Thursday, February 14, 2008

Regarding rich people and their wasting of my time

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.


Julie_Gong said...

"The sun was shining, there was not a cloud in the sky, it was about 75 degrees."

This statement made me hate you but then I read the rest of that post and felt the urge to want to punch those a-holes in the face for you.

Inono said...

Ugh, this sounds awful. Not a fun way to spend your weekend after working a full job during the week. Do they even feed you?

mindy said...

Holy crap this was funny. Not for you, I imagine, but for me. Whenever something like this happens to me (any event where I am left thinking "is this really happening? REALLY?") my next thought is always "I'm going to blog about this!" It's as if blogging about it will make it better. And it kind of does, right?

A Lover and a Fighter said...

Blogging is quite the analgesic, Minders. And HS? You poor lamb. Rich people are total A-holes. I say this as a fellow work-on-the-weekend kind of girl, as I too have a back monkey/rainy day issue. That being said, once I was working at an event and snuck away to use a forbidden bathroom and WHILE I WAS PEEING figured out that someone was having sex with another someone in the shower. True story.

Your posts are so wonderful. They're little nuggets of comedic joy.

Hollywood Sucker said...

julie- Thanks for the a-hole punching support. I got your back too.

inono- Yes they did feed us, but that's a whole other story! At the very end of the 7 hour day, Greg was like, "Ok now lets take a break and eat, and then we just have like 5 minutes of clean up and then you can go." And I was like, can I just do my cleanup NOW and leave?

mindy- Oh my goodness, I totally think about how I'm going to have to blog about things. It IS comforting. Do you watch How I Met Your Mother? Barney always remarks "This is so going on my blog" whenever something happens. And that's how I am too.

Lover/fighter- Have you written about these sex-havers? Did you imagine the sex-havers the way you imagined the thai restaurant bathroom masturbator?

A Lover and a Fighter said...



Peter said...

I would last at your job for, oh, about five minutes. I would have threatened to hit the dude at the gate with the north side of my car and been sent home. Peter no take orders well.

Also, I want to go to parties with Meg.

Hollywood Sucker said...

peter- HA the north side of your car. Hilarious. See? Again you have all these suggestions but where are you when I need you?!

lover/fighter- Why are you such a perv?

A Lover and a Fighter said...

For attention.

Anonymous said...

it is totally fine to hate rich people. They kinda expect it, I think.

Plus when someone hates on them, they can just roll their eyes and climb into their bmw.

So i think we're even.

Anonymous said...

Took me the better part of two day's to digest this and form an opinion. I was in the same camp with Peter until I realized.. Money doesn't just automatically turn someone into an incompetent jack-a-ninny, there's usually a support structure of sorts that keeps this now incompetent jack-a-ninny, fed, watered, and cleaned up after.

Sort of like how you can't domesticate a dog, and leave it at home, expecting it to get its own beer outta the fridge, and make itself a ham-and-cheese sandwich if its hungry.

No, I'm gonna hate the people that think money should afford those who have it special status. The rich folks seem to either be bred into money(I.E. unaware of how the rest of the world works), or acquire money and promptly attempt to live up to society's ideal of what a 'rich person' should be like.

All that said. Its Sven and Cronies that require the swift application of a boot to the temple. Hang in there Miss HS, but please forgive if I eagerly await your next tale.

Hollywood Sucker said...

Survivingmyself- Agreed.

Anonymous- Holy crap. You might be too smart for me. But I think I see what you mean. Just being rich isn't the problem unless the rich person let's it be a problem. Right?

I dunno, I just want to kick em in the shins and call em all fart faces.

So, different strokes for different folks.

Thanks for reading, whoever you are!

nicoleantoinette said...

This is my first read of your blog and in addition to telling you that you're awesome, I must say:

-Catering is the best and worst business ever. Even from the few times I've done it, I have a ridiculous number of stories.
-I cannot get over how amazing the weather has been lately. THIS is why I live in California. It's even enough to compensate for the assholes and the traffic on the 405... (sometimes)

Hollywood Sucker said...

nicole- Thanks for coming by.

And yeah the weather WAS nice, but now I don't know, it's letting me down. Big time.

Anonymous said...

Make no mistake, I don't disagree with kicking 'em in the shins, I just think rich idiots are more a symptom than a problem.

PrincessPolly said...

I'm torn between feeling sorry for you and feeling happy that you wrote about it cos it made me laugh! Sorry. It sounds like a nightmare though.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...

Oh god, believe me I worked a TON of these. its ALMOSTTTT as bad as working bar/batmitzvahs with bratty, bratty, ric kids with overbearing parents. I did A LOT of those too AND I was a nanny in Pacific Palisades, so. I pretty much understand assholes, lol.

Mask said...

In terms of material possessions, capital, and assets? Not nearly. But as is oft said, money cannot buy satisfaction.

Now see, you've gone and forced me to stop being anonymous.

Hollywood Sucker said...

Mask- Aw, yay! I like you so much better when you're you.

Princess Polly- Don't bother feeling sorry for me, I do it enough myself. Ha. Besides, all of this crap gave me something to right about.

Chelsea- Jeesh! I'm not that big on kids to begin with, let alone shitty ones!