Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I should be studying for Italian...

...which means I'm going to blather on and on and on in this entry until I can't possibly blather any more. And then I'll just type letters at random until my fingers fall off. Then, possibly, I'll study. Who knows.

A few things:

First, a lady customer at work yesterday asked me to come work for her at the place she manages. She was there with her husband and son. She said, "If you want to make a few extra bucks on the side, why don't you come work here?" and she handed me her business card. I had no idea that she was about to hand me a card for T_______ Gentleman's Club, across which she'd written, "Dancers Wanted". I didn't know whether to be flattered that she thought I COULD be a stripper or horrifically offended that she thought I WOULD be a stripper. Is it my fabulous ghetto booty that swings and sways, making people think I walk like a stripper on purpose? I don't know. I opted for an awkward, "Oh! Thanks..." and lamely walking away, my entire head as pink as a diaper rash. I think even my hair turned pink.

Second, people aren't tipping lately. I don't know what it is. I got two outstanding tips tonight, otherwise I would have come home with less than $20, which is about $5 an hour. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for every little bit. But $5/hour doesn't pay the bills. People think I'm greedy when I get all disappointed about crummy tips, but really I'm just frantically assessing our budget for the month and wondering how long we can subsist on our own toenails. They're high in protein, but rather lacking in essential vitamins and minerals.

Third, WEIRD people at work lately. See how I capitalized "WEIRD". That means extra-weird. That means, "Wow, you really skeeve me out" weird. In particular, there's this one guy who I first saw come to eat at my restaurant a week ago. He wasn't sitting in my section, but every time I walked by he would look at me. A lot. About the third time I walked by and--heaven forbid--wasn't smiling for once, so he stopped me and said, "Smile!" I said, "Um, okay," and walked away because I'm socially awkward.

Today he purposely sat in my section, and more of the pro-smiling inspirational speeches. "You have such a beautiful face, you need to smile more," he says to me probably five times (or some variation on the theme). People, if you knew how much I smile already you would know just how whacked this guy is. I'm obnoxiously smiley. I'm the kind of smiley that would cause a lesser woman's face to slide right off her skull. But he gave me a generous tip, so I didn't care too much.

I just hope he doesn't think generous tipping buys him a date. Some guys are like that. A guy once actually got angry at me. He kept throwing one-dollar bills on the table, one after another, each time saying, "Now will you?" and when he ran out of ones got so upset he just stomped out and left all the money there, like he was my sugar daddy and I was some ungrateful trick.

Hello? The more money you throw at me, the more unstable you seem. I wasn't married at the time, or I may have had a good excuse. He just wasn't willing to accept that I wouldn't go out on a date with a complete stranger.

What happened to that guy I had last week? Huh? He needs to come back and bring his kids. I would offer free babysitting to that man.

Instead I get crazy people, like Potato Man and Mr. Smiley. I know I've said in the past that I love the crazy, that it's highly entertaining, but it seems like lately there's been a little too much. Like maybe the crazy people are magically drawn to me, and I don't even want to speculate as to what it is about me that attracts them. Maybe I have crazy-attracting pheromones.

I know I have one more thing to talk about, but I can't think of it. I'm going to be up until very late tonight because I took a three-hour nap this afternoon. I came home from class in some kind of stupor and flung myself upon the bed, where I dreamt bizarre dreams and hallucinated all sorts of crazy things. It's amazing how much fun I can have without ever doing 'shrooms.

Now, I must go study Italian. Not much to learn, but I do need to know the vocab (which I don't), and I need to finish my workbook assignments. I always save the most boring, tedious ones for last, and that's probably really dumb. Okay, goodnight.

Mr. Smiley

So, yesterday at work was an interesting one. My responsible adult self decided it would be a good idea to finish off the Greenbush Bakery doughnuts that I'd bought the night before. So, for breakfast, lunch and dinner I had doughnuts and coffee.

By the time I got to work I felt! Like! A million! Bucks! Also, everything was funny to me. Lack of sleep, I'm sure, had something to do with that.

Anyway, there's this guy I call Mr. Smiley that's been coming to eat at my restaurant for the last several weeks. Clearly, the man has a thing for me, but it hasn't ever gotten creepy so much as weird.

Well, every single time he comes in he makes some mention of my smile. If you take a gander at my photo above, you can see that it looks like I have never smiled in my life. But the truth is, I smile a lot. I smile until my teeth hurt. My whole face scrunches up, and my cheeks get all chipmunky, and I SMILE, gosh darn it. Constantly.

Mr. Smiley seems to think I don't. Every time I walk past the table, "Hey! You should smile more!" Um, okay. Maybe I'll train myself to smile in my sleep. Although, if I can't train myself to stop screaming at imaginary spiders in my sleep, I very much doubt I can train myself to smile in my sleep.

Yesterday he was there again. Now, I don't mind him, really. He's pretty nice, and he always leaves a good tip. But yesterday, in the middle of a conversation, he said to me, "Now, I must admit I'm a little disappointed in you."

I thought to myself, If he even thinks about telling me that I'm smiling less than usual, I'm going to bite his face off.

But he didn't. He said, "I found our you're married!"

I said, "Oh. Um, sorry?" Then I coughed nervously and scurried away. What I was thinking was, Have you never seen a wedding ring before?

Ok, men. If a woman is wearing a shiny metal thing with maybe sparkly stones in it on her left ring finger, at least ask if she's married before you get your hopes up. Please. I don't care if she looks like she's 16. Just. Ask.

So, I was made slightly uncomfortable by that, but I didn't want to be rude, so I continued waiting on him. Later, as he was walking out the door, talking to me, he said, "You know what I told your boss?"

"Oh, what?" I said, and then I expressed extreme interest in a piece of red jello stuck to my dirty wall.

"I told him it just wasn't fair to have such beautiful women like you and Sandra working here."

"Oh, uh, really? Uh, hahah! You're too kind!"

"Oh, you're blushing!" He crowed, as if violating my sense of propriety is something to be proud of.

"Yes, I'm blushing because I'm half your age, I'm married, and I'd really rather be anywhere else than here right now. Thanks. Oh, and this jello? Is fascinating. See how its color perfectly contrasts this rich brown chocolate smear?" Actually, I just grunted. But that's what I wanted to say. That's what Superhero Naomi would have said.

"Well, I told him it was better in some ways. You wanna know how?"

"Oh, really, well, uh, how?" At this point I crawled under a table and died, but he didn't notice. He just kept talking to my dead body.

"I told him that now I could admire you like a Picasso. Have a great night!" At that, he waved and walked out.

Okay, chalk that one up in the "Top Five Most Awkward Conversations Ever" category.

The poor guy. Underneath all the weirdness and maybe-creepyness (creepiness?), he seems to be really sweet. He just doesn't get it. I do hope someday he finds some (unmarried) lady who likes being compared to a painting in which facial features are all in the wrong spots.

I just don't know what to do in situations like that. It's so awkward and weird and confusing. And coming from me, that says a lot, since I spend every day bringing awkward to a whole new level.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Microwave my baked potato!

Actual conversation today between me and a customer who smelled strongly of pot:

Microwave Man: Excuse me, miss? Do you have a microwave here?
Me: Uh, no, I'm sorry. What for?
MM: Well, my baked potato is cold. You don't have a microwave?
Me: No, but I can go get a mana--
MM: No, I need to reheat my baked potato. It won't even MELT. BUTTER.
Me: Well, we don't have a microwave. I'm sorry. As I was saying--
MM: (frothing a bit at the mouth now) No, I need a microwave! How can getting a manager help me? I can't believe you guys don't have a microwave!
Me: (plowing on through even when he interrupts me repeatedly and raising my voice in increments just to make sure he hears me) I can get a manager to check the temperature ON THE POTATOES AND IF THEY'RE ALL COLD, WE CAN GET ANOTHER BAATCH OUUUT, OOOOKAAAAY?
MM: I just don't see how that helps me.

He then huffed away, all in a frenzy about the microwave. All through this conversation, his tone of voice told me that it was most definitely my fault that there was no microwave, and that I, the lowest on the totem pole in the entire restaurant, could most certainly do something to remedy that if I actually wanted to help him. You know, like, run over to Target and buy one with my tip money. Or something. Apparently he also had this exact same conversation with two of my coworkers.

Methinks he was just trying to get a free meal. You know, if he complains enough about the food, he can claim he should get a refund. Happens all the time with people. And then they get their panties in a twist when we actually check the temperature on the food because, duh, there's steam rising from the very pan of food that you claim is cold.

My theory is that he got his food, went out to smoke a joint, and then when he came out, his potato has gotten cold. I mean, who gets that worked up over a baked potato?

This is why I love my job. There are so many crazy people, and I get to see it all. For FREE, people.