A Busy Friday at the Bar with a Strange Guest Interaction (10/11/19)

MAN was today busy! I mean maybe I should be expecting it, moving into the holiday months, but damn I was not expecting this level of hecticness to be completely honest with you. Now the day started as you’d expect, given these past few days. I mean I woke up around 12:45, but instead of getting up and playing League, I chose to lay in bed, watching an episode of My Hero Academia before work; I’m getting closer and closer to finishing the third season already, which is super exciting! After finishing the episode, I finally got myself up, showered, and got ready for the day. Now the next A was set to leave at 2:15, so I hurried to get everything done and leave on time, but as I was finishing up getting my hair ready- the final step in my daily routine before I leave my apartment- the time struck 2:13, meaning it was time to GO. I hauled ass out of my apartment, making it to the subway and down the stairs by 2:14; I know it was 2:14 because the clock on the tracks said as such, but unfortunately for me, it looks like the A decided to arrive early today. Not great, but it happens. Thankfully the next A was set to arrive around 2:20 or 2:21, so I was definitely still doing alright on time. As the A pulled up, the doors finally opening up for me, I hopped on inside and found my way to a seat- it was time to head on over for work. It was one of the newer A’s, with a design that I quite frankly hate because there’s almost no where to lean your head and sleep, but luckily I found a seat before the window, so I was fine after all; sleep city, here I come! After a bit of shut-eye, though I was feeling it a bit in my back and neck, I was already at Chambers St., getting off the train and heading up and out of the subway, towards Eataly. Today was the weekly Smorgusburg, so as I passed by, with the smoke from the burger stand whooshing past me with the wind, my stomach yearned for some food. However, that had to wait. I made it up the escalators and clocked in around 2:57, heading onto the floor to start up my side-work.

I was on wine and ice today, so I focused my efforts on getting the wine stocked along with another server, Campillo I believe, as another server, Jay, focused on ice. We finished things up right before 2:30, with me going around once or twice to make sure we were all stocked up, before I clocked out and found my way back outside. Now normally I would go for a burger, but there was this one stand that had like- loaded fries?- and there is no way in hell I was going to miss out on trying that. I got a large loaded chicken fries thing, I forget the name to tell you the truth, and as I waited, I pulled up an episode of My Hero Academia to watch until my name was called. Once I heard “Michael?”, the phone went straight into my pocket, and I headed over to sit down and enjoy my meal. Unfortunately, no sweets today, because there were no dessert stands set up, but that’s okay I guess; I’ll survive. After enjoying my loaded chicken and fries, which was definitely quite tasty- maybe not enough chicken, but the fries were perfect- I made my way back up to Eataly, making a quick pit-stop at the bathroom before clocking in and heading to pre-shift. At pre-shift, we mainly went over the new beer we’ve brought on, along with a new mixed drink which has bourbon in it; gotta say, the beer is fine I guess, but the mixed drink? I mean it’s a Negroni, but instead they’ve switched up the liquor to bourbon. Or was it whiskey? Either way, not a fan. I can have that shit mixed with coke, but on its own? Feels like I’m forcibly growing chest hairs it’s so sharp.

Before too long however, it was time to hit the floor. Today I was on pasta bar, which I was not expecting, but which I also thought would maybe be slow; I mean I worked pasta bar last Monday and boy it was DEAD. However, when I went and talked with the morning server, Rey, my opinion almost instantly changed. Now the pasta bar’s section not only consists of a bar area where guests seat themselves, (first come first serve), it also has a few tables in the restaurant itself. Normally its seven tables, which can be busy, but is manageable, but for some reason they added two extra tables, so it meant I’d probably be dealing with three six tops, along with the entirety of my bar. To make it simpler, the pasta bar normally seat 26 at once, but with the extra two tables, it bumps it up to around 30. That’s one of the highest, if not the highest, number of seats in the restaurant, with the amount of servers we had. I mean last time I worked pasta bar, it was slow and I barely made any money. This time, Rey was working morning and made around $350 in CC tips, which is a normal night for servers in the RESTAURANT, along with some cash. That’s insane. Now things did start quietly enough. My first guests were four separate women eating by themselves, to which my busser came up to me and said “All the single ladies, all the single ladies”, but as the clock struck closer to seven, things began to rapidly accelerate. First was the seven top, (Well I think it was a seven top. It was four adults and a good amount of kids), and then my bar started rapidly filling up. Then, like 20 minutes later, all I could do was watch as my other tables were pushed together, and a 12 top sat down in my section. So let’s say that there were 19 sitting down at the restaurant in my section. Adding on the 12 that can sit at the bar, I was overloaded at 31 people all in my section at once; I mean I could hear my voice starting to strain as I talked with guests, running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Luckily I had help from another server, Chernin, and one of the managers Nicolette, but damn was I busy. However, that was also around the time when I had possibly one of the strangest interactions with a guest I’ve had at Eataly. So there was a two top sitting at one of the tables in my bar areal; one younger, probably late 20’s I’d guess, and one older, I’ll say 50’s or 60’s. They ordered the Pomodoro, (basic spaghetti with tomato sauce), and asked for some more cheese, so I came on over and started grating some for them. I said to tell me when to stop, and the younger of the two replied “I like a lot of cheese”. I hear that a lot, so I responded like I always do “I’ll stand here all day”; Always gets a smile. This time however, the older lady responded with something along the lines of “Is that why you have outstanding arm muscles?” If you have seen an image of me, you will know that I am very skinny. My arms have virtually no muscle on them; I’m skin and bones. I jokingly replied “Thank you, but I don’t really” to which she said something like”You do, I’ve been looking”. What. The. FUCK. I was baffled. I instantly found Chernin and told her, which definitely made her laugh, but I wasn’t sure what to say. I mean… thanks??? It’s not true, but holy. Now I know old ladies seem to love me, but I didn’t mean to this extent, jesus. Another interesting interaction was with the giant 12 top, when one guy asked if I had ranch. Honestly I got offended. I told him flat-out “This is an Italian restaurant, why would we have ranch?” A bit rude? Yes. But it is what it is. I ended up trying to joke around, and frankly I had his friends laughing at my remark, so that was something.

As the clock passed 9PM, things finally started dying down, and I asked one of the managers, Emily, if it would be alright to close down the bar so I could focus on rolling. She agreed, and so my final hour and half at Eataly was spent polishing and rolling all the silverware; and there was a decent amount of it. Chernin came and helped, and that’s when I mentioned that I was looking for a place in Brooklyn, asking for her opinions on places to look. I explained to her the situation, and she was definitely sympathetic which was nice. She even invited me to hang out sometime, even before I find this new place, just so I could get a feel of Brooklyn. Honestly I’m grateful for the people in my life, who are happy to help me find a new place to live. Clocking out at last, I made my way out of Eataly, calling Maggie as I headed to the subway. I caught the A at 10:48, making it home before 11:30, and stopping by Rite-Aid for some food before heading home. Rite-Aid was closed yesterday, and I found out when I walked in that it was because they were installing self-checkout! I mean really great addition, but damn did it throw me off. I got my food and headed on home, heating up the meal and hopping on League. I played a few games with Maggie and Eddie before getting off and binging some more My Hero Academia. I’m already on season 3 episode 22, so I’m almost finished; the new episode aired tonight I think, so I should be able to watch it tomorrow night I hope. For now though, I really need sleep; it’s already 4:31! Two more days and then I’m off again. Will tomorrow be just as crazy as today? I wonder…

Until next time,

-Michael

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