Sunday, April 13, 2003

Feh and Stuff

Okay. I lost everything I wrote about last night, and I just can't bring myself to rewrite it all. It was so good, too!

There is something that I keep thinking about, so I may as well write about it here. Only what I write this time is going to be different, because I feel like focusing directly on Rob.

Rob is one of our newer bartenders and one of the gay guys at work. He's one of the most clueless people I have ever met, and he apparently lives in La-La Land, thinking none of us dislike him. When the truth is, he annoys the shit out of everyone. When I say 'annoy', I mean bugs-the-shit-out-of-you kind of irritation. He's one of those people who wants sooooooooo badly to fit in and tries sooooooooo hard.. yet it backfires because he's always in everyone's space, and it gets irritating.

It's not like I've been nice to him and encouraged it. I sometimes ride the line and am somewhat mean to him, but he doesn't even take it badly. I guess he respects me for some weird reason (I say that because it's not like we've ever talked about anything at all, so how can he respect me as much as I think he does, without knowing me at all?). I really am not in the habit of being mean to people; usually I can ignore and avoid the people I dislike, and not get riled up about things that annoy me. The thing about Rob is that you can't discourage or avoid him. He's kind of like a leech.. he swims up from the murky depths, finds you and sucks on, and apparently when you burn him with matches and peel him off, it makes you cool and admirable!

I don't know what's going on with his hair. It's some unfortunate style that he invented.. but instead of looking 'different', which I think he's striking for, it looks more like it's thinning on top and he's trying to do a front comb-over. And if that wasn't bad on its own, he uses an assload of gel or something that makes it look like it hasn't been washed in a month. Someone should tell him he looks like a sweaty, middle-aged man with that hairstyle.

So anyway, we all went out to True Colors (one of the two gay bars in the area) last night for Chris' birthday. I got baked beforehand, my reward after a super-shitty night at work. I hate bars anyway, unless they're somewhat upscale and/or you're not deafened by terrible music and can actually hold a conversation. Bars are not my scene. I don't even really like drinking.. I always end up feeling like total crap the next day, no matter how little I actually imbibe.

Because I'm uncomfortable in bars, I tend to get very self-conscious and quiet, and end up spending most of my time listening and observing. Well, somehow, struggling with my inner uncool lends me a mystique of Super-Cool. Don't ask me how it happens. I don't feel cool.. I'm just kinda.. me. I've been told this twice in a bar setting, that I appear so cool and collected.. untouchable.

It amuses me that I can project a Super-Cool force field when I feel so insecure and self-conscious inside. And I think it's cool that I can adopt this Super-Cool exterior when I'm feeling vulnerable. I'm a Scorpio, so the whole protective shell thing is so appropriate. In any case, at one point last night, Rob stopped flailing around on the dance floor to come sit next to me when I was alone at the table. Right next to me. Like, in my face.

Rob then began one of the more uncomfortable conversations I've hever had. He fawned over me for a half an hour (maybe longer.. it felt like a long time!), though after about five minutes of it, I was practically squirming in my seat and trying to avoid looking at him. You have to understand that I'm not someone that ever gets fawned over, so I admit it was a bit flattering in the beginning. He liked my style (I didn't even know I had a style!), he liked my hat and my shirt, he LOVED my shirt and my hat, I'm so cool, so strong, so intimidating, and on and on and on...

I was trying to beg help from the others with my eyes, but they were too busy talking to each other to notice my plight. I tried and tried to discourage the topic of conversation, but he evaded me at every turn and continued to gush all over me about whatever. Oh.. not only was I cool, but he fished until he got me to say I'm a lesbian (which is beyond common knowledge, so now I know he lives in a cave) and then started going on and on about how he'd known, he'd guessed it, blah blah, obviously feeling proud of himself that he'd figured out one of the more public things at work. Yeah, takes genius, I tell you.

So I knew mid-conversation that nothing I said or did could discourage him. If I was detached and disinterested, that only added to my Super-Cool mystique; which apparently attracts, rather than repels, him. If I was friendly, I'd only be encouraging it. I sat there, Rob leaned over basically into my lap and spitting in my face, going on and on about stuff. I wanted to scratch out my own eyes.

What was kind of funny is when he was telling me I'm intimidating, he brought up something that happened at work last night. As I said earlier, I was having a really shitty night, and I was in the blackest mood possible. I got so frustrated and fed up that I threw a bit of a tantrum, slamming stuff and cursing. I hate it when people do that stuff at work, but you know, I don't do it often and sometimes you need a vent. After all, throwing a tray jack harder than normal is far better than hurling a wine glass across the dining room. Or stabbing all the guests. :-D

I think I'm at that stage in PMS where I'm uncontrollably emotional. I mean, I'm always emotional, but I'm usually able to keep it somewhat in check. But this time of month rolls around and something sets me off, and I end up in tears. I sat in dry storage for a while, crying and trying to calm down. I didn't get much time before my roommate called that I had a new table, so after I took care of them, I checked the time and headed back to the smoke hole to have a much-needed cigarette.

I think everyone pretty much knows I don't get this upset that often, so they were all respectful to me when I sat down and lit up. I was calming down a little, and we chatted small talk. Rob came back to get a broom and took it off the hook, then turned to point it at me and started to advance. Without even looking up, I growled, "Don't even fuck with me." He stopped immediately and kind of scurried away. God, that felt good. Let out the inner bitch!

As for the conversation last night, I actually have no idea what he was saying about most of it, it was like he was saying I didn't seem gay, and then he would say something like I'm so gay it's obvious. I do know he kept saying I remind him of his friend Marisa, who is, like me, Uber-Cool and a lesbian. Then he started grilling me with questions about how I felt about him. Gah!!

See, I'm honest. If you ask me what I think, I will pretty much flat out tell you the truth. I'm more straight-forward than blunt, though, because I don't like hurting people's feelings. So in such cases, I will try to omit as much detail as I can, to avoid being totally blunt and maybe get by with not really answering the question. But he wouldn't let me get away with that, which is part of his whole charm. So he kept badgering me until I finally said no, he isn't the best bartender.. and of course he wanted to know all the reasons why and who I thought is the best bartender. I just wanted to go, "Dude, you suck. And you've only worked there a couple of months, so how can you possibly be the best bartender?"

Another thing is, nepotism rules everywhere in this area. It exists everywhere because this town is so small, everyone knows everyone. I grew up in San Francisco, which is a smaller city than you'd think, and I just can't get over how many people walk over to another table and talk like they've known each other for a billion years. On Sundays with the church crowd, tables visit each other all day long. Olive Garden here is no exception to nepotism. I can't tell you how many couples work here, as well as parents, brothers, sisters, etc. It's crazy. But that's generally okay because it gives us more of a family feel, which I like to have with my restaurant coworkers.

However, Rob is a case of nepotism. He is the nephew of Cheryl, our salad "girl". She's actually 30-something, but we call them all salad girls. I lurve Cheryl, she's so kind, generous, and has such a big heart. She's awesome. So I'm surprised that her bloodline has spawned something as insidious as Rob. It also makes it impossible to bitch about Rob while Cheryl's around. And unfortunately, Rob is apparently masochistic and absolutely loves working at Olive Garden with us (even though we all dislike him and we're all mean in various ways with him). So I doubt he'll be finding employment elsewhere any time soon. Alas.

On an entirely different rant, we have this new server named Jaime. I can say nothing good about this girl. She is slow and exceedingly whiny. She bitches about everything. If she's not bitching about herself or her life, she's bitching about her tables or not making any money or something else. It's gotten to the point where I tune her out as soon as she opens her mouth. She bitches in the side station with me, but to be honest, she's basically talking to herself.

I just don't understand this. Everyone bitches, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. But when every goddamn sentence coming out of your mouth is a complaint about one thing or another, that's just unacceptable and there is no way you're going to make any allies. Someone said she wasn't going to be working here long, as she's supposed to be moving, but that would only be too fortuitous. However, if she moves before we all kill her, it might turn out better for her.

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