Happy Valentine's Day. I have a giant zit on my face.
That's not all I got, though. I also got some very pretty roses from my boyfriend. (awww)
I noticed today that everyone's posts were about Valentine's day so I thought I should join in. But I really have nothing to say about it other than the aforementioned roses and face tumor.
So, instead, I'm going to write about my experience catering last Saturday.
If you've been reading Hollywood Sucker, then you may recall I've started working catering jobs on weekends for some extra money to rid myself of the back monkey. The first event I worked was sort of fun, and so I wasn't really dreading my second event with them.
So Saturday afternoon I find myself on the 405, making my way to the fancypants, richy rich Pacific Palisades neighborhood to work at a private party in someone's home. The 405 was a parking lot. Why? Because everyone else in LA was making their way to the beach. Why? Because it was the first beautiful, perfect day of spring (take THAT, east coast!). The sun was shining, there was not a cloud in the sky, it was about 75 degrees. And I was sitting in my car, sipping on the remnants of a diet coke sitting in my cupholder since last night's taco bell run.
As I arrive in the neighborhood, I begin driving approximately 3mph, gawking at the beautiful houses and wide, pristine streets. I'm jealous. I'm so depressed by this. After spotting the correct address, I find a space to park on the street. The instructions from the caterer said to be sure to park at least 40 yards from the house. Gee, I feel special. Well to make sure I keep my apparently hideous car away from their beautiful party, I must have parked about 300 yards away from the house. It takes me like 5 minutes to hike back there from my car. Just as I approach the front gate, a man with the valet service stops me. "The staff is supposed to park north of the house," he informs me.
"Well it said to park 40 yards away. I'm like really really far away."
"Yeah but we reserved everything south of the house for valet parking."
"Ok well but I am so far you can't even see my car from here."
The man gives me a look of disgust normally reserved for someone with bbq sauce all over their shirt.
"Fine," I say with a sigh. Then I march all the way back to my car and then park "north" of the house. Whatever that means. Not that I wanted to split hairs with Mr. Valet, but this was an east/west street.
Finally, I am done with the parking disaster. And now I'm sweating bullets from all of this walking "north and south" while dressed in head-to-toe black.
I head to the house and find the makeshift "kitchen," which was actually a shed approximately the size of my apartment, filled with kitchen equipment and busy chefs. Some woman tells me to go inside to find Greg. I don't know who anyone is that's bossing me around here, but fine. So I go inside. Greg tells me to go to the kitchen outside. Ok...
Eventually I connect with him and introduce myself and he marks me down on some kind of roster. The day begins. I'm unwrapping plates and moving chairs around and trying to look busy, all while pretty much having no idea what I'm supposed to be doing. Thankfully, the rest of the staff shows up after an hour (I was sent early to "help") and so I can finally lose myself in the crowd. Then, Greg signs everyone in. He gets to me, having forgotten my name. Then he checks me off on the chart saying "Ok, 3:30 start time."
"2:30," I interrupt.
"3:30," he says again.
"Yeah, but I got here at 2:30."
"Did you start working at 2:30?" What? Yes. Have you not noticed me?
"Do me a favor. Next time let me know when you're early. Not a big deal, but just, you know."
"Well Sven called me at the last minute and asked me to come earl--" but he had moved on to examining a table cloth by then.
What is it with these people?
Working a private party for rich people is not fun. Rich people are assholes, and why shouldn't they be? Maybe I would be too. Actual snippet of conversation overheard while I was squeezing through the crowd carrying a tray of seared ahi appetizers:
"I mean, I grew up in this neighborhood too and it's just a really great place to grow up. Big back yards, big closets."
Ok I don't know why I am so resentful, and maybe I shouldn't be. Too bad.
Here are the highlights from the rest of the day.
- Greg finds a cluster of 3 waiters standing to the side of the house. "2 people is a chat, 3 people is the start of a union!"
- I spot a familiar face in the distance. Oh no. Oh no. I KNOW her. Oh how mortifying. She spots me and I make small talk while self-consciously checking if I have any sauce on my shirt. Also, I debate if it's worth getting in trouble with stupid Greg to ask her for a sip of her wine.
- After running around in the fucking heat all afternoon, I am completely parched and may collapse without water. I ask 3 different supervisors where I can get some water and no one gives me an answer. So, I lock myself in the bathroom and drink water from the faucet for 10 minutes.
-Greg finds me and 6 other waiters standing in the prep area, taking a quick breather between tray passes. He tells us, "Um, just so you know, no one is standing around right now."
-Megabitch chef tells all waiters they are rinsing the trays improperly. "Everyone come here NOW!" she commands. Rolling our eyes, we all move over near her and the pan of warm water. "It's not that hard. You take a paper towel, you wet it and--" She stops when she sees me standing behind her. "What are you doing back there. GET OVER HERE." Excuse me?
"I'm just trying to stay out of the way," I explain. There were already about 12 people in 3 feet of space.
"No you're not you're being lazy. Get in here!"
So I squeeze my way into the group. But of course there are no available trays to clean so I am left STILL standing there as she gives us instructions.
"WHY AREN'T YOU DOING ANYTHING?" she shouts at me.
"There are no more plates."
To this, she makes an awful sighing/growling noise, grabs my arm, and thrusts it towards to roll of paper towels.
"I can move my arm myself!" I yell, in what was one of the approximately four times in my life I've stood up for myself. Too bad she didn't hear me because she was busy criticizing someone else. But guess what? A minute later she cut her finger open while slicing something in the kitchen. Karma's a bitch, bitch.
Thankfully the day FINALLY came to a close after a party that lasted for the longest 3 hours of my life. I can't imagine why all of the supervisors were so mean to us...especially since really no one was doing anything wrong. We were on their side! And helpful.
All day long a little voice in my head kept saying, "Just go. There's the front gate. Just walk through it. You don't have to be here. They can't stop you. They won't even notice you are gone." I mean, unlike my real job that pays all the bills, this is just a little bonus fundage. No one can force me to stay at any of these events. And that thought, the knowledge that I can just leave whenever I feel like it, is what will get me through all of the future events.