I walk over to a table of two ladies to take their order. Can I start you with drinks? Girl #1: “I’ll have an iced tea.” Girl #2 (shoulders droop, head tilts slightly to the side with disappointment): “Seriously??” Girl #1: “Yes.” Girl #2 (looks at her menu for a second, then looks back at Girl #1): “But you’re going to have a drink, right?” Girl #1: “No.” Girl #2: “Well I’m going to have a glass of wine. (Pause) Are you seriously not going to have a drink with me?” Girl #1: “Seriously, I’m pregnant.” Girl #1 looks up at me with a smile. Well, congratulations. Girl #2 is sitting with her mouth hanging open. Then she looks at me with her mouth still hanging open. Girl #2: “Oh my God, I didn’t know!” They hug. OK, I’ll just come back in a minute.
Later in the week we have our second staff meeting. Tropez warned me about it. “You wait. Things are going to change.” Uh huh, I’m sure, Tropez. “I’m serious. You’re going to be very happy.” I hope so. We all start to file in for our meeting at 3pm and sit at the bar until everyone arrives. I’m just sitting here, looking at the TV, not talking to anyone because right now they’re all speaking to each other in French. Corrinne notices me. “Lindsay, you’re very quiet.” For now, Corrinne. She gets a kick out of this. The last time we had a staff meeting I had A LOT to say. There’s a lot more I’d like to say but either I don’t want to piss everyone off or I just realize there’s no point because nothing will change. Dorian is late, and Magali and Tatiana are both not here – all the owner’s kids. Come on. That’s a problem right there. A big problem. But we’ll just overlook it, I guess.
Tropez finally comes downstairs with his serious face on. No smiles today. He herds us into the lounge area, carrying a stack of papers in his hands. “OK. Things are going to change, because Francis is sick of you.” Francis is standing off to the side. He could not say these words to us. He’s too nice, so he puts it off to Tropez. Which is fine. Last week I had an issue with pineapple juice. We have the really small cans of pineapple juice. Francis tells me to only keep what I need at the bar, and leave the rest of it locked upstairs. OK, Francis, but if I’m busy, and I run out of pineapple juice, I don’t have time to run upstairs to get more. Why do I need to keep it upstairs? “Because, the guys in the kitchen, they come out here at the end of the night and then I find cans of pineapple juice in the kitchen the next morning.” OK, so you don’t want the guys drinking it…why don’t you just tell them not to drink it? He shakes his head like this is a crazy suggestion. “No, I don’t want to be the bad guy.” I can’t believe he actually said it. Francis (I point up at the camera), what is the point of the cameras? If they steal from you, you fire them. “No, no.” This is infuriating. He’s basically putting it on me, like it’s my fault the pineapple juice is being stolen because I don’t keep it locked upstairs. PINEAPPLE JUICE. This is the stuff that makes me feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone.
Tropez hands out a couple things: a packet of all our duties and responsibilities, and a contract we have to sign. The contract basically says we have to do all of our duties and we can’t use our cell phones. If we do, we won’t get tips for that shift. And if you don’t get paid, that money will be split between the rest of us who are working. Fine by me! I’m looking forward to our next paycheck to see if Tropez actually follows through with it. The best part of all of this is the sentence in bold on the contract: “We must work as a team. If you can lean, you can clean.” I said this to Tropez a long time ago and he loved it. It’s what Nuttle used to always say at Turtle Club and I rolled my eyes at him every time he said it. Tropez has asked me about it like three times since then, making sure he was pronouncing it right. The third time he walked up to me with it written on a piece of paper to make sure it was spelled right. I had no idea why he kept asking me until this meeting. When he reads the sentence out loud in his serious voice, I can’t stifle my laughter.
Friday is First Friday. It always comes around so fast. I come in early (even though I’m not supposed to) because every First Friday when I come in late, everything isn’t set up, so I’m playing catch up for the rest of the night. It’s not too crazy tonight – busy, but not crazy. Evan comes in and I’m glad to talk to him. It’s been a while, so I tell him I finished Walking Dead and he tells me a little inside stuff about the actors and the writers. Mike comes in a little later when he gets done work. The two of them end up sitting together and talking for a while – I think they’re friends now. Mike and I are trying to write something together, so we ask Evan for his advice on some writing decisions. Another one of my regulars – Brandon – walks in. He stands right next to Mike and Evan so I introduce everyone to each other. Brandon then tells them the story of me putting my foot in my mouth.
Brandon comes in late all the time, on random nights, and he always gets the chocolate souffle. One time he came in with an Asian chick. We all talked for a while, they had some wine and souffle and left. He came in again, some time later, with the same chick. Hey, nice to see you guys again. “This is our first date.” Right. I meant nice to see you, Brandon. Shit. When she goes to the bathroom I apologize profusely. I’m so sorry! I thought it was the same girl! “Yea, thanks for blowing up my spot…no it’s cool, don’t worry about it.” You have a thing for Asians or something? He laughs. “I don’t think so… or maybe I do, I don’t know. I guess so.” Thankfully, we can laugh about it, but he’ll never let me live it down. Mike and Evan immediately call me a racist. No, I can’t be racist, because I’m one-sixteenth Asian. So there.
Mike and Evan do a shot of Jameson. None for me, thanks. This makes it seven days without a drink. Pretty sure I haven’t gone this long since college when I wasn’t allowed to drink during the Fall season.
*The New Pornographers