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.

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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."

Oh Good! It’s My Third Post And I Already Sound Like An Alcoholic.

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Have I mentioned Papa Rooster’s affinity for beer?  The garage fridge is regularly stocked with a variety of microbrews, and because I worry about his liver health, I diligently help to reduce the stock.  One of the biggest challenges of living in the coop is hiding all of those damned beer bottles.  Not that I’m a boozer or anything (hah!) but when you’re unemployed and bored out of your mind, a nice cold beer can seem like the perfect remedy.  So what if it’s ten in the morning?

Because I’m practically a spy, I am extremely adept at concealing my beer consumption.  Just call me Nancy Brew.  Here are a few of the tactics I have employed:

Beer in the Shower:

Now this is just fun no matter where you live.  Is there any better feeling than the chill of an ice cold beer in your hand contrasted with the steaming hot water pouring over your back?  I don’t think so.  And while Mother Hen’s reach is far and wide, it has not yet extended to the bathroom.  Ahhh, my beige tiled safe haven.  Twenty minutes in that chamber of privacy and I emerge fresh, clean, and slightly buzzed.  Everyone wins!  Of course, then I face the following choice: do I walk out of the bathroom with an empty beer bottle in my hand and claim I just found it in there?  Or do I throw it away in the bathroom waste receptacle and hope that nobody else ever opens that trash can again?  The correct answer is option C: hide the beer bottle in my bathroom drawer (yes, I have my own designated drawer.  So does The Cock.  And his two year old nephew.  It’s like having cubbies in kindergarten, only less colorful and fun.)  Then, carefully place the dental floss in front of the bottle, thereby TOTALLY concealing it.  That’s called stealth, kids.

What beer?  All I see is dental floss.

What beer? All I see is dental floss

Beer in the Bedroom:

While the shower beer is all about stealth, the bedroom beer is all about speed.  This is the beer you pound right before you take the dog for a walk, since the big beer belches are sure to follow soon after the chugging is complete. Yesterday, as I was rushing to guzzle my sweet barley nectar while also grabbing my purse and putting on my earrings, my beer suddenly rebelled.  The foamy head bubbled up and over the top of the bottle, dripping all over the floor.  Have I mentioned that the carpets in the coop are all white?  You know, to help you see where you spilled, or something like that.  So there I was, trying to get my shit and get out of the coop while also trying to finish my beer while also blotting up beer spots with a beach towel and I found myself wondering if the mild buzz was actually worth all that trouble.  I decided it was.

Beer in the Coffee Cup:

Clever but labor intensive, this is a tactic that many an alcoholic office worker knows and loves.  I say labor intensive because if you have a coffee cup in your hand, people will usually wonder where the coffee is.  I hate wasting a pot of coffee, but sometimes you have to brew one up to justify using the cup.  I recommend a travel mug for this method, as the lid prevents spills (white carpet!) and keeps that distinct beer smell contained.  Just remember to wash the mug out when you are done.  It’s difficult to explain a forgotten, moldy, beer-stinking travel mug.  Not that I’d know or anything.