleep.  Hooray!

5:15am: The Cock starts to snore.  Really, really loudly.  Plug ears and pinch pillow over head even harder.


5:25am: The Cock stops snoring.  Eyes slowly close. Finally sleep. Hooray!

5:30am: The Cock’s 100lb pet dog starts to snore.  I am wide awake again.  Like owner like pet?

5:45am: Cannot take the noise.  Grab a pillow and blanket and head to the living room.  Don’t even remove the dog blanket before I lie down on the couch.  Smells like dog and I don’t even care.  Finally, peace and quiet.

5:55am: Drift into blissful slumber.  Hooray!

6:00am: The Rooster walks by and turns on his office light.  Time for his day to start.  Hold breath and put head under blanket in hopes he won’t see me.  DO NOT want to answer questions or talk to him at this hour.  Consider crying.

6:01am:  Hear Rooster go into bathroom.  Quickly grab pillow and blanket and stealthily sneak back to bed.

6:02am:  Accidentally kick the dog on my way to bed.  Accidentally kick the Cock while climbing into bed.  So much for stealth.  Look at the clock.  Why have I been awake for so long?

6:15am: Fall asleep.  Hooray!

6:30am: The Rooster feeds the 15lb pet dog.  Wake up to the sound of the 100lb pet dog whimpering with food-jealousy.  Consider actually starving the dog to give him something to cry about.

6:45:  The dog stops whining, the Cock isn’t snoring, God is in his heaven and all is right with the world.  Fall asleep.  Hooray!

7:00am: The Cock’s alarm clock goes off.  Wake up.

7:01am: The Cock hits snooze.  Fall back asleep.  Hooray!

7:06am: The Cock’s alarm clock goes off.  Wake up.

7:07am: The Cock hits snooze.  Fall back asleep.  Hooray!

7:12am: The Cock’s alarm clock goes off.  Wake up.

7:13am: The Cock hits snooze. Give up on ever sleeping again.  Consider crying.

7:14am: Get up, zombie-crawl into kitchen for a cup of coffee.  Pass Mother Hen, who is sitting at the kitchen table.  She asks, “So, what’s your plan for today?”  Consider crying.

7:15am:  Wonder if she would judge me for “fortifying” my coffee.  Decide she would.  Formulate plan to sneak wine out of fridge for breakfast.  Judge self.  Forgive self.  Consider crying.



I’m Putting “Great Hair” On My Resume

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One of the benefits of living in the coop is that I don’t have to pay for groceries.  Given, that means I have to eat whatever Mother Hen buys, but she keeps a substantial stock of cheese handy, so it works for me.  On top of that, she has actually given me an allowance.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Not a weekly allowance (I think she knows it would all go towards cheap wine) but every now and then she’ll just give me five or ten or twenty dollars.  One day during my first week in the coop, she gave me $40 “for gas.”  I thanked her and as I walked down the hall to put it in my purse, I ran into Papa Rooster, who handed me a $25 Chevron gift card.  Double win!

In fact, the entire family has been incredibly generous with me.  Just today, Mother Hen and her sister-in-law decided they’d go halfsies on a hair cut for me.  I was floored by the gesture.  How nice!  That’s when Mother Hen said, “yes, it helps to have a good haircut when you’re interviewing!”

Maybe I’m being sensitive, but I think she just told me my haircut sucks and that I need to hurry up and get a job.  Now excuse me, I’m going to go raid the cheese drawer and drown my sorrows in gouda.

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