A Stressful Day at Work with a Sick Friend; Don’t Die… Not at Eataly (11/7/19)

So today was a busy day at Eataly; I mean, I made decent money and all, but Gina got me stressing. To catch anyone confused up to speed, Gina is a fellow server at Eataly and a friend of mine, who has been sick as all hell for the past five days or so. Thankfully she seemed to be doing better today- I was starting to get worried- but that all went downhill halfway through the shift. But let’s start from the beginning, shall we? So today I woke up just before 1PM, for some reason having a dream about getting my request for New Years approved, and relaxed in bed for a few minutes before hopping on League and playing a game. Unfortunately it ended in a loss, but that didn’t stop me from pushing forward with the day and hurriedly get ready for work. After taking a quick shower, I washed up and headed into my room to finish getting ready, planning on catching the 2:22 since I was running ever so slightly behind. However, that changed when I checked the MTA app to find that the next trains were at 2:17 and then 2:30… fuck. If I missed the 2:17, there would be no way in hell I was going to get to work on time. I rushed to finish getting ready, doing the final touches to my hair and running out the door. Thankfully I made it to the train station with two minutes to spare, and before I knew it I was on my way to Eataly.

The train was surprisingly packed this afternoon, but luckily someone got up- on an end seat thank god- at 168th St., so I quickly sat down and just as quickly fell asleep, taking my usual nap as the train sped towards downtown NYC. Before I knew it I was already at Chambers St., and had to rush off the train before the doors closed, but I made it. Because I had caught an earlier train than usual, I actually arrived at Chambers St. a good few minutes early, which meant I FINALLY had the extra time to head on over to the nearby FedEx to ship my old phone. I’ve been meaning to do that for God knows how long now, but I kept putting it off because… well because I’m a procrastinating piece of shit. I headed on over to the store, hoping to get in and get out in no time at all, but unfortunately there was a line, so it looked like I was going to be there a minute. As the time hit 2:55, I started getting antsy because I still hadn’t gotten to the front of the line, when I noticed a guy come in, drop off his package into a bin, and leave. Oh! I can do that?? Basically I had been standing in line for five or six minutes when I could’ve been in and out of the store in under a minute. After getting confirmation from an employee that I could just… drop the package off in the bin, I did so and headed off to work, running a bit of the ways to make sure I made it on time. After clocking in at 2:57, I changed into my work shirt and headed onto the floor to start on my side-work of the day. Now I was in section 8, so I was on roll-ups today- nice and easy. As I got to it, rolling whatever silverware we had as one of the bussers, Josh, polished, I saw Gina stocking the lowboys. To be honest with you, I thought she was off today, so it was nice to see her, and see her not look like she was totally dying; She looked like she was finally doing better, thank goodness. As the time hit 2:27, we finished up and I grabbed my stuff, waiting on Gina to be ready to go, and we headed out together to grab some food. After we clocked out, we started walking, discussing what we should do for lunch today- not the staff meal and not Pret- and as we reached the escalators, she suggested Shake Shack. Listen, I am never gonna refuse a Shake Shack burger. Luckily there was one in the Fulton Center, just a five minute walk away, so we headed on out. After getting in there, we both got double Shack burgers, with Gina getting herself a Doctor Pepper and me getting a Coke, (along with some fries of course) and after finally getting our food, we made our way back to Eataly to enjoy our lunch in the break room. As we walked, I learned that Gina is actually damn good at riding horses, which is dope because I actually used to ride horses quite a bit through middle and part of high school; at the end of it, I think I rode for four years before I finally stopped doing it. I started doing it because of Mags, but it really was a ton of fun. After making it to the break room, we enjoyed our food and chatted for a little while before it was finally time to head on over for pre-shift and start the day.

Pre-shift was definitely a quicker one this afternoon, with us having no specials today, but as we were finishing up, I showed Brittany, the manager running the pre-shift, the revised floor plan we’ve been testing the past few days. Aka the one that Sergio and we talked about a few days ago, that seemed to work better than the one we had originally planned. I drew her the new sections, 1-4, and then we headed onto the floor to get the day started. I’m really glad that people have been listening as I’ve suggested these revised sections, and the whole idea hasn’t backfired on me yet. Like working section 1 on Sunday, I was fucking terrified it was going to get insane, because if it did I would have died. Anyways, with that all out of the way, it was time to hit the floor… well it would be, but I had to quickly run to the bathroom, just so I wouldn’t have to worry about that as things got hectic later on. Once I was back, Jess, who was the server in my section this morning, transferred me a few tables, and my day officially started. And let me tell you… people were not nice when it came to tipping today, like at all. The fact that the night ended with me hitting just over $400 in cc tips is insane to me, because I had multiple people tip like total ass.

 

But the more important thing that happened as things went on was that… Gina’s health started dropping. It must have been from running around and talking to so many tables, but Brittany summed it up best when she said “Whatever she took must have worn off, because she hit the wall, and hit it hard.” Gina had to step off the floor and started coughing continuously, and with water not helping all she could do was sit behind a kitchen counter and try to breathe. I was obviously really worried for her; I don’t like seeing a friend sick, and wanted to help however I could. Thankfully they cut her, with me taking most of her section and Chernin taking over a part of mine, to make up for the loss. As Gina squatted on the floor, trying to stay out of sight from the guests, I gave her a hug and told her to just take care of herself; we would be fine. She finally got her things and headed off, and I told her if she needed anything, not to hesitate to let me know. Thankfully she’s off tomorrow and her sister is gonna take care of her, so she should be okay. Doesn’t make me any less worried, but what can ya do. With Gina gone but her, mine, and Chernin’s sections still packed, things got… hectic for a while. With these new tables brought onto us, Chernin and I scrambled a bit to keep our heads above water, but somehow we managed to do it. I’m here to tell the story aren’t I? I will say that in those last two hours or so, I got the two worst tips of the night though- One was from one of Chernin’s tables, who tipped me $2 on a $54 check, and one of my tables, who tipped me $5 on a $135 check. So here’s my thing… If you’re gonna be a piece of shit and tell me to fuck off, just don’t tip me. I’m gonna fucking hate you because you’re a horrible person either way, so just keep your fucking money. Thank god you gave me $5 instead of… I don’t know, the proper $25+. That $5 is really gonna help me pay rent this month. Fucking assholes. Seriously, one of my biggest pet peeves are people who don’t think they should, or need to tip. You can make whatever excuse you want, about how restaurants should pay their employees a living wage or whatever, but that doesn’t change the present where they don’t and we live off of our tips. (Also if this job wasn’t tipped and was minimum wage, I just wouldn’t do it)

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Somehow or another though, the night finally came to a close. Now my final two tables stayed a little while, but I did get a free pizza out of one of them, because they ordered an Arugula salad and a Bufalotta pizza, which has Mozz de Bufala, ARUGULA, prosciutto, and cherry tomatoes, only for them to take one bite of the salad and go “We don’t like arugula.” Then WHY ORDER THE ARUGULA nevermind, it’s not worth my time. I got them a different pizza and took the Bufalotta to the back, where we all enjoyed a slice or two. Hey that’s my dinner, so it works for me. After I finally closed my last tables, it was time to roll, and roll we did. I mean I started rolling right around 10, and we ended up rolling for a good 45 minutes to an hour. That’s right, I got to leave Eataly right after 11PM. Lucky me. Finally putting in my numbers, I clocked out and made my way to the train station, ready to be home. Now as I got closer to the 2, I noticed people running down the stairs, so I figured it would be a good idea if I booked it myself. As I sprinted down the steps, I watched a woman right in front of my JUST catch the door as it was closing to make it in; as the doors started to close again, I somehow managed to catch them as well, and was inside… definitely no time to spare there. We glanced at each other and I couldn’t help chuckling a bit, counting my blessings that I made it. After a quick ride up to 96th, I got off and called Mags as I waited for the 1 to arrive. As I was waiting, I noticed one of the other servers, Will, waiting a bit away from me, but I didn’t really want to go out of my way to talk to someone. I dunno, just feels weird to me. As the 1 finally arrived, holy fuck was it packed. Like I know sometimes trains are a bit tight, but as I squeezed into one of the cars, there was truly nowhere to move. We were all packed in this small car like a can of sardines. Finally people started to get off as we headed uptown, and before I knew it we were at 181st and I was able to get off and breathe. I saw Will a bit ahead of me, and tried to get closer just to say a quick hello, but there were too many people; we did however, make eye contact as he got on an elevator but I wasn’t able to squeeze in- way too many people- so I just waved as the doors closed. Catching the next elevator going up, I headed to the surface, calling Maggie as I started heading home. I of course had to stop by Rite-Aid, I needed my cookie addiction quenched for the night, and before I knew it I was home safe and sound. I’ve spent the rest of tonight just playing some League games, some with Eddie and some by myself. I did leave a piece of cookie out for Remy, but started to get worry when it was still sitting there after a good two plus hours. I set it a bit closer to where I figured he’d be, and sure enough, I look back maybe 30 minutes later and the cookie is gone. Glad to see my little roommate isn’t dead yet. Also! I’m working next Wednesday, which means I’m gonna have to get someone to cover that shift for me; I’ve already paid the moving company, so I truly won’t be able to work that day. Okay I have been rambling for far too long and it’s already 5AM, so I desperately need to get some sleep. Time to push through and finish out this week, so I can focus on packing. Five days until the big move!

Until next time,

-Michael

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