A Busy, Stressful Day at Eataly (9/24/19)

Today was rough, if I’m gonna be honest with you. I mean things ended alright, but I am definitely mentally and emotionally drained sitting here writing this blog post. Now the day started out pretty nicely. Like I woke up to my alarm at 12:35, getting a solid nine hours of sleep, and hopping onto League for a quick game. After winning a hard fought ranked game, I hopped in the shower and worked on getting ready for work. After hopping out, I brushed my teeth and washed up as I dried off, hurrying into my room, finishing up getting dressed, and rushing out the door to catch the A downtown. The train was arriving at 2:15, so I of course ran out of my apartment at 2:13, making it to the subway and down the stairs right as the A pulled into the subway tunnel. After shuffling cars between stops, I finally got a seat and took a nap on my way to Eataly. Now how am I still sleepy enough to nap on a train after nine hours of sleep? I have no idea, but I am not going to question it. I got off the train at 2:45, walking over to the World Trade Center while passing a little farmer’s market set up in the open street. I headed inside and up, putting on my work shirt as I moved up the escalator, then taking a quick pit-stop at the bathroom before clocking in. I was on wine today, so I made sure to get things stocked, both in the three sections, as well as our storage area on the floor, before clocking out and heading to Pret for my break. I was gonna chat with Gina for a minute, since she was supposed to work today, but after not seeing her around, I realized she worked pizza bar and got off early today. Lucky bitch. (Just kidding lmao)

At Pret, I got my usual salmon and quinoa salad, along with a cup of goodness- both of which were actually the last ones on the shelf- and a chocolate chip cookie, and sat down to eat. The Pret workers also gave me a free carrot cake cookie, because it was all broken up and they couldn’t sell it; and hey, I’m not gonna say no to free food, especially cookies. After relaxing for 30 minutes, it was time to make my way back to work to clock in and start my day. After my usual routine of stopping by the bathroom, I clocked back in and headed over for pre-shift. After a quick and easy talk, I went to my section- section 1 today, to chat with Patricia, who had this section for lunch. This was the first time I’ve ever actually seen Patricia angry, which I can absolutely understand because she had one table tip her $5 on a $130 check, and another table tip her $10 on a $180 check. When she confronted one of the tables about the tip, they said “this is a good tip in my country”, to which Patricia couldn’t help but say “this is America”. And yeah it’s a bit rude and harsh, but it’s true. That isn’t even a 10% tip, so for you to pull that bullshit is incredibly disrespectful. You don’t have to agree with how we tip in the US, but when you’re here, at least follow how we do things; seriously this is our living wage, so don’t be a dick. Now I expected things to be decently slow today; I mean it’s only Tuesday for goodness sake, but god DAMN was I dead wrong. Now my section was bigger than normal today, because there were four extra tables open, which are usually given to the pasta bar when that’s open, which it was of course not today. Things started off slowly enough, but as the hours went on, people started coming in; and then more people. And then more people. Now the chaos began when my large table of the night, ordered food. One gentleman asked for his pizza “well done”. Absolutely, I do that all the time. The food arrives, things look fine. I’m putting in an order at the computer, or just hanging out for a moment, when he comes over, with the plate and his pizza, puts it down in front of me, and goes “This is not well done.” We started talking, and I offered to have it more well done for him. He harshly replied that this wasn’t well done to begin with, lifting up the pizza and expressing that the middle was still “raw”. I offered to get it cooked again for him, and then he just goes “You know what? I don’t want it anymore” and walks back to the table. This entire time I thought I was having a polite conversation, and then he rudely says that and walks away; livid. Like my guy, really? Did he think I was fucking with him or something? Now to be fair, I should have explained to him that since we cook our pizzas in a very hot oven very quickly, the inside is a bit, gummy I guess? Not raw, but not crispy like a New York slice of pizza. You know, a bit burnt on the bottom? I was baffled.

Then, right after this fucking thing happens, I get sat five or six times, one after the other, and begin getting overwhelmed. After chatting with one of my managers, Ele, and explaining the situation, she ends up having one of the other servers, JR, take over the table. I truly didn’t care at the moment, because I was so swamped with tables. I then had a table who had given me their card, so I put it in my apron pocket, talked to two tables, and then swiped it, bringing it back to them. They in turn tipped me 10%, writing that I was “slow to return their card”. Like are you fucking kidding me? You’re not my only table you fucking donkeys. How dare you act like I should be at your beck and call. Fuck you. Truly. I didn’t even realize that tip with the note was mine, but when I realized, I couldn’t help but smile and chuckle about the stupidity of it. Frankly, I can’t remember most of the rest of the next few hours, because I was too busy dealing with literally all my tables. But I will say, after feeling just angry and frustrated, I had this one table who, after chatting with me for a good minute or two, made me smile. I joked around with them when I introduced myself, and the woman said “You’re sassy Mike. I like you.” And that was the rapport I built with them throughout the night. A wonderful table who tipped me 20% and turned my night around.

As things finally slowed down, I headed over and helped polish and roll, before breaking down the wine- my closing side work- and closing out my final tables. Somehow, some way, I managed to leave Eataly by like 10:21, and I caught the 10:28 back uptown. Thank god. Also found out that Nancy Pelosi has finally chosen to start the impeachment process, which is some great news I needed to hear today. After a quick ride home, I took a gamble and headed over to the local Subway for a sandwich, and found they were actually still open. I was chatting with Maggie, as we caught each other up on our shitty days, and got myself a sandwich, before heading home and playing a few games of League with her. I could have cooked something for dinner, but I really wasn’t feeling it after today. After we finished our final game, she had me watch a few Twice music videos (a K-Pop group), before going to bed, and leaving me to grind a game or two of ranked myself. After winning both games, I finally got off for the night, and was going to write this earlier, but I got sucked into the black hole that is SNL YouTube videos. But yeah, rough day to be sure; but I am still alive and tomorrow is a new day. Now I really have to get ready and go the FUCK to sleep. I’m exhausted.

Until next time,

-Michael

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