One of my favorite comics for a long time has been Nick DiPaolo. He was on Howard Stern last week and dropped this nugget about the Octo-Mom.
The woman had 8 umbilical cords with those 8 babies. Her uterus must have looked like the back of an entertainment center.
I read a story today about a Boston area Dunkin Donuts worker who after being told by a customer that he wasn’t making his coffee fast enough, decided to follow the customer out into the parking lot and slash his tires. I’m not saying it is right, but as someone who has worked in the fast food industry, I understand. Here is my story for today.
My first waiting tables job was at the now defunct Mexican restaurant chain, Chi-Chi’s. I did the job, as they were cool with working around my budding stand-up career. In the day before there were authentic Mexican restaurants in the Midwest, Chi-Chi’s was the bomb for the average Gringo. From what I know about the chain’s beginnings, the founders were 2 guys including Green Bay Packer, Max McGee. The other guy had a wife who’s nickname was Chi-Chi, which is a Mexican slang word for TITS. I always loved that a family restaurant was named TITS. That completely trumped Hooters.
The worst possible place to wait tables is at a Mexican restaurant. It begins with the food being cheap to prepare, so the check averages are low. Then you are constantly bringing free chips and salsa out. Since the chips are salty and the salsa is hot, the patrons are always thirsty, so you wear out a path refilling drinks. Throw in that you generally wear god-awful shirts that give the impression that you are having one big fiesta (I guaran-fucking-tee this is not the case) and that these shirts end up smelling like a stanky-ass burrito by the end of the night—-well, outside of a Denny’s server working the overnight drunk shift, it doesn’t get worse.
One of the only pluses in working for Chi-Chi’s was hearing the redneck Indiana customers pronounce the items on the menu. How chimichanga becomes chimey-changer, I have no idea, but as long as it was deep-fried and had gravy on it, that was what they wanted. I had one customer who actually ordered a take-o, which is spelled taco, and is usually pronounced a different way.
My favorite moment occurred when one of my fellow servers, who was named Abdu, spilled the hot oil sizzling from the fajita pan. This scalding hot oil just happened to go down the back of the shirt of one of his customers. The victim proceeded to get up from the table running and screaming through the dining area, while his family watched in horror. Are you bustin’ a fuckin’ gut, yet? I’m telling you, it was the best piece of physical comedy I’ve seen since Buster Keaton in his prime. Abdu was trying to apologize in broken English, but you could just feel the racial hatred building towards him, like it was the oil victim family’s own 9/11.
Now let me to get to why my experience at Chi-Chi’s has anything to do with my Dunkin’ Donuts brother from another mother. I didn’t deal well with rude customers. For example, I had one customer who complained very rudely about her silverware having a spot on it. The spot was just the kind that comes from a dishwasher. It was clean, just not shiny. I could have dealt with this, but this was the same woman who had been rude to the hostess before she had even been seated. Knowing this, I told the lady I would fix the problem. I then proceeded to go around the corner, get a few of my other servers attention, and then stick the spoon in my mouth, swirling my tongue around it until there were no film spots on it. Ethical? Sanitary? Maybe not, but I was a fucking hero to my downtrodden co-workers, who were tired of being treated like shit. Oh and anyway, it wasn’t like I was Tyler Durden starting a pee in the soup revolution.
Remember, they are called servers—not servants.
When it comes to tipping, keep in mind that the server makes less than 3 dollars an hour, on average. Add to this that they have to tip out themselves to bartenders, food runners, bussers, etc., and you can see that tipping is vital to that person walking out with more than minimum wage. Surprise, I didn’t deal well with people who tipped poorly. I can remember seeing a guy leave 1 dollar on a 55 dollar tab. I caught up with the guy and told him that he had forgotten his money. He responded by saying, “no, that was for you.” I said with all seriousness that if this was all he could manage to tip, he obviously needed the money more than I did.
Now comes my parking lot story. Some a-hole, who had run me around shoving mass quantities of tortilla chips down his fat fucking face, left me 13 pennies on a bill which was over 20 bucks. I was enraged. I lost my mind during this moment. I grabbed the change and raced out the front door to accost the douchebag. He was just about to get into his car, so I threw the pennies from hell at his feet and walked back in the door. I know I felt a lot better after this moment of insanity.
I’m sure the question that would be asked of me is how did you keep your job? Well, I guess these scumbags were too ashamed to mention these incidents to my manager. It should also be mentioned that if I really valued this employment, I wouldn’t have behaved this way.
So keep in mind the next time someone doesn’t get your fucking coffee and cruller that the 39 year-old dude who is getting this for you is probably not living the dream. No one fantasizes as a kid to be slinging hash. So I say, slash on brother, slash on.
With all this work talk, I thought I would offer up today, America’s top socialist punk band, Rise Against. With all this bailout money being doled out, I wonder what Rise Against will be ranting against on their next record. If you like their politics or not, they do make some rockin’, catchy tunes. Check out Re-Education (Through Labor).