Opulent douchebaggery.

(choice of song is almost random, although the “concentrate” part is useful to me right now…)

I’m back. It’s been a wild couple of weeks, I have to admit. A fundraising festival that broke our backs with its 600 participants, then too little time to actually recover from that event, then chicken pox. Yes, chicken pox. I’m 25 and I have a mild case of chicken pox. Twenty years too late, for that matter, but it’s still chicken pox. It’s just life’s way of saying “It’s never too late for me to come and sodomize you until you cry and beg for mercy”.

Try not to imagine me covered in red dots like in that episode of “Tom & Jerry”, it’s not that bad, at least not yet. My medical certificate says “Beginning” of the almighty chickin’ pox, but I keep my hopes up and pray that my immune system plays its part as always. But then again I got sick the wrong way. You usually get the back aches, headaches, sore throat, fatigue and nausea before you get the rash, I got it the other way around, in episodes. Day one was headache, day two was nausea, day three was back aches. Some persist, some go away swiftly. I’m forced to stay indoors anyway, and I truly and honestly don’t want to stay home sick. It’s annoying and depressing.

   “Yes, just like that.”

And that isn’t even the funniest part. I got it from a fellow waiter, who got it from his nephew. And the nephew got the entire school sick; the place looked abandoned for about a week – quite the outbreak, must say. And this particular childhood disease is very contagious, especially for children and pregnant women. And it gets worse for pregnant women, who are most likely to produce children with congenital malformations if they ever get the chicken pox during pregnancy. And since I come in contact with so many people on a daily basis, the doctor said it’s best I stay at home. I couldn’t disagree but I can honestly say that I don’t wanna I don’t wanna I don’t wanna stay at home!

Wait, I was telling you about the funniest part and I got sidetracked, as usual. They prescribe these antihistamines for the rash, Fenistil drops. The prospect says one shouldn’t drive or operate any kind of machinery while under this treatment, because the drops might cause drowsiness, sleepiness and fatigue. They should cut out the “might” from the sentence, it most certainly makes you drowsy and sleepy. I walk around like a zombie around the house, befriending my doors and checking twice whenever I type something. Like I was telling my friends the other day, I have to think and carefully look at the keyboard before writing more complicated words, including “antihistamines”… I did it again. For what it’s worth, the treatment is effective, I do get less itches, my skin is somewhat grateful. But still, I sleep so much. Too much! And too deep. I fell asleep at 21:00 last night, a friend called me around 22:00 and I was convinced that it was morning and also insisted upon the fact. We talked for about half an hour, I don’t remember a single word of the conversation and then I went out like a light. No dreams, nothing. These drops are CREEPY.

  “No shit?…”

 So I’m stuck inside the house for this week. Normally that would be nice – some time off bladibladiblah… BUT not sick. Staying at home, sick, just… just sucks. It gives me some time to rearrange the place a bit but still, it sucks.

Working in a hotel (and quite the fancy kind of hotel) puts you in contact with a lot of people on a daily basis. Some give you the chicken pox, others just give you the nausea directly. I’ve met some of the world’s greatest assholes throughout my jobs in hotels. And this job isn’t different either – except for the pay, it’s so damn good to be out of my country, you can’t even begin to imagine. Anyway!

I’ve met Satan. This stumpy 60-something-year-old lady who probably didn’t have toys while growing up. She probably worked hard or just married a rich prick, but she obviously got a taste of the good life and now she’s the nightmare of anyone in the hospitality industry. Seriously, people go pale when she comes around. And my God does she enjoy to torture and irritate people.

“Bring me a cup of warm water, not too hot, not cold either, just warm, with slices of lemon, a bottle of water – one of the large ones you keep for breakfast, not the small expensive ones! Bring me some totally skimmed milk with another cup on the side… I’ll have the large salad like that guy, with less bell pepper, less onion, less garlic, more salad and corn, the medium rare steak – what’s taking so long, a steak should be done in five minutes, your staff is incompetent… Bring me some fruit, I’m not interested in your buffet, I want cherries. I don’t care if you don’t have any, you must procure them for me… Oh I see you’ve brought me cherries. Bring me a spoon too, how am I going to eat them?! Bring me a crème brulee. Oh it’s so good, but it makes you fat, I’m on a diet. Bring me another one.”

 “And while you’re at it, bring me your still beating heart on a silver platter.”

That lady needs a waiter just for her. She makes you run, she bathes in your misery and she enjoys playing the part of the pretentious bitch. I was once taught that there are good customers and difficult customers. But once in a while, life teaches you that there are also the impossible clients. The ones you serve quickly, blatantly ignore their subtle insults and pray to the point of crying that they leave as quickly as possible. They’re not happy, no matter what you do. There will always be something wrong. If she spends five days eating at the same table and dropping hints that that’s her table, on the sixth day you will prepare that table just for her. On that same day she will walk in and choose a different table. She wants to eat outside. Double the runs for you, you unlucky prick.

I thought that this thirst for useless opulence was a trait of my own people. But then I went out and noticed that it’s spread worldwide too, just in smaller quantities. People take people for granted. And let me say something, before the drops kick in.

Your waiter is not your slave. Your waiter is a guy who gets paid to smile at you and put food on your table, pour wine in your glass and thank you for paying your bill. He is a human being, most likely ten times smarter than you are. He’s probably doing this job as a means to an end, paying for college or a better car. He’ll probably do better than you ever will. He’s your waiter, not your servant, you opulent douchebag. You should be more careful with how you treat him – it’s a general rule: Never insult your waiter, bartender or chef. You don’t want to engage in a Russian roulette of “where did he spit?”.

“My bet’s on the ravioli!”

I’m simply allergic to people who forgot where they came from. They forgot about the days when there wasn’t any dinner because they simply couldn’t afford one. They forgot about wearing the same clothes to school because they simply couldn’t afford new ones. They forgot about driving the same pile of junk to work every day, they even forgot the day it broke down and never came back to life. They forgot the blood, the sweat and the tears it took to get them where they are now. And for that reason alone I do not give a shit about them, about who they are and about what they do.

You can be a rocket scientist, acclaimed novelist or a famous whatever. If you talk down on people and graciously play the part of the pretentious prick, then you mean nothing, you are nothing and you deserve nothing. Ancient philosophy says that before you start demanding respect, you should show respect.

There’s a reason why there’s an urban myth about the waiter spiting in your drink.

  “You’re damn right I did.”

They didn’t tell you this about WORK, did they?

I’ve had a very long day, so I reserve the right to be head of the bitch pack today.

I have an issue with the job industry. People have this obnoxious habit of making simple jobs seem extremely complicated and extremely complicated jobs sound like dream jobs. How many of you haven’t heard the following during a job interview:

“It’s a walk in the park. You fill out some forms, check and sort the mail and make coffee for the occasional guest.”

Nobody tells you the stinky and ugly truth.

“There might a couple of extra hours, but it’s nothing you can’t handle.”

Oh yes, pay a lot of attention on those job interviews. There’s no such thing as a “dream job”, not even if your name is Richard Branson. We all have to work our asses off to get the good stuff. When someone tells you that you’ll make a lot of money by doing almost nothing or what seems to be not enough, they’re feeding you large sacks of shit. I’ve been there. Well, me and billions before me. But still, it’s my duty to share some of the experience, so I can later say “I told you so”. It’s my woman nature and I always get to say it. Live with it.

When your future employer tells you that you might have to do some overtime once in a while, you might as well bring a tent, a sleeping bag and spare clothes to work. When you’re told that if you do the extra mile, you’ll get great extra earnings, that usually means that you’ll toil like an idiot, spending more on medication to rebuild your immune system which you’ve damaged with too much work and little sleep, than all those appealing bonuses that they keep dangling before your nose. Sit, Sparky, sit. Nothing comes easy. If it sounds easy, it’s either a scam or a nice lie. Not all of us are fortunate enough to do what we like – and even those have to work hard to get results.

“Most of us will toil and die in misery. Glory and riches come afterwards. You suckers.”

Quick note to those who actually have it easy: you’re nature’s way of laughing in the rest of humanity’s face. We don’t like you.

Some of us become police officers. We go in deep, convinced that we’ll become the next CSI or CBI squad, but we’re faced with the harsh reality when it’s too late (basically when we start to enjoy blowing that whistle).

“At least I get to move my arms around.”

Some of us become doctors, dreaming of the day we’ll receive a heartfelt thanks for saving someone’s life. Nobody prepares us for the long hours of looking up people’s noses or asses.

“I’ve had my elbows deep in green poop this morning and I had guacamole and chips for lunch. I’m doing great!”

Some of us become firefighters, lawyers, accountants and so on – we all go in deep dreaming of great careers, a house on the beach, medals of honor and a nice car. Nobody tells us that it takes years of blood, sweat and tears to get there. Most of us don’t even make it that far, because we can’t toil ourselves into kidney failure and let’s face it, most of us are just too nice, too scared or too simple to get our hands dirty for the extra cash. We’re taught from a very young age that the only way that we can get results is through hard work. But nobody has the balls to tell us that we might end up losing more important things on the way.

“Like the decent hairline.”

In the end, it’s a matter of choice. While some of us will go the distance and get buried in paperwork or debris, just to go home to a TV and a fat cat, the others will take it a little easier and squeeze in a wife and three kids. Life is shitty that way – we rarely get everything we want and it usually comes at a very high price. Yet I’m puzzled by this guy, I can’t figure out if he really likes his job or he lost a very ugly bet. Either way, he makes janitors look freakishly cool.

The other extreme is even more irritating. A lot of people tend to make simple jobs sound like nuclear science. Why do I need tons of experience to be a waitress, for example? Or a shoe salesman? If I’m decently smart, I can learn this in a day, maybe two. If I’m special and not retarded, or plain stupid, I can spend fifteen years bussing tables and still trip on my shoe laces and pour hot coffee in someone’s lap, on a daily basis. I’ve heard so many people ask me: “For how long did you work as a waitress? Do you know how to do this?”

Let’s make something clear. I’m talking about a normal no-star job, like 70% of the world’s bars. It doesn’t require techniques, only a clean and decent look, a good attitude, a smile and at least an impression that you know what you’re doing. A five year old can kick our asses at this. If it’s not a five star venue, why the hell bother? Who is desperate enough to check if you serve their coffee on the right side? I’m pretty sure that the scrawny shoe salesman who stops by Louie’s Café doesn’t need a silver spoon to eat his chili, nor does he need his eggs and bacon on the right side – the guy’s hungry, just give him his damn food and smile, for fuck’s sake.

What experience do you need to work as a salesman? Or as a bartender? You pick it up as you go. If you want to be really good at it, then you take up a course or read a useful book. You show interest. But really, why all this fuzzy-nuzzy-bullshit? They should ask for a decent level of intelligence, not experience. Experience is NOTHING without a good working brain attached to it. How can you trust your merchandise and cash register with a nineteen year old Concetta who doesn’t know how much is 10+45? I’m serious, it happened right before my eyes. How can you trust your bar to someone who picks his nose right before he pours your coffee then frowns over his fingers, looking for his booger? Yes, that killed my appetite. I just hope it killed yours too.

“And I spit in it too, because I don’t like your smug face. But you didn’t see that.”

I’ve been told that without previous work experience here in Italy, it’s hard for me to find a job. So what, the other five years of work back home don’t matter at all? Well, there’s a question of customs here, customs that you’re not used to, I’ve also been told. Like what, putting a cup in a small plate on a table or chatting with my boyfriend on the phone while I serve a bagel and tea? I mean seriously, I come from strangely different standards. I don’t really like my country, but I have to admit that on a restaurant/café level, we get shit done. And besides, bussing tables and mixing sours is what college students are best at! And most of them weren’t prepared for these jobs, their parents didn’t give them their milk bottle and said: “Honey, when you’re eighteen and still unable to tie your shoelaces, you’ll be serving pizza and pasta to pay for your college books!”.

“Also, you’ll have a lot of unprotected sex and flaming shots.”

You see, it takes years of study and practice to get certain jobs done. Medics will know what I mean. All those years of quick lunching next to a dissected corpse will pay off as a life saving experience later. It takes a couple of days, a decently bright mind and good will to learn other jobs. It would be wonderful if they’d just stop making waitresses sound like fucking rocket scientists.

“Would you like some fries with that?”

Ze Calendar

June 2017
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