Happy NYC Blackout Everyone! (7/14/19)

Alright today was one whirlwind of a day, so let’s just talk about it before I pass out. Like I am exhausted and really need sleep, but this blog is more important than resting I guess, so here we go! Today I woke up at 11:30, played a game or two of League, actually won, took a shower, got dressed, and headed out, catching the 2:16 as per usual and heading downtown to work. I made it to the break room at 2:55, and after seeing what food was for lunch today, (sweet sausage, rice, and salad), I headed into the restaurant to do my side work. Today I was just rolling, so I worked with one of the other servers for the next 30 minutes polishing and rolling silverware for everyone, so you know, we wouldn’t run out. Now this server normally is our bartender, and today was the first day she was working on the floor outside the bar area, so she was excited. She wanted to switch sections with me, because she was in a secluded area, and I was in an open area with the other servers, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of her area, so I had to decline. Now honestly maybe I should’ve taken her area, because damn did I get slammed today. But that’s for later in this story.

At 3:28 I took my break, and headed into the break room to eat and relax before it was time to get cracking. After piling up my plate with some food, I noticed there were some sliced peaches out for us to eat, so I of course added those to my lunch, and chowed down. After I was finished, I relaxed for a while before using the bathroom and heading to pre-shift to start the day off. Now in pre-shift last night was brought up, but unfortunately some facts seemed to have been misconstrued. The final table, which I didn’t have exact numbers on before, but do now, was sat at 10:16, after there was no line before them, and the table had 12 people; which is fucking absurd. Now what was brought up was the fact that we are technically open until 10PM, so we have to let people in until 10PM, but something that I don’t think has been thought about, but is important to point out, is that yes, we are scheduled to work until 10:30, and obviously sometimes we bleed over into some extra time because of side-work and rolling, but the issue with having tables sat so late is that silverware takes longer to get washed, so we end up not having enough silverware, and someone gets stuck waiting for a fucking while before he can do his roll-ups and go home. If you can’t tell, I’m talking about myself at the moment. But management said they would have a conversation with the managers and make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Now the beginning of the day was fine; it wasn’t insanely busy, but it was definitely full in the restaurant. My tables seemed to really like me, and this lady at one table told me that I could sell anything and, and she said she was being serious, if she opened up a place and needed someone, she would hire me and pay me any amount to sell whatever it was. I mean I’m sure she was exaggerating a bit, but still high praise. They even tipped me $20 on like a $70 bill, which was very kind of them. Before they left, they wished me the best when it comes to my acting career, and when I see someone waving at me when I’m famous, to know it’s them cheering me on. Now I know everyone wants to be famous, but I have had way too many people cheering me on at this point not to succeed, so I will not ever give up; no matter how hard it seems right now to even get into the door.

Now even though things were good for a while, besides one table that had an attitude at first, but calmed down by the end of the meal, things started to turn as we got later in the day. I mean just like yesterday, we had a very late push, and by 9:20 it was packed in the restaurant again. Not completely packed, but definitely very full. I mean between like 9:40 and 10PM I got sat four times. At 9:52 I got a four top, and I as I was putting in their order, I said to the server next to me that even though they were getting pastas which take a bit, at least it was all in. He replied “then just don’t look at 451” (that’s a table number). I thought he was telling a joke that I didn’t get, so I turned around to find that a six top just sat down at 9:56. Alright, you know we close at 10. And your decision is “fuck it, let’s bring all six of us into a closing restaurant. That’s what decent human beings do”. Finally I got all my tables closed out, got my side-work done, and started rolling silverware I had (not even 60, just like yesterday), by 11PM. Is that okay? Of course not, but it is what it is. To make matters even better, as I pushed the bins over to make room, I accidentally knocked the glass cup that was holding my checks and tips over and it just shattered; so you know, I had to clean that up to.

I finally got out of there by 11:30, and was ready to be home. I heard a little bit throughout the day that there was blackouts in the subways, and some were not running, but come on, it’s already 11:30, they’ve got to have fixed it by now! Oh how wrong I was. An A arrived just after I got to the station, but it said that Chambers St. was its last stop and I found, after asking a conductor, that A trains were not running any further, because the blackout hadn’t been fixed yet. He told me to go and catch the 2 or the 3 uptown. Great. So I hurried to the 2 and 3 train platform after checking prices on Uber, and then immediately deciding against it because it would cost $70 just to get home. As I hurried down the stairs, I heard the sounds of a train leaving the station, and my fears were confirmed when I guy coming down the stairs said “you just missed it”. I was visibly and audibly annoyed, and so he told me “You know, patience is a virtue”, to which I responded “true, but it’s a virtue that I do not have”. He laughed, and after a minute of standing around, we ended up picking up a conversation. He said that he’s lived here 30 years, and has figured out the in’s and out’s of the subway system. He also said something that is honestly a motto of mine, that I really needed to be refreshed and reminded of, which is this; with whatever is going on that is causing you grief at the moment, ask yourself this question- “Can I change anything to improve the situation?” If the answer is yes, then do it; stop moping around and complaining. If the answer is no, then stop worrying about it. there’s nothing you can do, so why stress yourself out? After hearing that, I managed to cool myself down, and ended up riding the 2 uptown for a while.

Of course, anyone in New York knows that the 2 and the 3 end up taking you out of Manhattan, so I knew I was going to have to get off at some point. I wasn’t sure if the A had been fixed yet, and after having it confirmed that it still wasn’t running, I decided to take the 2 up to 135th and walk to the 135th A station, just to confirm whether or not the A was running. Now I gave Maggie a call, because I knew she was worried about me, and chatted with her as I walked down to see if the A was running. There was another girl trying to get uptown, and after being told the A wasn’t running uptown, an A suddenly arrived on the tracks. The MTA worker told us to “Go, go, go!!!” But the train left before we could get on. Lucky for us though, because what neither of them realized was that that A was going downtown, not uptown, so I do not see how that would’ve helped us in any way. With Maggie still on the line, I gave up on waiting, mostly because the next train wouldn’t arrive for another 15 minutes, and just started walking home. Mind you I was on 135th and I live next to the bridge on 178th. 43 blocks to walk.

And guess what? I did it. Took me about an hour, but I did it. I will say, that as I got to 166th, I saw the Wendy’s I go to after visiting my dentist was still open, and since I hadn’t eaten anything today, I bought myself a chicken sandwich meal, and went on my way. Finally, at just past 1AM, I arrived back in my apartment; exhausted, tired, drained, and hungry, but happy. I have to say that that walk home chatting with Maggie the entire way was super nice. I know I was annoyed earlier today, but by the end of it, I’m fine. Like I actually really enjoyed that walk, even though it was super long, and I made it home safe and sound, so we’re good! I hope you all didn’t get as screwed with this blackout as I did.

Until next time,

-Michael

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