Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Loud music for breakfast

For the last two months I've been working at a breakfast cafe Uptown on the weekends. I would name the place but I got in trouble for talking about the fire department that I worked for and ended up having to go back and delete every post with their name in it. This makes sense. They're political, they rely on votes to keep them up and running. Their name in this blog can only bring them ruin. In fact, did I say fire department? I mean, the sewage and water board.

Anyway, moving on. This breakfast joint which I will call "Waffle House"...what do you mean that name's taken? Ok, no problem. So "Waffle Cafe" is in a pretty neat part of Uptown. Lots of bohemians and lots of rich people who started out as regular bohemians, but ended up making lots of money and still listen to Phish. There's a piano player who comes in every day and sometimes a dude on a stand up bass will join him. On Sundays there's a guy who come in with a horn, which always makes taking orders interesting.

Customer: I would like a [sudden trumpet blast] with a cup of [blat!]
Me: Did you say an eagle with a cup of syrup?
Customer: No, no. A [blatty! blat! blat!] with a [pianist sets piano on fire, horn player plays with teeth and crowd goes wild].
Me(pretending to write something): Excellent choice.

Five minutes later I bring him a bowl of oatmeal and hope for the best.

My hearing has gotten so bad over the years and the music and the chatter in the place always drown out whatever desperate plea for food a customer is giving me. I should learn to read lips. The only word I can understand by watching someone's mouth move is "coffee" but that's just because coffee and I have a symbiotic relationship. If I was blind and deaf and someone said the word coffee from across the room I would still approach them with an empty mug and demand that they share.

This is my heroin, people, my shameless addiction, and it makes total sense to me why whenever I'm in desperate need of a job I gravitate towards places where I can get it on tap for free. During my interview my boss asked, "So what draws you to the food service industry?" I glared at him with blood shot eyes and said, "Coffee." He said, "But surely the customers-" And I said, "Hand over the coffee and there won't be any trouble." And at that moment he knew I would be a faithful employee with an everpresent mug in hand.

Until this past weekend when I gave him notice. Oy. I hate giving notice. He understood, and he and the cooks are sad to see me go. I always put in the most interesting orders. "That guy over there would like eggs with a side of hammock." "Do you mean ham?" the cook will ask. "Maybe," I'll say, looking hopeful.

This weekend will be my last two days there, then on Monday I start technical writing for a company which I will call "Big Technical Company With Lots of Engineers and No Trumpets." As long as they keep the coffee comin'.

Tune in tomorrow when I share about the cafe's church lady groupees. This is the entourage of a priest who all come in on Saturday mornings, and it is these ladies' goal in life to make sure that the priest is taken care of as if the fate of their souls depends on him getting his bagel in a timely manner. Hopefully the Catholic church will not ask me to delete that post in a couple of weeks. In fact, did I say "Catholic church?" I meant, "Jay Leno Fan Club."


Libby said...

Yo dude, I'm glad you're writing again, keep it up. I need someone to entertain me here.

melissa bastian. said...

Genevieve writing = no longer want to throw my work computer out of the office window. (The one across the hall; there aren't any in the room I sit in, of course.) I'm still contemplating setting my desk on fire, but that's a different subject entirely.

Tom said...

Third. I slip from second to third...and still behind Melissa! Clearly my priorities are out of whack.

And, I too appreciate your return here, dude. Libby is right - you're the entertainer. Somehow my posts here just weren't going over well, likely because you're the one with the password, but that's just quibbling, I suppose.

Loved this post. LOVED! IT! Particularly the order-taking process. Keep up the great work. Was thinking about your writing as I got read for work this morning, and it's as sharp as ever. It makes coming to work much less dreary, although I still don't want to come to work, no offense.

Thanks for the prayers. I found an internet job listing for a Managing Supervisor Service Writer this week, which has absolutely nothing to do with writing except for the root word hidden in the title, but it's closer than the previous listings for pizza delivery driver. Things are looking up!

Word verification: inglunki - An Anglicized pronunciation of the Alaskan native word "inkloonki" which means "to behave badly when denied coffee." Fitting? I thought so too.

Genevieve said...

LIBBY!!!! Must call you later today so that we may catch up.

Mel-I got the wedding invitation! The calender is marked, my dear.

Tom- 3rd...the shame. But you made up for it with the Alaskan coffee reference. I love "to behave badly" paired with "when denied coffee." It's so general. To behave badly could mean throwing a spit ball or frothing at the mouth and taking hostages until a latte is provided.

Thanks for the encouragement my dears! Today is a full mommy day at Emma and Christopher's school, and I've got to get going. But I've scheduled 2:00 for my next blog post. I didn't realize how much I miss it.

Also, in reference to the comment section of the last post, "Istionsia" does sound very Lion, Witch and The Wardrobe-y! I also like Mel's comment about the name of the paradise after "the rebellion" which has yet to take place, and one can muse over when, where, and what the cause of the schism will be.

Tom said...

Schisms? Now we're having schisms? This is getting serious.

Danielle said...

You are so freakin' funny! I'm so glad you are back on the world wide web! You've been dearly missed! LOVE YOU!

Genevieve said...

I love you too, man! Thanks!