Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why "Make Your Own Shot Night" Shouldn't Come Before "Graduation Dinner Afternoon."

Earlier in May this year, I walked at my graduation commencement ceremonies (graduation still pending...) at my university. A few days later on a Friday my parents thought it would be great to go out for a special "Happy Graduation!" luncheon with them and my brother and his wife that drove from out of state to see me. I was on board with the idea so the Thursday night before my friend calls me over and asks if I want to "help" her clean out her liquor cabinet before she moved to Colorado. I know this is already a bad idea but I figure since it's 9PM and the lunch is at 12PM the next day then my 2PM work shift, I can pace myself and get plenty of sleep.

It turned into "Make Your Own Shot" night with a rack full of spirits and cordials.
 Normally I'm not one for anything very sweet when it comes to alcohol but they just went down so easy... next thing you know we're stumbling drunk and realize it's definitely time for bed. I stumble into her bed and pass out.

Then my alarm goes off at 10AM. I'm confused, in pain, and uncomfortable.
After taking a minute to remember where I am, I notice at some point in the middle of the night I took my shorts off (probably because of the early summer heat) and decided instead of putting them somewhere not on the bed, I slept right on top of them the whole night. My friend was still dozing so I decided just to sneak out quietly and let her sleep.

I'm stumbling around her apartment, trying to navigate as quietly as I could without my contacts in. I'm blind as a bat and hungover so I can imagine I wasn't the most graceful person in the world. Luckily no one woke up. Even though when I went to go get a drink of water in the kitchen...
 Faintly remembering I was 98% positive I didn't throw up, like a pro I just stuck my foot blindly into the kitchen to rinse it off, squirted a bit of dishsoap on it, wiped off, then grabbed the rest of my things and headed out the door.

I had about an hour to drive back home, get showered and presentable to meet my family for lunch and then go to work. I felt like even through my sunglasses, the suns horrible rays still pierced through to my horribly bloodshot eyes. Luckily I made it back the 3 miles back to my apartment and I slowly showered in a hungover stupor as I tried to wrap my mind around the idea of actually ingesting food.
 Hoping it would pass, sipping water as I got dressed, I left and drove to meet my family. About a mile away I realized that no food would be coming in my body sooner than something that would be exiting my body. Any moment.

I pulled over and parked in a small neighborhood several blocks away since the restaurant was right across from my work and employees can't park in the parking lot on weekends. I stopped the car and sat. A million thoughts came into my head at once.

"How am I going to keep a conversation going?"

"How am I going to be able to eat food? It's a lunch and I can't NOT eat food. They'll be worried."

"Will I die during the hot walk over the bridge?"

"What if I throw up right there in the restaurant? How do I play that off?"

"I need to throw up. That's how I'll solve my problems."

I figured like most of my problems, it can be solved with vomiting. I feel like after I throw up from drinking too much, I usually feel time times better. Realizing I'm in a residential neighborhood, I can't lean out my car and throw up, or knock on someone's door and ask to hurl in their bathroom. I grab an empty paper bag from my back seat and try. And try and try and try.
 After several minutes of nothing but a lot of dry heaving and drooling, I realized it wasn't going to happen so I better suck it up, meet my family for lunch and play it cool.

The five-block walk was horrible.
Before turning the corner to the restaurant, I checked my appearance in a store window and saw that I looked like a very distressed, pale, train wreck of a girl with eyeliner running from attempting to vomit. Nonetheless I put a smile on my face and was genuinely happy to see my family. Once we stepped inside the restaurant the first thing that struck me was the smell of food.

If you have ever been incredibly hungover before, you know that the smell of food, a smell that people like most of the time, just smells like eventual throwing up.
**Note: I apologize already for the excessive use of "vomit, throw-up, etc." but it's a key part of the story. Hopefully no more vommy stories for awhile. I think.

As we sat down to our table, the pain in my stomach kept growing and the noises were something similar to that of an angry tar pit. I tried to chat with my family as much as possible with a friendly smile, but I'm sure they were wondering why I was going through five glasses of water every 10 minutes and why my speech turned into that of a high school burnout. I couldn't make competent sentences because I was trying so hard to control my stomach muscles to not turn on me.
Ordering food was one of the worst experiences of my life. Nothing on the menu looked appetizing at all.
 I settled for a vegan sloppy joe type sandwich because I wanted to:
A) Show my parents I was hungry for a meal and not water and crackers.
B) Stay away from anything meat or cheese-gravy like as possible.

Hoping that it would be the only obstacle I had to overcome during lunch, I was wrong. They ordered appetizers. They generously pushed my would-be-favorites of spring rolls and sweet potato fries my way. I couldn't refuse, but I'm telling you now, that was one of the worst eating experiences in my life. You know that feeling...
After excusing myself a number of times to the restroom feeling like I was going to throw up after bit chewing and swallowing, ("I had a lot of coffee, guys. Got a small bladder!") I was so relieved when that dining experience was over, (I ate two sweet potato fries, a nibble of a spring roll, and the top bun of my burger.) but then I forgot I had a 8 1/2 hour shift at work.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

This post sounds angry but at the end it'll be okay!

Anyone that works in any form of retail/food/customer service industry could go on with lists and lists of complaints about... special customers. Things that happen that are (I hope) once in a lifetime experiences or something that happens every day. Or even several times a day.

As I've previously mentioned, I currently work at a liquor store as a cashier/stocker/warder of all things evil. I do hear many things every day from customers whether it's (supposed to be) a light-hearted joke or a full-fledged verbal assault, usually questioning my competence as an employee or as an overall human being.

Let me give you a quick run-down of things that I hear all the time that are NOT, I repeat, NOT clever/funny/things that I haven't heard before/make me feel whatever feeling you want me to feel. Feel. Feel. I'll say it more and now the word sounds funny.

1. (When the barcode doesn't scan) "I guess that means it's free, huh?"
*Note: Who the fuck even invented the system of something not scanning that it's free? I know you're making a joke but some little bit inside you has grasped some little bit of faith that somehow, your logic about something not scanning just MIGHT get you a free bottle of $900 wine or a half pint of $3 vodka. Produce doesn't scan at a supermarket. Do you ask the cashier if it's free?

2. "I thought your store would have everything."
*Note: This wouldn't even work at Costco, Wal-Mart, or some amazing fusion of the two. Do you know how gigantic of a store would have to be to have everything? Especially the store I work at. It's fairly large for a liquor store but I'm pretty sure if it had every single type of alcoholic substance made... no, that's just idiotic. "Yes, the snake wine is right next to the generic mint mouthwash."

3. "You don't take (this form of payment)?!"
*Note: Yep, it happens. Sometimes when you go to purchase something, your type of payment may or may not be accepted. Your credit card that claims to be world-wide accepted is not. Also, when you got enraged that we don't accept checks and decide to throw the pen provided at me, you looked like a fool once that pen stopped in mid-air because of the chain it was attached to.
*Additional Note: I also love when they claim that we took that method of payment "last year", and they look even angrier when I tell them I've worked there longer than that and their logic is flawed.

I could go on more and more... we're not onto ID discrepancies but that's a whole other field.

But why do some people have such disrespect for those working in customer service? I swear they think we aren't human. Many of our customers are wealthy, white Americans who will flip a grand on alcohol. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I mean, it gives me a job and if I had that kind of money I'd probably be doing the same thing. A grand's worth of Old Heaven Hill. Yuss.

Okay, story time. The other day was the last day of a very busy sale and the lines were flooded at the registers. All the registers had cashiers and we were about an hour behind on breaks. The longer you wait for a break, the longer the next cashier has to wait for theirs. I had opened and me and the other employees had been furiously working non-stop for the past several hours since open. Finally, my supervisor told me just to shut off my light and close down my register because I was over an hour late for my lunch break (that I desperately needed). Of course the reactions were pretty negative and moans and groans erupted from the customers. But one man (of course entitled) had to say something.

Man: Hey, what are you doing?!

Me: I'm sorry, I have to close this register and take my break.

Man: I've and these other people have been waiting forever!

Me: I'm sorry sir, my supervisor has ordered me to shut down and take my break. We are an hour behind and to make it fair to the other cashiers I need to go now before theirs is delayed more.

Man: Well then who's opening up again?! Is someone coming to take over?! Where are you going?! I've been waiting for like fifteen minutes!!

Me: SIR. My supervisor has ordered me to shut down, if you have any complaints, please speak with her. I am going on my break. Someone will be here to replace me in less than ten minutes.

Man: WHAT?!-----COME ON.

Well he survived I guess. He sure had it hard that Saturday afternoon. Lovely day out, spending your day off purchasing wine with your frequent flyers credit card doing whatever you please. Maybe he went to a fancy restaurant afterwards and complained about how his food didn't have enough "go to hell you asshole" on it.

It's okay now though. Because I'm really killing this crossword puzzle. :)