Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Middle of Nowhere

Currently in Coober Pedy, South Australia

I'm in the desert in the middle of Australia.

It is amazing out here. 36 degrees C at the moment, arid red earth, opal mines, weird underground dugout homes and businesses, the most amazing amount of stars in the night sky.

The land is so flat here, I've never seen a bigger sky, even in Canada.

We slept in an underground camping area last night, it was fantastic (asides from the snorer in the cave next to us). The caves stay a constant cool temperature so we didn't have to worry about the heat, or the bugs, which was even more important. The flies are about to drive me mad and my body looks like a minefield from all the bug bites (one I suspect is from a spider, but thankfully it's gone down a little today).

I'm off to explore the town and make sure I check my shoes and under the toilet seat for spiders and scorpions. We also have no mobile signal anywhere around here. Oh the joy!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Happy Camper

Currently in Adelaide, South Australia

Having internet so few and far between has really been convincing me that I need to buy a laptop if I want to actually document any of the adventures we're having along the way.

We departed on Monday from Melbourne and spent the first few days along the Great Ocean Road, braving wind and rain and enjoying the intermittent sunshine.

The first night we spent in a rainforest, miles away from any sort of civilisation, running water and electricity. Of course we forgot a lot of essentials like sleeping mats, pillows, fuel for the burner, fire lighters, a few tent pegs, enough fresh water ... But it was a beautiful place. It was a valley that flooded in the 50s after a landslide, and is supposed to be a haunt of platypuses. We didn't see any, even though we looked really hard. We also neglected to put seam sealer on one of the seams of the new tent, so the inside was a little damp in the morning. On our way out was the first time we noticed the sign that said "Campsite Temporarily Closed". Oops.

I have no time left ... but will endeavour to note down more of the better stories. From here in Adelaide we are heading up through the famous Barossa Valley wine region to sample some vino, up to Coober Pedy, the underground mining town, and then up to Uluru (Ayer's Rock)! We didn't think we'd get anywhere near there so it's very exciting. More to come ...

Monday, October 24, 2005

On the road again ...

I've spent a fantastic week in Melbourne, catching up with multitudes of friends, experiencing fantastic hospitality, exploring the city, procuring new possessions, visiting new bars and meeting extremely random white trash.

Just being picked up by the Telstar that will be my home for the next three weeks ...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Lifeguard of the World (America, Fuck Yeah!)

Currently in Melbourne, VIC, Australia

I was going to write about an incident that I had yesterday at the post office where the guy wasn't going to process a travelers' cheque for me without charging me $7. I argued, of course. But I got my way in the end, thanks to the helpdesk lady agreeing with me.

I sort of forgot all about that after watching Rove Live last night. I met up with some mates from Edinburgh (after walking past the Spiegeltent, yay!) and we went to the pub for $5 steak (which was surprisingly good!). We had a good catch up, and then went back to Ange's for ice cream and Ice Magic, yum. Rove happened to be on and we settled down to watch it, since The Hoff is in town and was one of Rove's guests. How could I miss an opportunity to see the
Hoffmeister live?

[If you are in NZ and you get the chance to watch Rove on Friday, DO IT, and then let me know what you thought.]

His entrance was completely ridiculous. It was all leather pants, leather jacket, double finger guns, strutting and a "Don't Hassle [Hassel?] the Hoff" t-shirt. Seriously. He is so American it's unbelievable. Rove was extremely excited (he's so cute).

They did the mandatory talk about the Hoff craze, the emails etc. Hoff said that he had tried to explain it all to his dad, who didn't understand (it soon became apparent that the Hoff doesn't really get it either). They showed a montage of Hoff pictures, some of which I hadn't seen before and were actually quite good.

They should have just shown Hoff pisstakes for 10 more minutes.

The next bit was about which show he loved the most, and he said that while the running along the beach paid much better, he was still "living Knight Rider". So sad.

They talked about how Baywatch is officially the most watched show in the world (Guinness Book of Records) - i.e. the number of people that have ever watched Baywatch is equal to the population of the world or something equally disturbing.

When asked what the appeal of the show was, Hasselhoff started waxing on about all sorts of random things, and then, unbelievably, said that America was, like, "the lifeguard of the world", man. And THAT is the reason people watched Baywatch, my friends. Because it was a metaphor for the world we live in.

He then proceeded to talk about a trip that he made to Iran, where he saw all these women with those "what are those things called again [putting one hand over his forehead and one under his eyes]?" Who apparently said "Baywatch, Baywatch" [in a horrible "Iranian" accent, with his hands still covering his face].

One of my friends had to get up and leave the room at this point. The train was completely off the rails by then, I was hooked. I couldn't stop watching, I was in awe that he was so aw(e)ful.

I am finding this quite difficult to relive in my mind as well, by the way.

Rove asked him about his music career. They showed a hilarious clip of him singing in a keyboard scarf and black leather jacket with flashing lights all over it. He was really popular in Germany apparently. He was asked to sing after the demolition of the Berlin Wall, and now he actually seems to think that he was instrumental in the reunion of East and West Germany. What a hero. There was also more racial faux pas here where he did a "German" accent,
which I think I have repressed already.

This led on quite seamlessly to his shameless plug of his upcoming "Hofficial" World Tour. Dear God. There was a website (it's on the Rove site, I won't link it here), which he told people to go to to register their interest in him coming to Australia. He really, really thinks that people like him. Enough to go and see him in concert. It's almost sad.

When I thought it couldn't get worse, Rove asked the Hoff what he was thinking while auditioning such "actresses" as Pamela Anderson and Carmen Electra. Hoff said "I was looking for a restroom." And then, unbelievably, repeated "I was looking for a restroom." Then an obligatory "that'll get me in trouble with my wife".

All I have to say is "Eww."

I am traumatised.

He is everything that (Team) America stands for, in leather pants.

Monday, October 17, 2005

America, fuck yeah

I am in Australia though, just in case you're confused.

I arrived in Melbourne yesterday morning after a slight misunderstanding about the daylight savings, which made my flight seem an hour longer (which was bad, especially since I was trying to improve on my hour of sleep while a small child was kicking the back of my seat).

Lovely Jared picked me up and we went back to his flat in Yarraville which is gorgeous. If I was in town when they leave, I would totally take it off their hands. Met some of the locals as well, which was hilarious. The only thing I'm going to have to get used to here is the indoor smoking again.

We spent the day doing easy Sunday things like having lunch, coffee and watching movies. I finally saw Team America, World Police, which I'm so happy to say I loved.

I slept in today and have just spent the afternoon shopping in the city. I have a new mobile, which I can't wait to play with, and a new number (which you can email me for if needs be).

The sun is out, I get to wear a skirt and sunglasses, and all is good in the world.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Off to see the Wizard

Well I’m off again.  Just had an hour of sleep and then a shower and a coffee, which will have to do me til I get into my seat on the plane.  

I went out for a lovely dinner on Friday night (mate dates with hot guys are second only to real dates with hot guys) and then met up with friends from Edinburgh who came into the city and saved me the drive (yay).  Had a brief but very nice catch up with them before they had to depart for sleep/airport (I should be so disciplined).  After that was a visit to a party, which was nice and chilled but ran late too.

Yesterday I woke up around lunchtime and tried to get my packing sorted.  Again.  I actually got some things into my backpack this time though which was productive.  Before I knew it my ride had arrived though and I was off to dinner and Sing Along Sound of Music with a few girlfriends.  It was absolute hilarity for the most part, so many people had dressed up (nuns, goats, brown paper packages, snowflakes on eyelashes, the hills, etc etc) and there were all sorts of actions and interactive bits during the movie.  But damn that movie is long, especially when you add in costume prizegivings and teaching us how to boo Nazis.  Afterwards I went up to the restaurant and had a few glasses of wine and did some general hanging out with people.  A trip out to the suburbs and then home, and it’s bloody 4am.  How does that happen?

Time to go now … hopefully I’ll be able to post semi-regularly from the road in Oz.  Til then, email me and whatnot …

Friday, October 14, 2005

Here's my card ...

I got my Pleasure Cards in the mail yesterday.  They may sound dodgy, but they’re not business (i.e. pleasure) cards.  They are very cool, and just have my email address on them (as my phone numbers etc are always changing depending on where I live).  The website allows people to store a profile online, including more contact details, photos etc.  They even gave me a free set that I wasn’t expecting.  I am so stoked with that.

This is just a short post because I have a huge mountain of laundry to sort through as part of my packing process.  

I am hopefully going to meet up with a few friends from Edinburgh (i.e. I met them there) tonight.  Unfortunately they’re all based just outside of Auckland, but this means I might get to go on a mini trip to catch up with them.  Fun fun fun.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I can't feel my face

I just got back from the dentist and running a few errands.  She replaced an old filling that was turning a bit dodgy and now half of my face is totally numb.  It’s frustrating mostly because I haven’t eaten all day and don’t really want to until I feel I have control of my masticatory function.

It was also difficult to buy travelers’ cheques at the bank since I couldn’t talk properly.  Not helped by the fact that the girl was new and didn’t really know what she was doing.

I bought my bandanna for CanTeen (after a huge search – you’d think in one of the biggest malls in the country someone would have them).  It is bright blue with butterflies on it.  I decided to be optimistic about the summer and not go with black or red like I always do.  It’s girly but I like it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Charity begins at home

I had a very lazy day today.  

I woke up early (well, considering I went to bed after 4am), as I usually do after I’ve been drinking.  I went out for a long overdue brunch with a friend and was treated with grounds in my coffee and laughable service from a girl who couldn’t speak English and was struggling through her first day.  My breakfast was thankfully really good, even though it lacked hash browns.

The only other thing of note I did today was donate blood.  I strongly suggest people do this regularly if they can.  It’s about the only charitable thing I do, asides from just being me.  

Actually, that is a lie.  I do donate when I can.  And I’d like to mention that this month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month [American site] (the Sky Tower is lit in pink as part of the very cool Global Landmark Illumination Campaign). This week is also Bandanna Week, in support of CanTeen, a charity for teens and young adults with cancer.  Get a ribbon, get a bandanna.  They are great causes.  

I am going to get my bandanna tomorrow.  The last one at the blood centre tonight was grey, which isn’t really my colour.  I will donate, I swear.

Party Party Party

Monday was very busy, but mostly in an unhurried way.

My first appointment was at the hairdresser. She is also a co-worker, so we had plenty to chat about, especially with the staff party later on that night. She totally Asian-ed up my hair, making it poker-straight (which never lasts) with caramel highlights. I’m still surprised at how light it is, but I’m getting used to it. It looks good, and it’s not Asian Orange.

We had lunch together and then I did some shopping, ran some errands, scored free coffee from my sister’s café and met a friend for a hot chocolate (I’d already had three coffees by that point). I bought this bag with the aid of a gift certificate from Ms Sullivan and Smoove, personalised care of Edward Monkton and Ms Bond. It is awesome. I also ordered this bag, which is a great combination of chemistry and comedy. I am a geek and I will have to wait 6-8 weeks to start proving it to the public.

I picked up my last lot of tips (a fat wad of $5 notes, to make me feel richer?) and made it home just in time to get ready (including a minor wardrobe crisis), get back to the city to meet one of the girls and drive to Non Solo Pizza in Parnell for dinner. Dinner was quite a civilised affair, eleven of us who weren’t working that night. We had three courses of great Italian food with wine, and it was just a pity that the service didn’t quite compare (we weren’t being too judgmental, honestly). Unfortunately we ended up being “those people” – the large group who order desserts and cheese after everyone else has left and then all pay individually by credit card. We also somehow managed to be minus nearly $60 after everyone else paid, so one of the girls and I were out of pocket a bit more. And I forgot to get the parking validated. Gutted.

We headed down to the bar for the party shortly after 11pm. I expected far fewer people there since service usually finishes around that time, but the tiny venue was quite busy. We all got our hands full of free drink tokens and ordered some cocktails. I really enjoyed seeing everyone without the pressure of work, and even managed to smooth over a couple of minor conflicts that had occurred in the past (I am still “that bitch”, however). There was much less drama and drunken debauchery than I had anticipated too, which is always a good thing (not that I will be there to hear all the gossip this week). I took advantage of the free drinks and taxi home, although not to quite the same vomit-inducing stage that a couple of the girls did.

I think it was partially due to the fact that there was no dance floor (and the drinks were free) that people got so drunk so quickly and a lot of them left quite early on. I stayed right til the ugly lights came on (as I am wont to do), immersed in a deep and meaningful at the back of the bar. I think I managed to tell everyone that I’m coming back to save them for Christmas, mostly because I couldn’t stand to hear them beg me not to leave. So sweet but so sad. I didn’t cry!

Sunday, October 09, 2005


Today is my first day of freedom from the yoke of employment!

Okay, technically I’m still employed, but have put my full resignation on hold pending a payrise. But nevertheless I’m on holiday for the next seven or eight weeks.

Yesterday I woke up early to get my tyres sorted out. I lay in bed for a while listening to the massive rolling thunderstorm outside. I was hoping and praying that my tyre was still inflated from the night before and I wouldn’t have to do something mechanical in the raging weather.

Thankfully the tyre still looked fine, and the weather cleared up during the time it took for me to shower and get ready (typically Auckland weather). It was blazing sunshine by the time I got to the tyre shop and then raining again when I left. It turns out that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my original tyre, but the spare I was driving on had a nail through it. Go figure.

I texted my friends to let them know that I would be a little late for brunch due to my car trouble. I got a text back saying “Thanks Wendy, but who are you?” Huh? It turns out that that number wasn’t my friend’s at all, and it belonged to a total random called Ben. And Ben wanted to know about me. Seriously. Since texting is free on the weekends, I had a bit of a “chat” with him, and then he asked if he could text me later! I said okay but told him not to be upset if he didn’t get a reply. Weird.

I had a fabulous brunch after I finally arrived. We had pancakes with bacon, banana and real Canadian maple syrup. More pancakes with lemon and sugar. More bacon and scrambled eggs with parsley and tomato. It’s always great to catch up with old friends, and I even found out that one of them is getting married the day after the other wedding I have to be back for. It’s going to be a big weekend!

My last night at the restaurant was a little disappointing to be honest. It wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good, it wasn’t crazy and it wasn’t easy. Just a regular busy Saturday night with me finishing last so there was nobody left to convince me to go out. I was too tired to anyway, which sucks. My boss convinced me to have some bubbles with him (he will use any excuse, seriously). I didn’t get a cake. The reference he wrote for me was extremely complimentary though, and didn’t have near as many calories.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The kindness of strangers

I was leaving the staff carpark after work tonight when I realised that the car felt funny.

*Flashback* to Tuesday when my busser was telling me the same thing happened to her. Her story ended with her having to call her dad in in the middle of the night to come and change the flat tyre.

*Flashforward* to me parking the car again and getting out to look.

The right front tyre is completely flat. Unbelievable.

I contemplate calling my dad. He's only 5 minutes away and is likely still up at midnight. My mule-like stubbornness kicks in (with mulesque kicking) though, and I open the boot to get the spare and the tools out.

I've only just managed to put the jack under the car (and this isn't a reflection on my jack-positioning skills, this is just how quickly it happened) and four people walk by and ask if I'm okay. I say yes, but the two women insist that their men help me out. That's what men are for, after all (according to the women anyway).

Big strong man changes my tyre for me. I provide wet wipes and look on gratefully.

Spare tyre goes on, car gets lowered.

And then to make matters even more interesting, the spare tyre was flat as well!

I was gutted. The lovely people offered to take the spare to the petrol station to pump it up for me after we discovered the tow truck across the road had no pump facility.

The women stayed with me and chatted while the men went on the tyre pumping mission.

Big strong man comes back and puts the tyre back on for the second time. It seems okay.

More wet wipes are handed out.

They remind me to drive home slowly (in the torrential rain), and that the work isn't guaranteed.

I don't even know their names.

It puts a little of my faith back in humankind when total strangers will freely donate an hour of their time complete with kindness and physical exertion at the end of a long night.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Orange mocha frappuccinos!

I have just found out that I have a wedding to attend in Auckland on the 26 th of November (this means there will be a cut off date for the Australian jaunt). It will be the first wedding I've ever attended as an adult, so it's very exciting. I seem to have missed all my friends' weddings due to being out of town. Now I just have to worry about finding an outfit. And a present. And maybe a date. Yikes.

Postscript on Smarmy Guy and The Shrew:

I realised I totally missed one of the stand-out repeated comments of the evening.

The Shrew, from the lift, cigarette in hand, harping on about the bill: "Why are you being so negative towards us?"

Smarmy Guy, literally a minute later, after I place the bill and confirm the beer order: "Why are you being so negative towards us?"

Obviously they had just been discussing this at the table. It matters not how I dealt with it. All that matters is that it reminds me of the reconciliation scene in Zoolander.

Derek: "Why you been acting so messed up towards me?"
Hansel: "Why you been acting so messed up towards me?"

Now all I need is for Smarmy Guy and The Shrew to come back up one day and say to me "I'm sorry I was wack!"

I love that movie.

Family Ties

Last night I was in the middle of service (around 8.30, about the busiest point of the evening) when the duty manager came to speak to me.

“Wendy, apparently you have some relatives downstairs at Ming Court [the Chinese restaurant that my sister runs] who you haven’t seen in 20 years. Your sister called to ask if you could go down to see them.”

WTF? She's in "the business"; she knows I can’t leave my section at 8.30.

The DM manages to convince my sister to bring the Long Lost Relatives up the Tower [notice I always capitalise Tower, like it’s God or something. Eep.] instead of me going down.

DM comes up to me again a little while later.

“Want to hear the good news?”

“Err. What?”

“Apparently there’s about 10 of them.”


My brother and sister come up to the restaurant and inform me that the LLRs are on the main observation level. My hands are covered in the remains of someone’s dessert. Gross. I can’t meet people like this after 20 years (although I can imagine when I was 2, or 4, or whatever, I was a bit of a mess as well). So I run and wash my hands. I’m just in a hurry to get this over and done with so I can get back to running my section.

Turns out this lady came over to NZ with my aunt and my grandmother back in the day (late 70s/early 80s). I don’t think she is an actual relative. Also, it was (unsurprisingly) at my mother's insistence that my sister call and drag me down. She is lucky I was having a slow night.

We take the stairs down since the lifts are full. I meet two women and three girls, who I assume are daughters of one of the women. 10 people was a bit of an exaggeration. They don’t speak English. I don’t speak Cantonese. Un. Comfortable. I do thank them for giving me money though (a Chinese tradition which I obviously appreciate). I’m not an ingrate.

So we spend another couple of minutes establishing the fact that my brother and I don’t speak Chinese (this is always so embarassing), and then I escape back up to the restaurant.

When I get there, one of the hosts is all mock-disappointed. “I thought you were going to introduce me to your mother.”

Fat chance.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Social boundaries

I walked past my fourth form (Year/Grade 9) maths teacher today on the way in to work this morning. I didn’t say anything to him since that was over 10 years ago (oh my God), and also “Hey Mr A, how’s life been treating you since you resigned from your job to date one of your 16 year old students?” probably isn’t an appropriate introductory question. But is it okay to say something inappropriate when it’s about something that is in itself extremely inappropriate? Dilemma.

I had no weirdos last night! It was insanely busy, I had a new busser and I actually had to physically handle one of the many children with ADHD running through my section (I have come to really enjoy telling brats off, and it’s almost as much fun to berate the parents), BUT there were no shenanigans and most of the customers were lovely. Yay.

Security Update: The little security man sent an angry email to my manager re: two of us not wearing our IDs. Ooooh, I'm shaking in my boots.

Monday, October 03, 2005

More tales from the Tower

Memo to the security department:

On our dinner break I went down to the staff cafeteria for a bite to eat. I was with two other staff members and two of us (one of them being me) had forgotten to bring our IDs down from the Tower. We had dinner and then as we were leaving the cafeteria, we were accosted by a little security man.

"Did you know you were supposed to wear your ID at ALL times back of house?"

"Yeah, yeah … " We keep walking.

(To our backs): "Put your IDs on RIGHT NOW!"

"Um, we don't have them, we left them upstairs."

"You are supposed to wear them at ALL TIMES back of house!"

"Yes, we know. We just forgot. We're heading back up right now though." (We do know, we did just forget, mostly in our hurry to get out of work and get some food).

"That doesn’t matter! What's your manager's name?"

I tell him.

"What are your E [employee] numbers?"

I tell him mine. The other girl doesn't know hers.

He whips out a little black pleather-covered notebook (police-style, seriously) and makes us repeat all the information again. Interrogation from someone with Little Man Syndrome. Excellent, just what we need when we're late for work already.

He finally lets us go.

The first thing I do is tell my managers to expect a call.

I wonder if this will earn me any demerit points.

My very first complaint:

I was slammed. I was given the biggest, baddest section for the busiest night we've had in ages (we did 352 people, where 310 or so is a normal busy Saturday night). Usually this section has two seniors in it or at the least a very capable busser. I had a competent but not very experienced busser. Things were going as well as they could be.

We got a new group on table 50. A shrewish middle-aged blonde woman, a timid looking younger blonde woman, a smarmy young man in a leather jacket. They look a little white trashy, but who are we to comment? They decide not to have dinner, just desserts.

One ice cream to share, a cocktail, a hot chocolate and a beer.

Now although it is in my nature to pass down judgement from on high, it shouldn’t really come into the workplace. However, we do have a minimum charge ($25/$20 per person for dinner/dessert), which covers the $18 ticket cost of coming up the tower. It’s quite challenging to spend less than the minimum if you actually want food, so it’s normally not an issue.

When a table is spending $10 or $11 each, I start to get a bit concerned. Especially if they’re the sort of people that look like they’re going to skip out on the bill. Even if they’re not, it’s always somewhat awkward discussing the fact that they’re going to have to buy something else, or I’m going to have to charge them for nothing.

Also, my busser has informed me that Smarmy Guy is an ass. So I keep an eye on them.

When their shared dessert is done and their drinks are low, I go by and ask if they would like anything else. Smarmy Guy orders another Stella Artois, the ladies decline anything further.

I pick up his beer from the bar, and on my way back discuss enforcing the minimum charge with the duty manager. Ordinarily, close enough is good enough for me, but I am quite keen to make a point with these people. The manager says I can do whatever I think is best.

When I get back to the table, Smarmy Guy already has a full Stella in front of him.

What follows is a dialogue between SG, myself and The Shrew about the fact that I should give them the Stella for free anyway, as it was an honest mistake (huh?). When I argue that it’s not a mistake until I put it on the table, SG says “Oh, you’re smart, aren’t you?” Yes, actually. At this point, I gently ask whether they know about the minimum spend, as they may want the extra Stella to make up the difference. SG says “But I might want something different later … like a Heineken.” Stop wasting my time, ass. I have 40 other people to look after.

Later, table 50 asks my busser about smoking facilities. The smoking deck is one level above us, and going there involves leaving the restaurant. She is worried about them doing a runner (as am I), so I go and speak with them.

I tell them where the smoking deck is, but also that it is restaurant policy that we hold a form of payment at the desk if they do leave the restaurant (note that we are not charging them, just holding a credit card for insurance). Smarmy Guy says “Why, don’t you trust us?” and I reply with the usual company policy line. At this point The Shrew starts getting particularly jumpy and defensive.

“Just get us the bill then!” I think she thinks she is displaying offence at my comment by suggesting that they just leave as opposed to being subjected to this sort of humiliation. I’d rather they did leave.

“Well ma’am, as I mentioned before, I will have to charge you $20 each if I arrange the bill now.” [Note I am charging them for just desserts, not the dinner they had originally come in for.]

“Well, we spent money downstairs at the bar! I have the receipt!” She yanks a receipt from her handbag and waves it at me.

“I’m sorry ma’am but it must be within this restaurant. I can’t accept that receipt. Would you still like me to arrange the bill with the extra charge on it?”

Meanwhile, she is spouting increasingly frenetic variations of “Just get me the bill!”

“Very well, ma’am.” I am so polite.

I spend the next few minutes trying to get my manager to sign off on the charge, which inadvertently gets me on the bad side of the hostesses, who can turn into the Uber-Bitches of Satan at whim. I am not in a good mood. I walk past the lifts, and notice The Shrew waiting for the doors to close, cigarette already in one hand.

Another exchange follows where she snaps at me when I mention that I have her bill ready. Maybe she should just mainline the nicotine, I think she needs it.

Reluctantly, I let her go. I go to the table and present the bill to Smarmy Guy.

He asks for a Heineken.

I nearly lose it.

He wants a f*cking Heineken.

They’ve just wasted not only my time, but the time of the hosts, managers, my busser and everyone other table in my section.

I explain, as calmly as I can, that I have already charged them $10.50 for nothing, as The Shrew (or as I say, “the lady”) insisted on the bill. He still wants the beer (“Don’t worry, I have cash!” in a don’t-you-think-we-can-pay? voice).

I order him the damn beer.

When The Shrew is finally at the desk with the bill (which doesn’t have the last Heineken on it), I ask the hostess to take the beer off their tab. I am still trying not to completely screw them over. The Shrew asks to see the manager, as she wants to complain about “this particular person here”, without “this particular person being here”. The cigarette obviously didn’t help her. I look at her and say cheerily “I’ll go see if I can find him, ma’am!”

The story changes quite abruptly from my side to hers. Apparently she never asked for the bill, and I also came running at her while she was in the lift, waving the bill and screaming like a banshee. I wish I was allowed to do that.

They end up paying for exactly what they had.

In my mind, the only people who get so worked up in situations like these are people who feel society is constantly wronging them somehow, people who are looking for a cheap deal or handout, or people who are actually going to skip out on the bill. The $4 concession that my manager agreed to was definitely worth getting those “particular people” out of my sight.


I am finally leaving the building after an exhausting night and a well-earned staff drink. One of the runners and I are chatting as we walk past the security desk at the staff entrance/exit.

Suddenly, a voice interrupts our conversation.

“You have to wear your ID at ALL times back of house!”

It’s a different guy, same message. My ID is “displayed as per policy and procedure” this time.

He forces my companion to put her ID on for the 3 metre walk to the exit.

Whoever wrote that memo did a very effective job.

Morals, Ethics and Accountability

I have just started to be a little concerned about confidentiality and privacy with regards to the stories, names and businesses mentioned in this weblog. When I was using Diaryland I wasn't too worried about these issues because it was mostly the people in question who read the diary anyway, and most of them know each other.

I started thinking about whether or not these stories could get back to management regarding what I say about what happens in the restaurant, etc. Considering some of the subjects relate to the type of restaurant it is, and activities that can only be done there, it's not like I can really disguise where I work, like I could have done if I worked in a no-name random bistro (speaking of, here is another waiter’s tale, it must have been a weekend for “using the facilities”!). So I have decided to just carry on in the same vein as I have been so far, and not mention the names/addresses/phone numbers/credit card details of the people I am writing about …