not so rockin

Saturday, mar. 15, 2008   |   0 comments
t Red Robin, the cheesy chain burger/texmex/theme bar, not only did we have to wear a "we card anyone who looks under 30--be flattered!" pin, a red bow-tie, and an "anything else" smile, but we had to push drinks like the "Blurry-eyed Robin" and the "Nuclear Iced Tea" (Red Robinese for a bloody mary and long island iced tea, respectively) and sing a special birthday song for any patron who claimed to be celebrating such an occasion. Sung to the tune of an army march, it was a call and response thing that involved a lot of clapping and having to assemble the entire wait staff, who were all really busy and totally unwilling to help (fellow robineers were amazingly cut-throat; it was not uncommon for co-workers to steal your food as it came up and bring it to their tables...I'd be ready to go with fajitas steaming 'n'sizzling (just like the picture on the menu!), yet suddenly shy a nachos, so I'd bring all but one plate to a table, leaving one sorry eater sans grub and looking forlornly at their scarfing table mates, and then keep checking back with the table and reporting, sing-songingly, "your nachos will be here in a HEARTbeat, I PROMise! [smile!] Then I'd dash back and SCREAM at the kitchen (at RR the people that made the "food" didn't have names, you just called them "the kitchen") "I need some nachos 'on the fly,'" which is kitchenese for "stat," but, sensing my desperation, they'd totally ignore me and take double long to make the fucking 'chos, and the whole experience would end with me gazing tearfully at a tip that jingled rather than folded). So, I'd be sitting there with the complimentary birthday scoop of vanilla ice-cream (w/dollop of whip!) melting like crazy and begging, literally BEGGING, my co-workers to come on a birthday run. I'd end up with one hostess and maybe a waitress (who I bribed by agreeing to take her "camper" table (which is waitress-ese for a table that's never going to leave...they're usually in AA, order nothing but coffee (black 'n' hot!) and sit there, talking animatedly and chain-smoking, for seven can vacuum under their feet, take away their catsup/sugar/S & P, turn out the lights, put the chairs up on every other table, and they still won't leave)) and three of us would all sing the stupid song superduper loud, hoping to make up in volume what we lacked in numbers. And once I had one birthday, suddenly all of my customers would magically be celebrating their birthday (LIARS!) so I'd have to do the "bring it on down, one..two...three...four, hap-py birth-day...TO YOU!" like three times a night. So, by the time 1am finally rolled around and I was finally free, I'd stumble to my car, slick with waitress sweat, reeking of french fries, and with maybe $10 shivering in my pockets. And that's how I payed for my junior year abroad.


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