Take Responsibility for Your Actions

I don’t know why drunks and drug addicts absolutely, positively cannot take responsibility for their actions. When they get fired/thrown in jail/divorced/you name it, it is always someone else’s fault. When I was at the Harribalsac my slackassed co-workers were always busy passing the buck. Nothing was ever their fault. If they spent half as much time working as they did blaming someone else for their woes, the restaurant would have been spotless, the food would have been excellent, and customers would have received great service. But we all know that wasn’t the case.

This is chronic in the food and beverage industry, mostly because so many employees are drain circling drunks and drug addicts who have found they can earn a living by doing as little as possible while other people pick up their slack. Sadly, I’ve found employers tend to like the lost causes and will give them chance after chance in the hope of redeeming them so they can feel good about their own lives. I have no such redemption delusions. “Work hard or get out” is one of my mottoes. And for the love of all that is holy, I don’t want to hear any whining.

Foghorn Leghorn’s girlfriend, The Bar Hag, and I had a major falling out New Year’s Eve. Mind you, I’ve been patient with her because she has an 8th grade education and mentally she’s still 14 years old. She’s into gross public displays of affection, high drama, and the Chicken Little kind of crap most of us got over by the time we hit high school. When she gets drunk she laughs like the Joker and I’ve spent hours listening to this seep into the kitchen until it has invaded my sleep, and I fear the only way I can get rid of it is to smash my head into a wall. Repeatedly.

The Bar Hag’s Joker Laugh

I’ve listened to her whine about her bladder infections, her yeast infections, her pulled muscles, all of which has prompted me to tell Bagheera that The Bar Hag needs to stop having nasty butt sex with Foghorn Leghorn. I’ve heard every excuse under the sun why she needs to sit for half her shift, and why it’s simply impossible for her to actually DO anything, yet when she gets off shift and starts pounding beers and shots she is miraculously cured and can dance and play pool like nobody’s business. I’ve put up with this and kept my mouth shut for months because we are short handed and I certainly don’t want to work in the bar.

Until NYE.

When I got to work at 5 The Bar Hag was already in a lather. She and Foghorn were fighting and he refused to work with her. Instead of working his scheduled shift, he opted to get completely shit faced drunk.

He should have been fired.

I felt bad for The Bar Hag because she really kind of sucks as a bartender so I offered to stay and help her when I closed the kitchen at 9:00. Bagheera offered to help her if we weren’t busy in the kitchen until I closed. The Bar Hag was having none of it. She wanted Foghorn behind the bar so she could fight and have the drama she feeds on. She wanted to be able to go up and down the bar whining to the customers about how horrible life is because she and her one true love are fighting and she’s just miserable. Or some such shit.

After I closed the kitchen I went to the bar and hung out with a friend I haven’t seen in a long time and an interesting man named Cactus (actual name, not a nickname). I offered to wash dishes for The Bar Hag because she was truly overwhelmed, and Foghorn was falling down drunk in the pool room.

Then came the countdown. King Triton went back to play Auld Lang Syne on the the jukebox and I noticed Doc go behind the bar. Doc drank himself into a coma this summer and nearly died. We are all on strict orders not to let him drink under any circumstances. I watched The Bar Hag laugh with him while he poured himself a shot and he told her not to pay attention to what he was doing. I heard her say, “Hey, you’re a grown man. If you want to drink, you can drink.” I watched him take the shot and her throw her arms in the air in the victory sign like his life is some sort of game. I remembered watching King Triton and Bagheera cry because they thought their son was going to die.  I saw red.  When she made her way down to my end of the bar I said, “That right there is going to get you fired, and just so you know, I’ll be the one who tells on you.”

Suddenly, Foghorn was in my face, screaming and drunkenly trying to argue with me. King Triton wanted to know why we were fighting, so I told him, which I had planned on doing the next day when things were more rational, but hey, you want to send your boyfriend to fight your battles? Game on.

King Triton told The Bar Hag not to let Doc behind the bar and not to serve him. End of story. Or it should have been. Instead The Bar Hag went up and down the bar, literally crying to people about what a mean girl I am and how I’m going to get her fired and on and on and on. She started pounding shots, which always makes things better. I left before 1 am so I don’t know what else went on, but apparently she had been letting people run tabs all night and when they left, 90% walked out without paying. Also, based on the inventory, she hadn’t charged for more than half the drinks she served. Based on the register tape, she was charging people 25 cents for beer rather than $2.50. It was unclear whether the money wasn’t collected or if it went in her pocket.

She and Foghorn were both reprimanded and she was put on 90 days probation. She was limited to only 2 drinks after work, because King Triton was tired of seeing her be “sloppy drunk with the customers.” The ways to get off probation were:

  • No financial mistakes
  • Act as if you want your job
  • Stop showing up for work drunk and/or hungover
  • Work like you mean it

Since the beginning of her probation she and Foghorn have spent a inordinate amount of time passing the buck.  First the NYE fiasco was King Triton’s fault…no wait, it’s Glory’s fault…no it’s Tinkerbell’s fault…I’m sure it was Glory’s fault.  Not once have either of them said, “You know what, I think we fucked up.”  Their stories about that night have changed more frequently than I’ve changed my underwear in the last month, but one thing is consistent:  it isn’t their fault.

She continues to charge people 25 cents for beer and $1.25 for mixed drinks.  Apparently, she really is stuck back in 1979.  The register is constantly a mess, and typically when that happens, money is going in someone’s pocket.

She and Foghorn have also spent a lot of time fighting the 2 drink rule.  It isn’t fair.  Glory can drink as much as she wants, why can’t The Bar Hag.  Well, Glory drinks possibly 1 beer every few weeks.  There is no reason to limit my drinking, I limit myself.

When The Bar Hag and Foghorn aren’t passing the buck or whining about drinking limits, they spend their time spying on me in the kitchen, trying to get me in trouble.  I find this very amusing because my IQ is greater than their combined IQ, and they end up looking like a couple of dumbass douchebags.  Their latest thing is tattling about what I eat.  We are allowed one shift meal and I respect that.  No place I’ve ever worked has had an issue with me taking advantage of the food policy.  Foghorn ratted me out because I had both Shepherd’s Pie AND a turkey sandwich…except to his embarrassment Shepherd’s Pie contains beef, and what is the one thing I don’t eat, haven’t eaten in more than 20 years because it make me sick?  Beef.  The turkey sandwich was a turkey burger that I brought from home on a bun from the café with fruit and yogurt from home.  My shift meal cost less than a dollar.

That’s right, you lose.  Thanks for playing, better luck next time.

The Bar Hag also started telling customers that I have a bad attitude (well, duh), that I “got a talking to” and King Triton and Bagheera are ready to fire me.  Of course, those customers came straight to me all bewildered and dumbfounded that my job would be in jeopardy since I actually work.  Other than the bad attitude, the whole thing was The Bar Hag’s wishful thinking.  My job is absolutely not in jeopardy.  Foghorn and The Bar Hag didn’t like it when she got yet another reprimand for talking shit on me to customers.  Our business is our business, and people don’t come in to hear the employees bicker and whine.

The final straw with The Bar Hag is she thinks she can sit on her ass and play on her computer on Sundays while Bagheera and I are scrubbing the kitchen, dining room, restrooms, and I’m stuck mopping the bar floor. 

Oh hell no.

I make slightly more per hour than she does, but there is NO FUCKING WAY I’m going to be on my hands and knees scrubbing while she is free to sit on her ass.  I told Bagheera she might be content to pay The Bar Hag to sit while she works like a dog, but that doesn’t fly with me.  If I have to work, so does everyone else.  The first Sunday I busted The Bar Hag, she gave Bagheera 17 different excuses why it was necessary for her to be on her computer.  When Bagheera told her to pack it up and get to work, The Bar Hag spent the rest of the afternoon playing pool with Foghorn.  The second Sunday was the same deal.

Apparently, there won’t be a third Sunday because The Bar Hag got her hours reduced to Tuesday nights, which she will spend with me.  I don’t see her sticking around for long.

Of course, this is all MY fault.  Yes, once again I’m the Mean Girl, capable of getting good, reliable, hard working employees fired with just a glance and the right word.  If I wasn’t such a brown-noser, The Bar Hag would still have all her hours and I would be the one looking for a job, because you know, I don’t do anything while I’m in the kitchen.  (eye roll) 

I’m comfortable in my position as the Mean Girl.  I’m not there to make friends.  I’m there to make money. 

So now Foghorn is sour and rude to everyone, The Bar Hag is probably planning to vandalize Frankenvan, and everyone is on eggshells.  This brings up another of my mottoes:  “If one if us is going to be pissed, it may as well be you.”

Disgustingly Hilarious

Cartman (see Cast of Characters) used to work for the town, but quit/got fired for sleeping at work and being all around lazy.  He now works at the Cowboy and, surprisingly, ranks 4th (out of 5) on the Lazy Bartender Scale.  Yes, there are 3 bartenders even more lazy than he is.

Foghorn Leghorn and his drunk girlfriend were living in a camper trailer until it got sub-zero (and they got kicked to the curb by the friend they were freeloading off).  Since they both spend more than they make on booze and cigarettes, they can’t afford to rent a house/apartment on their own.

Cartman to the rescue.

He offered his extra bedroom to Foghorn Leghorn and his drunk girlfriend, and they moved in right before Christmas.  Very soon she decided the kitchen needed a good cleaning (I’ve heard he has as much dog shit in his house as I do in my yard).  Apparently it was so bad  she had to step into the bathroom to gag and when she came out she found Cartman peeing in the kitchen sink.

That right there is some funny shit.  I know I’m going to hell, but every time I think of it I can’t stop laughing.

Updates for The Cast of Characters

I updated the “Cast of Characters” and as you can see, a lot of people bit the dust while I was gone.

Cartman–he isn’t a bar/cafe employee, but he’s always underfoot.  He quit/got fired from the town for sleeping on the job and general laziness.  Bagheera warned me that I should be nicer to him because she thought he was going to go on a shooting rampage, most likely starting with me.  What gave her the clue?  He started selling all his guns for bargain basement prices, but said he was holding on to one AK-47.  Cartman gets free samples and compliments now.

Betty Booze–her days were always numbered, but even I didn’t imagine how complete her downfall would be.  She lost her full time job at the Visitor Center, broke up with her long time boyfriend, Shaggy,  and started living with Davey in a one room house. 

But wait!  There’s more. 

Her 15 year old daughter was arrested for minor in possession of alcohol, which put child protective services up Betty Booze’s ass.  She started popping Davey’s pills, went batshit insane, and just stopped showing up for work.  Davey’s Mormon landlady didn’t like him living in sin, so she evicted both of them.  They had their shit packed in a piece of shit row boat one day when Michele & I drove by their house, and I laughed so fucking hard I couldn’t get a picture.  They moved into a shed owned by a rodeo clown.

I am not making this up.

Everything was fine until one night Davey went on a pill and alcohol rage and threw all of Betty Booze’s stuff in the river.  He went to jail.

I’m sure their story isn’t over yet.    

Shaggy–cut his losses and moved away.  He’s one of the lucky ones.

Davey–if I didn’t think I would get in trouble I would post his mug shot from his most recent stay in jail.

Drizella–got knocked up and quit.

Doc–tried to drink himself to death, spent a week in an induced coma, currently looking for a new liver.  This one isn’t funny. 

Of course, we found replacements for the fallen.  Of course, they are dysFUNctional.

Here’s a teaser:

Special Board:  Hog Wings & Potatoe Salad

Me:  Who keeps putting an ‘e’ on the end of potato?

New Hire in Search of a Nickname:  I do.  That’s the correct way to spell it.

Me:  Ok, Dan Quayle.

New Hire:  Who’s Dan Quayle.

Me:  The former Vice President of the United States who chastised an elementary student for misspelling ‘potato’ only to find out he was wrong.

New Hire:  I have spell check on my phone, and it says it’s right.

Me:  The dictionary on my phone says you’re wrong.

Idiot.  I’m surrounded.

Davey and the Cheeseburger Whore

Yesterday was a day that ended in ‘y’ (I’m beginning to think it should be ‘why?’) so it was time again to bring out the crazy:

  • Davey couldn’t come to work because he was having another meltdown and couldn’t get out of bed.  Betty Booze relayed this message to Bagheera 20 minutes before the bar was supposed to open.
  • Betty Booze came back to the restaurant, bawling and howling, because Davey kicked her out of the house and doesn’t want to be her boyfriend anymore.
  • Davey and the Cheeseburger Whore started drinking in the bar at around 2 in the afternoon.
  • The bartender who had to pull a double because of Davey’s “meltdown” wanted to stab him in the eye.
  • King Triton told the Cheeseburger Whore she was no longer welcome in the bar.
  • Davey told King Triton to “shove this job up your ass” and he ran off with the Cheeseburger Whore.
  • Literally, since neither of them have a vehicle.
  • Davey called King Triton to confirm the job was up his ass and whined, “You’ve been nothing but mean to me since I started working.”
  • Boo Fucking Hoo.
  • I got tired of looking at Speedy’s peach slop so I turned it into a delicious bread pudding.

I can’t wait to see what today brings.

Just Another Saturday Night

I got to work a little early today and talked with Betty Booze while she made two grilled chicken salads.  She said she was leaving, so I went to dry storage to get the ingredients to make Ramen Noodle Salad.  When I came back to the kitchen, she was gone, but the white gravy container was sitting on the counter.  I figured that was her way of telling me I needed to make more.  I put the nearly empty container in the refrigerator and wrote a note on the board. 

Then I got a table of 14 people.  After I got them all set up, Bagheera came back from the corner store empty handed.  She was supposed to get vinegar for the salad. 

“Where’s the vinegar?” I asked.

“I never got out of the bar.  That damned Foghorn Leghorn.  Those people with the chicken salads wanted more blue cheese dressing and he brought them white gravy.  I think he’s drunk.”

WTF?!  Sure, if I wasn’t involved I’d think it was pretty funny, but working with a drunk isn’t funny.  How the hell do you pour thick, white pepper gravy into a portion cup without realizing that it looks nothing like blue cheese dressing?  He said the lid was blue so he thought it was blue cheese, since we used to keep the blue cheese in a container with a blue lid…yeah, a year ago and that container looks nothing like the container with the gravy.  Your argument is invalid.

At some point while I was cooking for half the town, Foghorn Leghorn came into the kitchen to get some Ranch.  Instead of putting the portion cup on the counter and filling it, he stood in the middle of the kitchen, started pouring, missed the portion cup entirely, and slopped about half a cup of dressing all over the floor. 

That was bad. 

Worse still, he grabbed one of the towels that I use for wiping counters, cutting boards, utensils, and my greasy hands, and proceeded to mop the floor with it.  If I hadn’t seen the whole thing, I would have wondered why my towel had Ranch all over it, rinsed it, and continued using it to keep my work space clean.

I started shrieking, “Out! OUt! OUT!”

Then he brought in two nearly empty, dirty ketchup bottles and asked if he could fill them.  “No.  You can go back over to the bar, dump out the old ketchup, wash the bottles and then fill them.  I don’t know how many times I have to tell you not to mix old and new.”

Foghorn Leghorn has been good for the last three weekends…since the last time he dropped a plate of food on the floor when he was drunk at work, and I told him to get his shit together or we were going to rumble.  He obviously needs a reminder that drunk at work isn’t the name of the game anymore.  After I got in Betty Booze’s face about being drunk, irresponsible and inconsiderate, she quit drinking.  Oh, yes she did.  I’m shocked.  She’s having a hard time, but she’s putting forth the effort, and I applaud her.  Her boyfriend, Davey, quit drinking, too.  So the only drunken asshole at the Cowboy is Foghorn Leghorn.  He’s also the only one who doesn’t clean.  Guess what that means?

I Need a Basket

The swamp coolers** at work didn’t work.  The one in the dining room was 1,000 years old, and the one in the kitchen was a disgrace.  The pads were rotted away and it wasn’t hooked up to water, so we were supposed to carry water to it every 15 minutes.  Once we got busy, no one remembered to take water to the cooler, which put the pump at risk of burning out.  Even with water, the pads were in such bad shape that they couldn’t hold water long enough to cool the air.  Basically, it was a piece of shit.

The last time I worked at the Outlaw, I got into a fight with Doc over the swamp cooler.  One thing led to another and I quit.  This time I told Bagheera I wasn’t waiting for anyone to fix it, I was going to do it myself.  King Triton protested that he hired some guy named Hawk to fix the restaurant and the bar coolers.  I gave him the stink eye, so he gave me a blank check and I bought a new cooler for the dining room, and all the stuff needed to repair the kitchen cooler.

When I returned from Cody, I tore the old pads out of the kitchen cooler, replaced them with new ones, installed a float valve, ran a water line into the kitchen and tapped into the supply line under the sink.  This took an hour and a half, on my day off, in the blistering heat.  When I finished, nothing leaked, the water line was hidden so we wouldn’t get tangled in it, the float valve shut off when it was supposed to, and the kitchen was blessedly cool.

The very next fucking day when I got to work, water poured from the swamp cooler.  It wasn’t leaking from the water line attached to the float valve, oh no, it leaked from above the cooler where some douchebag tapped into MY line and didn’t do it correctly.  Water ran down the wall and into the kitchen. 

That’s when the shouting started.

King Triton said Hawk “fixed” the bar swamp cooler, which is on the roof, and he tapped into my line, but he would be back to stop the leak.  Then the roof of the bar started leaking, and we had to shut the water off to both coolers.

I nearly passed out in a rage.

I told Bagheera the bar people could go fuck themselves, and I disconnected their water line.  Once again, the kitchen was blessedly cool, but I noticed the water line was shorter and had to be pulled out of hiding to reach the cooler.

Bastard cut my line. 

Four days later, the bar water line was again attached to the one I installed, and it wasn’t leaking.  However, I could hear the pump on our cooler slurping, which meant it wasn’t getting enough water, yet it leaked from the front corner (it sits on a crooked table.  One more thing that needs fixed).  I opened it and discovered a crappy old float valve where the new one used to be.

That’s when the shouting started again.

King Triton said Hawk took the new float valve out of our cooler and put it in the bar cooler, thinking that if our cooler leaked it wouldn’t be a big deal since it isn’t on the roof. 

Fucking thieving bastard.

I fiddled around with the float valve, but couldn’t get it to shut off like it should.  I tipped the cooler so the pump was under water, but that caused the leak to move to the back corner.  Then Hawk came in the kitchen and said we needed to shut the water off to both coolers since the roof was leaking again.

Stupid bastard stole my float and wasn’t smart enough to adjust it.  Fuck that shit. 

I disconnected the bar water line and the kitchen stayed blessedly cool, but the water leaking from the corner of our cooler continued to piss me off.

I started looking for a basket in which to put his head.  I checked the storage closet, the cupboards under the counter, and finally the old refrigerator in the back of the bar.  He must have a guardian angel because I didn’t find a basket, but I did find a new float valve. 

I shit you not, if our cooler leaks again or if the water has to be shut off again, I WILL find a basket and his head will be the first in it.

   

**The correct term is evaporative cooler.  It is a type of air conditioner that works by pumping water over fiber pads with a powerful fan to circulate the cold air.  They work best in desert environments.

Millers

 

Filthy little bastard.

Jamie is fighting a losing battle against crickets in her garage.  I’m fighting a losing battle with millers in my bedroom.  Little bastards.

At the end of my day I like to get in bed and read.  This last week I’ve been swarmed by millers.  They land on my face and when I try to shriek, “KILL THE NASTY!”  they fly in my mouth.  Then they tangle in my hair, crawl on my arms and try to pluck out my eyes.  Last night I discovered they feel moist when they do the creep walk, which sent me into screaming heebie jeebie convulsions.

Otis and Maggie used to be Miller Killers.  I would shriek, “KILL THE NASTY!” and they would leap to the head of the bed and snap them out of the air.  This summer Halo and Arlo have decided to pitch a bitch fit if anyone moves on the bed, so when I shriek, “KILL THE NASTY!” Maggie and Otis look at me like I’ve ordered their execution.  Otis still tries.  He worms (fat ass in the air, front legs by his sides, top of his head on the bed, back legs pushing) his way up me, lays on my chest and tries to catch millers, but to be frank, he sucks.  He snaps, drools, decides he wants to be a baby, and rolls onto his back while millers pummel both of us. 

Otis looking for Nasties.

This has turned my relaxing time into an hour of screaming, flailing and name calling.  When I turn the light out I fall into a terrorized exhausted sleep.  It’s helped my insomnia, but at what cost?  I’m supposed to be the boss, but I’m reduced to giving orders no one follows.  What’s next?  Will intruders be given a cup of coffee and a donut? 

You just can’t find good help these days.

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