How to Build a Taco 101- Meat, Cheese, Some Green, and Just a Touch of SPICE (12/17/19)

Welcome to today’s tutorial, where we will learn you how make the simple taco, on of course- Taco Tuesday. First you start off with the meat, right? Getting to work, having a fulfilling day making customers happy, and getting to head home at a reasonable time. Add some green, aka making DAMN good money today, and finish up with some spice… Well everyone, I think I fucked up because I seemed to have added in the spice to START my day today; my bad. Alright getting serious though, today was a busy, but rewarding day at Eataly. I made good money, had some great guests, and ended up leaving before 11, which I can always appreciate. HOWEVER, though things ended on a nice, peaceful note, things didn’t start that way; not by a longshot. Now today started as most of my days do, with me waking up around 1PM and lying in bed for a while. I did have this very strange dream where I was having a huge fight with my brother Jake, only to think “Wait, I shouldn’t be fighting with Jake; I love him”, and then I woke up. Really unimportant to everything else that happened today, but I still found it funny to have that thought mid-dream and then just wake myself up.

Now when I did wake up, what I should have done is spend maybe 20 minutes going through social media before getting up, showering, and getting out of the house. What ENDED up happening, as it always does, is that I laid in bed for way too long, before realizing I’m going to be late to work, and hurrying into the shower; already way behind. By the time I had finished showering, washing up, and was dressed for the day, it was already much later than I would’ve liked it to be. I threw on my heavy jacket, put on my gloves, grabbed my umbrella, and ventured out into the cold, wet outdoors. As I stepped outside, I ran into my downstairs neighbor Danielle, who was just coming back from doing laundry. Wow crazy how we STILL don’t have laundry in this building, isn’t that SO funny? Annoyances aside, after a quick hello I started jogging to catch the 2:41 train to Manhattan; I would’ve loved to have caught the 2:33, but when you leave your apartment at 2:29 you don’t really get to have those luxuries. Making it to the station at 2:38, I hopped onto the train, with it already having arrived and waiting to leave at 2:41. Now I normally try and grab a seat at the end of the benches, because it gives me something to lean on while I’m on the train. Unfortunately the train was a bit packed, so I ended up sitting in the middle; I mean it’s fine and all, but I really hate the giant windows that they have on subways like the 4. Because it divots inward you can’t lay your head backwards, or you’ll just end up hurting your neck. So anyways, we start moving only to get stopped before we even reach the next stop, and are held for a good 5 minutes or more; At this point I know I’m going to be late to work. Just as I’m about to text Sergio and let him know that I’m going to be a few minutes late, the train lurches forward and at last we’re moving again. A couple of stops in we stop at Barclays Center, where a good amount of the passengers get off the 4. With an end seat opening up, I scooch on over and close my eyes as the doors close and we continue heading towards Manhattan.

Now I know I’m going to need to run once we arrive at Chambers St., so as we arrive at Wall St. I start grabbing my things and get up. However, as I begin searching around, I realize I can’t find my gloves. I know I took them off when I got on the train, and I thought I put them in my pocket, but I guess when I moved over they fell out and onto the seat? Grabbing my bag, I got up to look around me, hoping to find them fallen down somewhere. Low and behold I spot them, sitting in a guy’s open bag. I assume this guy sat down, saw the gloves, and thought “free gloves”, setting them down in his open bag. Now normally I’d second guess myself, but these gloves I have are honestly very recognizable; they have a power button on the index finger, since they’re touch screen savvy, and have some rubber grips on the other fingers and the palms of the glove. Honestly they’re really nice gloves and I’m glad I got them through a Cyber Monday sale. i immediately swooped in and said “These are mine” to which the guy said “No they’re mine”. Now listen my guy, I get seeing a pair of gloves and taking them. It is what it is. But when the owner of said pair of gloves tells you that those gloves you took are theirs, just take the loss and move on with your day. “Oh I’m sorry, I just found them sitting there”. Like have some self respect. Instead this man, who was an older, heavier guy, who’s fingers might not have even FIT into these gloves, started babbling on about how those were his gloves, and how I should give them back. He even said “I’m in Brooklyn”. Yeah? So am I my guy. Honestly at this point I was already frustrated as is, running late for work, and I was not going to take a fucker trying to take my gloves. I fucking let loose. “These are my fucking gloves. I bought them. Don’t lie to me. These are my gloves. Don’t take my fucking shit.” Cursing him out, with everyone staring at us on the subway, we arrived at Fulton and I got off, leaving the man sputtering about how I took “his” gloves. Honestly it felt like a real New Yorker moment for me; not giving a shit about people staring, standing up for myself, and not taking someone’s bullshit. It was satisfying, but it definitely got me annoyed, coming into the day.

I quickly headed up the escalator, clocking in at 3:06 and heading onto the floor to at last start my day. I was in section 2 today, which meant I was on wine and ice duty, so after putting away my things, I got to it checking all the white wines on the floor. Overall we were actually pretty set when it came to white wine, but as for red wine, it was a whole different story. We seemed to be out of at least three wines, two of which are, in my opinion, crowd favorites. Luckily we did get a shipment of wine in today though, so I knew we’d at least have one or two of the wines re-stocked by the time I hopped onto the floor. With the time already approaching 3:30, I clocked out for my break and headed over to Pret for some food. Now sure it was Taco Tuesday so I could’ve had tacos in the break room, but I just wasn’t feeling it honestly. Getting my usual meal, I headed over and sat down to relax for my 20 minutes of freedom, zoning out as I watched random YouTube videos. Never a truly productive 20 minutes, but enjoyable all the same. I ended up spending a bit too long at Pret today though, because by the time I had gotten up and back to Eataly, it was already like 4:12. However, as I made it up to Eataly, I realized something- I didn’t have my bag on me! I thought, with false hope, that I had just left it at Eataly and gone to Pret with just my jacket and umbrella, but of course I was wrong. With pre-shift starting at 4:15, I sprinted back down the escalator, back over to the Pret, grabbed my bag from the bench where I had been sitting, and ran back to Eataly, clocking in at 4:16 and heading over to pre-shift. Honestly I think I did pretty solid, considering with how little time I had to make it there and back.

As for pre-shift, there really wasn’t much to cover; we still had the same lobster pasta special, and we were still out of lemon sorbet.  With that out of the way, we headed onto the floor and my day at last… began. Now as I said before, I was in section 2 today; despite it being one of the busier sections in the restaurant, I figured I would be okay. It was kind of a gross day outside today, so I assumed not as many people would want to come and eat in a restaurant, and maybe most would just go home. And honestly things started off easy enough- I had this one incredibly kind table that just raved about me every time I went over to talk with them; like they talked about how everything was so tasty, and how I was great at my job, and kept making them laugh; they asked if I was appreciated here, and asked me to get a manager as to tell them that. Honestly I don’t do well with compliments, but it felt nice to receive that praise. Unfortunately, as I dropped focus enjoying this praise, I turned around only to find out my entire section was getting filled. I had to kick it into a faster gear, moving quicker and working to get as much done as I could. Frankly the next couple of hours went by almost as if it was a blur, and I stayed busy for the majority of the night. What I will mention, however, is how surprised I was with how kind quite a few tables of mine were tonight. I know it’s the holiday season and all, but most people still just end up tipping the same as they normally would, and sometimes less. Today however, people were actually quite decent, and I had multiple tables tip me really nicely. I also had a woman and her daughter dine with me, and with it being the daughter’s birthday, I made sure to get a candle and put it on her gelato when it came time for dessert. As they left, the mother wrote a kind note, saying something to the lines of “Thank you for everything”, and left me a very kind tip, which really warmed my heart.

As things slowed down, the closing manager Nicolette ended up closing sections 1 and 3, but left me to finish out all the tables. Since section 1 was the pasta bar, I didn’t have to deal with anything there, but section 3 had a couple of tables still around, so I ended up getting transferred a good 4 tables. Jeez laweez man. Thankfully for me, I managed to close out all my tables by 10:20, (if that), and after helping finish up rolling the bit of silverware we had left, it was time to add up my tips for the night. Now normally when i say it was a busy night, I hit in the 400’s, maybe the 500’s, and that’s a solid night. And I will say tonight I did only make $50 in cash. But the fact that I hit $628 in credit card tips is insane to me. I don’t think I’ve ever hit $600 in cc tips since I’ve worked here, and I was baffled; I mean ecstatic, but baffled. I mean… on a Tuesday? Really? With that being said, I clocked out by 10:43, and by 10:52 I was on the 4 headed to Brooklyn. Arriving at Crown Heights around 11:17, I headed on over to the Bodega, where I got a turkey and cheese sandwich, along with some chips, cookies, and a drink, and headed on over to my apartment to end my evening. Finally stepping into the living room, I called out to Julian, who was just going to bed, and was happy to see that he had in fact bought the LEGO Death Star, which he had been debating buying for quite a bit. With him going to bed, I headed on into my room, where I’ve been playing League for way too long tonight., I mean for goodness sake it’s already 5:44 and I still need to wash up before I get some sleep. The good news is that tomorrow I am off, but my plan is to hopefully get up at a half decent time, get my hair cut, pick up a couple of things, and then get ready to meet my friend Liz for drinks after she’s done with work. We’ll see if that all pans out; fingers crossed.

Until next time,

-Michael

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**In other news- the tiny Christmas tree I got on Amazon arrived! Sure it’s a bit puny looking, but now it at least feels a bit more festive in my apartment ❤

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