Friday, April 27, 2007
Don't repeat this, but I've been pestered all week by someone from The Post. It seems they want to use my inside track as an avenue to fodder for Page Six. A practice I see nothing wrong with on the surface. I assumed they would be happy with various items for their sightings section, which runs little squibs about who was seen where, what they drank and the like. So I contacted them through an intermediary with my Tyra Banks tidbits. Pretty much exactly as I posted here last week. Unfortunately, the intermediary "tweaked" the information, and added the bald-faced lie that Tyra Banks was drunk. She was not. But my intermediary surmised correctly that the fine folks at The Post would prefer that lie to the truth. Trouble was, they needed me to anonymously confirm the info to cover their asses should Ms. Banks decide to sue. I refused several attempts to get me to contact them and corroborate the story. I have no problem dishing that Tyra was there and she sang karaoke. Badly. But I refuse to lie and say she was drunk. Don't get me wrong, I would repeat it if it were true. But I'm a lady of principle, and I think there's enough people in the press and out of it that are willing to say anything to get their slice of fame. Even vicariously. But I'm already a legend in my own mind and have no need of such tawdry behavior. In the end, good breeding always shows.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I'd really like to get to a Gay-A meeting, I'm not having a crisis or anything but I'd like to get a few meetings in ASAP just to make me feel better. Being in this work, sleep, lunch, work cycle reminds me of how I would come home and have a few drinks just to relax. I almost made it a reward, and I'm reminding myself that it became a crutch and then an awful liability. If I could just get a little time to get to the gym and also get my hair did, I'd at least feel tired but pretty.
At least my new phone is quite beautiful.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I'm at maximum stress level. It was a very difficult weekend. It was the first warm weekend in the city and we were very busy very late. The staff is not experienced enough to do high volume business. We got spanked And the owners have become very demanding and very unrealistic about what's possible and how fast it can happen. And let me just say this: If you come in for a meal, order drinks, order your food, drink your drinks, finish your food, finish your meal, ask for your check, pay by credit card, sign the voucher, include the tip and only then do you whip out a discount coupon so that the entire transaction needs to be voided and re-done, and it's a Saturday night in Times Square, or any restaurant anywhere for that matter, you should be forced to wear a sticker for the rest of the night that says "I'm a dumb dumb-ass, and it's a miracle I dressed myself today." That's all for now ...
Sunday, April 22, 2007
UPDATE: Skipped the East Village, it was later than I thought. Ended up at Union Square, the tiny dog run there was not as crowded as I thought it would be but for some reason Jet doesn't like it much. We didn't stay long. Came home and picked up my laundry. I don't mind doing it myself, but I have to say it's one of life's little luxuries to be able to drop off a bag of wash and pick it up clean the next morning. I did take the time to change the sheets as well. Can't wait to climb in to a fresh bed tonight. The dog's fresh too as I took advantage of the warm day to give him a nice bath.
Friday night. After midnight and the restaurant is quite busy but no longer full. Talent agent and producer Benny Medina takes the stage and does a number. After which he intro's a song that he claims he wrote with his "girlfriend". It was all a cute but clumsy attempt to cue up a classic rendition of Proud Mary. Only this one featured back up vocals and a dance assist from Miss Tyra Banks. In the interest of disclosure Medina produces Tyra's show and Tyra is a client. And just so you know, Miss Tyra can't sing, y'all. But she gamely shook her booty during the well known high gear section of the number. She even did a little up against the wall grind, and proved that Miss Tyra can bust a move. It was great fun, and everyone was taking pictures and cheering, cameras and cellphones snapping away. On a side note, right as Tyra was taking the stage, one of the servers asked me to do something for her. I explained that I was about to watch Miss Tyra Banks do kareoke, and she best not interrupt me again. She apologized and found someone else. As it should be.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
I had a whole bunch of fucked up dreams the last couple of nights. In one, one of my aunts died. That was no fun. In another, I got drunk and threw up all over my pillows, which I kept trying to hide from a gentleman caller I was trying to entice into my bed. So you know it was a dream as I have no sex life these days. What I do have is reality, and 10 whole weeks of sobriety under my belt.
The monsoon has subsided, although it rained off and on today. They're calling for sun and 60's by the weekend. I bet it's one of those years where we go directly from winter into summer and skip the spring entirely.
Monday, April 16, 2007
But first, The Food Network needs an awards show? Really? I just tuned in and the first presenters were Rachael Ray and Giada de Laurentiis. Together. I hope the stage was appropriately reinforced to sustain their disturbingly over-sized heads.
Anyway, I got home late last night (or early this morning) and the predicted storm had already begun. My feet hurt, I had a tension headache from dealing with computer problems and all manner of Saturday night snafus. The dog could have used a walk, but I just couldn't make it back down the stairs. I made him wait. I know, I'm a bad daddy. I fell asleep almost immediately. I was dozing when the phone rang. It was nearly noon and I answered because I had told the other managers I would take their calls by then. Turns out, it wasn't a manager but one of the waiters. He was calling me at home, waking me out of bed, to tell me that he overslept for work. I pointedly suggested he call work, where I wasn't, instead of my home, where I was. Sleeping. I don't think he got the subtlety.
It's like they think I sit in a box somewhere until I come back in.
In any case, it rained all afternoon. It stopped off and on this evening, but really started to pour again around 10 pm. We had thunder and lightning as well. I stayed home for most of the day, but braved the monsoon when I decided to grab a tan. Vanity knows no weather. I also went down to the East Village in search of a Gay-A meeting that I suspect no longer meets. But after a really stressful weekend I was determined to get to a meeting. It would be my first one in nearly three weeks. I ended up going across town to the GLBT center and took in a meeting there. I dozed off for part of it but it was still very helpful. I'll look for a morning meeting before I go to bed, as I'm turning in early. I was going to go in for a few hours today to get ahead on some work, but between the weather and my own mental health, I decided to skip it. The work will still be there tomorrow.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
I've been here before. Not in a while, though. And longer still when I was sober. Yet here I am, early Saturday morning. I suppose I could make some breakfast but I'm afraid it would keep me awake. And I do need to grab some sleep before my next shift. And then it's finally my one day off.
I had to fire somebody today right off the floor. That's never fun. And it looks like someone else's head will roll tomorrow for another reason. The staff left the place a minor wreck after work today. We haven't been checking them out before letting them go. I gave them the opportunity to police themselves. Now I have to swoop in and be the bad cop instead. If I have to make them hate me or be afraid of me to get what I want I guess I pick fear. At least they can still fear me and love me at the same time.
Time for bed.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Opening shifts yesterday and today. I just realized that meant I was due in at 9 am. Yesterday I strolled in around 9:40. Today I'm shooting for 9:15.
More later. There should be time, the weather's atrocious.
UPDATE: Well I couldn't have been more wrong. I ended up getting to work at 9:50. Later than the day before. Everything that could go wrong did. The toilet clogged, the dog was on my heels all morning (I kicked him in the head twice, an accident I swear but he would not get off me), and I broke a houseplant pot closing a window from the rain. The zipper on my sweatshirt broke and I forgot my cell phone and my Palm. It was pouring rain out and that seems to turn everyone who isn't from New York into a major idiot. Grant me the serenity indeed.
I thought I would have an easy day, but I ended up having to update the staff phone list, and then make next weeks schedule for every department. I worked over 15 hours. The last 5 at my desk the whole time. That's not a complaint. Except for feeling guilty about neglecting the dog, I'm having a ball. I could fall asleep right now, but someone needs a walk before bed. He better pee fast ...
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
It appears the worst is over. At least I'm only extremely busy instead of swamped. I managed to get a big load of laundry done so I'm not forced to break into the emergency (read: old and droopy) underwear. I have a few hours in the morning to myself before I have to go in. My work day yesterday was only 13 1/2 hrs. instead of 15+. Believe it or not it felt noticeably better. And now that the kitchen is open we're actually getting a meal at the end of the day. That's most welcome. Many of my problems are relieved by a bowl of pasta.
Business-wise, we haven't been too busy out of the gate. Some of that has to do with opening on Easter weekend. And even though we don't have a crush of customers, I still have so many tasks to accomplish that I have work to do from the moment I get there. Actually, today I'm trying to get ready an hour early so I can get to Staples. We need some office supplies I'd rather pick out myself rather than leave for the office manager to get for us.
Speaking of offices, a side note. Right after I started this job, they located the manager's office off the kitchen, behind the chef's office, in a tiny room. This was not unheard of. Usually in any bar/restaurant I've worked in, the management office is one of the smallest rooms. Even if it is kind of the nerve center, it doesn't generate any income, so there you have it. However after less than a week, I was informed that the plan was to combine the managers and chefs from two rooms into one tiny tiny room that would be shared by all. That's at least 8 people and frequently many more at any one time. I protested immediately. I'm no diva, but a girl has to have room to breathe and besides, it was a security issue considering the money we would be handling vs. the amount of people around it. I was informed there was no choice. Fast forward to yesterday, as the chefs happily expanded their office into the one previously occupied by me and mine, and we set about setting up shop in fancy new digs in the corporate offices. Not only will I have access finally to a computer whenever I need it, I'll be able to get my work e-mail regularly and my very own desk and file cabinet. Plus, there's carpeting. I've died and gone to heaven.
And while I haven't had a moment to spare to attend any Gay-A meetings, I hope to get a couple in this week. Still, instead of my day count, today would be: Weeks without drinking: 9
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
I only ended up taking half of yesterday off. The NyQuill did its job and I slept for almost 13 hours. I said I was tired. When I got up, my phone was full of messages including one from my boss asking after me and if I might see my way clear to coming in. It seems that Thursday's easy party wasn't so easy as the guest list nearly tripled, and my ability to not panic in those situations would have come in handy. As an added incentive, he dangled the fact that the owners decided at the last minute to close this Sunday for Easter. Knowing me well enough by now that I would soldier on for a day or so if I know a day to myself is coming up. Once I was sure that even though I was still running a fever I was in no danger of any more hurling, I agreed. They took further mercy on me by letting me do all the scheduling and paperwork we're days behind on, and avoid having to go on the floor and run around. I agreed, because I was also worried about being around the public's food considering I had a stomach bug of some sort. Please, I'm contagious enough on my own. That worked out great as we hadn't found the time to put out a full weekly schedule for the staff. Of course, now they hate me because after the schedule was posted, nobody liked what they got. That honeymoon is officially over.
So, my stomach is still doing vile things to anything I eat, and I couldn't take a 12 year old girl at arm wrestling right now, but I'm up and around. I have a million things to get done today. Despite my best efforts, staff payroll got totally FUBAR and I'll have to start getting that cluster fuck sorted as soon as possible. I discovered last night that we have no method for receiving bar cash accurately, and no controls in place for cashing out the wait staff in a timely manner. And laundry. Lots and lots of laundry.
And so it goes ....
P.S. Thanks for the well-wishes for a speedy recovery. I had one.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Between being completely run-down and an opportunistic stomach bug, I finally crashed and burned today. I woke up thinking I was a little queasy from the pint of ice cream I ate on an empty stomach last night. It went downhill from there. After walking Jet in the morning I thought I would faint after climbing the stairs back home. I recovered enough to make it to work, but not without almost barfing on the subway on the way. I got to work on schedules and paperwork for a while, thinking I would eventually feel better. Instead I finally started to throw up. 3 times before they finally sent me home. Luckilly, we were only scheduled for an easy party tonight, cocktails and passed apps. Even my not ready for prime time staff is equal to that task.
I feel a little guilty but I rarely get sick. And besides, one of the owners went home sick the other day and our entertainment director never even made it today at all. I'm guessing she spent her day with her head or butt in the toilet as I have. I'm taking tomorrow off but plan on working as much as possible from the couch. I should be right as rain by Saturday. It's heading towards midnight and I feel well enough to sit up and bang this out. My roommate rallied behind me and fetched some cold and flu medicine for me and some dog food for Jet. She even poured me a glass of ginger ale to settle my stomach. I didn't eat all day until now, a little won-ton soup and some crackers.
Meanwhile, The NY Post ran a pretty accurate piece about the new restaurant. Read on if you want to see what I've been up to.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Monday, April 02, 2007
As previously mentioned, I had a new roommate move in during the first month of this year. She came with baggage of the animal variety. He's a bit yappy at times and he's totally not housebroken by any stretch of the imagination. But he is a loveable little furball, and he puts up with Jet being the bossy older brother so things could definitely be a lot worse. I plan on taking them out for walks together as soon as it warms up in the city.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
We're in the home stretch, at least to the opening day for the restaurant. In addition to the mention in People.com and The New York Times, there is an upcoming New York Post feature to be shot next week. I've heard talk that New York Magazine is working on a feature as well. I have nothing to do with arranging nor speaking to the press. The people that are invested in the venture are total media whores, and love whatever press they can get for themselves. This week in addition to the Jennifer Lopez record release (I can confess after the fact) we did an after concert party for Mika. He's been getting a ton of mainstream press, as well as a fair dose of controversy. The result of courting and cavorting with the gay goss-erazzi, all the while refusing to discuss/divulge his own butt-pirate proclivities. Honey, if you spend your entire night joined at the pear-shaped hip of a certain blue haired, stubby dicked (I just know) wanna-be celebu-taint, you're gay as groceries. It didn't work when The Gayken tried to pass, why should it work for you? And scene ...
Day off today, and then a week of training the staff on computer use and menu descriptions, as well as table numbers and cash out procedures. We're doing soft openings on Mon.-Weds. then a cocktail party opening on Thursday. Friday lunch we open to the paying public. Ready or not. I can't wait ' till all the "experts" and partners and consultants finally leave. They aren't annoying me nearly as much as when I first started, but it's tiring trying to get my work done and at least pretend to pay lip service to whatever ridiculous unrealistic idea pops into their heads. "Yeah sure, 8 waiters on a Monday lunch shift seems like a fantastic use of the available staff. I'll get right on that. SUCKAH!" I swear this is true, one of the chef/partners asked me why we had "all new people" on the party the other night. I actually had to explain that they were new because they'd only been employed for three days. Ah well, maybe he's an idiot-savant.
I'm getting along famously with my boss as well as one of the other managers and most of the office staff. Another manager took a leave after one day on the job when a good friend had to undergo cancer treatment. He'll be back in two more weeks, long after we get the opening underway, but the help will be appreciated. The other manager they've hired seems to be struggling. Either he's in the early stages of Parkinson's or he drinks. Knowing my chosen profession I'd have to go with the latter. In addition to the shakes he's moody, he can't get to work on time, and he's avoiding the morning shift like, well, quite frankly, me. I see so much of the old me in him I actually have taken to avoiding him. He makes me sad.
Being short a manager and 1/2 will make this week even harder than it naturally will be. In addition to somehow faking my way through a computer system we are woefully ill-prepared to implement, I'll have to come up with a list of managers closing and opening procedures, as well as an efficient logical way to close down the bars/registers. And I have to make sure the staff payroll records are in order, as well as create an office filing system from scratch. All with an eye towards making my life easier, of course.
Days without alcohol: 54.