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Location: Princeton area, New Jersey, United States

Just a college graduate stuck waitressing with a love of journaling.

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    Today was one of the first times that I've really felt the power of teamwork where I work. We had a very busy lunch today, especially for a Monday. The expo kitchen cook was out sick today, so Ivan, one of our hot line cooks, had to go and work on expo. Then the kitchen got slammed. There were so many tickets hanging I thought our chef was going to have a heart attack. They couldn't keep up. So they pulled Ivan from the expo kitchen and put him on the hot line, while my GM put on an apron and went to work expo. This essentially left the restaurant in the hands of ten servers, one bartender, and a 19-year old hostess. We kicked ass. I froze the door (i.e. told the hostess to stop seating tables and go on a wait), and then we all just pitched in in the kitchen, expediting food, garnishing food, running food, whatever it took to keep the kitchen from crashing (which is a) not a good thing, and b) a real pain in everyone's ass). I don't think we had one unhappy guest, regardless of the fact that the kitchen had so many tickets that they weren't even beginning to cook some of them until 20 minutes after they had received them. An hour later there was one ticket hanging in the kitchen, and as a team, we had kept the restaurant running. It was a really good feeling to know that we could be without any managers and still make it work. I mean really, we did a bang up job, and I made about $45 bucks (good for a lunch anyway, let alone a Monday lunch in which I only actually waited on 4 tables total) and I think everyone else did just as well. Maybe I sound sappy, but I was really proud of us, and I was definitely really proud of and impressed with our chef for not curling up into the fetal position on the floor and bawling like a little girl (which is what I would have done).

    Right now its back to work for me, perhaps to be sent home in an hour and a half for hitting 40 hours. I don't really mind either way, its not like I'll actually see a paycheck even when they're paying me overtime.

    posted by Lauren@ 4:45 PM 0 comments


    the rasberry coulis incident

    So as of today I have worked 8 days in a row. Tomorrow makes 9. Actually, I don't know if you could really count today, as I only worked two hours before I got sent home because I'm so close to overtime. I have about 4.5 hours to go before I hit 40, and Landry's is really obnoxious about not letting people go into overtime. It's fine with me, I ended up with most of the day off and I may get sent home tomorrow too.

    Even though I've been working straight with no days off since last Sunday, I actually had a great time last night. I went to work at 3 which meant that I didn't have any sidework at the end of the night (always a good thing) and I really just worked it the whole night. I walked with about $150, due to a couple of craptastic tips, but I did get a free shirt and apron out of the deal. But that had to do with the rasberry coulis incident.

    It all started when one of my tables ordered our New York cheesecake with rasberry coulis for dessert. But they wanted the rasberry coulis on the side. So when they were done with it, I went to put the dishes at the dish station and I tossed the ramekin of rasberry coulis in the ramekin bin. And then somehow, I don't really know how, it all of a sudden all flew back at me. It was all over my face, my nice white shirt and apron, everywhere. There was a buser standing nearby so I grabbed his spray bottle and started spraying myself so the stain wouldn't set (and it worked, I bleached them both when I got home and there's no trace of red anywhere on them, yay). But then I was walking around doused in whatever cleaning fluid they use on our tables and with red spots all over me. My manager had to give me a new shirt and apron (which was nice, b/c I needed another shirt anyway and you can never have too many aprons--and the shirt's cost $15, the aprons $5) so I had to scurry back to the employee bathroom and change while my manager Cheryl took care of my tables. It sucked royally.

    Speaking of royalty, I'm reading a really good book, although most might consider it to fall into the category of hideously boring historical nonfiction. It's called The Wives of Henry VIII and its by Lady Antonia Fraser. I'm surprised at how much I like it. Then again, it was a national bestseller (in 1992, when it was published). I got into the topic when I read The Other Boleyn Girl, a novel by Philippa Gregory. I'm also very impressed that the book is written by a "Lady" as I'm at the moment a tad bit obsessed with nobility, although for no good reason (other than that I wouldn't mind having a castle of my own). Perhaps I can marry a KBE and then I can be Lady Lauren (hehe). I've also heard that you can buy titles now, something I wouldn't even consider doing since a) I have no money, and b) I'm not British and thus have no need to be considered nobility other than that the thought tickles me pink. Still, I would like a castle.

    posted by Lauren@ 11:30 PM 0 comments


    quote of the day

    Once again, a beautifully articulate and completely understandable quote from our (il)literate president:

    "I understand politics and I know there's gonna be a lot of verbage."

    George W. Bush
    January 2, 2003
    Referring to the 2004 campaign for the presidency. Speaking to the press at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

    posted by Lauren@ 6:26 PM 0 comments

    feeling (and looking) hot hot hot

    There's something gratifying about walking into a room and knowing that you're the best looking and best dressed. Unfortunately, that gratification loses a little of its luster when everyone else in the room is at the very least 30 years older than you. I mean really, how hard is it for a 23 year old to look better than a room full of 50-somethings? So that was last night for me. My father received a humanitarian award from the American Lung Association and the whole family had to go. I thought maybe there would be cute young doctors there. Not so. Actually, it was pretty fun. They had an open bar, and since its the ALA's 100th anniversary (in NJ I think), the theme was Champagne Century or something like that and there was this giant round table just covered with Champagne cocktails. I had quite a few. Like 10 or so. They were so not strong I didn't even leave the place a little bit buzzed. They did taste good though. And I looked good, although by the end of the night I was having to suck in because I had had so much to drink that it was making me a little bloated. That's okay though, one night of sucking in won't kill me since I generally don't give two shits about what I look like. And speaking of which, I gotta be at work in 35 minutes so I have to go decide if I want to put any makeup on. Probably not.

    posted by Lauren@ 9:55 AM 0 comments


    doggie rivalry

    I have a dog walking rival. My aunt and uncle are staying with us for the weekend, and we all had a couple of glasses of wine with dinner tonight. Then we had some Bailey's with our coffee and dessert. All that drinking makes Lauren want a smoke. So I looked at my dog, who was begging patiently at my mother's feet, and I asked him if he wanted to take a walk, since that's when I sneak out for a smoke. But then my uncle interjected, quite enthusiastically, that he would be happy to take the dog out for me. Damn! I let him do it since I had to go to the mall anyway to get a shawl for the black tie dinner we're all going to tomorrow night. I just hope he doesn't make it into a habit tomorrow. Everyone knows that he smokes. He doesn't need an excuse to take himself on a walk, but I do. And there are only so many excuses I can make for why I have to go out tomorrow. I'm sure I'll live though. Not smoking is certainly something I'd like to strive for, so I guess if my uncle wants to walk the dog once or twice I could probably live through it.

    posted by Lauren@ 11:21 PM 0 comments


    Quote of the Day

    Oh my God, Bush has infiltrated my state. I'm shocked and appalled.

    "There's going to be some hurdles to cross."
    George W. Bush
    September 23, 2002
    Speaking in Trenton, New Jersey

    posted by Lauren@ 8:41 PM 0 comments

    Bad Religious Right! Bad!

    Today I got a piece of mail from an organization called The Interfaith Alliance. According to their letter, they are rallying against the Religious Right in order to prevent Congress from enacting legislation that would allow houses of worship to:

    participate directly in political campaigns
    endorse or oppose political candidates
    distribute partisan voter guides; and
    still maintain their non-profit, tax-exempt status

    What I want to know is this: has the Religious Right ever read the Constitution? And for that matter, have those members of Congress who are supporting this ridiculous legislation? Has nobody in this country ever heard of a separation of church and state?

    Because I vehemently hate the Religious Right I am definitely going to keep myself abreast of the news concerning this legislation. And if, perhaps you are someone who thinks that they agree with the Religious Right, I am reprinting a small collection of quotes that came with the material from The Interfaith Alliance. Here is what these so-called moral leaders believe in:

    "I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle...I point the finger in their face and say 'you helped this happen.'"
    Jerry Falwell, speaking about the September 11 terrorist attacks, The 700 Club

    "You say youre supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist."
    Pat Robertson, The 700 Club

    "(T)he feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
    Pat Robertson, The Washington Post

    "Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."
    Randall Terry, Indiana News Sentinel

    "Women are less equipped physically to 'stay on course' in the brawling areas of business, commerce, industry, and the professions."
    Pat Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle

    I'm telling you, if that shit doesn't make your blood boil, I don't know what will. True, these may be the comments of a few men, but they are powerful men who want to make us all conform to their antiquated religious beliefs which come from a very narrow reading of the Bible. I may not consider myself a person of faith, but these people would take away my personal liberties because I have a vagina instead of a penis. We ARE NOT a Christian nation, but I do believe that we are a nation of faith, and my faith lies in the Constitution. I have faith that rational, modern American people will put these disgusting men, their notions and their legislation down. Think of the Spanish Inquisition, think of the burning of heretics in Queen Mary's England. Think of the Holocaust. These people's ambitions might not bring back mass genocide, but it would definitely be a mass genocide of our civil liberties. I'm making a contribution to The Interfaith Alliance and I kinda think that everyone who believes in a free America should do the same.

    posted by Lauren@ 5:03 PM 0 comments


    Novel Update

    I scrapped the novel. It wasn't going anywhere. Instead, I started writing a different novel. This one is much better, with better characters and plot. I think I started writing it on Thursday or Friday, and I already have over 8,000 words written (almost 30 pages double-spaced and in Courier New font with 10 pt type). I'm pretty happy with it, but I can see that its going to be a long process. I've been frequenting a bunch of writer's advice websites, and I'll probably buy a book on novel writing pretty soon. But all the articles that I've read so far have been very helpful. I'm very excited, and very hopeful, even though I know how hard it is to get anything published. Anyway, hopefully within a couple of years you'll see my name printed on a book cover at your nearest Barnes & Noble. That would be wonderful.

    posted by Lauren@ 5:20 PM 0 comments

    Planned Parenthood

    Oooh, I'm so excited. I just got back from my interview to volunteer at the Planned Parenthood in Trenton. I'm going to be a pregnancy options counselor. Although I'd also love to work on the legislative side of things, I'm really excited about this because its more human. There are plenty of people working on laws that effect people, but I'm going to actually be doing something that will impact the individuals that I deal with.

    I'm not that thrilled about working in Trenton, just because its not the safest place on earth. While I wasn't surprised that I was the only white person in the waiting room at the clinic (considering the demographics of the area I was in), I was a little surprised that there were so few white people on the streets outside. In fact, the area wasn't really diverse at all. I saw African Americans and Hispanics, but very few Caucasian or Asian people (actually, I don't think I saw ANY Asian people). Still, even though Trenton itself is not known to be a haven of safety, the building is extremely secure and there is even a gated parking lot for staff, which makes me happy (although my mother thinks that I should have someone walk me to my car---in broad daylight---but she's a little on the wacko side).

    Now its off to read my new book, called The Queen's Fool. It takes place in the Royal Court in 1553 and its all about this young Jewish girl named Hannah who is adopted by the son of the Protector of the King (Edward, the boy king) and is commissioned at court to by his "holy fool." There's more to it, and it seems to be very historically accurate, but then again, the author could be blowing smoke out of her ass and I wouldn't know it. Although I remember a fair bit of my European history, its more the order of the Kings and Queens than it is any actual knowledge of the events that led them to the throne. Still, its really well written and the plot is really very intriguing. And thank God its not written in the old English style. I don't think I would have been able to take it if I had had to look every other word up as I do when reading Shakespeare or Jane Austen. Anyway, I hear the book calling me. Tootles.

    posted by Lauren@ 3:56 PM 0 comments


    $1.50 Satisfaction

    Yes, yes, its been a while since I've written. But I have a good excuse. It's nothing new or novel, just the usual I've been working too much. Yesterday I opened both shifts, meaning I went in at 10am and worked until about 2:15, then got about a 45 minute break before I had to open dinner at 3pm, then worked straight through until about 10pm. I think my official hours yesterday were somewhere around 11 hours. That's a lot. Then I went out for drinks with some people from work and got fairly tossed. Okay, so I didn't get tossed at all, but I woke up this morning feeling like I'd been on the most severe of benders (a word my English manager Mark uses all the time). Then I worked again this morning.

    And now we shall ring the bells of happiness. I have tomorrow AND Saturday off! I wasn't originally scheduled to have Saturday off, but I gave up my shift to a girl at work who desperately wanted it. And since I made about $150 yesterday (which turns out to be about 13.75/hour, or more accurately, $15.75/hour when you count my hourly wage--usually I don't because that gets eaten up by taxes) I figured I could stand to take a day off.

    Tonight I went out and paid a very small price for a whole lot of satisfaction. I went into Princeton and got a scoop of Coffee Heath Bar on a sugar cone from Halo Pub for $1.50. Yum. I finished it faster than I think I've ever finished a scoop of ice cream in my entire life. I could eat that stuff every day.

    Tomorrow night its off to Steph's birthday party. My mother has this very strange aversion to me going to a lesbian's birthday party, as if just hanging out with someone who likes girls could make me stop wanting to have sex with men instead of women. Besides, its not like the party is going to be a bunch of lesbians all making out and having sex or something. The party promises to be a lot more tame, at least in the lesbian sex arena. Steph isn't known for her restraint when it comes to drugs, and for that matter, neither are most of my other coworkers. I'm guessing there's gonna be all sorts of stuff there, a detail I left out when telling my mom I was going to a party. She's thinks there's just gonna be booze (and there will be plenty of that). But honestly, I've never done a drug stronger than pot (and only like 3 times at that), so why would I start now? Anyway, I think that my exhaustion might be getting to me so I think I'm gonna lie in bed and catch up on some TV. There probably isn't anything good on.

    P.S. I rented the best DVD last weekend. If you haven't seen it, everyone should definitely rent The Life of David Gale. It was sooo good.

    posted by Lauren@ 9:26 PM 0 comments


    spring has sprung

    It's been really springy the past few days, getting up to like 60 degrees every day since Sunday. I love it! This week has been pretty good to me as well. For all my whining about going to work on Monday, I ended up making $100 for the whole day, and I made another $110 yesterday. I'm only working the night shift tonight (gotta get ready for that soon), but I hope to make at least another $75. Then tomorrow I have work in the morning, after which I'm off until 2pm on Saturday. I really hope that I get two days off next week.

    Leah and I decided that when I go up to see her on Friday we're gonna go have lunch at the Rainforest Cafe since they're a part of Landry's (the company that parents my restaurant's corporation) and I get 50% off if I bring my pay stub. I'm all about the cheap stuff.

    Not too much else is going on. I'm continuing to make progress with my novel, although progress at this point has only brought me up to a little bit less than 7 full pages (single spaced). It flows in spurts, but its flowing, and my characters seem to already have definite personalities which definitely have the potential to become much more multi-faceted as the story goes on, which is good because I know that I have a lot more story left in me. Yay. It's actually a fun project, and I'm probably gonna buy a book at some point to help me out with things like chapter organization and character development and other such things. It's nice to have something to work on. When I feel like its close to being done I'll probably get another book with advice on finding a literary agent that will hopefully give me some idea as to whether its worth it to register for a copyright before I start sending it out and stuff like that. The last thing I want is someone stealing my original work and calling it their own (or making money from it without my permission).

    Well, its that time again. Time to start getting ready for work. Yuck.

    posted by Lauren@ 4:11 PM 0 comments


    do i have to?

    Right now I hate my job. I think the reason is mostly because I have to go to work tomorrow. I hate that. Of course another reason could be that I only have one day off this week. But at least I got the more than pleasant surprise that my best friend is in town this week and I get to see her and her daughter (my "niece") on Friday, my only day off.

    Tonight was our employee appreciation party. It was okay, I guess. The only girl that I truly dislike from work won a freakin TV. Okay, not the only girl. The other person that I don't like I think I'm growing to hate. She's just such a bitch. She never smiles, and she never says a word to me. No hello, no goodbye, nothing. To be fair, she did say thanks when I lent her my wine key because she was unprepared for work and didn't have her own. Did I mention that I hate work. I wish I was independently wealthy and didn't have to work. But since I'm not, I think I should go to sleep, seeing as its pretty damn late and I have to be at work at 11:45 (yes, I know its late, but I won't be off until 9 or 10). So, night night.

    P.S. I think my novel has a direction. I've been working on it a bit over the weekend and I like what I've done at this point. It'll be good, I've always been a damn good writer.

    posted by Lauren@ 2:23 AM 0 comments


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