I’m sitting in Starbucks during a three-hour intermission between my two jobs. Everyone leaves the office by 6 on Friday. And given that the agency and the club are within a block of each other, (how that happened, I don’t know) I’m forced to sit here in dread of the next 8 hours on the clock.
This is when I must make the switch.
I’m not the first person with two jobs. I think Jamaica has already pioneered that frontier. And since advertising entrance salaries aren’t exactly forgiving, I’m not the first copywriter who was forced to find outside employment. But how many copywriter/ cocktail waitresses are there? I’m sure there’s lots of bartender/copywriters. And perhaps a few restaurant/cws as well. But copywriter/cocktail waitress? It’s like the Skittles’s sheepboy of employment.
In my observation, the smartest ones in the service industry tend to gravitate towards bartending. There are plenty of idiots behind the bar, sure. But the ones in aspiration for callings higher than a Grey Goose martini, seem to earn their interim income flipping bottles. Then you have your waiters. Respect them. They know more about wine than you do. A lot of them are just between jobs. And some just can’t figure out what the fuck they wanna do with their lives. And I don’t think any of us can judge a person for that.
But then you have the cocktail waitresses. A totally different deluded breed that manages to squeeze $80,000 + a year from society, while remaining completely ignorant to anything outside the world of expensive jeans, manicures, and facials. (You are free to interpret facial either way you like.)
I once walked in on a conversation between two of my coworkers who were discussing the absence of high tippers in the past 5 years.
“I used to walk out the club with like $2000 maybe $2500 in my pocket. But, you know, it’s ain’t like that no more.”
“Prob’ly cause of the recession.” I offered.
They stared at me like I had just proudly announced a case of the crabs.
I made the mistake of trying to explain, “You know, 9/11, the .com burst, decline in consumer confidence…”
It was like trying to teach Neitzsche to eight year-old boys. They’d stare at you for a second, and then go back to giggling at each others’ farts.
Yet, I’m one of these girls.
Yeah, yeah…. I’m on my way to other things, my day will come…bla, bah. I’m sure I’ll be the fucking president come February. But for two nights a week I’ve got to play the roll. Because customers don’t want to deal with anything unexpected. They want the same vodka tonic they drank last week. They dance to the same Kanye West song that was playing on the radio while they looked for a parking spot. They don’t want to be confronted with a sarcastic bitter half writer wannabe who’s trying to prove she’s more than this. So, I’ve got to play the role. I’ve got to make the switch. But luckily I’ve got abundant access to the remedy.
I take a shot. It doesn’t do much. I take a second. Score some champagne. That Shakira song sounds a little better now. More Patron? Sure. You sell insurance? Really? Oh my god! My friend used to do that! By the way, that’ll be $675. Eight-fifty, with gratuity.
Enough champagne and I forget about everything. The music is great now. My vocabulary plummets. (Yet my Spanish is strangely more fluent.) If only my Monday morning Starbucks could provide a champagne-like transition back.
On the morning after my two job collision, sore headed, I’ll wake up to another rainy New York Saturday. In between the time I regain consciousness and stumble to the bathroom, I’ll resume my incessant, narcissistic, fruitless pondering. Who the fuck am I? Stupid waitress or half ass copywriter? Who the hell are any of us? Who the hell are you? And why are you reading my blog?