I attended a pretrial hearing on a case I was working on in Judge T*’s court last Friday morning. This particular case stands out, with its obscene-number-of-million dollars at stake, but more markedly because I am completely infatuated by counsel.
You can list that as the most sadistic thing you have ever heard me say, but I’ve heard them argue as opposing counsel in another trial once before, and bottom line - I’m a huge fan, and I’m not ashamed of that.
I have the same nose pressed against the window reaction for these lawyers as 14 year olds would have for Justin Bieber. Wouldn’t you prefer me to stan for these attorneys than some insignificant celebrity? [“Hit me back, just to chat, truly yours, your biggest fan, this is Stan”]
Speaking of the Biebz… guess what all of my friends are getting for Chrissstmasssss?
This weekend marks the 5 month anniversary of my working at CI*. Which means I’ve worked about 20 out of 25 weekends. And that makes me sad. To take a load off, and to recoup from being overworked and unappreciated 40 hours a week, I took this weekend off. But mostly because we are required to dress up for Halloween shifts tomorrow, and there’s something too brothel-y about prancing around in costume while serving customers.
Or maybe I should have worked and worn one of these costumes?
This morning, for the first time in three years, I walked into Borders without carrying a sack of textbooks and highlighters, without needing to mooch their free wifi, and without the look of scorn to no one in particular when I couldn’t find a table (next to an outlet!) in their cafe.
I hadn’t read for leisure since law school began, and to be real, WHO WOULD. I was nearing 500 pages of text a week which always made me wish I could momentarily plead spontaneous illiteracy. The world has no place for such an attorney, sigh.
Anyway, I was at Borders because David Sedaris released his newest book, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, last week and while I am hesitant to pay even ten cents for music from my favorite artist, I have willingly parted money for each and every book Sedaris has published. (I even bought Me Talk Pretty One Day twice!!) I cannot gush about his writing style enough, and if I can generate a fraction of laughs as he has provided me, then I would consider myself a very successful writer.
And then I discovered Steve Dwblanica, whose book I would have overlooked just 5 short months ago. He wrote the confessional Waiter Rant, and it hit too frighteningly close to home for me not to buy, too.
Since the owner and manager treat the staff like slaves, it’s no surprise that many of the customers display similar attitudes toward the hired help. A restaurant gets the customers it deserves.
I don’t even want to assay what this means for CI* - yikes! - But don’t let me fool you, though, it truly hasn’t been all bad. For every 50 Smirnoff Ice requesting bimbos, I get this:
Thanks, RB :)
More importantly, it’s allowed me to explore writing as a creative avenue, something law school tried so hard to BEAT OUT OF ME.
Here’s to a thousand more tales to tell - cheers, and Happy Halloween!
I’ve been bottling some good news for 24 hours now, but only because I haven’t been able to craft a witty way to broadcast it. For once, plain and simple will have to do:
I am temporarily no longer unemployed!
In two weeks, I will be a law clerk at an immigration boutique (hereinafter referred to as S&O*).
Although I still haven’t found an opening as an attorney - yet - and it’s not an area of law I want to practice in (or even know about! shhh!), I am so grateful and cannot be more elated. I don’t want to call it depression, but I was certainly taking an extended stay at Unhappy-ville. Picasso had his Blue Period; I had my daily weeping during every drive to CI*.
I no longer have The Sads, especially since I was told 10 licensed attorneys applied for this clerk position. How’s that for an example of the status of the economy?
Regrettably, this means I will be cutting back the number of shifts I work at CI*. I’ll have far fewer stories, but fear not! stupidity breaks for no one.
I can’t wait for what’s to come! Until then:
x: I want a Smirnoff.
me: We don’t have those here.
x: What flavored beers do you have?
me: Flavored… beers? What do you mean? We have Blue Moon?
x: No! Like the flavored Smirnoff beers!
If I were wearing pearls, I would have been clutching them in shock and disgust. Quick lesson: beer doesn’t come in the color, “clear”.
I do not claim to be a foodie; my palette is admittedly unrefined and can’t distinguish between a lot of flavors - rather, I experience and taste food as a whole - and if asked, my favorite spice is Mrs. Dash.
I, however, LOVE trying new foods and flavors from all ends of the spectrum, and I love my Melting Pot as much as I love my Olive Garden. They’re apples and oranges, of course. ; )
One of the great things about Houston is the number of regional, or Houston-only, restaurants. What’s even better is the sheer accessibility to a variety of foods in my choice of price range. To be honest, I don’t know where I could find good wings in Los Angeles, and you’d have to drive pretty far to get a solid steak, too. One point for Houston.
J and I have indulged in some great finds that I want to note and share. Please drop off some suggestions for us to try, too!
Thanks to a Groupon, J treated me to a Samba Grille dinner. If you enjoy a good steak, you MUST try a Brazilian rodizio style steakhouse where servers walk around with an elaborate display of sword impaled meat and seafood.
We ordered the churrascaria which started with a cheesy puffy bread roll that I could have devoured 2 baskets of, but why fill myself with carbs? I want the unlimited meat. MEAT. Then MORE MEAT. Until I get the meat sweats. Lemon garlic shrimp, lamb chops, ribs, ribeye, bacon wrapped filet, HOUSE SPECIAL SIRLOIN… *kisses fingertips*
By the end of our meal, they knew me well enough to bring me seconds, thirds, and fourths of the shrimp and house special. I was a beast.
Samba Grille was Fogo de Chao meets swank lounge, and my only complaint is that it exudes some pretentious nouveau riche ambiance. Can’t put my finger on it, but it is located downtown, afterall.
Oh, and ladies, be careful. I took a couple of swan dives in my heels on the floor. There’s nothing like than falling twice at a fancy restaurant that says, “Yes, I’m a refined lady.”
I recently received a complaint from my good friend A, who bemoaned that four tales of customers was not enough. Oh believe you mean, I have, and am guaranteed to acquire many more.
It is interesting to reflect upon these stories, because while the food service industry has clearly a huge and necessary presence in all of our daily lives, I don’t recall knowing any friends who were waitstaff back home - especially where in CA, servers are guaranteed the $9 minimum in addition to their earned gratuities. So I don’t have anything to compare my experiences against, and I really don’t know if I’m getting borderline psychotic/mentally handicapped customers because I work in an urban bar atmosphere, or simply because the general public is well, actually mentally handicapped.
Consider five. When any of us work the cocktail area of CI*, we rely on flight-risk stereotypes when it comes to starting a tab. Factors include, but are not limited to: Ed Hardy clothing, size of the party, amount/type of alcohol immediately ordered, time of day, whether it is a football gave viewing; sub factor: which team they are rooting for, etc.
[what is this? and why?]
Our policy is to take a card, run ONE dollar, and return it. Postulate: a card that cannot run a dollar up front is no good with which later charge the full tab. It’s one thing to have your credit card declined at say, Macy’s - you just won’t be allowed to leave with your items - but when someone’s already consumed all his purchases, a declined card does me no bueno if he hops off the patio and drives away.
One game night, a man refused to understand why I could not accept his card. He argued that I would still have “something to hold on to”. Oh, you mean this piece of plastic not worth $1? No thank you. Hand over your next card, please.
And yes, it is absolutely because I am distrustful of people. Some people are shady, but some others are plain sketch without even knowing it.
I had a large party of thirty last night that wanted to pay on separate checks. Normally, this would not be an issue - I’m an excellent server! However, one couple refused to give me a card or pay me cash up front. We’re good on it! the wife exclaimed. We’re not going anywhere! the wife cried.
I politely asked her to consider that there were 30 of them and only one of me, and that house rules on the patio require one or the other. Even a friend urged them to just give me the 10 flippin dollars. The man pulled for his wallet but didn’t have $10. Puzzled, the friend asked, “You didn’t bring cash with you to a bar?”
He replied, “It’s in my car.”
So… you’re “good” on $10 that you don’t even have on you? And I’m supposed to let you leave premises to get it from your car?
It’s been a long day at work, and I’ve dealt with 99 degrees of crazy over the past week. If you’re not interested in these CI* posts, then this is your warning, because you should just scroll along.
One. From now on, if a customer toothless and/or wearing a doo-rag, I’m going to treat them like they’re toothless and/or wearing a doo-rag. You might be thinking, “Silly PerStirpes, isn’t that obvious?” Well, no. I’ve always hated the disparity in attention I receive when I wear jeans and flip flops versus business casual and pumps when I browse department stores. Because of this, I had always tried to treat my customers at CI* equally; you just never know who someone may be.
but uh… reality check. Being toothless with a doo-rag does not equal jean and flip flops. Jeans and flip flops means you don’t wear Christian Louboutins. Being toothless means you’ll probably walk out on your tab… with your doo-rag headed friend.
I will watch you like. a. hawk.
Two. If a customer does not want to pay $2.50 for unlimited soda, I will be wary. Although, to be honest, watching a woman put Splenda in her water was amongst one of the most bizarre things I’d ever seen in my life.
Three. “I bet you want to work and Fulbright & Jaworski. I know some top people in there. I can get something worked out for you.”
Oh reaaallllllyyyyy. “Alright then, Mr. Big Shot. What do you do.”
That answer was like opening an Apple iPod box on Christmas only to find some cheap backalley knockoff on the inside. Like an iPoo or something.
Four. I had a man tell me today,
It’s a shame you don’t know anything about your culture.
First of all, suck a dick. Second, of all the people you could say that to, I should be one of the very last. It is remarkable how much this customer thought he knew about me, despite my only contributions to our conversation were, “Can I get you something to drink? That is impressive. No, I don’t practice Buddhism.” Apparently, somewhere along those lines, I implied that it was wonderfully opportune for him to make far-fetched [i.e. CRAZY] assumptions.
This set me off to a z-pattern finger waving declaration that I know perfectly well who I am and where I come from and nothing he or any Deranged McCrazyton could say would change that. Oddly, he then felt it appropriate to list his degrees - “I have a blah blah Ph.D. blah MIT blah blah Princeton” - to which I curtly interrupted, “I’m not uneducated myself, sir”.
If there’s one positive thing I can gain from this, I beg all of my J.D. bearing friends - that when you’re all rich and important and are strongly confident that you know more than anyone else in a 5 mile radius - please hold your tongue around strangers. Six figures worth of education is meaningless when you’re an arrogant, insolent asshole.