My Post College Life

Random thoughts from a recent grad. Consists mostly of misplaced hostility manifested as sarcastic smack-downs on people I don't personally know.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Dining Etiquette

As a recently retired waitress, I have seen my fair share of social misbehavior in the restaurant environment. I got into the industry during my college years to pay for various luxuries such as roach traps and toilet paper. During my four year tenure I was trained in various styles and themes of dining and cocktailing. Although lucrative at times, the money was often a pittance for the physical and mental stress associated with serving assholes. I think four solid years in the industry allows me a little room to pick at you bastards. To be nice I’ll proceed from easy to difficult on the crap scale.

Ordering While On A Cell Phone
Ok, I know you’re a busy person, hell I’m busy too, which is precisely why I don’t have time to stand at your table waiting for you to complete your phone call. Why even flag me over before you’ve finished the call? You’re in a rush? Oh, well, that makes it perfectly fine then. You know what, I’m in a rush too, I have to finish this shift so I can run off to the library to finish a twenty page paper due in three hours. In light of this information, you can take your own order, get it from the kitchen, and then bus your own table because frankly sir, I am much too busy to give you my full attention.

I propose a no cell phone policy for restaurants. If you try to hold up a member of the staff because you are on the phone, they have the right to ignore you and walk away. Also, there will be no loud, annoying twenty minute phone conversations with your “business associate” (read: mom) about how important you are.

Forgetting What You Ordered
Fifteen minutes. Yes Fifteen minutes is all it takes for some people to completely zone out of reality and forget what took them twenty minutes to order in the first place. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely adore standing around with a hot, heavy plate in each hand while you reach back into that crap pile you call a brain and try to recollect. Now for a table of six or less, I make it a point to remember what dish goes where. However, this is not a four star dining establishment and I’d rather get your food out faster than sit around and map out your seventeen person table. It’s green curry chicken. Not hard. Couldn’t you waste just one little brain cell on your server and remember the color? Oh, you recall it was a chicken dish? That’s great, so are ten of the others, Einstein would be so proud. Keeping my opinions neatly tucked away, I would often just sit the dishes in the center of the table and let you, the stupid diner, figure it out for yourself. On top of that, I think I’d rather donate my left ovary than teach you how to pronounce “pad see-ew” one more God damn time.

Blowing Your Nose At The Table
I won’t keep it a secret that spicy food makes my nose run like a Mexican at the border, but there are better ways to handle such an occurrence than shooting out snot rockets in front of friends and family. Don’t you ever pause and think about how unappetizing that sound can be to other people? Are you aware that wait staff make better tips when customers have an enjoyable dining experience in all aspects? You’re not in a wheel chair, so get up and walk your lazy ass to the restroom thirty feet away and save yourself some face.

In some cultures blowing your nose while eating is a serious offense; often inciting comments of disgust, “you should know betters,” and smacks upside the head from the old women around you. I especially abhor this behavior in front of young children, as you are now showing them that it’s perfectly acceptable. Jesus, why don’t you just let one rip while you’re at it, I mean since it’s in the same bodily function territory. If you really can’t drag yourself from the table, just discreetly dab at your nose with a paper, not cloth, napkin. Save the trumpet show for a more private location.

Being A Wine Snob
So you’ve decided to break out your wine-snob alter ego in a cheap Thai restaurant. I suppose I could continue to grin and bear it, but I’d rather tell you how much of a douche you are. No I don’t know whether the $4 glass of house merlot was aged in an oak barrel or not, and surprisingly neither does the manager. Yes I’m shocked and appalled as well, what is the world coming to?

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I’ve discovered that wine snobs have a much lower tolerance for that ubiquitous answer “I don’t know,” than the average diner. As if the entire population of wait staff should be as compulsively well versed in fermented grapes as they. I was trained to open the bottle, and to serve it in a professional manner. I understand, though, you want to impress your superficial friends with your expertise in oenology, and knocking my skills makes you look better in comparison. Bravo, may I suggest that next time you show off by bringing your own bottle of obscure pinot noir from your, obviously, extensive private collection instead of berating our crappy house version.

Talking Down To Your Server
If I truly was an idiot, or if I resembled the adjectives ‘slacker,’ or ‘lazy’ while on duty, then maybe I wouldn’t mind if you spoke to me as you would your whipping boy or small child. If you murmur, stutter, or whisper your order to me and expect me to glean it from the wall you spoke to, don’t get snotty with me when I ask you politely to repeat yourself. Also, it does not reflect poorly on my intelligence that I don’t know what a “seven and seven” is, I’m twenty years old and last time I checked this wasn’t a country club you old codger. So I’m sorry I’m not catering to your every whim enough for you to treat me like a person. I’m also quite apologetic that I’m not physically stylish or gorgeous enough for you to keep that critical eye of yours off my required uniform. My bad.

You would do well to remember that this is a college town you’re dining in, and if you’d look around you’d notice that none of the employees in this eatery are over the age of twenty four. You’re right though, why should you care that the bus boy will be operating on your decrepit heart in ten or twenty years? It’s also perfectly acceptable to be an ass to that the guy who brought you your drinks. So what if he’ll be taking your case when that future ex-wife next to you tries to take you for everything you’ve got?
*Bonus advice: we handle your food you twat, be nice.

Being A Lazy Parent
I’m doing my best here, it’s the Friday dinner rush and every table is full. I’m running around to take care of my twelve tables and trying not to trip over myself, when I stumble upon a small, squealing child sitting in the middle of the floor. I recall that I saw this child at one of my tables, but it couldn’t be the same one. No, that just wouldn’t be possible because that table is twenty feet across the room from here. So I set down my heavy tray, pick up the escapee and carry it back to you, the parent. On my way I give you the benefit of the doubt, maybe you’ve got Cysticercosis or something and you can’t physically pay attention to your kid. However, that dirty look you shoot me as I deposit your child into the empty chair next to you clues me in that you probably don’t have a rare tapeworm in your gut; you’re just a lazy parent.

I’m pretty sure that “caring for wandering children of customer,” wasn’t listed in my job description. I also don’t take kindly to apologizing to other diners because your screaming 2 year old is ruining their meal. Next time I think I’ll just ask you to do it, since you’ve got all that free time to spare from neglecting your kids. Are you really so oblivious to your surroundings that you don’t hear that infuriating, high pitched wail next to you or see the dirty looks you’re garnering from the other clientele? Maybe you like the negative attention because it’s the only kind you can get, no wait, that’s what my school counselor told me when I was 8. Sorry, what I really meant to say to you is if you plan on taking a screaming, messy child into a restaurant, there are two rules to follow.

One: children under the age of 4 should not be in a sit-down restaurant with you, if you’re really too cheap or pressed to find a babysitter, bring a muzzle.

Two: don’t leave that pile of food your ingrate of a child threw on the floor for the server/bus boy to clean up unless you’re planning to use that saved babysitter money for a fat tip. Also, ponder how letting your child make a mess on the floor at a restaurant with no punitive action will lead to or support said child fucking up the floor in your home.

On a side note, the subject of poor tipping was specifically left out of this list to avoid an aneurism on my part. It should be noted that this lapse in decorum infuriates people to different degrees, but will invariably piss them off nonetheless. Also, I apologize if I’ve missed any potential subjects of rant other members of the service industry may have. Alas, I can only bitch so much in one sitting.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Religious Sarcasm Is Fun!

The Inspiring Piece of Information

“Come here Jimmy, I’ll read you a bedtime story.”

Image courtesy of

“Ah super Pop, which one will you read me tonight?”
“Well Jimmy, it’s the touching story of the now extinct Christian Fundamentalist or K-Feds for short.”
“Wow Pop, what in the world’s a Christian Fundamentalist?”
“Son, those were people who were pretty much in charge of things until the ancient times of the late 20th century. They tried to push their Christian religion into politics so that everyone in the world would have to follow their ideas of right and wrong, even if it wasn’t what other people wanted.”
“That’s awful Pop! So why do we call them K-Feds now?”
“Well, no one really knows, but there is an old theory that it comes from an early 21st century term that means ‘one who leaches off others in order to promote or further ones own ideas and aspirations,’ but son it generally means someone or something that no one likes but can’t get rid of.”
“But Pop, if the K-Feds were so powerful back in those days, why aren’t there any around now?”
“That’s what this story is about Jimmy, how the K-Feds forced themselves to extinction.

It all started in the late 20th century; the K-Feds were just starting to lose their control over the people of the United States. Young people were exploring new ideas and religions and questioning the Christian church ideals that were becoming irrelevant in the more modern times. The guidance in the nearly two thousand year old bible was not meeting all of the needs of people. So the majority of people stopped taking the bible literally and grouped to simply lived by it’s most basic messages of right and wrong. Another group decided to take the bible even more seriously than ever before, while still another group quit the religion all together. The group that stayed the course to live by the bible word for word were the K-Feds, while those who decided to interpret the book more fitting for the times were simply dubbed ‘average Christians.’

See Jimmy, when a majority becomes a minority, it usually means that it couldn’t adapt to keep up with the changes in its environment. In natural selection, where the once strong top of the food chain is killed off by climate changes or disease, the smaller, more adaptable species comes out on top and by rights can shame the old regime to a degree of their choosing. However, the K-Feds wouldn’t take their smiting on their knees, as is recommended.

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Since the K-Feds were getting less and less attention and support from politics and the general population, they decided to mount a strike against progressive society. They fought to have their theories taught in public schools where non-Christians were also enrolled and murdered doctors who performed procedures that went against their beliefs.

Now the start of the extinction began in the year 2006, when a vaccine emerged to prevent a disease that led to cancer in women. The disease, called HPV, was spread by sexual relations, much like AIDS. You do remember your history lesson in school about AIDS, don’t you Jimmy?”
“Oh yes sir, it certainly was terrible back then with all those diseases!”

“Yes it was Jimmy, and we should always be grateful for the hard working scientists who developed the vaccines to wipe them out. Now here’s something that might be hard for you to understand, son, the K-Feds did everything possible to discourage the thoughts and actions associated with sexual relations among their brethren. You do remember your sexual education lessons, don’t you son?”

“Yes Pop.”

“Good son. Now, the K-Feds were worried that the vaccine would lessen the fear they had worked so hard to instill in their children about the dangers and sin of sex. Particularly the ignorance they ensured by not allowing their kids to attend a real sexual education class with facts on STI’s.”

Abstinence In-Action

“Golly Pop, why would they do something like that?”
“Well Jimmy the K-Feds believed that Jesus was celibate for all his 31 years of life, since the bible doesn’t describe his late adolescent and early adult life until his death. We know now that as a young Jewish man in those times, he would have had to marry by that age in order to be viewed as a respectable member of society. We also know that sex is a perfectly natural thing and that, while it’s best to have it with only with your spouse, many people have committed, loving relationships without an official marriage contract. We also know that a contractual marriage does not ensure the absence of adulterous behavior in either partner.

The K-Feds didn’t care so much about eradicating disease as they did about doing everything in their power to keep the fear of sex alive in their children. Today’s K-Fed researches believe this was their way of avoiding discussion on the uncomfortable topic all together, and thus keep all members of their sect in ignorant, uptight bliss. The K-Feds believed that their children’s future spouses would be truthful about their sexual history, which they assumed would consist of virginity. So while every other parent in the country vaccinated their pre-teen children against HPV, the K-Feds refused, citing their religious morals as defense for their neglectful parenting.

Historically K-Fed children of that era were even more promiscuous than their average Christian counterpart, so even though they would swear to Jesus that they would not do those “bad” things, they would go hump the football team/cheerleading squad anyway. Since these youngsters had no factual knowledge of STI’s, they thought that if they prayed enough after sex they would not catch the diseases. Now, since the K-Fed teens were the only ones not protected, they gave HPV to one another in their ensuing sexual relations. Now once a woman has HPV, it becomes frighteningly easy for her to develop ovarian cancer. This is what started to kill off the K-Fed women. Around this time the AIDS vaccine came out, along with vaccines for many other STI’s. The K-Fed’s in charge also rejected these vaccines for the same reasons as the HPV one. Now with so few women around, the males of the species started having sex with the same women as other males, or even each other. The other people of the world viewed the species as rats, capable only of harboring and spreading diseases, and propaganda. They were ostracized from normal society. Soon every member of the K-Fed population was infected with AIDS, and since there was still no cure, they died off generation by generation until their whole species ceased to exist.

Fun with Ovarian Cancer

“Wow Pop, this may sound crass of me, but I don’t think I feel too badly for the K-Feds, because well, it sounds like they did this to themselves and they didn’t seem like very nice people.”

“Well Jimmy you are in good company with all the other people in the world that are glad to be free of that over-zealous and annoying species. Now we have to remember the Christian Fundamentalists to ensure that no other religion falls into that same self-defeating trap of ignorant righteousness.”

“Yeah, that’s good advice, but there’s still one thing bothering me Pop.”

“What’s that Jimmy?”

“I thought everyone knew all about species evolving or dying out, even back then, I mean they teach it to us at school, and I know they taught it back in those days too!”

“Don’t be silly Jimmy, K-Feds don’t believe in evolution!”

Monday, August 14, 2006

Double Liners

I speak today on a phenomenon that exposes the utter lack of social niceties and manners in the perpetrator. This atrocity occurs in all types of multi-registered retail checkout areas, and afflicts all races, genders and age groups.
Picture it; there you are standing patiently in line at a store, waiting for the 80 year old woman in front of you to finish counting out the total due, in pennies. The guy at the other register has a cartload of stuff, and the clerk seems to be a newbie at the rate he’s going. You can feel yourself grinding your teeth, loosing patience by the second but restraining yourself from yelling something akin to “Hey! I’d like to get out of this store before I’m as old and decrepit as you old bag!” Because, really, you have more class than that.
So you wait, five minutes, ten minutes, and sweating your ass off all the while. You only have one item, and you wonder if there isn’t just one more pimply faced, socially awkward minor in the whole store to open a third register. There are two people behind you, also grinding their teeth and maybe thinking about how they are going to run the old hag down in the parking lot.

This old lady rocks a lot harder than the one in this story. []

Finally the decrepit woman packs it up to leave, and you let out the “I’m going to kill you” breath you were holding. Out of your peripheral you see a overweight, middle-aged, poofy haired, do-gooder type stroll up next to you and stop. You take a few seconds to ponder her purpose for standing there next to you, when you yourself are standing squarely between the two registers. As the old woman slowly steps away from the register, it happens. That seemingly harmless woman takes a step toward the register. You have to think quick, do you let it slide? Do you let your patient ten minutes of standing go to waste? Ten minutes! Who knows what other, amazing things you could have done with those ten minutes? Could’ve saved a baby from a burning building, donated food to a homeless shelter, helped an old lady across the street…and then killed her for making you wait so damn long in line. And what of the people behind you, who are going to be waiting even longer? Would you really doom them to ten more minutes of this retail retardedness?


‘No my friends,’ you think, ‘I will not be responsible for throwing that fate upon you.’ You abruptly step up to the register, effectively cutting off her path to an unfairly quick checkout. You see the overweight teenage girl behind the register give you a look, and admonish her in your mind that she should have done this herself. You shoot the do-gooder an “I’m going on 4 hours of sleep and the last thing I’ve got patience for is your fat ass” look and give the clerk your one item, sleeping pills. Poofy hair comments, “she must be having a bad day,” with an audible smile.
You turn your head just enough that she would hear, “well there was one line,” and proceed to swipe your credit card.
“Well I didn’t notice that.”
“What are you blind AND fat?” You want to say it so bad your lips burn. However, you hold your tongue and take the offered receipt from the clerk who bids a “Have a nice day” as you walk away.
She really should have let it go, that poofy haired cow, but she throws out an “I doubt that!”
You turn around then, drop a loud “Bitch” bomb, and proceed out the door, hoping you’ve taught her some kind of lesson.


So you see my friends, double lining won’t really get you anywhere. For one thing, it makes you look crude, ill-mannered, and oblivious. Not to mention all the enemies you’ll make out of the poor shmucks behind you. Just think, if everyone double lined there would be utter chaos, fire would rain from the skies, black would be white, society itself would disintegrate! If you’re a past double liner you no longer have the “I didn’t notice the single line” excuse, because I am telling you now: THERE IS ALWAYS A SINGLE LINE unless there is a previously formed double line. If this doesn’t work for you, simply pretend that every retail checkout situation occurs at a bank, with velvet ropes and security guards, and you wait until that cashier calls you up next. Do your neighbor a favor, don’t double line.