Posts Tagged ‘Catering’

So .. around 3 this afternoon, this woman comes into the shop to pick up her 5lbs of Roast Beef .. Gravy and 2lbs of Provolone cheese.

Only one problem..

We didn’t have it..

Oh.. we had the order slip.

The order slip that was tacked up where the order slips should be tacked up with PICK UP: 01/22/10 @ 3pm written across the top in RED Sharpie.

Do you know how much red sharpie writing stands out on white paper??

Anyway.. the woman comes in and Chief is like, “.. OMG! Is it 3 already?”

He went on to explain to her that since she was picking it up today but her function wasn’t until tomorrow, he was waiting until the last minute to slice the roast beef and then time had gotten away from him because I had gone to the wholesaler and he got swamped.

All that was true except for the part that he was waiting for the last minute.

He wasn’t WAITING for shit because he thought the order was for tomorrow.

She says she doesn’t mind and said that she can come back right before we close but he was like NO.. NO.. Just give me about 15 minutes. She said that she had some errands to run and would be back in an hour.

I had walked in the middle of this, carrying an arm full of ham, bologna and cheese so I wasn’t really paying too much attention until she leaves and he says, “OH FUCK”.

I ask him what’s up and he tells me…

ME: Um…
CHIEF: What?
ME: Yea.. heh.. um…
CHIEF: You’re scaring me..
ME: Yea.. well.. you don’t have any roast beef.. well, not 5lbs of it anyway

I think he dented the floor when he fainted.

See.. today must have been Secret Roast Beef Hoagie Day ( or Sub .. if that’s what you call it ) .. because I swear to got I must have taken orders for at least 8 large ones and a dozen small ones.

Considering that our larges have a pound ( Yes, POUND) of meat on them and the small ones have half a pound.. that a FUCKING LOT OF ROAST BEEF.

He hadn’t realized it because I was the one doing all the slicing..

The wholesaler’s is about a half hour away .. so driving down there :: at almost rush hour :: running around the warehouse.. getting through the check out lines :: ALWAYS the wild card when it comes to time :: and then driving back wasn’t an option. No time.

So he puts his hands on my shoulders.. bends down to look me in the eye.. and says, “.. you know what you have to do, right?”

I gulp. “Do I have to?”

He nods. “You do.”

“This is going to SUCK”, I moan.

“It’s taking one for the team, babe”

So I start to drive down to the OTHER deli a few miles up the road.

I can’t really say that they’re a competitor because they aren’t really close to us.. and they’re in the part of the county where people still work so they can charge real prices. You know, the prices that generate a profit? They make the dollars.. we make the dimes.

Now.. I have a pretty neat little deli .. you can ask Goober because he’s been by.. it’s just that our store is in an area where most people are on food stamps and there isn’t the traffic that the OTHER place gets.

It just is what it is.

Anyway.. so now I have to go up to the Mecca of Deli’s to get three pounds of Roast Beef and 4 dozen catering kaiser rolls.

I have never been inside the Mecca before and thought that maybe I should stop somewhere and get prayer beads or something .. maybe tie a red string around my wrist .. but I didn’t have the time to do anything cute or quirky.

Anyway.. so I’m driving.. driving.. driving.. and I get to this major intersection and I’m like.. Um.. Hmm.. where the FUCK is this place?

So I call Chief and ask him if the Mecca is before the intersection or after.. he says after.. I thought it was before but ok. He grew up here, he should know. So I’m driving.. driving.. driving.. and I’m almost on the fucking interstate before I was like, “.. nah. I think I past it.”

Who says I don’t have the power of observation??

By this time, it’s almost 20 after 3 and I’m panicking because now I have to drive all the way back in the opposite direction and who knew how crazy busy the Mecca would be on a Friday afternoon.

I finally find it and snort that they need to do something because you can SO see it jumping out at you coming from the opposite direction!!

Anyway.. their parking is on the side of the store.. right off a side street. A side street that’s two ways for like.. a half a block. Wonderful.. backing out of the spot onto a narrow two way street in a station wagon is going to a chore. Hope I don’t run over the crossing guard.

So I walk into the Mecca and the clouds parted and the angels started singing monk chants.

I act all yknow.. whatever.. when I order the Roast Beef but secretly I’m drooling. The had 7 slicers. SEVEN!! That’s like.. well.. it’s kind of like you have to figure each slicer needs to bring in around 200.0o bucks a day to be worth their keep .. they had SEVEN!!!

We have three. Well.. two and a reserve.

So I call Chief… “omg! omg! you have to SEE this place! They have SEVEN slicers!”

I think he choked on his tongue!

Anyway.. so I get my order and it comes to $41.14. Which made me almost choke on MY tongue because the woman is only paying like 36 bucks at our store.. so we took a loss.

And you know that an order will never, ever be forgotten again!!

Anyway.. so I rush to the car  because I’m trying to beat the clock and as I’m backing out of the parking spot onto a narrow two way street during rush hour a car that was waiting at the red light on this narrow little street starts honking his horn at me…

I’M NO WHERE NEAR YOUR CAR ASSHOLE!! And I give him the finger. I would have given him the double flip for scaring the crap out of me with his horn but yknow.. I was driving so I couldn’t.

He starts yelling something at me and pointing at me and if I wasn’t pushing the clock I would have jumped out of the car and kicked his door panel.

NOTE: I have mentioned that I have terrible road rage, right??

So I’m able to maneuver the car onto the street without hitting the pole, the crossing guard or the wack job honking at me and proceed on my way.

Not two car lengths up the street, there were these girls walking and they started yelling, “CHRIS!! CHRIS!!” and were looking over to wear Mr. Honk Or I’ll Die was..

Oh fuck! He must have been honking at the girls to get their attention and they were calling his name.

Damn, I felt bad and now I’m mentally chastising myself for mentally getting all up in Honker’s grill.

Did you ever have an epiphany? One of those moments where the lights of Yankee Stadium go off in your head.. so bright that it burns the back of your eyeballs??

Yea.

Weeeeellllll….

JUSTLIKETHAT it dawned on me that I had left my coffee cup on the roof of my car.. the kid honking and pointing was trying to tell me that.. the girls screaming CHRIS were actually screaming MISS.

I told myself how fucked up I was as I stopped the car :: in the middle of the street.. much to the annoyance of an on coming car :: and got out to grab my coffee.

My wonderfully still hot coffee that didn’t have the lid on tight enough so when I squeezed a little to hard getting back in the car, the styrofoam squished causing the lid popped off and spilled out all over my white shirt and puddled onto my lap.

But I make it back in the nick of time and everything is all together about three minutes before the customer walked back in to pick it up.

The worse part is.. at 6.99 a pound, the Mecca’s roast beef is a dollar more then ours but SO NOT AS GOOD .. and I’m not saying that to be biased. Our brand of roast beef rocks.

So lessoned learned.

The hard way… of course!

… so there’s been a pretty heated conversation going on between Jen512 and my buddy The Goober about healthcare. If you’re up for it, you can read it HERE.

I was going to post my episode recaps for Project Runway and Top Chef but I think this topic is a little more important.

NOTE: Just let me set the records straight before I go on my tirade. I am not a liberal.. conservative.. Democrat.. Republican.. a sheep.. or a lion. I am just someone who tries to live right.. tries to provide for my family and loves my country. I don’t trust politicians OR the judicial system for that matter so please don’t think that I have a hidden agenda or am just spewing what I hear from someone else. I keep an open mind about everything and am the first one to google something I don’t understand before I form an opinion about it.

With that said…

Before I met Chief, I had very little :: okay, NONE :: experience with my state’s welfare system. I grew up in I guess you could say a lower-middle class :: or high lower class :: neighborhood where no one really knew they didn’t have anything because we had what we needed :: food on the table, roof over our heads, etc. :: and everyone was basically in the same position that my family was.

We went to Catholic school, went to college and then went to work. We got married.. bought cars and houses and didn’t have any of the drama that you routinely hear about on the news on in the paper.

When I met Chief, he was a working as a chef for a ridiculously high end caterer :: they wouldn’t do a wedding unless the price tag was a minimum of 50 grand :: but was making half of what I was making an hour. In fact, he was making less then an entry level position for the company that I worked for.  He was trying to raise 3 kids without any type of child support because all the judges he and the crack whore went before fell for her sob stories.

According to assistance limits, he was making too much money to get on any type of program that would help with electricity bills or heating bills but was able to get about 180.00 a month in food stamps.

That’s basically 6 bucks a day.

Which the state immediately cut off when he went on unemployment.

NOTE: There is a “down” time in catering and generally you work 8 months and then are laid off for 4 months. Carpenters go through the same thing.

If you think it was hard financially when he was working, imagine how hard it was when he was on unemployment. It was that reason why he decided to open up the store. The way we figured it on paper, my paycheck would be able to handle all the household stuff while his unemployment would go towards opening the store.. and then the store would be able to pay for itself.

He was smart.. and it worked. It was hard.. it was :: and still is :: 20 hour days and a lot of  sacrificing and a lot of worry and a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

I’m not complaining. It’s just how it is. We chose to open a store.. we knew it was going to take a lot of inner strength.. outer elbow grease.. and a lot of praying.

To say we work hard is an understatement. You can ask any one of customers and they will tell you that we do the very best that we can to give our customers things that they want that they can afford.

But what torques the hell out of my Chinese food suffering bowels is that while we are constantly pushing.. constantly striving.. constantly trying to make sure all our bases are covered, there are people that I wait on everyday who are just skating through life.. and think they are ENTITLED TO SKATE THROUGH LIFE.

The Crack Whore can run an air conditioner in every damn window of her apartment 24/7 and doesn’t have to care about what her electric bill is because she doesn’t HAVE TO PAY her electric bill.

She’s on welfare… the state pays it.

And guess what? On Tuesday, MY electricity was turned off because I owed a 28.00 back balance.

You read that right…

FOR 28.00 FUCKING DOLLARS, THEY CUT MY ELECTRICITY OFF.

Or how about this one:

One of my regular customers came in on Monday asking if she could get a few things to hold her family over until her husband got paid on Wednesday. Knowing that she has kids to feed, I said “sure”. So she got something like 25.00 worth of stuff.

As I was slicing her lunch meat, she tells me that she will be having Gastric Bypass surgery in October.

Now, there’s no denying that she’s over-weight. But Gastric Bypass? There’s no way that I would have thought that she’d be a candidate for it. I know people personally that have had the surgery and they were OBESE. Like, can’t fit through the front door obese. This woman is no where near that size.

But guess what? She’s on welfare.. so guess who’s paying for the surgery?

At any rate.. it wasn’t even that pissed me off so much.. on Wednesday, she came in to pay her bill with her mother. While she was waiting for me to finish up with a few people in front of her, she started checking our our shelves saying that she had her first nutrition meeting and was looking for things that she would be able to eat after her surgery.

She then tells me that what she is going to do is join Nutri-Systems after her surgery so she doesn’t have to worry about counting calories or proteins or whatever the hell she has to check.

You know what the going rate is for a monthly subscription to Nutri-System?

299.95 A MONTH!

You can’t make your fucking money stretch so you have to ask for credit from me to feed your kids but you’re going to spend three hundred dollars a month for Nutri-Systems???

WHAT THE FUCK!

So.. as delicately as I can be.. I asked her how she was going to be able to swing it and you know what her answer was?

“… oh, the state is paying for it because I have to have the surgery for medical reasons”

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME??

I had to swallow my tongue because you see.. years ago.. I was 12 sizes bigger then I am now. I’m not that big anymore because I just started to eat right and I exercised. A lot. And eventually, I got down to a size 12.

No surgery .. no state paid food delivery service.. nothing but determination and commitment.

Then there was the whole glasses fiasco.

I needed new glasses and Chief needed glasses period. My insurance basically covered the exam.. the frames.. and the lenses but not anything extra like transitions :: where the lens get dark automatically in sunlight :: or UV protection or that kind of stuff. Chief needed a bifocal so because that was out of pocket also, I had to give up the transitions so that he could have the bifocals.

Okay.. whatever.. his was more important then mine and we could have only afforded one so the bifocals it was.

Two weeks ago, Weed came into the store and I forget how the subject even came up but he pulled out his little welfare medical card and said, “… I LOVE this thing. Do you know that I got two pairs of glasses that turn into sunglasses.. and I didn’t even NEED them I just got them because I could.”

Remember that scene in Austin Powers when the mannequins head explode?

Yea. That was me.

Oh.. and did I also tell you that the state is paying for him to get his G.E.D and is giving him a laptop so that he could study and look for a job? All because HE WENT TO JAIL FOR BURGLARY AND DEALING?

Or how about the woman that comes in bitching that her 700.00 a month in food stamps isn’t enough?

Or the other woman who BUYS a food stamp card from some barfly for half the amount in cash?

Or the couple who come in saying that yes, they can afford to have a second baby because they’ll be getting more food stamps when the baby is born?

Is it me or is something wrong here?

Why can’t the widowed father of 5 kids get any type of help from the state because omg.. he actually has a JOB.. but a baby making factory can get free food, free housing and a monthly cash stipend and is doing NOTHING to make her life better? Because to HER .. her life is SWEET.

“… I ain’t gotsta do nuffin’. Dey gotsta give me my money” .. that being an actual conversation I had when I asked what she was going to do when the state finally goes bankrupt and her food stamp card becomes useless

Some would say that I have nothing to bitch about because I choose to accept the food stamp card in my store. But I couldn’t have a store unless I take food stamps. The majority of my customers are on it.. and instead of having a moral struggle with it, I just feel like I’m basically getting my own money back.. since as a working person, my taxes go to providing them their lifestyle.

So you’ll have to forgive me when I hear about how the current administration wants to give MORE of my hard earned income to somebody else.

I’m struggling but because I had a job.. and I own a store.. nobody cares. Nobody is giving my kids free school supplies.. or school clothes.. or lunches.

No one cares about how I’m going to make my next car payment or utility payment or the fact that I had to cut out a lot of things that we’ve become accustomed to in order to keep a roof over our heads.

As long as there are more people with their hand out then there are with their hands in their pocket.. we are going to be forced to dish it out. And that’s just plain wrong.

Give a man to fish and he’ll eat for one day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat everyday

… or something like that.

For more details on Food Stamps, read THIS post that I wrote back in April

<< end rant >>