Five to nine

Have a drink.

June 15, 2005

Hiatuses suck

And I apologize for the light blogging. For a long time, I was not working, and I blame only myself. And Ozzy. Mostly Ozzy. I work for new people now, and I am much happier, and I hope it leads to better stories. To the people at Starlight catering, I thank you for your faithful employment, and I thank you even more for giving me a reason to go out with a bang. My last weekend there was a blast! I worked friday and all day saturday and sunday I was scheduled to work all day and all night. And faithfully and exhausted, I reported for duty. I have to help them doctor the documents because if I claim that I worked more than 8 hours the same day, by California labor laws, they'd have to pay me overtime, and as a loyal employee, I was more than happy to oblige for a long time. Who the hell is the government to tell me I am not allowed to sell myself short?

The party was moving out of the hors d'oeuvres room and into the dinner room, It is our job to clean up ASAP. Our gifted captain Ozzy chose this time, when all the dirty dishes were coming into the kitchen to send the boys in the scullery on break. As a result of this insightful planning, the dishes quickly piled up higher than the bartenders and servers could stack them. The remains were falling on the floor, and it soon became very slippery. When I came in with a big tray full of tall wobbly champagne flutes and slipped, one of them came crashing down. When you break one dish, nobody thinks anything of it. I got a broom and tidied up. Someone with more seniority scolded ozzy for allowing a hazard to be created in the kitchen. He responded by bringing in the dishwashers back from break. Good Job you old communist! so the next time I came back with a tray full of wobbling champagne flutes the kitchen was just as messy but with twice as many people inside trying to scurry to get their job done. well done. So it seemed not at all unexpected when (wouldn't you know it) someone bumped into me and I dropped yet another flute. And then Ozzy unloaded on me for being so clumsy. I agreed wholeheartedly. "I am obviously costing you more money than I am worth tonight." I took my pen, took my things signed out, and without a word of goodbye to the colleagues and friends I had been cultivating for two years, left Starlight catering forever. It felt good to be that impulsive.

About Ozzy, Once when working at the beverly hills super-mansion of one of our nations premiere real estate moguls, I overheard ozzy in conversation saying something to the effect of (and imagine some vaguely eastern european accent) "We could solve all the hungry people in the world if everyone who was a very rich person gave just one million dollars, which to them is nothing. That could buy all the food poor people need." I never thought much of him as an intellect, but this was the first time I understood just how stupid this man was.His socialist wealth re-distribution ideals however always take a back-seat when he is given a tip for the staff at the end of the night. Don't tell the Jew-Parishoners at Valley Beth Shalom this, but whenever he is given a tip for the staff, it goes straight into his pocket. I don't know if you believe in heaven, or in God, but you can believe that man is going to hell. I had sorta told him off a couple of times before, once when he was bugging me as I set up the bar I just snapped "I KNOW WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO BE DOING." And once on the road of L.A., the great equalizer, I cut him off bad. What could he do? I'm not on the clock, here we're just all motorists. I owe him a good deal of thanks though, because he gave me a chance to tell him off one last time.

After I stormed out, I guess I started a little avalanche because their scheduling guy quit, as did much of their part-time staff. A couple months later, the scheduling guy (Mike Siegel, look for him in an episode of Joan of Arcadia) gave me more and better work in much friendlier modular bars and I was content. Starlight however was having a terrible time staffing. SO bad, they have to go to staffing companies to fill in the blanks left by their ever decreasing in-house people (which cuts deep into the bottom line. The mark-up on the wages of in house staff is close to 100%, on private contractors it's close to nil). And in june it got bad. So bad, that I'd heard Ozzy was calling many of his erstwhile staff begging them to come back. I didn't believe it until I got the call myself.
"Hello Eric, this is Ozzy"
"Hello Ozzy, what can I do for you."
"We are wondering why we haven't herd from you in a while now"
"Well, I work for Michael now and I'm pretty set here"
"It wasn't Michael who gave you the job, It was starlight and you have to come back"
"I was under the impression that it would violate business ethics to work for both, so I work here now" (this is me trying to be diplomatic)
"Bur Eric, we gave you the job and it is wrong of you to leave to work for someone else"
(can you hear the last bit of patience and diplomacy leaving my body in one fell swoop? the implications that I owe you a favor because you gave me work once upon a time is Uncapitalist, Unamerican and violates everything I think I believe about how work works, and I thank you ozzy for allowing me to truly test my beliefs)
slightly louder now "Let me be clear, I like my new job, and I owe you nothing, this is an open market, and I have a better job that pays a little more with a much better captain than you. You guys can't compete and that's all there is to it!"
"So, that is the way it is then?"
"That's all. Good luck finding more people"
It felt so good, I had to pour myself a drink afterwards.


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