Ramblings: The most AWESOME customer

Sometimes things happen at work that I can’t help writing about… I apologise in advance for the amount of times the word “awesome” appears in the below – it really did come out of the girls mouth at least, if not more, times than I have mentioned it.

It was 12:30am on a Saturday night and with half an hour to go until it was time to close the restaurant I was surprised that we hadn’t had any real crazies in, especially due to the intense heat and humidity that we had all been suffering through during the week. The weather was supposed to break slightly the next day, so I was just pushing through and couldn’t wait for the last few minutes to go by until we could close and get out of there. Two six tops of rowdy drinkers remained, as well as two girls who I had told as soon as they sat that we would be closing shortly, and they both said “oh no worries, we are just grabbing a bite and then heading home”.

Ten minutes later, I came out of the kitchen to find that one of the girls was slowly eating her dinner, while the other one had pushed hers aside and had fallen asleep on the table. Now I don’t mean head on her folded arms fallen asleep. No, literally sprawled out over onto the table next to her asleep, mouth wide open ready to start drooling, nearly snoring, asleep. And her friend was sitting across from her, acting as if everything were normal, stuffing her face (very slowly) with food while chatting on the phone. I went up to her and told her that we couldn’t have people sleeping in the restaurant, and if she wanted I could help get her friend in a cab. Her response was polite and articulate when she asked me for 5 more minutes to finish up and get her friend out of there. I granted her the time, especially seeing as her friend lifted her head and began to pull herself together.

Fifteen minutes later, all the other tables had left, the lights were up and the music off, the sleeping girl was back in her dead drunk sleeping position and the other girl was still slowly shoving food in her mouth, as if everything were normal in the world. Again, I went up to her, and told her that it was time to leave as we were closed, to which she responded “why did you question me on the state of my friend earlier? She is absolutely fine and I am fine too!”

Take a deep breath Jade… 

“Well first of all I cannot have anyone sleeping in the restaurant, and second of all I asked you 15 minutes ago to leave, and you said you would be done within 5.”

“But we are fine and I just want to finish my dinner.”

Another deep breath.

“I honestly don’t care if you are fine or not, I just can’t have anyone sleeping in the restaurant.”

“Well based on your outfit and on the fact that this is a bar, my friend can do whatever she wants here. This IS a bar, and it’s 1am!”

Hold hands behind back so that they do not impulsively fly out and smack the girl in the face, and take another deep breath.

“This is a restaurant, and we are now closed. Please leave right now, and get your friend home to her bed, as this is obviously what she needs. This is actually a family restaurant, and in any case, I would never let my friend sleep in a bar or a restaurant! There is absolutely nothing normal about this!”

“Well, in that case, if it’s a family restaurant, and I brought my child here, you wouldn’t complain if it fell asleep, so I really don’t know what the problem is here.”

Deep breaths not helping anymore.

“Oh don’t be stupid! Now get up and get out before I actually have to throw you out. You are completely ridiculous!”

“Oh so now you are calling me stupid? Well look at how you are dressed! You are just an AWESOME manager, you should be SO proud of yourself. I work on 5th Avenue and am 100% Mexican and you are Australian!!”

“I’m actually English and yes, I am an awesome manager. Have a wonderful night!”

At this point the sleeping girl starts to stumble towards the door, and her friend who obviously thinks it’s normal to pass out in public spaces, knocks her bag over, manages to pick it up and follows her friend towards the door, all the while telling me that I am AWESOME and that I have now really hurt our business because she is going to tell all her friends how AWESOME I am not. Scary. Oh and she works on 5th Avenue, and I really should do something about my outfit, because it’s really AWESOME. Oh and she works on 5th Avenue and I ONLY work in a restaurant so what do I care anyway?

Two seconds later we realised that her wallet had fallen under the table, so I ran out to give it to her. She thanked me by yet again telling me I was “AWESOME” and by checking that I hadn’t stolen anything.
The best part of the story is that 15 minutes later my coworker texted me that she sailed past them in a cab and they were still standing outside the restaurant, begging a cab to stop for them. Maybe next time drink a little less? Or order take out and eat it at home so your poor friend can get the rest she obviously needs.
I mean however AWESOME this girl was, she obviously forgot her restaurant etiquette when she walked through the door. Or maybe my shorts and t-shirt made her think that she was better than me in some way? Well I shall remain AWESOME and she can keep her spot on 5th Avenue, because I sure as hell am happy being AWESOME and working where I work.

Maybe someone can help her diversify her vocabulary too, because the word AWESOME is very overrated. And really doesn’t work when you are trying to be sarcastic.
At least quite a few laughs were had after this little incident... I am kind of hoping that she comes back so I can tell her how absolutely AWESOME she is!

Photography: Orchard Street

For the past two years I have spent most of my days (nights) on Orchard St, working, hanging out, chatting, eating, making friends, drinking, dancing, writing, working, pouring drinks, serving food, working and smiling. There is something very special about this one block on Orchard St that has been the main part of my life for a while now. I've been wanting to do some kind of photography project to document every day life on the block for the past few months, so over the past week I have had my camera on me at all times and have been taking random pictures of the street, the shops, the restaurants and bars, but also of friends and locals and business employees. It's not finished yet, there are a few people that either weren't around when I had my camera out that need to be part of this collection, so I am sure there will be updates over the next few weeks and months.

RosariosJamesTaqueriaCarlHanging coatsMoustache
Million dollar deliLuggageTony's tattoosMatt and TraciLate nightLate night 200
BereketStoop drinkingHiding behind a treeAriSilLe French Diner
LarryAri and JessyTonyJoe and JamieBiker boyAlejandro
Orchard St, a set on Flickr.

For the time being just click on the link above to see the entire set.

Ramblings: Every day is like Sunday

I used to hate Sundays. Friday nights were amazing because I had (sometimes) two full work-free days and three nights ahead of me, where I could let go and do all of the hundreds of things I never had time to do during the week days. But as soon as I would wake up on Sunday mornings I would start worrying about Monday morning. As each hour passed by I would think about how I had one less hour of freedom to enjoy. In the winter I would try to think of activities to do to take my mind off the impending doom that was going to bed, in the summer I would escape to the beach and secretly hope that the world would end before Sunday night approached. But it always inevitably happened… The night would close in and I would go to bed early, knowing full well that I would be plagued with stressful nightmares about missed deadlines and insanely long conference calls that never lead to anything concrete. Project plans would fly through the air and damage control emails would scroll through my mind, amidst dreams of machete-wielding men in suits chasing me through forests and deserts. Escape would only come when I awoke, and pulled myself out of bed to face the Monday morning commute and emails that would have come in during the weekend and the early morning hours.

Nowadays I love Sundays. I work most Sundays during the day at the bookstore and sometimes Sunday nights at the bar. Sunday evenings are for relaxing with friends, hanging out on the Lower East Side, staying out late and not worrying about having to get up early on Monday morning. Summer Sundays are for sitting outside and smoking cigarettes while chatting with friends, walking over the bridge during a storm, drinking ice cold drinks inside bars and eating ice cream at 4 in the morning. Winter Sundays are for going to late movie showings and eating too much popcorn and walking back home in the cold wind for a long, uninterrupted sleep, no nightmares or stress-related dreams on the horizon. The only work-related dreams I have nowadays are the occasional my-bed-is-in-the-bar and I need to jump out half naked to serve people pints of beer. These people have been members of Portishead and the cast of Buffy, as well as the usual regulars I serve on a daily basis. Sunday night nightmares have turned into Sunday night peaceful dreams.

I used to listen to Morrissey’s Everyday is Like Sunday on repeat on Monday mornings, and it always struck a chord: Sundays always felt so grey and dismal because Monday was coming up right behind her, always there in the shadows. Now I just listen to it and it makes me feel happy, walking barefoot in the sand on the beach, listening to the waves and feeling free. Nowadays every day is like Sunday, work or not, every day is different and the same all at once. Some things are never constant, but one thing is, I usually wake up with a smile.