Coveted Snow-Free Status

A dear and wonderful D.C. girlfriend posted this startling statistic on my personal Facebook page: “Just a little tidbit of current trivia: the only state in the union without snow on 1/11/11 is Florida…”

I knew, of course, the weather was horrible throughout the southeast. I also knew the horribleness was about to spread to the northeast. When you live in Florida–especially SoFla–you become captivated, nay mesmerized, by The Weather Channel’s minute-by-minute updates on awful winter weather that you are no longer enduring. I figure it’s an even exchange for sweating out our summer temps and humidity and the equally mesmerizing “Tropical Updates” and “Hurricane Preparedness” reports from June through October.

My new job is tending a SoFla hotel bar and lounge. It is very corporate and very demanding and very white shirt and black pants and so, so serious. One Sunday I was wearing flip flops and jeans and a T-shirt to work; the next evening I was, to quote my great guy, dressed up “like a Boston Terrier.” I love the new job for its corporate benefits. I loathe the new job for its corporate triple management structure and constant comments from the management trifecta to “sell more food!” What? Booze doesn’t make the profit? And you want me to prep my salads and soups and all the rest that the multiple servers in the restaurant prep? Huh?

Given this love/loathing reality, I rarely have enough time to talk with guests as I pour them another, and rarely do I pour anything anymore in a timely fashion. Sorry business people swilling Crown and anything carbonated at warp speed. I have to make a Caesar salad and wash a soup bowl and prep a shrimp cocktail after I slice tomatoes and cucumbers. Gotta be outta the bar and into the weeds and eons away from being able to chat you up.

I used to be a good bartender. I used to be a good server. I am neither when I have to do both at one time with no food runner, no busser, no nobody but me to handle 14 tables of four and 22 bar stools. Oh sure, I saw these lounge tables and bar stools when I interviewed for the job. I just never imagined they’d fill up all at once all the time. And this ain’t “Keys time” no more, sweetheart. Oh yeah, and the bar has one blender to serve the never ending customers who ask, “What frozen drinks do you serve here?” And today we introduced a mojito special. I consider this my punishment for ordering these tasty beverages when I am out at a tourist bar–even if I only order these minty concoctions when the bartender has few customers and much free time to muddle the damn things.

Thus, yesterday evening, when no one was getting out of South Florida with a connection to anywhere (or, for that matter, direct to anywhere else, it seemed, except to South America), I pouted in solidarity with those stuck in my fair state and left only with options to enjoy the hotel’s refreshing pool and soothing sounds of its multiple waterfalls, play the slots and tables at the nearby casinos, and pretty much totally relax in our balmy temps. Yeah, boo hoo. Mojito, sir? You’re trapped here en route to Minneapolis by way of Atlanta? Sure, just as soon as I chop some lettuce for your girlfriend’s salad.

So we’re the only state in the union–or maybe even the only state, period–without snow on 1-11-11? Suck it up and man up, people. I’ll get that pink drink to you as soon as I can. The snow shovel and rock salt will be waiting for you, soon enough.







3 responses to “Coveted Snow-Free Status”

  1. George Avatar

    Hi RG – long time reader; first time commenter: oh my GOD what a place you have landed at … they are lucky to have you but I hope something changes soon. Who had this job before you, Doctor Octopus?

    Seems to me that the bar should support the food should support the bar, and the twain shall meet only to serve each other’s needs, and after hours after tips are shared and stories can be swapped. I hope you get them straightened out soon — you deserve the best of places, not another hellhole.

    Best of luck and hang in there…

  2. Restaurant Gal Avatar
    Restaurant Gal

    George–Thanks. I almost pulled this post because it sounded so negative in the light of day. I hope I can make it work, because it has the potential to be a great job. My immediate manager is wonderful, so we’ll see. Meanwhile, I am pretty sure my perception of it has been darkly colored by moving in the midst of no time off, learning all new systems, etc. Thanks for the pep talk, for commenting, and for being a faithful reader.

  3. caligirl Avatar

    Hi RG: great post. thanks for your beautiful writing. 🙂