Thursday, May 27, 2004

I Live

I realized last night how long it's been since I last posted. It seems impossible that it was almost two weeks ago, but I guess I have been more lax than usual.

I found New Girl Order a year or so ago, and it seems like the site is no longer being worked on by its author. A shame, really, since I found it quite funny and entertaining. Last night, I was bored and decided to browse the forums, and then ended up contributing to the Weirdest Sexual/Dating Encounters thread.

I enjoyed writing my post so much that I've been considering posting my sexual memoirs, or at least some of them. I just am not sure whether anyone really would want to read them. I had fun writing the two last night, I did it with a good deal of humor and it reminded me somewhat of Sex and the City (but that could be just because Angie and I are watching the series on DVD). I've got some stories, so lemme know if this interests anybody.

Work is always the same old shit, although we attended a mandatory 9am meeting last Saturday. I hate these mandatory meetings, because every time I go, they tell me something I really don't want to hear.

Last time, it was new lunch and dinner service standards. While I appreciate not having to bring a wine bottle to the table at 11 in the morning, the other bullshit they want us to do far outweighs the happiness I could glean from being able to stop pushing wine on my customers during the lunch shift. I mean, the majority of them are on their lunch break, and they usually acted more offended by the wine bottle than appreciative or anything else.

Well, this time around, it's a new hot tea service. We don't sell a ton of hot tea, but this is probably because we servers hate having to make and maintain it, so we never try to sell it. It's a pain in the ass because it requires building; a cup, bread plate, spoon, hot water urn, tea bag, cream or lemon, etc. etc. And then, on top of that, the hot water urn is big enough for one cup of tea, so we are always asked for more, and also usually we have to bring new tea bags.

I know it's my job, but I can bitch about it being a pain in the ass, can't I? And now we are getting these fancy-schmancy teas, and the company somehow thinks that we're going to push them and sell a lot of them. Schyeah, right. The teas themselves actually sound quite tasty (Earl Grey, British Blend, Green Tea, etc.), but it requires the bringing of a tea box to the table, so that the customer can select their choice from one of six or eight different teas.

This basically requires either an extra trip or the juggling of a drink tray and the box. Yes, let's make a pain in the ass an even bigger pain in the ass. I can appreciate what the company is doing, and I think it's great they want to have a classy-ish restaurant with classy-ish choices for their customers. I also recognize that this is likely a country-wide rollout; however, the reality of it here in WV is rather laughable. We don't need more hot tea choices, we need more draft beer and steak selections.

OG seems to want to be a faux four-star restaurant. We wear white shirts and ties, use cloth napkins during dinner, we push wine like it's going out of style. The thing that's missing is employee incentives and compensation. If you want me to give four-star service, I'd better get paid a four-star salary. Don't even get me started on the $2.13/hr service wage. The tips I get from the redneck hillbilly motherfuckers I wait on do not resemble a four-star, or even a two-star, wage in any shape or form.

I originally had high esteem for Darden, Inc., the company that owns Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Smokey Bones, Bahama Breeze, and Seasons 52. It seemed to me that they at least try to take care of their employees, with various programs and such, like Darden Dimes, a voluntary program that collects a small amount from your paycheck to go into a pool, and the funds collected go to help employees in emergency situations. Like if your mother suddenly gets hospitalized, you can 'withdraw' money from the program to use to cover hospital bills.

That and the mission statements of the company are very noble, and very much about treating people respectfully and like family. But in my little corner of hell here in West Virgina, I'm beginning to see that reality doesn't quite mesh with the company's noble ideologies.

Everything else aside, my restaurant has two managers who constantly treat the employees like shit. One of them happens to be the General Manager, and while I really like him when he's in a good mood -- he can be quite fun and very enjoyable to chat and joke with -- the way he behaves and speaks to us the rest of the time is a glaring contrast to Darden policy. If I can get a copy of the policy, I'll post it. It sounds great on paper, but it would be even greater if it was actually put into practice.

All in all, it's very irritating and demoralizing. There is only one manager who I really like and admire, and that's because he's hard-working and often rolls up his sleeves to get in the trenches with us if need be, and he treats us with consideration and respect. I never mind him getting on me for something, because not only is he usually right, he's always professional and to the point without making me feel like shit, something I cannot say about the other three.

It's kind of scary, but my two-year anniversary at OG is coming up at the end of July, and I just can't get over it. Before working at Olive Garden, the longest I spent at any one job was nine months. I was with Crapplebee's for maybe a total of a year, but that was broken up with time between the different locations.. nine months at one store, three months at another, and three months at another.

The only other job I have done near that time length was working as GameHost and then GameMaster for GemStone III (now GemStone IV). All in all, I did that for about three or four years, and I mostly enjoyed the time I put in.

I know that when I say I'd never held a job longer than nine months, it sounds kind of bad. I went through a variety of jobs in a variety of fields, trying to find something that fit. Retail, office jobs, concessions, pizza delivery, etc., until I tried the restaurant biz, all either mortally bored or burned me out. I'm not the kind of person that can keep various aspects of my life compartmentalized, so unfortunately for everyone around me, it all tends to bleed over into everything I do. Meaning if my personal life is shitty, it affects my work. But also if my work is shitty, it totally affects my mood and my personal life. So having a job that really brings me down makes me a pretty unhappy person in general; I simply found myself getting so burned out or bored that I couldn't take it anymore.

I told Angie I was disgruntled enough to want to write a letter to someone, but I've felt like it would be in vain. I mean, the guy above my General Manager is part of the problem, too. Angie said I should go to the top and write the president of the company. I'm skeptical about this, too, because I presently feel a little jaded about the suits in the organization. Since it appears they're more concerned with the bottom line than with the welfare and well-being of the employees, especially the servers and bartenders, who seem to be considered the most disposable, why would they listen to the grumblings of a peon?

This and I'm feeling increasingly jaded about the state affairs in our government. I see how it manipulates the media and feeds us sometimes outright false information to keep us where they want us. Corporations are much the same; they concern themselves with maintaining a positive public image while focusing on making the most money possible for the top 2% of the company ladder.

It's all empty, carefully-crafted rhetoric. I don't even know what to believe anymore; every time I hear a piece of information, I immediately question its validity. I've been thinking about this, too, wondering if my suspicion is healthy critical thinking (I think my English 2 teacher would be proud) or a sign that I've simply become almost entirely jaded.

I find myself increasingly scared and depressed about how things have become in this country. I don't trust our government, and I don't trust the things they tell us. I don't trust the men that lead this country, or the things they quietly do in our name. What kind of country do we live in, where we can impeach a president because he had sex with an intern, yet glorify another for useless, unprovoked killing?

I know people like to play the Hitler card a lot, and the word Nazi is used so often that its true meaning is practically lost. But comparisons have been made between the current administration and Nazi Germany, and frankly, I have to agree that there are parallels.

This is not something that should be happening in our country. Vote him out, people. Please. For the love of God and all that is holy. If you value your country and your liberty, all the freedoms you rightfully should enjoy as an American, VOTE HIM OUT.


Currently Playing...
Song: TV on the Radio - Staring at the Sun
Book: The Speckled People by Hugo Hamilton
Obsessing Over: You name it.

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