Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Customer Service DOES NOT mean Customer Servant!

In preperation for my friend Courtney's wedding (which is on Saturday. And yes I am a bridesmaid, my very first time), I decided to go get a manicure & pedicure during my lunch break today. And what a treat it was. I hardly get my nails done, so a nice foot massage and pretty nails is always a wonderful luxury.

So I sat in a magical massage chair, smiling away as the Asian lady massaged my feet, but couldn't help but over hear what was going on to my left. The girl next to me was probably some sort of office worker, based on her trousers & blouse (which is the only place you wear and can actualy describe your attire as a "blouse" and "trousers"), horrible highlighted hair, and a mean look to her. T&B barked to her Russian nail woman, "I want a french manicure, but you MUST cut my nails"!!!!

RNW: (in Russian accent) eeef you vant a fracht manicure, I ghcan not cut your nails. it von't work.

T&B: Well I need them to be cut, they are going over my sandals and making it very uncomfortable to walk. FINE (she said, while shooing the Russian with one hand and typing feverishly on her blackberry with the other), just paint them pink please. I don't have all day.

HORRIFIED. That's all I can say. This got me thinking. Obviously, she had never worked in customer service because if she did, would have known THAT IS NOT HOW YOU TREAT PEOPLE. If you have never been in the position of working in a restaurant, store, or anywhere else where you work for the people, you may think they in fact are your slave, or I guess technically your servant because you are paying them. Well your wrong. Wrong wrong wrong!

Having been a waitress on & off for just about 9 years or so (yup started out at the tender age of 16, serving the masses at the House of Coffee), I have seen it all, ranging from the nicest customers you could ever hope for to the ones that degrade you so lowly that you want to cry and then shove your 10% tip back in their pocket. Seriously, why is it the ones who treat you poorly tip so badly? Oh, because they never worked in the food industry and don't realize you get paid $3 an hour and depend on the tip. AND obviously have no consideration for their fellow human beings.

Phewww I need to take a minute to breath....


There are only a few get of jail free cards for people to be obnoxious.

1) The Russians. While working at Siam Garden (A Thai place I worked at for years & years), we had a huge Russian client base (I know, random). They always barked orders and snapped, demanded things right away. Any other person in the world I would have murdered, but ahh the Russians. They paid in cash & tipped amazingly. As long as you were quick and able to deal with their bullshit, it was always worth it.

2) People who have horrible and strange allergies (nuts and gluten I would say are the worst). These are the types who ask for annoying requests and modifications, but feel so bad, and don't get angry for waiting alittle longer because they want something not on the menu.

3) People who have children. If I was to see children walking through the door, would stop dead in my tracks and beg and plead in my mind that it wasn't my turn in the rotation. But it always was. In which case, it better be at an early time as not to annoy the other guests, the family of children better move along quickly, and NOT make a mess.

How many times have I had to deal with parents who would just shrug and nervously giggle a"oh I'm sorry for the mess".... PICK UP AFTER YOUR CHILD. I am not you OR your child's house keeper. The only way to keep me at peace is to eat quickly, tip normally, and leave promptly.

I'm telling you, if I ever have the opportunity to own a restaurant, there will be a sign in the window that says:

There are NO Booster Seats.
NO Highchairs.
NO Children's menu.
and NO admittance of strollers or children after 6
: ) Thank you and enjoy your meal.

That being said, karma is a bitch. Be nice to your server. They are ones performing a duty for you, whether it be serving your meal, doing your nails, giving the massage, and so on. Kindness goes a long way. I know I put WAY more effort into those who treat me with respect when I'm in my server shoes. And let me tell you, I have seen some horrible things other waiters and waitresses have done to customers when treated poorly.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sounds About Right...

Last night we went out and about for Nina's birthday. Before meeting up with some people for dinner, Nina, her friend Mary, & I popped by P.S. for a few drinks and some business men started to chat us up.

The usual break-the-ice conversations proceeded: How old are you? Where do you live? Where do you work? Have you ever been here before? What are your plans tonight? And so on.

Then one of the business man pointed at me & Mary, while asking Nina, "so what do they do?"

Nina replied, "Well Mary is in charge of lots of things and keeps things in order. Sometimes she tells people what to do".

"And Kristine, she writes blogs and eats sour patch kids!"

Yup. That sounds just about right.

25 Year Old Spinster....??

As you may have figured, I am very picky when it comes to the guys I date. Well, I wouldn't say necessarily picky, but I absolutely listen to my gut and don't just "try things out" if I'm not sure. I'd rather be in 100% and absolutely smitten. What happens in the 50/50 cases? I get bored, disappointed with myself, cold and distant one day and happy the other. Eventually I end up screwing around with someone's mind, leaving them with thoughts of "what happened" and obviously cursing the day they ever met and fell for me.

That being said, I tend to be single more than I am taken. And that's fine. I'd rather wait for something amazing and wonderful, instead of having mediocre bleh boyfriends. So it really amazes me when people who are older ( married or seriously attached) find it's their duty (on purpose or just by un-intentionally making conversation) to not only ask you why, but comfort you that someday you will find someone and give helpful ways to go about meeting people

Exhibit A: Mother's Day Weekend

This weekend in particular was a mad-scene. Not only was it Mother's Day, but it was also my friend Courtney's Bachelorette Party. I wondered how it would work out going to a Bachelorette Party the night before a Mother's Day brunch. I assumed obviously drink-portion control was out of the question and would have to suck it up and be miserable the entirety of Sunday.

I rushed around Saturday afternoon, getting ready, buying gifts for Court and my Mom, and somehow got to her parent's house just in the nick of time to have a drink and chat some people up.

When everyone arrived, we loaded into cars and headed for dinner at this place The Inlet Cafe in The Highlands. I'd never eaten there before, so was very pleasantly surprised to the Cajun Feast (yum miscellaneous sea foods in a spicy Cajun sauce) for an appetizer, followed by an entree of angel hair pasta with lobster and asparagus tips in a tasty possible Parmesan type of sauce and a cheese burger split between me and my friend Geraldine. Doesn't get better than that.

After a stolio-o and club or three, I stood up and headed into the bathroom when surprise, who was waiting on line? The mother of the bride! I have known Mrs. O'Callaghan for years and years (spent the mas-majority of 1995-2000 at their home), so naturally, we started chatting about the wedding and life etc.

Me: I can't believe they are getting married so soon. It has really snuck up! Wow two weeks away (something like that).

Mrs. O: Well they have been dating for 7 years, it was time (again something along the lines of that). And your next! Do you have anyone special or....

Saved. A stall freed up and Mrs. O'Callaghan went in. I breathed a sigh of relief. What would I have said otherwise? *awkward laugh* haha no, no.... no one special. But you know, I'm looking. bleh blah

Lies lies. I'm not looking to get married. I keep my eyes open for people I can stand more than 5 minutes. But how do you tell that to a mom without sounding like a horror and obnoxious?

So the bachelorette party came and went. Very good time. We took a limo down to a shore spot and danced the night away.

The next morning I awoke around 6, fully dressed, laying on top of my purse, in my old bedroom at my parent's house. I wasn't hungover, but could see it emerging if I didn't hydrate myself within the next few minutes. So I raced downstairs, gulped down some water, brought some up with me, and went back to sleep. Around 8, I woke up again and figured I should take a shower so I could let my hair dry while I slept.

Surprisingly, by the time we left for the "Mothers & Others" party at my mom's friend Andreas', I was feeling good and hoping there would be some nice wine at this fiesta.

Wrong. 3 choices:White Merlot, White Zinfandel, & Budweiser. Thanks a lot Andrea.

But the food spread was great and I happily mingled with the group of guests and ate my little heart out. Before we got to the party, my mom warned me of this one couple who were kind of weird and that I may or may not like. When we did eventually meet, you could tell instantly that they were socially awkward and hard to believe 1/2 of what they said because it was all TOO MUCH. Their form of chit-chat was so so forced and practiced, as if they rehearsed on the way to the party. And soooo loopy - Come on, they do tai-chi, brought pictures of their plants from home, and the woman wore a kimono and spoke all new-agey, but way too polite. It's hard to explain. Next time you run into me , ask. I do a really good impersonation.

Of course these are my favorite types of characters, the people I just can't understand, so ended up talking to them quite a bit that day.

The good questions the woman asked me:

So tell me Kristine, what is it like being young now-a-days?

Where are the great places to eat in Hoboken? My husband and I have NEVER been there, but what happens if we drove through? It would be nice to have a list of places just in case, you never know.

You should be happy to be as spiritually evolved as yourself. How lucky it is to have a mother likes yours. Tell me, how does it feel to have grown up in such an open and spiritual home?And then:

Tell me, how are the men now? From the single girls point of view? How is it? Tell me I'm so fascinated.

So of course I got in a shpeil about the lack of guys and how I haven't met anyone mildly entertaining in a while , how I like being single, don't want to get married for a while, want to settle in my career before any thoughts of settling down come into play blah blah, totally putting up a defence because what was I going to do? Just shrug and say fine fine, which could have been confused with sadness and bad-self esteem? Hell no. I wanted her to regret asking such a dumb question.

THEN came the finale. I was getting tired and so casually told/reminded my mom -I need to go back to Hoboken, let's go let's let's go!!!! As we began to say our goodbye's, the woman said to me, while placing her hand on my shoulder,

"Kristinnnnne, I've been meaning to tell you (all very drawn out and dramatic), I met my husband in a personal ad and we've been together for 10 --- looong --- years. My mother did the same. So I wanted to tell you there's hope. There's still hope".

I reply, "oh haha that's great," all the while giving my mother the ARE YOU KIDDING ME, WHAT THE HELL ARE WE STILL DOING HERE eye. "Thank you, thank you for the words of encouragement".

So does it come down to show us that there is no use of a defense because at the end of the day, once you reach a certain age, no matter where you are in life or how much you protest to settling, the only right way is to be coupled and paired? Should I be, at 25, stored away and compartmentalized? In which case, I am immediately fleeing the country in search of a single girl island where independence is praised and marriage is in no rush. Where to? Maybe Australia?What are their views there? Definately something to look into...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Edgy Bobs & The Kicking Homeless

A few months ago, my friend Nina mentioned something about this hairsalon school, Bumble & Bumble University, where you can go and get your hair cut for free! She had just gotten her haircut and it turned out great. Obviously, being the super broke girl that I am, jumped at the chance, raced to find their website, and signed up to be notified for their next open call.

I never heard back from them, so put the thought out of mind and that was that.

THEN, last week, I got an email informing me that there would be an open call for the "Razor Bob" on Monday 5/19, with refreshments. Whoa, how did they know that I've been itching for a bob and some bangs & free snacks (which didn't look super appetizing, so I opted for a cup of lemonade). It seemed that about 300 other people also loved the idea of a new edgy razor bob, so we all had the joy of waiting on a painfully long line.

It was a very odd mix. The majority were NYC-scenesters with already super-trendy bobishness, who I could only imagine aimed for extreme intensity. Then there were those like me (well not me typically, usually my hair is natural and wavy, but for the occasion and to make it easier for them to see if it would be good for my hair), had shoulder length straight hair. Finally there were those I couldn't quite figure out. I suppose they ignored the fact that a "razor bob" isn't always good for everyone and focused more on the "I MAY GET A FREE A HAIR CUT"!! At least five people that I saw had intense curls. You know, those curls that look painful to brush through. AND you want a bob? Not going to look good girls. Come on. They would sit down & fill out their paper work, happily imagining their crazy-curly bob. Then you could actually see the happy cloud burst when the hair stylist to determine if it would make a good fit replied, "um. your hair is way too curly. I don't think this would make a good look for you, sorry". And then the curlies would get all pouty because not only did they miss out on a free haircut, but also lost out on their lunch break.

Lucky for me, I am razor bob material! Adios low-maintenance haircut! Get ready for edgy KC! Well minus all the hair in my face and the crimps. I just want something cool and little more stylish than what I'm working with now. My hair presently is more beach-waves-ladi-dah-I don't do anything to my hair but let it dry. I'm sure I'll go back to it sooner or later, but for now will be back, itch for something new and fun.

Anyway, I got my appointment (6/27), walked out of the building, and realized- oh god I just took a 2 hour lunch!
Side note: I am completely lost downtown. Once the streets start losing numbers and gaining names, I get all panicky and I'm sure look like a frantic German tourist. So I rushed around like a mad lady (good for me, wearing fun, but not good walking spring sandals) in search of the subway.

Finally I saw it and happily made my way, when all of a sudden I noticed a man in a suit & a weirdo homeless man yelling at each other. Then the homeless man lurched forward and attempted to kick the business man! The BM jerked backwards and waved his arms in circles to shoo the WHM away. They broke it up and the WHM continued his way down the street. Towards me. Oh god. I wobbled awkwardly forward to the farthest corner of the sidewalk, hoping he wouldn't notice or try to harm me.
He looked at me and muttered, "you too bitch"! and threw himself forward to kick me!

I replied -OMG!! Are you kidding!!" and looked around to people to help me, who instead uselessly watched with their mouths open.

Luckily, WHM wasn't into it as much as he was when kicking the BM and only flopped his foot my way, missed and continued back to his shopping cart.

At this point I was shaking and breathing heavy, imagining myself having to go back to work all dirtied up and explaining that I was attacked by a homeless man in the Village.

The things I'll do for a free haircut.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Shallowness Knows No Bounds....

Morning Email to E:

So I'm walking along Fifth Avenue a day or two ago and happen to be trapped behind a hand-holding couple. The girl was probably a good 5'11 vs. her boyfriend who was a mere 5'5 or so. I then get into a conversation in my head, with myself, about these girls who can actually go through with it and date someone super short.

My first thought was that the girl was obviously so desperate for a man that she'd take just about anything, including the shortest man in the room.

Then I thought of you & A and figured that maybe some of these girls get trapped into the "I met him at a bar, got drunk, hooked up, he was so good in bed and ended up being super cool, so eventually ended up dating and falling in love" The girl basically agrees to sacrifice wearing heels for love.

BUT THEN I thought of my sister, who is not desperate and despite being 40, still gets hit on all the time. In that case, it must mean that she isn't shallow and personality is more important than height & looks.

Hence my reasoning behind why I would NEVER willingly date a short dude. I like wearing heels way too much.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I Like My Men How I Like My Jewerly....

(just a note: this is probably my most shallow and offensive blog thus far. I apologize in advance for angering anyone. These are just my silly points of views.)

I am the first to admit that I am very fickle and insanely particular when it comes to dating. I pick my guy how I like my jewelry. I like weirdo-random-pieces (or guy, if you will) that no one else will have that are beautiful, quirky, unique, and hilarious all at the same time. But one little meh in the piece and/or dude and I'm immediately repulsed and need it to get out of my presence.

Deal Breakers: These are the superficial, but important things that I am immediately turned off by, which cause fleeing in the other direction.

1) Terrible off the tattoo-parlor wall tattoos. I am actually nauseated by these and look at them like they might as well be a huge gross mole or birth mark. A few years a go, I hooked up with this guy who was absolutely beautiful. Really, he was gorgeous. Then he introduced me to the large gaudy tribal dragon on his shoulder and immediately I wished for his shirt to be put back on. If you want to get a tattoo, put a little effort into it. Ok, maybe your not creative, but at least work with your tattoo artist to come up with something great. How horrifying it must be walking along a street one day, walk by a person, and do a double take to the art on their shoulder for your very own. This also goes for anything that was once or is currently super trendy (anything tribal, barbwire, Chinese, etc) or something super clique.

2) Remember a few years ago when every single cause (save the children, stop world hunger, save the environment, stop cancer, etc) made those plastic bracelets that people would buy to support them? Fine fine they were nice and great circa 2003. OMG let them go. I can't stand the sight of anyone wearing them anymore. I just feel like they are over-done & played out. What is the reasoning behind it? To show people you stand behind the cause? To show you are compassionate and d0nate? Only thing it says to me is that your lammmmme.

3) Weirdo bald spots. I know, there is no fighting male balding. I say once the balding starts to freak people out, it's time to be realistic and shave off the rest and get all cool and tough like Bruce Willis. Unless you have a funny shaped head. In that case, I say wear hats in every situation or get a hair style that is flattering for the balding man. And there are hair styles that are.

4) Piercings usually. But there are exceptions. If your all full-body tatted (but in the cool way, I'll get into that later) then the piercings just go along with it. But in the normal circumstances, I am over pierced ears, eyebrows, and anything else people get pierced. One exception. I still find lip piercings super hot. I don't know why. I just do.

5) Guys who compensate for lack of personality by waving their high priced paychecks in your face. I'd rather be with someone poor, but who has a super rich personality & humor vs. lots of money, but no conversation. I hate the paycheck braggers even more because obviously 65% or so of the population make more money than me. So not only are they boring me, but also remind me of how little I make.

6) Guys who drink girly drinks and can't hold their alcohol. Nothing is more unattractive than a sloppy boy after 2 Malibu bay breezes and a shot of red death.

7) Musical/Artsy/ anything/ elitists that think because they know more than you in a certain area, that they are obviously way better than you, and to top it off, obnoxiously let you know. I'm so typically attracted to artsy people and have, maybe once or twice, gotten involved with music snobs, who would put me down for not knowing a certain random song or band. I would then live in fear and tense up whenever we would listen to music together, knowing that at any moment there would be a musical quiz. I have the worst memory and no skills under pressure, so would obviously fail and get lead into a good 15 minutes of "Omg I can't believe you didn't know that. I am amazed, yadda yadda"

But there are also Immediate Moments of Chance:

1) Black rimmed glasses. Lie, glasses in general. I just love them.

2) Pretty much anyone who surfs, but doesn't get all possessive about their waves. Gotta love the surfers who just do it for fun and love the ocean and natural in general.

3) The random guy in the bar reading alone. I've gotten lured it by that once. I saw a guy sitting alone at a bar reading a book and I was gravitationally pulled in. Even better, he was able to back it up and we chatted about books and life the remainder of the night.

4) Musicians/artists/people who create, but don't refer to it as "their art". Something that they just need to do without constantly bragging about it or making it larger than life.

5) HOT tattoos. Omg I am a sucker for a creative and hot tattoo/sleeve/ whatever. Lately I have been chatting with guys about tattoos and am immediately interested in hearing people's tattoo stories and plans for the future.

6----??) Basically, anyone who is a character. The super weirdo in the mix who is dirty and ridiculous, who says weird things, and just embraces all the little kinks that makes them them. Right away I love you without knowing you. Maybe it's because I feel instant camaraderie. Who knows.

So to sum it, I am the poster child of fickleness and probably most guys worst fear. But at the end of the day, and not to sound corny, but when you do find that right person, all judgment and standards blow out the window. And that's what you gotta love about chemistry and instant connection. It always find ways to keep you on your toes and life interesting.