Sunday, March 25, 2007

My laptop has been restored and I am slowly getting caught up on all teh internets I missed when forced offline. I don't know if I will ever catch up on Bloglines, ye gods and generals. Knit bloggers are a prolific bunch. I'm just taking it one blog at a time and with any luck I'll be caught up by Greek Easter.

Project updates! The Painter's Scarf is indefinitely stalled and I have no idea when or if we'll see some discernable progress on it. It's hard to knit for someone when you're feeling cranky about them every time you pick it up. Such projects tend to languish in the stash or get violently thrown at the wall and then stuffed between the sofa cushions. My Walk All Over Cancer socks got ripped back and I have not yet settled on a new stitch pattern for them, but I do have a perfectly boring st st sock in Lorna's Iris Garden going, and just turned the heel on sock #1. Yay. Progress, on something. Yawn.

You'd have thunk I'd have had all this extra knitting time and energy when I was off teh internets, but alas, it was not so. I think about all I do these days is work job #1, work job #2, parent, and sleep. Life has narrowed down to the bare minimum, though I've been making a huge effort to get out and be at least minimally social when possible, lest I go starkers. Some friends were playing last night at Synergy so I hopped over there with the Aussie after my shift at the olive oil store and caught the show, along with a glass of sangria at the little cuban place around the corner. Yay wine, fortified with sugar, rum and fruit juice. Oh how I love you. It was nice to get out and see actual people, even if 50% of them are people I work with and see every single day anyway. A vast improvement over Friday night which found me home alone, kids at sleepovers, with half a bottle of cheap merlot from TJ's, sobbing into pint of Brownie Batter ice cream while Celine Dion wailed on the TV and Leonardo DiCaprio sank slowly into the depths of the frozen Atlantic. Hi, cliche like whoah.

At least today I am off from both jobs, I got to hand my grouchy and uncooperative offspring off to their dad for a few hours and am doing nothing with any redeeming value at all. No laundry, no cleaning, no nothing, nada. Maybe a book, as long as it is fluffy and badly written, with no social commentary. I don't even know as I'll knit, that seems too much like "productivity" to me.

Vive le good life.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Oh look, it's Friday! Unfortunately, I don't have a day off this weekend. I don't have a day off until next Saturday, when I plan to do nothing but sit about in my pajamas and watch the Netflix that have been gathering dust on the shelf.

At the moment am working 41 hours a week at the barista gig, and another 12-14 at the store. That is a lot of hours and I am very tired. As of this weekend, however, I am shifting down to something like 6-8 hours a week at the store.

Cast on the Violet's Pink Ribbon I acquired from Lisa Souza a while back. Don't have much to show for it but most of a toe, as I am getting most of my knitting in during downtimes at the cafe (read, not much) but a toe is indeed slowly emerging and it is pink and stripey and speckled with lime n violet and I lurves it, I does.

Life is pretty decent. The Ex Mr. YP and I are getting along well, the kids are mostly adjusting (well, ok, we have a major drop in grades but that is not unexpected and they're both working on getting them back up there) and there is a mostly low drama level overall. Yay!

I do have a minor rant about one thing.

Dear My Customers,

Please dear customers, please. Tip. The. Baristas. Who. Make. Your. Coffee. Please. and by "tip" I do not mean "toss the $.11 change you got when you ordered into the tip jar." 15% is nice, 20% is nicer. I pull a damn fine latte full of love, kids, this is not crappy Starbucks chain coffee, no, I work for the Empire Records of local coffeehouses. I make all manner of complex drinks for picky, sleepy people. I also do little things like cook *everything* (and we offer a full breakfast and lunch menu) when people order food. When not pulling coffee or preparing food, I am washing dishes, bussing, stocking, prepping, grilling and working my ASS off at every single job in the cafe. See, your average server in a small cafe may not have the luxury of a cook, busboy, dishwasher, servers, or any kind of backup other than whoever else is pulling coffee alongside. And great, that's fine, I love my job, I love to work hard, I revel in it. It's fun, most days, except when it isn't.

The SUCK factor right now lies in the fact that on an average day, I only take home an extra $1 per hour in tips. If I'm lucky. That is pathetic and it is because it is counter service so people don't think about tipping. The dining public is, in some part at least, trained to tip a decent percentage of the check when getting table service. And the killer is, I STILL give freaking table service. I do table service because that is just how I roll. I go the extra mile. I am the barista who will hook you up with the free refill, who will give you a side of jam with your croissant, who will add whipped cream to your cocoa even though you did not pony up the extra $.50 to get it. I remember that you like a 16 oz. non fat caramel latte no foam even if it has been two weeks since you were last in the cafe. If you are one of my regulars and I see you coming across the street, I might have your drink ready for you when you get in the door. I remember you, I like to make you feel special and I do these things so that you will come back. I do these things to make you happy, to get you out the door feeling good.

I definitely remember lousy tippers. They do not merit extra jam, whipped cream and they pay for every refill.

People bitch about how customer service is the pits these days and yeah, it really is. Part of this is because people take good service for granted and don't realize it is absolutely a two way street. Be courteous. Tip your local barista well. It is a kindness and shows good manners. Some of us are single parents who do laundry, buy milk for our kids and gas up our cars on those precious extra dollars we get at the end of each day.

Thank you, customers of my cafe and coffee drinkers everywhere. Love and kisses, c'est moi.