Monthly Archives: October 2014

Lost Money

Standard

la_slice_landscapeA few years back, I was hired as a hostess at an indoor outdoor Italian café on Melrose Avenue in LA; I really wanted to waitress, but they told me that first I must pay my dues because apparently, many people wanted to waitress there. I probably should have kept looking for another restaurant, but I didn’t.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t quite get the hang of the seating chart diagram; I kept filling people up in the same two waiters’ stations. The rest of the staff was not happy with me.

One afternoon, Melanie Griffith drove up with Antonio Banderas in a fancy convertible sports car. They hopped out; she looked up and down the street and gave him a cinematic smooch and he whispered something Spanish to her. They seated themselves in a dark corner.  I was told to ignore them; which was easy because no one even knew who he was at the time.

When my shift was over, the waiters were supposed to give me a percentage of their tips, but none of them did. Not even the two waiters I blessed with so many customers; I figured that Melainie Griffith must tip well, but I got nothing.

So I asked the manager if I could stay, because I really needed the money; in fact, I was broke until payday. He turned me down so I asked him again if he was certain he wanted me to leave, because I walked to work and wouldn’t be returning later if he called.

Sure enough, the minute I got home, the phone rang and he asked me to come back. I said something like, “You shouldn’t turn a lady down when she’s offering.” He didn’t like that, or maybe it was my Mae West imitation and he told me not to bother coming back the next day, if I didn’t want to work again that night. There goes another twenty five dollar paycheck that I’ll never collect. Son of a gun, I’ve been fired from so many minimum wage jobs and not gone back to collect my paycheck, that Oprah could do a whole show about finding my lost money. And just a side note-every restaurant I have ever been let go from, have closed their doors within six month; especially those in business for twenty-five years or more.
Including this one; stew on that!

Yard Sale

Standard

Last Saturday, my whole neighborhood advertised a “Block Yard Sale.” They call it a block, but it really encompasses everyone living on the whole east end part of town. The night before the big event, I emptied out my basement and shed, littering the driveway with tables of VHS movies, mismatched chipped dishware and off colored lampshades-most of the stuff, I couldn’t even tell you where I even got it from. I set my alarm for the unreasonable hour of 8am and let the show begin.
Professional pickers wandered down rows of unnecessary items, asking how much is this record player and brass flagpole eagles. Apparently, I didn’t supply the correct response; which was, in case you haven’t guessed, one dollar. Eventually, the bargain hunters surrendered and bought some of my treasures before declaring it was time to get an egg breakfast at the diner. Piling into cars, they complained how no one else but me had set up for the sale-lawns were empty, free of clutter and this was a bad thing. In an accusatory tone, they warned me to inform my neighbors of their civic duty,”Tell them be responsible and get their junk out of their garages.”
When they drove away, I stumbled inside to pour a much needed second cup of coffee and recalled a theory I once heard about how like minded individuals band together, gathering in one area-something about a similar magnetic force attracting them to learn the same lessons. I asked myself, “How are we similar?” My next door neighbor works 9-5; I don’t. The retired couple around the corner rent; I own, the family at the end of my street has four daughters with her prison guard husband-negative.
So where are the checkmarks of similarity? Maybe it’s that we all find happiness in the same ways or believe it is waiting there for us. Hmmm, but where is there? Ah, and perhaps the destination is not as crucial as very action of waiting is what ties us together and to that I say, “Why wait? Get your junk out to the world!”