Saturday, July 17, 2010

Frustrations with Blogging

Does anyone know how to get the contents of my blog up and to the right so that it is centered and also at the very top of the page?

I was able to stretch it out a bit which makes it far easier to read, but I can't quite figure out the html code well enough to get it just right... aka centered and at the top of the page.  *huge sigh*

Any help is much appreciated!!

Also...does anyone know why pictures decide to move themselves around?  I tell them to be to the left or centered, but they have a mind of their own it seems.  Annoying!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lovin and Hatin the Service Industry

So I have a question:  Where did all these 18 year olds with entitlement issues and no concept of bills come from?

Recently I have had to train a few new girls.  We have had quite a few girls not show up and/or quit.  Now...first of all, I don't mind training girls, but I thought that managers usually trained people?  What bothers me is that they expect half of my tips.  Pardon moi?  If we are really busy, and we are both working our asses off...sure, I have no problem splitting tips.  If we are actually busy enough to warrant having two girls working, so that I am still making decent money.  However, if we are not very busy and the new girl is essentially shadowing me and learning, then hell no, you do not deserve half of the tips... what planet do you live on?  In restaurants, the help gets 5% tips in total.  As in 1% to the kitchen, 1% to bartenders, 1% to hostesses, 1% to busers, and 1% to the expos.  And that 1% gets split up into as many pieces as there were people working.  So let me review the situation:  new girl needs lots of help to learn the till, doesn't know how to make a rum and coke (I kid you not, an 18 year old actually asked me how to make a rum and coke. *facepalm*), could mess up the cash out, etc... Oh and also decides to just take a sitting down break the second we aren't busy without even bothering to ask or even just tell me.  Meanwhile I run my butt off helping her with till and making all the drinks, explaining things a few times, giving little tips of the trade, not bossing her around, never sat down to eat (in fact I was barely able to get some food down quickly)...etc... and then she thinks she is completely and totally entitled to half the tips because she "helped a little".  Yarg.  Oh and another one of favorites is the 18 year old who texts constantly throughout her shift.  Ummm...hello?  Put your phone away and do something.  Oh wait that's right... you don't actually want to exert yourself anymore than you have to so that you don't get fired...but you still want all the money.  Mmmhmmm.

And you know what?  These girls aren't even respectful or grateful that you give them tips.  When I was training, I would tell the girls that I was sorry that they had to train me and thus lose tips.  I also told girls not to tip me a few times.  It's simply not fair.  If you are learning and it's not busy...don't bust your ass and don't take the girls tips.  Is it really that hard a concept to grasp?  Do you not see that you are not needed (it's not busy) and there is only like $50 total in tips which is a bad enough day on it's own without having to split that for no good reason?  Sigh.  Besides the fact that most of these girls live at home and haven't got a clue what real life costs.  They aren't paying bills...this is just fun money for them.  Whereas most of the older girls pay for all their living expenses themselves and are trying to save for school.

I am also curious as to how an 18 year old doesn't know how to make something as simple as a rum and coke.  And doesn't seem to be able to think of anything useful to do that might actually help the restaurant team.  No one had to tell me to help the dish pit out by separating things and throwing garbage into the garbage.  It was something I just did automatically.  Is there no work ethic either in this generation?  Or is it just that they can't think of anyone but themselves?

One day, the place was extremely dead and I was training a girl.  So management wanted me to scrub walls down and give the kitchen a good cleaning while the new girl learned the till.  Right... And you wonder why so many girls don't show up for work and don't bother to call and quit.  Well gee...couldn't possibly have anything to do with any of the above right?

Granted, they are mostly nice young girls who I get along with.  I don't hate them.  I just can't stand the attitudes.

And guess what?  One of the newer girls finally gets it!  She has to train a brand new girl today.  And she's like 'oh shit, I have to split tips with her now...dammit!'.  Oh did I laugh.  I'm like 'yes, yes you fool.  Why do you think no one likes training people?'.  You would think it was pretty damn obvious.  Now she gets why she should have been grateful to make money when she didn't deserve it.


There are also some pretty fun times in the industry.

The other night I had a super funny older guy and an older gal on the patio.  They were talking to me about how stupid people are to get married young, joint bank accounts, girls that marry rich guys and then divorce them after 6 months to a year so that they get 50% of everything...that sort of thing.  We talked about what I wanted to take in school, and where I wanted to go with it...  But my favorite part was when he asked me: "So, let's say that you are all finished your masters degree and a good company is just about to hire you.  But, you meet Mr Right NOT Mr Now (lol) and he's a lawyer.  He makes good money and so he doesn't want you to work.  What would you do?"  I told him that I would tell that guy to hit the road (un-politely known as 'f*** off" *ahem*).  Why would I spend 6-7+ years, and $60-100, 000 just to stay at home?  No way, no how.  The older guy laughed and said "good for you!".  He also told me that should that Mr Right ever leave the picture, then I would still have my career and it wouldn't be the end of the world.  Which I already knew...but I added with a laugh "yes, in case he decides he needs a new young bride!'.  All in all it was probably the best conversation I have had with customers to date.

Yesterday I was at a beer hole.  We had a tournament that wanted two holes to have girls sitting there with a keg giving out beer (the tournament bought the kegs so the customers would get free beer).  My boss thought it would be a good idea to think of cheeky little signs to place near our tip jars to make sure we would make some money.  Mine said "Pints are free University is not".  Bahaha they loved it!  I also told them that my beer had special aiming powers and that they would have great shots for the rest of the day.  They loved this also.  I made some pretty decent tips that day.  Not record high, but definitely good.  Perhaps the little jean shorts, cowboy boots, and the new bra also helped *cheeky shrug*.  

Speaking of bras, we have been talking about boobs quite a bit lately as well.  Spurred on by the story of a girl who does titty shots at the Back Alley and makes $100,000 in tips per year!  No joke.  I have told multiple people this, and they all say that it makes sense.  For real?  A titty shot is probably not what you are thinking... it's not where a shot glass gets put in your cleavage and guys get to grab the shot glass with their mouth from your tits.  It's where you sit below a girl and she makes you a shot and pours it into your mouth and does a little titty shake basically.  It's not "classy" by any means, but there's no contact or anything.  I just couldn't believe that you could make that much just by showing some cleavage.  Also, since it's Stampede time here in cow town, we have all been talking about how girls working in busy places (such as Nashville, Roadhouse, Ranchmans, tents, etc) can make a good $3-10,000 during Stampede.  I'm sure they are all showing some leg and some cleavage.  Now, I have nothing against any of this, but I wonder what it says on a deeper level.  For the girls, they are just making some good money fast to put towards school or a Eurotrip or whatever.  For the guys....?  I wonder why they are willing to spend so much money just because a cute girl is showing some leg and/or boob.  I mean...boobs are pretty common you know.  What's the big deal?  I'm not complaining by any means... but I am curious.

I have one more observation to make.  I find that the most demanding people are also the rude ones who never tip.  Or leave you, oh 25 cents.  And the ones who are super easy to please and friendly are the ones who will always tip you, and sometimes tip you really well.  How does that work?  My hypothesis is that it all comes down to what kind of a person you are.  Most people that are hard to please are also just not happy people.  And unhappy people usually don't want anyone else to be happy.  So why would they be nice to the friendly server or give her/him any of their money?  Instead they just want to be difficult so that you can take on some of their unhappiness.  Sigh.  Although I strongly dislike the demanding people who want lots of fresh lime squeezed in their drink (instead of lime juice), sandwiches cut in half and bagged separately (while in the middle of a rush and there is no serrated edge knife to be found), and drinks with a little of this and a splash of that (not more than a splash!)... I do feel somewhat sorry for them.  They probably do not find much joy in their lives, and my guess is that they have had their food spit in on more than one occasion.  On that note, never ever be a pain in the butt customer at Denny's.  I have heard horror stories.  So, getting back to my theory... The people who are easy to please and friendly tip you because they are usually happy people.  Happy people generally like to see those around them happy also.  And therefore they are more inclined to be nice and generous to you.

So as Bob Marley says, don't worry, be happy :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gallivanting around Van Island

Gosh I love that city.  With it's old buildings, gorgeous trees, cafes on the water, ocean breeze...

Oh how I love old brick buildings.  Especially when they are covered in vines.

Why don't we build with this much character nowadays hmmm?

It was in front of this building that I was interviewed for a University documentary (students attend the Royal Roads University which is right near Hatley Castle...setting for the famous Xmen).  Anyways... they asked me what I thought the difference was between prostitutes and escorts.  I was very excited to be interviewed for a documentary.  Even just a student one that was just going to be shown in the classroom... You all know my love for documentaries...  Ok moving along...

Mom and I in front of a little painters booth set up in the street.

This little cafe has really tasty food, and they are adjacent to what is called The Wall.  It is a concrete 'pathway' for lack of a better term that goes out into the ocean.  It is one of my favorite places.  You can take a leisurely stroll... take in the ocean air, look at the distant mountains, and hope to see a whale.  Yes, I'm a little exuberant about seeing whales in the wild.  NOT at a Sea World I might add.  *glares*

Et voila, here is the wall.  There are some concrete 'steps' on either side of the wall that you can also walk along should you prefer to be closer to the water.  Watch your step though, those rocks ain't all even.

My mom and I off to the side of the wall.

Notice the scuba divers coming in.

Gazing out at sea...dreaming of scuba diving and of how cool it would be to help film something as amazing as Planet Earth (the ocean parts at least)...

I really like this shot. 

Just imagine living there!  I would love to design a home to fit into this gorgeous terrain.  Now if only there was surfing right there too...

These are the Oak Bay Marina seals.  You can buy fish and feed them.

Look at that tummy!

They are such funny creatures to watch.

Moving along... There are deers everywhere on the island!  I like Bambi <3

After we went to a Meaderie and did a free tasting (mmm!)...we discovered 'Sushi on the Sea'.  It is 1980's vessel where about 8 people at a time can have a unique dining experience...'sushi ON the sea'.  So we made a reservation for the next night.

Boy was the sushi tasty!  And it was definitely the most unique restaurant I have been to...been aboard?  Hmmm...anyways... it was de-li-cious.

It was really hard to get good shots due to the lighting... I should have taken pictures earlier in the night...Alas, I did not.  But should you ever take a trip to Sooke... I highly recommend this dining experience.  I forgot to mention that the server, who is an older gentlemen, changes outfits throughout the night.  Each time he brings out a course of sushi he is wearing a different jacket.  The first course he was wearing his captain's jacket.  Then the next two courses he wore two different Japanese jackets.  Pretty awesome.

And now I share with you the Gatsby Mansion.  You shall want to watch the Great Gatsby after, I swear.

It is an historic home built in 1897 from the proceeds of the 'Gold Rush'.  It has since been turned into a hotel, and they serve a public Sunday buffet brunch which we attended.

Wood paneled ceiling of course

Mmm mmm good.

Can't you just picture how the grand house would be all closed off from the kitchens?  With the slaves in the back serving the lady of the house and her friends as they have tea and biscuits in the sitting room?  *crazy*

Well that's most of my pictures.  There will be two more posts to come...  One of our excursion to Salt Spring Island, and one of a rainbow parade and festival!

Until then, please do some sun salutations with me in an attempt to lure it back out!

Mom's Home

These are all pictures taken in my Mom's yard... Lucky lady I know!

I must say that I am proud of this picture.

These gorgeous yellow birds managed to eat all that seed in a matter of days!  

Victoria has no lack of beauty that's for sure.  It wasn't super warm while I was there,  but when you see these sights every day you can't really complain. gotta love that ocean breeze that smells oh so delicious!

Kayaking in Victoria

Hooray I am finally catching up with my blog...

I was in Victoria visiting my mom at the beginning of the month, and we went kayaking together for the first time!  It was a great experience.  I love the ocean, and it was so peaceful to paddle through it and take in all the beautiful BC scenery.  It's also quite a workout let me tell you!  

Without further ado, here are some pictures:

We were lucky to get really close to this one seal.  My kayak even touched his rock at one point!

Look at that fatty! lol

At this point I was a little freaked out.  He had been lying on his side the whole time we were around, but then he sort of stood up in a "this is my rock!" dominating gesture.  Whoa...we will leave, we swear!

I should note that we had a guide/teacher with us.  He rode in the double kayak with my Mom.  Just in case we perhaps got too close... we didn't know! 

Some other seals we saw on our expedition.  Notice the adorable little baby on the left.
We also saw a baby raccoon, a deer, and some jelly fish.  Sadly, there are no good pictures of them.  Taking pictures on a kayak is tricky.

Also, my dream of encountering a pod of killer whales while kayaking did not happen either.  Maybe next time!

And thus our first kayaking adventure came to a close.