My best purchase

I would like to start this post by stating that I am in no way being endorsed for this review. I have not contacted Aveda and they have no knowledge of this post.

About a week ago I went to the spa and had the following conversation while I was getting my eyebrows waxed. (My hair grows too fast to pluck)

Spa interrogator: So... what do you use to wash your face?

BB: Well, I guess neutrogena right now. Or whatever is on sale.

Spa interrogator: And how is that working for you?

Obviously NOT that great..

BB: Well, I've always had really oily skin and I've tried a lot of products but it never helps. And I don't have that much money to keep testing products.

The spa interrogator then gave me the sale's pitch on this aveda product called outer peace. She said she used to have oily skin and that by the end of the long day you could wipe your hand across her face and grease a tire with it. Much like mine. And when I looked at her face I noticed that it was not one bit oily. It looked perfect.

Well, I tried it. And I was surprised. So was my mom. She kept commenting on how great my face looked. She said she'd never seen it look so good. So I told her about my purchase.

I'm sharing this with you because I know what it's like to have really oily skin. It's especially irritating in the restaurant industry because of how hot you can get from running around a kitchen or bar. By the end of a shift it looked like I hadn't showered in a week. Same goes for the 9 to 5 lifestyle. By the end of a long day all I wanted to do was go home and wash my face. I would avoid going out with my friends after a long day because I needed to go wash my face and redo my makeup before feeling clean.

In a matter of two weeks my skin is recognizably different. It's amazing. I don't feel dirty five hours into my day. I don't wake up feeling gross. I just feel normal.

The product is a bit pricey.. but if you use it consertatively (once in the morning and once in the evening) you can make it last.

The best results will come from this use:

Outerpeace foaming cleanser
Botanical KineticsTM Toning Mist
outerpeace acne relief lotion

By using the toning mist (which lasts a very long time)instead of the toning pads offered in the outpeace set it will cut down on price. Also the toning pads may actually overdry your skin. So that is why I stuck the toning mist in there. It ran me about 90 dollars when I bought it through a spa. But I'm telling you it is worth it! If you've dealt with oily skin before... 90 dollars is worth it. I'm two weeks in and there is still a lot of product left. My guess is that I will go about 3 months until I need another wash and lotion. And that the mist will last a year.

Just go to aveda.com and type in outerpeace in the search section on the top right hand of the screen. Use this same process for the toning mist. Also if you are curious what other have to say there are about 250 reviews for the foaming wash and about 235 of them are positive reviews!


I'm the customer I hate

Ever since I've been reading and writing these blogs I have had an intense sensation of customer anxiety. I analyze everything me and my guests do when eating out. I try to read the server's faces to see what they are thinking. It's downright dreadful. I can't even enjoy myself. I'm thinking about boycotting restaurants altogether.

Yesterday during a break in appointments at the spa, my mom and I went to a nearby restaurant. It was really nice. The menu had interesting/new meals and you could see the kitchen and cooks through plexiglass. It was also super expensive.. well for what I'm used to.

We didn't have much time so we just wanted appetizers. We had to wait for about 15 minutes and were sat at a four person table. I felt bad because it was a Friday night and there was a wait. This waiter could have had people who were drinking and ordering meals. And he got us.

I cringed as a I told him that we had an appoinment (I was trying to let the server know that we would need to be served more quickly as their place is more about presentation and enjoying the atmosphere). However, I could tell this ticked him off. I almost saw his mind click over to "oh great appetizers" mode. He was short with us after that and rather rude. I'm sure he didn't feel like working for that seven dollar tip.. as our bill only added up to about thirty bucks.

He started to do things which made me think he was purposely trying to punish us. For instance, he would come to our table to check on us but wouldn't pick up the empty soup cups .. which I placed at the end of the table for easier access. He also would bring us refills but didn't take our empty glasses. And even though he knew we were trying to have dinner in a timely manner (we DID have forty five minutes so it wasn't that rushed).. and he saw our napkins were on the table.. he waited forever to bring our boxes. Then even longer to bring the check. And I realize he was busy but the servers had a team effort type of staff and helped out alot. I would see him kind of walking around not knowing what to do with himself.

This is just one experience I've had in the last few weeks. But I cringe everytime I ask for something annoying (like extra sauces) or for numerous refills (I'm quite the guzzler). If I stay and sit an extra twenty minutes and it's busy I can feel the server's stare. I'm all the things I hate in a customer. And the more I try to compensate by being nice .. I think the more it angers them.

On a funny note, I had a waitress the other day at a Chilis who talked like she was an auctioneer. I couldn't help but laugh as she was talking because it was basically impossible to understand her. And she would come by and tell me she was getting me another iced tea so quickly that I didn't even have time to say no thanks.

Any other servers or former servers have trouble being a customer?


Where are all the freaking spoons

Every weekend the owner would buy about three boxes of pens. And by Sunday every single one of them would be gone.

All week bartenders and waitresses would have to scrounge up pens from whereever they were hidden, and some of us would have to share. I'd watch the customers intently as they signed their receipts and snag the pen before it disappeared. People probably thought I was nuts. And then the weekend would come and we'd get more pens. But come sunday they would disappear again.

I swear the owner spends half his profit on pens for us. It's ridiculous. I don't know if the customers are swallowing them or if they are getting up and running out of the bar.. but I've found a solution.

The other day when I was signing some paperwork I noticed the pen I was holding onto had a plastic spoon taped around it. I asked her if this was their way of making sure people didn't steal their pens and she said it was.

I thought this was a clever little way of keeping your pen supply intact because who wants a pen with a spoon stuck to it?


What to wear, what to wear...

I was going to drop a resume off at a local restaurant today. It's very trendy and most of the ritzy people go there. But it's actually VERY busy. Their web site says they are hiring for all the staff positions, kitchen, serving, and banquet.

But, I didn't go in because I had jeans on. When I was at lunch, my friend told me that they have a dress policy there and that I would be way under dressed if I went in the way I was. The jeans were dark, I had on a black tee, and ugg boots.. plus I was all done up with my hair and makeup. I thought that was good enough. I've never thought that one should get dressed up when applying for labor type jobs. I mean in the normal workday you would wear comfortable clothes to work in.. so why should you get all gussied up just to turn in a resume?

I guess they work in black pants and button up tops. So I'm going to wait for my black pants to return from being hemming and go in dressed up.

I am wondering what other's experiences are with turning in resumes. If the restaurant is upscale should the applicant dress up in business attire? Anybody out there actually conduct interviews? Do you care what they wear in the food industry? I guess I'm just going by my previous restaurant.. which was VERY casual during the day. At night the bartenders dressed up.. but I would never expect someone to come in black pants to turn in their resume. I've seen people come in sweatpants.. and it didn't affect them in the hiring process.

I think I'm going to go with black pants and a white blouse. But I still feel weird getting dressed up business style.


Where is the christmas spirit?

You would think that the closer to the holidays.. the friendlier the patrons.

In my experience it's the exact opposite. People spend all day shopping .. shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers fighting over a pair of shoes that are fifty percent off or a coat that is practically free .. and they are grumpy. So instead of enjoying a relaxing meal.. they take their anger out on their servers.

I think the same happens when families eat out. There is more pressure by parents to get their kids everything they want and more. I don't know how many times I've heard "Did you get me that bike, mom? I really want that bike. Christmas won't be the same without that bike." Well sorry to tell you sonny but Christmas will be exactly the same.. the snow won't melt just because your bike doesn't show up on Christmas morning. I just want to shake the kids and be tell them Christmas is about spending time with your family.. NOT about how many gifts you get.

You might think that big rant has nothing to do with waiting tables or bartending. But believe me you, it does. Parents are exhausted from fighting with their kids about cutting back on presents.. and annoyed at the crowded shopping centers. They don't want to slave over the stove.. so they go out to eat. But the restaurants they can afford are just as crowded. They wait for forty five minutes and when they finally get seated they don't have a patient bone left in their bodies. Or they need a cold beer after a long day and walk into the bar and stew in their frustration. Eventually all these patrons take their anger out on the server.. in words and in minimal tips.

I wish Christmas was less about gifts and more about the spirit of Christmas and spreading that spirit around. I think everyone would be happier... well everyone but the kids.


You have to come in.. but you can't clock on.

I was responding to some comments on my post today and it sort of shot off a light bulb in my head. In my attempt to explain why my paychecks were so low (low pay because customers tip our labor costs, shorter hours than average job, etc.). Well, this made me remember something that occurred in my bar and I wanted to see if it happens anywhere else.

My boss, in an attempt to lower costs has done some ridiculous things. One of them was to hire his brother to do the schedule (which has caused chaos from the start). Another was to work the daytime manager shifts to save on labor costs (which has turned into a joke- as he calls in other managers almost every morning because he wants to do stuff like go fishing or run errands).

But one of the most ridiculous things he has done was to the staff. Without coming and telling us, he gave the managers a direct order not to let anyone clock into work when they get there. WE HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL WE GET PUT ON. Even though, on the schedule it might tell me to come in at ten pm.. sometimes I don't get put on until midnight. So I sit for an hour or two without getting paid. I think this is illegal.. but he has gone about it by telling us we will have to go on as soon as we clock in.. when there is clearly nobody in the bar and then the other bartenders have to split money with us and get pissed off.

Basically he has pitted us against eachother. If I want to clock in and get paid I have to go to work right away. Only the bar will not need me to work and will have to split the very little money they are making with me and everyone else who wanted to clock in. Therefore, everybody just waits until it gets busy enough to work and then clocks in.

It just annoys me because A.I'm getting paid like 4.50 an hour .. suck up that extra eight bucks. B. My average weekly hours are never over fifteen.. with or without the waiting to clock in rule. C. We don't have enough employees for this to actually make a difference for him.. he maybe saves a hundred bucks an hour.. whooppddiiidddooo.. We make him about 500 bucks an hour on each register.

Anyway, this is something that has always bugged me. I wonder if any other places do that.. and if it's legal.. etc. Please feel free to respond!


What kind of tip do YOU want?

One of the most uncomfortable situations I faced as a bartender was the inevitable question. "What kind of tip do you want?"

I hate this question for three reasons. One, if I tell you what I really want for a tip you will think I am A. Greedy and B. Rude. So to avoid seeing your jaw hit the floor I tell you the more reasonable response.. which is twenty percent.

Which brings up the second reason. I have to size you up in about two seconds. Are you the type of person who is the average tipper or will you be astounded if I suggest anything more than twenty percent. If are a cocky guy I will test you. I will say something like forty percent and watch your face. If your jaw hits the floor, as most do, I will say ohhh ok well how about and go for twenty percent.

Now the third reason I hate this question comes into play. I start wondering why you asked me this question. Because most of the time you don't want me to say some ridiculous number and empty your bank account. Are you assuming that I'll be a good employee and only suggest the minimum fifteen percent? Do you know that I will say twenty percent and you were planning on paying that.. so you are trying to show off how much money you have without actually spending any of it? Sometimes I misjudge the person and they are actually willing to tip more than I suggest. They say something along the lines of "Oh that's it?" Which makes me disappointed because now I'm thinking about how much I could have actually gotten you for.

What I hate more than this question is this question with a twist. "What kind of tip do you think you deserve." This is like asking someone what their best qualities are. It's uncomfortable and presumptuous to compliment yourself. If I say something that you have never seen in me then you think I am full of myself and delusional. And if I don't answer you assume I have no confidence. Well the same goes with this question.. if I assume I deserve the best tip possible then you think I'm full of myself and delusional. And you might even point that out. And if I say I don't know then you say something along the lines of "Ok then if you don't care .. I'll just give you fifteen percent".

These are not hypothetical situations. These have actually happened to me. Have you ever had this question posed to you? And if so, how do you respond? What goes through your head? Why do you think they ask this question?


The end.

Tonight was my last night at work. So I didn't really give a crap.. which felt very liberating.

I had one girl complain about me to another bartender because she said I was rude. I wish I had a video camera so I could record the encounter back to her when she was sober and show her who was rude. I again was dealing with the "EXCCCCUUUUUSE MEEE! OVER HERE!" bitches. I didn't have anyone else to serve at the time so I asked her what she would like. She made me wait there while she asked her friend what she was drinking. And then she went to into a whole list of questions about prices. By the time I got done answering her questions there were about five people waiting to order.

So when she asked me another question about prices, I did what I thought was most logical.. I walked away. I served the other five people and then I came back. She then looks at me and says "So, are you going to serve me now?" And biting my tongue I said "That depends. Are you ready now?" So she ordered a fuzzy navel. I made it, brought it back to her, and rung her up pretty quickly and then moved on. Apparently she was all pissy because she went and complained about me to the other bartender.. which did her a whole lot of nothing because I don't work there anymore.. complain about me all you want to, bitch.

I was very smug all night about all the annoying customers. Every time I served someone with attitude I smiled to myself knowing that I would never have to serve them again.

At the end of the night, I got whipped creamed.. a tradition at our bar. And I'm not kidding here.. I was covered in whip cream.. head to toe. My hair was like a giant ice cream cone. And at the end of the night everyone took a shot with me.. which of course included someone saying how I would probably be back in two weeks anyway. It was nice.. and I am going to miss the people I work with. But I have been saying for a few months how happy I would be to quit and put the drama of the bar behind me.. and I sincerely am.


dollar jager bombs.. so wait what's the total?

I don't know how many times I had this exact conversation:

Customer: What are you specials?

Really because they are written on four special boards. One is neon green and lights up. Very hard to miss. And the specials have been the same all year.

BB: Dollar fifty miller cans, 6 dollar rum pitchers and dollar jager bombs.

C: Ok. Can I have 3 jager bombs.

BB: Sure.

Bring back the three jager bombs and in case they can't add I tell them the price.

BB: 3 dollars.

C: Wait. How much?

OMFG. Can you really not add 3 dollars.. three jager bombs at one dollar each. I would have brushed this off if it had been one drunkie. But even the sober people were asking me the totals. I'm dealing with morons.

Thank goodness tomorrow's my last night.

Funny story.. I quit once .. actually almost exactly a year ago.. and went home for two weeks and then came back. Everyone did the traditional last night of work shot and said nice things. I hugged people I never thought I'd miss. (The bar where I work is four hours from my original home.) Had a big going away party.. mostly just drank with all the employees at work. And then I came back. So now everyone keeps saying.. are you leaving for real.. or are you going to come back in two weeks? I'm sure that will be the joke of the night on saturday .. because it will be my SECOND going away party. But I swear I'm leaving this time.

The boss man sent out an email telling people to say goodbye to me and that I was leaving to pursue my career. That was nice of him. I'll honestly miss it.. I get this sort of high from trying to serve as many customers at once and working my ass off. I'll miss my friends that work there.. although now there aren't that many left. I'll miss my independence.. I'm so used to living on my own and answering only to myself. But I probably won't miss the college crowd very much, that is one thing I am happily moving on from.


What I've been up to..

Hi all!

I am new to the blogging world (well fairly new) and I'm just loving it with every ounce of my being.

I wanted to invite you all to visit my new blog that I've started.. actually just a few hours ago. It's a bit of a baby.. but I have some good ideas for it. I will, of course, still blog on this site, but I had an epiphany today while I was... well you can read it on the new blog http://bb-myjourney.blogspot.com/

It's basically about my journey out of the rut I feel that I am in. I am 24 and I should be out enjoying my life.. instead of feeling like a hermit. This new blog has a lot to do with my moving home and starting over. I will probably be posting on it more often than this one for a bit.. since I am quitting my bartending job (I will be looking for a new part-time serving job though so I will not be disappearing). I want to document my twenties.. this will include everything from hunting for a job, trying to find financial freedom, meeting men/being single.. and everything else that I face.

I do hope that you will take a look.. and if it suits your fancy.. follow me! If not, maybe you know someone who might like reading it and I encourage you to pass it along. Anyway, that's my plug for my new blog!