Kindergarten Duty

“Holy crap. I feel like a kindergarten teacher who has to watch the two of you constantly to keep you from eating paste.” How did I come to utter this sentence to Bagheera? Read on.

Right before Christmas Speedy brought in some hot chocolate mix someone had gifted to her. Several customers raved about how good it was and when we ran out, Bagheera asked if I could make more. I bought the ingredients in Cody on a Thursday, and before Sunday, the day I usually make things, Speedy took it upon herself to make the mix. Bagheera said it tasted “funny”.

“Did she follow the recipe?”

“No, she just dumped the different ingredients in a bowl.”

“Why do you let her do that?”

“You think I can stop her?!”

So I put some in a cup, added hot water and took a sip.

“HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! WHAT IS THIS?!

Later I learned Speedy used an entire can (a full cup) of 100% pure cocoa power with a cup of powered milk to make the mix. Oh, she also didn’t add any sugar. Why? Because she thought the cocoa was Nestle chocolate milk mix.

For those of you non-happy-homemakers out there the recipe calls for:

10 cups of powered milk
4 3/4 cups powered sugar
1 3/4 cups cocoa
1 3/4 cups powered creamer.

I planned to cut the recipe in half and have enough hot chocolate mix to last us a year. Instead, I’m still futzing around with the mess she made in order to make it useable.

We make Ranch dressing by the gallon. Since our customers (read King Triton) like it thick we usually add more mayonnaise so we end up with about a gallon and a pint from a batch. Today I noticed the small dispenser of Ranch was nearly empty (another post) and went to the back of the kitchen to fill it.

I pulled out the big dispenser and there was less than half a gallon in it. Confused, I asked Speedy, “I thought you made Ranch today.”

“I did.”

“Where’s the rest of it?”

“We like it thick.”

“Okay, but typically a packet of the power makes a gallon of dressing. Where’s the rest of it?”

“Bagheera didn’t have enough mayonnaise so I didn’t use any buttermilk. We like it thick.”

“Yes, but it’s green. Did you use the full packet of mix?”

“Yes.”

“If you were only going to make half a batch, you should have only used half a packet of mix.”

“Why are you being so mean? We were busy.”

“No! You said you weren’t busy all day. How much mayonnaise did you use?”

“A little less than eight cups.”

“How much buttermilk did you use.”

“None. Bagheera didn’t have enough mayonnaise.”

“So you made Ranch out of mayonnaise and nothing else?”

“Why are you being so mean? At least we made it.”

For those of you who don’t make restaurant size amounts of Ranch, it’s 8 cups of mayonnaise and 8 cups of buttermilk. More mayonnaise for thicker dressing, more buttermilk for thinner dressing. That shit is so green it looks like Green Goddess dressing. Yeah, you made it, but I get to re-make it on Sunday and futz with it so it doesn’t taste like a cup of salty mayonnaise. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.

A few days ago we decided we were going to have a fish & chips special with Cole slaw. I took the time to look up a recipe and buy the ingredients on my trip to Cody. I told Bagheera I would make the slaw on Sunday and we could start the special then. When I got to work tonight Speedy told my she made half the Cole slaw from her own special recipe. I hadn’t found the Ranch dressing yet, and I forgot about the hot chocolate fiasco, so told her if she had a special recipe to go ahead and make it all. Imagine my surprise when, while I was having a small cow over the Ranch dressing, I found an open can of evaporated milk in the cooler.

“What’s this?”

“Speedy used it to make the Cole slaw.”

“What?! You don’t put milk in Cole slaw.”

“Speedy did. It’s really good.”

For those of you unfamiliar with Cole slaw, the sauce contains mayonnaise, vegetable oil, white vinegar, salt, and sugar. No milk, evaporated or otherwise.

I got a fork and scooped some out of the bowl. “What the fuck?! Mayonnaise and evaporated milk? What the hell Bagheera? This tastes like ass. She didn’t put any sugar in it.”

“You said there wasn’t any sugar in Cole slaw.”

“No, I said there wasn’t any sugar in Tartar sauce. Holy crap. I feel like a kindergarten teacher who has to watch the two of you constantly to keep you from eating paste.”

Bagheera left alone in the kitchen is fine. She doesn’t attempt to make anything unless she has been properly trained and she never, ever varies from the exact recipe.  Speedy starts making stuff, forgets half the ingredients, substitutes weird shit, and decides it’s fit to eat. That’s fine when people are coming to your house for dinner. It’s not so fine when people are paying for a meal. Restaurant food should be consistent…consistently bad, or consistently good, just as long as people know what to expect when they order.

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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.”

Lip Locking Grandma

Back story: Drizilla quit working because she was pregnant. The rampant speculation is that the Baby Daddy isn’t her husband, but Johnny Bravo, the best friend who filled the gap because her husband shoots blanks. Sadly, Drizilla quit working, but she didn’t quit chain smoking or drinking while she was pregnant, so when the baby was born last week she weighed under 6 pounds. /back story

Last night as I left work, one of the family members, I’ll call her K for now, said she had to walk to the motel and get Drizilla’s mom’s phone. I offered to give her a ride. She said she was very annoyed with the whole “babysit grandma” adventure because grandma kept trying to kiss her on the lips. “WTF?! My own kids don’t kiss me on the lips.”

She found the phone in the room by calling it, then she quickly locked the door and got back in the van. The conversation turned from Lip Locking Grandma to the parentage of the new baby. This went on for a full 3 minutes until we got back to the bar and parked. As we were getting out, we heard a beep. She looked at the phone and uttered a horrifying sentence:

“OH MY GOD! That all went to voice mail!”

I had plausible deniability. She did not.

Thankfully, Lip Locking Grandma is one of the tech-inept because she didn’t have a pass code set up to access her voice mail. We listened to the message and alternately howled with laughter while counting our blessings. Every now and then it is nice to stumble upon a dummy.

After that scare, I decided to go back in the bar and have a drink. K went to the restroom and I checked in on the Words with Friends game I’m playing with my daughter. I was sitting in the corner, minding my own business (while smelling that a lot of people in the bar need a good scrubbing-the sense of smell is killing me) when suddenly there was a huge ass in my face, all bent over and heading towards my lap.

WTF?! I am NOT a toucher/hugger/mauler, and oh hell no if someone thinks they are going to put their dirty ass on me. I stood up and politely asked Lip Locking Grandma to not sit on me. I mean, holy shit. There wasn’t a shortage of chairs, and I don’t know this woman at all.

That wasn’t good enough. She backed me up against the bar, hugging me while puckering up to kiss me on the lips. I wigged out and she went away mad.

What is wrong with people? When someone politely asks a person to respect their space, why must some people persist and get even more aggressive in their need to paw? I view it as extremely hostile, bordering on rape. It always seems to be women who do this to me. They just aren’t happy until I lose my shit, and then they are all hurt and I’m the mean girl.

I swear the next bitch who does this is in for a surprise. I’m going to dry hump her to the floor and ride her like a saddle bronc. I’m betting everyone will get the point after that.

Keep Your Crazy, I Have Enough of My Own

We got around 10 inches of snow last week and the temperature immediately went below zero…way below…and stayed there for a week.  Somehow my hot water pipes froze and I haven’t had hot water for a week.  I am an obsessively clean person and yesterday, after taking a whore’s bath with cold water for 6 days, I lost my shit.  I got called to work early (and smelly) and I had a screaming, bawling rant in the kitchen.  Some guy who refused to eat in the bar actually picked up his plate and took it there when he heard me shrieking, “I CAN’T BE DIRTY!  I’M NOT WAITING ON ANYONE, AND I SWEAR TO GOD IF ANYONE COMES IN THIS KITCHEN OR LOOKS AT ME FOR ANY REASON I’M GOING TO POKE THEIR FUCKING EYES OUT!”   

Thankfully, my pipes thawed this morning and I was able to shower before work.  Once again everyone gets to live.  Some people are on very shaky ground.

In other news:  I am working on drafting a new town ordinance for all the men who bring crazy bitches to town and leave them.  I think there should be a fine just as there is for littering, and maybe some time in jail (or the stocks).  This is a serious offense. 

We have enough of our own borderline personality disorders problems, we don’t need strangers dragging theirs in ‘cuz let me tell you, when a woman scorned decides to twist off here, she goes all out and takes everyone down with her.   This town has a long and sordid history of Crazy;  it’s where I formed my curious love of good train wrecks.  There’s a big one brewing now and all I can do is watch…and place wagers on who will be among the debris.

Yep, I’m going to Hell in a handbasket.

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.

The Worst Story in the History of Stories

During Labor Day weekend, before things got really busy, a woman, 60ish, rushed in the café and asked if she could use the restroom.  Bagheera and I were at the counter rolling silverware when she rushed back out and snarled that we were out of paper towels.  She grabbed a handful of napkins out of the dispenser on the table and went back in the restroom.

Bagheera went to get paper towels while I continued to roll silverware.  I saw Bagheera walk down the hallway, knock on the door, and go in for about a minute.  Then she came hauling ass out of the hallway into the dining room, carrying a trash bag.  She hauled ass past me and said, “Please put a new trash bag in the bathroom.  I have to go home.”  Then the restroom woman stormed out of the café.

I stood there and wondered WTF?!  It was morning during Labor Day weekend, the busiest weekend of the year in Meeteetse, ravening hordes of people would be busting the door down, and WTF?!  I’m ALONE?!  What the fucking fuck?!

A few minutes later Bagheera’s oldest son showed up to help me and he told me why his mom came home puking and was now laying down with a cold towel on her face.  When she went in the restroom to stock the paper towels she dropped the keys in the trash.  Since she had just cleaned the restrooms and emptied the trash she stuck her hand in the little swinging door on the top of the trash can and right into a Depends full of warm runny shit.  The worst part was the woman who dropped the Depends in the trash stood right behind Bagheera and let her stick her hand in it. 

Things would have turned out differently if I had been in Bagheera’s shoes.

It was hours before I saw Bagheera again and she was green for the rest of the day.  There was also some random gagging.

I took over restroom duties not long after that and at first I asked myself:  Who does this shit?  I kept finding gum in the urinal…until I loudly mentioned to, well, everyone in the bar, that the person who fishes the gum out of the urinal is the same person who patties their hamburgers.  Now I find a lot less of a mess.  I seldom find tobacco on the walls or paper towels on the floor, because everyone knows they will get an ass chewing.   

Fear is an excellent motivator.

Wasting Time

I don’t know what it is about the Outlaw, but some people think I have nothing but time on my hands.  Granted, the cafe is small and there may be only one or two tables of customers at a time, but what customers don’t see are the half a dozen tickets from the bar side.  I seldom have time to slap my ass with both hands let alone play games with people.

One night Bagheera was busy making pizza dough and I was cooking for/waiting on a couple of tables when two older women came in.  I gave them menus and asked if they wanted anything to drink.  They didn’t.  I went to the kitchen for about 5 minutes and went back out to take their order.  They hadn’t even looked at the menu.  I went to the kitchen for 5 more minutes.  When I returned to their table they still hadn’t decided, but wanted me to describe half of the menu.  I went back to the kitchen for another 5 minutes and received four or five more tickets from the bar.  Before I started the bar orders I went back to the women, hoping to get their order.  They laughed, said they still hadn’t decided, but if I would bring them Cokes they would be ready when I got back.  I wanted to beat them senseless with the menus.  What is going to change in the minute it takes me to grab Cokes?  I gave them 15 minutes to think about their Cokes before I went back.  They ordered two cheeseburgers.  Fucking hags.  I wasn’t sitting on my ass in the kitchen, I was juggling food in between playing their stupid game of wasting my time. 

I am very passive/aggressive.  You want to waste my time, I’ll waste yours.

Another night we were overwhelmed with pizza orders.  Bagheera was trapped at the pizza station so I went out to wait on a large table.  They ordered 3 pizzas and when I asked if they wanted anything else, one guy said, “Go put that order in, and come back.  I’ll tell you then if I want a salad or not.”  Seriously?  Fuck you.  You know NOW whether or not you want a salad, you are just playing games.  I did what he said.  I prepped his 3 pizzas (5 minutes each) then went back to see if he wanted a salad.  He was all out of joint because I didn’t come back immediately.  I explained that I did exactly as he said, I put the order in and came back, bad on him for assuming I was the waitress with time to waste instead of the cook.

Don’t play games.

Saturday night I was busy as hell on the bar side, but dead on the cafe side.  On those nights I let Bagheera go home since there isn’t much she can do for me.  Suddenly though, two tables walked in the cafe at the same time Foghorn Leghorn brought me a handful of tickets from the bar.  I got the order for the first table and went to see if the second table was ready to order.  “No!” one of the women snapped at me.  They were passing cell phones around looking at pictures and videos.  Her husband suggested I come back.  I smiled and said, “I have six orders from the bar so I’m going to go start them.  I’ll be back when I reach a stopping point…I’m guessing 10 to 15 minutes.  Okay?”  Holy shit.  They were certainly ready to order.  Again, fuck you.  If you want to have home movie night, do it AFTER you order.  You aren’t just wasting MY time, you are wasting EVERYONE’S time.

And I guess that’s why it pisses me off so much.  I’m paid to be there.  I’m paid to wait on/cook for people.  However, when one table holds me up there’s a cascade effect and everyone suffers.  I view it as inconsideration beyond belief.  The more time I spend playing games with one table, the longer it is for another table to get their food.  Order your damned food so everyone can eat.   

Bastards.

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