Problems Arise Already, But Sometimes with a Bit of Courage, You Can Change Your Path (11/14/19)

Today was one hell of a day, if I’m being honest with you. You know, I had to wake up today at 9:30 or so, just so I could be up and ready for the Verizon guy to come on by between 10 and 12 so we could finally have internet in our apartment. I did wake up a few times throughout the night, probably because I had the window open last night to let in some cool air and there were some outside noises, but nevertheless… I was up. Now I did end up just, laying in my bed for a good 30 minutes, just waiting for a text from Verizon or something to let me know the technician was on his way, so I could actually get up and start my day. This would be all fine and dandy… until I got a call from the technician saying he was outside. Shit. I quickly got dressed and hurried down to meet the gentleman outside, before bringing him up to my apartment to show him what he’d be working with. Things started out well enough- he found the internet box where he’d be running the Fios cable or whatever in Julian’s room, and all he’d have to do is find the other end of the wire, somewhere on the lower floors. After searching and not finding anything, I called Eddie and he confirmed it was in our boiler room in the basement. Great! We headed on into the basement, with me being quite excited to finally have internet again, when we ran into a major issue. The internet box that is supposed to connect to the wire that runs up to my apartment… wasn’t installed. I guess whoever got the cables through figures they’d come back to install the box later, so here we are. There was nothing the technician could do; without the box, there’s no internet. He said they’d try to have someone come on by in the next few days to install the box, but that still doesn’t give me a great time frame of when we’ll actually have internet, you know? The ONE saving grace is that I’m now on a new cellular plan with Mags, Devon, his brother, and his wife, which has unlimited data. Thank god. If I didn’t have that I’d be SCREWED.

The technician apologized and headed on out, and I just spent the next few hours relaxing, not really wanting to do anything. I mean I had work today at 3PM, so why not just relax until then? After lying in bed for a good while, I finally got up and showered- using the other bathroom because mine still doesn’t have curtains (I’m working on it)- and hurried to get out of my house at a half decent time. Unfortunately, after not being able to find my Bobby pins for a good while, I eventually stumbled upon two, got my hair looking nice, and I headed on out. I was expecting a long walk to the train, but with some light jogging? I mean definitely under 10 minutes. Not too shabby if I do say so myself. I ended up catching the 2:31 train to Manhattan, which in the Heights would’ve meant I’m already late, but here? I mean when I got off the train and made it to Eataly, it was only like 2:55 or 2:56; I couldn’t believe it. Now our bathrooms were flooded for some reason, so I just put on my work shirt and headed onto the floor to start my day. I was on roll-up duty today, so of course the 30 minutes went by pretty quickly, and before I knew it I was already clocking out and heading on break.

Now I headed over to Pret, but as I was buying my normal items, something funny happened; so there’s this girl who always seems to be working when I am, so when the guy checking me out was repeating my order, she said she knew me and then repeated the end of my order- a cookie and a cup of water. Wow I go there a lot. It was fun though, and I just smiled and thanked them, sitting down and enjoying my meal. After finishing up, I headed back to Eataly, planning on taking a shit before work like usual, but with the bathrooms still blocked off, I just ended up wandering around for a few minutes before it was finally time to clock in. Heading over to pre-shift, the manager closing tonight- Nicolette- decided to have a competition for the pasta special- five to enter, most sold gets a bottle of wine. Now she also mentioned that no one has won her prizes before, so I was committed to try and win myself. Once we finished, we hit the floor to finally start the day… one that appeared to be a pretty slow shift at Eataly.

Now I have to say that even though it wasn’t that crazy of a shift by any means, man was it a rollercoaster. So I had this one table of a bunch of business people, eight of them I believe, and even though most of them were kind, there was this one woman who was just being a BITCH the whole time. Like acting so damn snobbish it was horrendous. They tipped like 15% which is fine I guess, but ugh whatever. THEN there was this table of a couple, the woman was black, but I’m not sure what exactly the guy was. Why do I bring up race? Wait one moment. So they didn’t get bread at the beginning because my busser was just not doing his job there, and even though I told them I’d grab them some, I got swamped and they had already gotten and eaten most of their appetizers by the time I had brought the bread. Then apparently no one brought them cheese. Like it was so weird watching them go from kind people, where I’d check on them and they’d be happy, to “we want to speak to your manager.” I was baffled. I thought back to see if I had overstepped a boundary or been too slow or something, but deciding not to think about it, I got my manager Emily to go over and talk to them. After talking for a bit, Emily told me that they thought, since they didn’t get bread for a bit but everyone else around them got bread immediately, added on to the fact the person didn’t give them cheese, these two people thought we were discriminating against them.

At first I was just taken aback by the statement, but the more I thought about it the more annoyed I got. I mean first off, why do you instantly assume we’re racist, instead of the more obvious answers- we either forgot or are just swamped. Also how fucking little do you think of me to think that I’m being racist. God it was insane. We ended up just giving them two glasses of Prosecco and some cannolis and they were fine, but fuck man. Later on in the night, I ended up taking a 10 top, partly because I was only at two pasta specials, and partly because Michele was swamped with tables, and my oh my they were genuinely such kind people. It felt like a breath of fresh air, and they just had a wonderful time throughout their entire meal. I mean I did work hard for the table, but it was worth it. Finally it was time to drop the bill- $458; I was excited. I mean that’s a good $90 tip right there. I saw they had signed the merchant copy so I picked it up to find… a $45 tip. I was devastated. Normally I wouldn’t care that much, but the amount of money I was losing was ridiculous. I talked to my manager about what to do, but after she said she could take off some of the money from the cake cutting to just give as a tip, (oh yeah they bought cake for a birthday which we cut and brought out for them) but she might get in trouble, I knew I had to say something. I wasn’t going to let someone else get in trouble because I was too scared to say something. Now this could have gone SO fucking terribly. However, somehow finding the courage, I headed back over to the table and pretty meekly got the man who paid the bill’s attention. “Was there anything wrong with service” No everything was greatoh my god I didn’t do the right math. I had very low key pointed at the tip, and the guy realized quite quickly he had done the wrong math, and asked for a pen to fix his mistake, being very apologetic. As they left, I headed over and picked back up the ticket- $90. Thank fucking GOD. What was so kind though, was the fact that the guy literally came back with one of the other guests, just to apologize again. “I’m just really tired.” He said how the leader of the group was impressed by my courage, and how he was grateful because he never would have known.

Honestly I hate doing any type of confrontation like that, but I’m so grateful I did, and that things worked out well. We ended the night rolling for a good while, and before I left I made sure to ask Nicolette to get me my bottle of wine. Oh did I forget to mention? That big 10 tip? Four people ordered the pasta special. BOOM that’s six. I got a Chianti Classico and was on my way home at last. Now after an honestly pretty quick train ride, I got off one station after the one I normally use, because I needed to stop by the Rite-Aid. Frankly, it’s a bit of a walk, but it’s fine. I chatted with Maggie the entire walk, picking up some hand soap, shampoo, and you guessed it- cookies- before walking home. Once I finally got inside my apartment and said goodnight to Maggie, I climbed the stairs up to my apartment, heated up some food that was left over from some party at Eataly I guess, and have been sitting in my room the rest of the night; Julian’s long been asleep, so I’ve been trying to keep it down as to not wake him. Tomorrow I’m off, so I guess we’ll see what happens then!

Until next time,

-Michael

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