Thursday, February 17, 2011

born freeeeeeeeeeeee

I took a little vay-cay from the jogger for the past couple months because I was just tired of pushing the damn thing. Also, my increasingly outspoken child went through a fun little phase where I couldn't pass anything that resembled a playground or swing set without screaming at me to stop, thus adding half an hour to an hour to our route during an already crunched time slot. Plus, gym daycare = interaction with other kiddies = sleepy toddler.

Well, spring starts in February in Georgia (gotta love that) and Atlanta was MADE for running. Sure, it's hilly, but there are so many parks, and sidewalks everywhere, and it's so beautiful and full of trees (there are laws to keep it that way, another cool thing about this city). I had to dust off the jogger after a short winter in the garage and make my child sit still for a little while so mommy could run, with the reward being - of course - the Mecca of toddler playgrounds.

There is just nothing better than setting out, leaving the watch and GPS at home, and enjoying an unusually warm and sunny day with my Mini-Me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sorry. And... I'm sorry. But there's just one thing I gotta say...

You know that girl who, just a few blog entries ago, was all "open your mind," and "see the silver lining" and "you have it so much better than the homeless lady?" Yeah, she's not here right now.

I have to apologize in advance because last night, something inside me snapped, and the first words out of my mouth when I arrived home were, "I'm tired of waiting on assholes."

If you're in a hurry or want to take your time, I've got you covered. I'll rush your well-done steak or I'll put a nice long hold on your 2-minute meatloaf. If you need a vegetarian-friendly version of our "Uebermeatydeluxbaconburger" I will consult with the kitchen and put something together for you. You ask me questions about flour and cornstarch, I know to ask if you  might have a gluten allergy. You tell me you're Jewish, I know to remind you the day's soup has sausage in it before letting you order it. I'm not some dumb blonde who screwed up in some part of her life and that's why I'm waiting tables instead of walking around with a briefcase and my thumb up my ass.

To summarize, I'm tired of being a good, kind, attentive, server who will accomodate your every request, and still getting treated/tipped like shit.

So here are a few guidelines from people OTHER than me (to prove I'm not just being selfish), just in case you're out to eat and you have any doubts as to what you're actually paying for:

From Server at a full-service restaurant – 15% to 20% of your total bill. If you’ve used a discount or received any free items, you should tip on the amount that your bill would have come to if you’d paid full price. If your party is large or placing many special requests, you should increase your tip appropriately.

From (in an article titled, wait for it, "How to Tip Your Sever"!): Tipping is obligatory in North America, because the waitstaff are often paid fairly low wages.

And: The general guideline is 20% for excellent service, 15% for solid service, and 10% for bad service. On average, people tip 18%. (I wish to note, "excellent" service should not mean I'm leaning forward with a shirt unbuttoned or giving you my number. It's not bad service just because you're 65, reek of alcohol, and I am not humoring your attempts at flirtation).

From tipping.orgWaiter or Waitress -- 15% to 20% of bill. If you receive excellent service or if it is a 4 star + restaurant or large parties, a 20% or greater tip is recommended.

So, again, I know I'm being a total hypocrite today, as I think back to what I posted a couple weeks ago, but after 2 weeks of barely being able to cover the cost of my babysitter with what I've earned, I've had about enough.

If you're traveling, you owe it to the people who wait on you to consider the TOTAL cost of going out to eat. None of this sticker-shock bullshit where you stiff the people taking care of you because you spent more than you intended.

Keep in mind, we (servers) often split a portion of our tips with the bartenders and foodrunners. When you tip me $2.50 on $75.56 (yes, I'm in a petty enough mood to remember the exact total of the bill), I have to tip out %1 of the total of each check to the food runner ($.76) and %2 to the bar ($1.52). Which means, I've made a whopping TWENTY-THREE CENTS for the hour you occupied my table.

And I mean, really? $2.50? Even if the entire tip was mine to keep, that's not even acceptable by Waffle-House standards.

Here's an idea. If you don't know how to tip, DON'T GO OUT TO EAT. You and your loose change aren't helping any of us pay our bills.

Again, sorry. Really had to get that off my chest. Hopefully this will be the last time I'll gripe and groan about my line of work. It is the life I chose, after all...

(But please share away. Share a link on the FB, or just keep me in mind when you're out to eat with your grouchy uncle who still tips like it's 1954.)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

let's take a ride to the Motivation Station

Indoor cycling and group aerobics, from the instructor's standpoint, is kind of a mix between personal training and coaching. You've gotta know what you're doing to help clients achieve their fitness goals but in the larger group setting, you have to keep everyone going. It's never easy when you're leading a class and they start dropping like flies.

This didn't exactly happen to me, but going into this Tuesday evening class I can't help but feel I've got a little bit of an uphill battle ahead of me. The time slot I'm filling has gone without a regular teacher for months, I'm told, so attendance is already kind of low. So when a few people leave before class is over, I feel like I'm already doing something wrong. Add to that the fact that I'm new and things are, well... awkward.

I'm goofy. I like to hoot and holler. I like to push and grunt (dirty, I know). I've been to loud, crazy spin classes where the instructor yells, "GO!" and everyone jumps out of the saddle to get on a standing run and cheers! The classes I've taught so far have been reserved to the point that one would think we'd just arrived from a funeral.

Also, it's a Tuesday night. Not even half-way through the week. People generally don't enjoy Tuesdays.

So I need a little help.

What tools do you use to motivate others?

What have others said/done to really help push you?

Any cheesy song suggestions to get my class to crack a few smiles?