All posts tagged work

Tongue Tied

Published August 23, 2012 by Dorothy

Hey y’all!!

Okay if you are a writer, or an aspiring novelist that needs motivation, I highly recommend Camp Nanowrimo. It’s a community of writer that helps you get organized and motivated to write or finish your novel of 50000 words in one month, starting the 1st of each month. I signed up for August and guess what! My novel is almost finished! I am so glad. I usually write and rewrite for years and years and never get to the result I want. That website, combined with Alan Watt’s book the ninety days novel finally helped me vanquish my inner self critic and my bad procrastinating habits.

I mean, I am still a lazy cow but nanowrimo really helped, mostly  because I kind of had the shits that this girl in my nanowrimo writing group worked wayyyy faster than me, so I worked a lot everyday to finish my novel before she did. Every participant of the writing group encourages each other like that, it’s really cool.

On a new note, I’m working in a restaurant again. Seriously. But I actually like it because

a) my manager is Michael Cera’s lost twin. Isn’t that cool? He just looks and feel exactly the same. Liking him.

b) The team is a team of drunkards. I was invited to a dinner by one of my workmates; we started on appetizers and drinks at 9.30 pm but we never got past  this stage because by 10 pm, after tasting a bit of this a bit of that, a shot of this and a shot of that, we were all pissed, so we skipped dinner.

Well, I guess kahlua can count as a desert, can’t it? There’s milk and all in it! We drank our dinner, like we used to say in Australia.

Anyways, I mean, these people are almost like Irish or Aussie people! How lucky am I? My work team rules.

c) After all the difficult jobs I’ve done, this one seems so relaxing. I mean, we’re serious but relaxed. There’s no twelve hours days, no seven days a week, no sweating two pints every hour hauling bags of fruits under the sun, no having to deal with nerve racking conflicts and incredible pressure every day. Everyone was telling me that this jobs would be so stressful but after my old jobs, this is just holidays under the sun. I mean, I’m stressed because it’s me and I’m always anxious, but not so overstressed that I can’t function right and go home every night with a migraine and the serious need of downing a bottle of Jameson in order to unwind.

i’m gonna let you guys go, I’ve got some serious novel writing to do!!

stay tuned,


PS: Still hard to adjust back to Paris. I suspect you might find me elsewhere next year 😉


Days Go By – Happy New Year!

Published January 7, 2012 by Dorothy

Our restaurant :)

After five months, I,along with all the group of people who arrived in June have been promoted from bakers to “Commis”, we no longer work in the Bakery shop; we now work in the restaurant. That pretty much means we are now “half waiters” in the aforementioned French restaurant. We don’t talk to customers so much anymore or take their orders, neither do we introduce ourselves to them or give them advices about wine, or which dish should they go for; that’s the waiters’ jobs. But we do bring them their food, reset tables after they leave, prepair soups, keep stocks full…

On my last day of 2011 I was at work…

  • 8h30: Joan Jett shouts about her bad reputation. I turn off my alarm clock and go back to sleep straight away.
  • 8h40:” WE’RE LIVING IN THE PAST , IT’S A NEW GENERA-TION!!!AND I DON’T REALLY CARE…” turn off alarm, go back to sleep again.
  • 8h50: “OH MY BAD REPUTATION…” “err, hem hem” my roomie says.”can you please turn that off? this racket has been keeping me up for half an hour!!” I turn off Joan Jett and heave myself out of my bed.
  • 9h20: In the bus with all the other commis, Pixie, Trainer one and revolver Eyes are across the alley from me and seem about to fall asleep as well. I crack open the “Monster” energy drink (for those of you who do not live in America, a Monster is pretty much like a Red Bull, except in a ginormous can and it comes in several different tastes and for different people like “special low carbs” or “zero calories”. There’s even a Monster morning drink “special pisshead who was shitfaced the night before” which provides not only energy, but also rehydratation.Anyway.)
  • 9h 40: Buy second Monster from vending machine. Will need it. Notice all of my coworker also have a can in hand. Today we will need energy as we are working until the next year.)
  • 10h10: Finish Myriam’s Monster. Am turning into Monster junkie.
  • 10h30: Half mad with all the Monster energy drink abuse, I start working, or rather, running around the restaurant like a madwomen carrying racks of glasses, buckets of ice, and throwing coffee pots around. Am teamed with Revolver Eyes and Cha (have I ever mentioned this girl in my posts? she is from that same “June 7th group” as me, Princess Sara and Bernadette).
  • 11h30:Peggy, who overslept, probably on the phone to one of her exotic lovers from the other side of the world (heehee she’ll punch me for writing that tomorrow morning) turns up.
  • 12h: The restaurant has filled up to the brim with happy tourists.
  • 12h45: Happy tourists have finished their meals and gradually start leaving the premises. We start running around like headless chickens resetting their tables and bringing in loads of stock. (note to self: try to remember that Revolver Eyes is not the boss of me anymore .Can actually stop saying “Sir yes Sir!” when she asks for something and do not need to execute orders in the next nanosecond after they have been given 😀 )
  • 15h: Time for New Years Eve buffet: I shovel food in my mouth and head back to the buzz station so the girls can take their turns at having lunch. Rush rush, we have never been so busy.
  • 17h:A huge cramp curiously and not so conveniently situated in my backside. Very weird. I hadn’t thought I’d been using that part of my body so much that day. Impossible to walk fast, though, and carrying weight is getting difficult. I abandon the stock duty to Cha for a while.
  • 21h:Backside is getting better. Relay an exhausted Revolver Eyes at stock duty.
  • 00h: We have all been allowed outside to watch the fireworks! So beautiful!My right buttock though, is pretty much paralyzed; the cramp has come back in a whole new super painful reedition.
  • 00h50: Girls are taking a few pictures as we are closing down the restaurant, and I sit on the floor. “whassup, you need to go pee?” Myriam asks. “I think my right buttock is paralyzed” I tell her and all the girls burst out laughing and ask to take pictures because they have never seen a paralyzed buttock before and that will be a memory to keep.
  • 3h: In bed with heat patch on my backside. Am persuaded it will never feel the same again.

Stay tuned for more adventures!

m xx

In the sun

Published September 16, 2011 by Dorothy

dine-in theatre!

Since the last time I wrote, I :

  • Called in sick. I started feeling weird in the middle of a training (was trainer drinks) and an afternoon rush. Decided to wait and see.

Waited and started to see stars dancing in front of my eyes, and had to ask manager for a break. Manager sent me home after threatening to get paramedics; I vehemently refused: I very much dislike hospitals and medical care centers, and anything that looks even remotely like a doctor.(Well, except McDreamy and McSteamy. But you know what I mean).

Manager was concerned I wouldn’t make it home but I’d rather crawl home than be driven home in a paramedics van with all the creepy smells and machines and the men asking embarrassing questions. “What have you had for brekkie ?” (twizzlers and a Twinkie, with a dash of coke zero) “and do you do sports?” (watching the pretty NFL players on TV, it’s the closest to doing sports I get these days; now that I have to take a year long break from dancing.) “and when have you last had a general check up?” (mmm all I can remember about my last check up at the doctor’s is that mommy took me. And I was wearing Little Mermaid undies. Oh and the doctor gave me those awesome multicolored sweets… I guess it’s been a while). I got home, and The next morning when I woke up, I was still feeling dizzy and weird, so I called the day a day before the day begun and phoned work to say I wasn’t coming.

  • had a bizarro nightmare:  I went straight back to bed after I phoned work and fell fast asleep very fast.

My mind continued the story by itself, I dreamt it was the next morning and I was going to work; and as soon as I arrived I heard Princess Sara screaming his head off in the kitchen just as loud as he did in the dinosaur ride in Animal Kingdom. But when I got to the kitchen, Smily Emmy blocked the way. “He’s in despair because he didn’t get the message that you called in sick yesterday” she said in her southern voice. Next Marshall kicked me out of the Bakery yelling that I was “as dumb as a fucking hermit crab” for not calling in sick, even though I promised him I did call. Woke up in a panic. Took me a good five minutes to realise neither Emmy nor Marshall nor Princess Sara were here. How obsessed with work am I?? Am thinking about seeking professional help.

  • moved apartments: moved from my apartment with six flatmates to another one where we are only two. So great.

I now have a huge balcony and added privacy. Transporting all my stuff from one flat to the other was the hardest part: my old flat and the new one are at the two opposite extremities of the residence.

I have so much things, when I only came with two cases! I suspect stuff multiplies by itself. But then again, I also suspected that money disintegrated by itself in my wallet; there might be a correlation here, I wonder? The thing is, I never notice myself buying stuff, and I always feel that I don’t have enough! Must investigate matter of utmost importance befor bankruptcy occurs.

Anyway, it took me the whole afternoon to go back and forth with bags and suitcases, then towards the end, when I was getting out of the old flat with the last of my things…

“What are you doing exactly?” two boys that work in the French restaurant were getting in some supercool Mustang and eyeing me quizzically.

I replied (trying to pull the door shut with my foot whilst carrying my smelly shoes in a Victoria’s Secret bag, Barb’s bag that I was supposed to give back to her 587514587452 years ago full of books, and two suitcases filled with food) :

“Erm…I’m moving out!”

Then they offered to drop me off at the new apartment; I would have cried with gratitude. Actually, moving homes in a Mustang is pretty cool…Who needs poxy moving vans ? they are so last year 🙂

  • passed DATA (Drug, Alcohol and Traffic Awareness) exam: If you want to get a local driver’s license, you have to first have a 4 hrs DATA course and pass the exam, then a traffic laws exam, and then the driver’s license.

I doesn’t take long at all, and it’ll be great to have it. Basically the course aims at getting some sense into you if you’re some eejit who drives like Vin Diesel. It also points out all the risks of driving under the influence,  and what alcohol does to your body anyway. I read it all with the greatest interest while taking swigs of my scotch and coke. I passed the exam with almost no mistakes!

  • discovered dine in cinema: Do you like watching films on your recliner, while having a snack? Then dine in cinema is for you!

Supersoft leather seats that recline, a table in front of you loaded with the most delightful american food! we went to see “Crazy stupid love” with Calimero, we loved it! watching Ryan Gosling’s abs while drinking ice cool coke zero and having cuppy cakes, the three coolest things ever at once! I am not going back to France, sad country deprived of dine in cinemas, I’m sasking for residency here 😀 What do you mean, that’s no valid reason to ask for a green card?

stay tuned!! mxx

Mission Impossible

Published August 21, 2011 by Dorothy

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves…

1 ) Explaining two new girls how to close the stock : mission accomplished

Actually, am I really studying to be a teacher? Because explaining stuff is kinda stressing me out. But maybe it’s because the stuff I was explaining, I didn’t really know all about yet 🙂 It was sooo difficult to a) keep the lines full  (the lines, where we put all the pasties on display for people to buy) so that lead Marshall doesn’t think I’m an eejit and can’t put two croissants together b) at the same time explain the pre-cleaning to two girls and make sure they’ve done everything right without forgetting anything myself and c) remain calm at all times, without even so much as a shot of Bourbon inta me to help. But in the end, we finished like, 20 minutes before the others. “That’s not right” I insisted, a little panicky, while Emilie laughed her head off at me. Actually I kinda feel like Emilie loves to laugh at me.I must investigate that matter of utmost importance and find out. “we can’t have finished 20 minutes before everybody else! it’s not right! I mean, I’m the one who was leading all this! so we must have done it wrong!” and Marshall kept repeating patiently “it’s normal you’ve finished early…there’s three of you usually you’re only two closing the stock…I’ thing you’re all done…yeah, no, don’t worry…Yeah, I’ll check in two minutes…allright I’ll check NOW. That way you’ll know for sure.”(and he probably thought “that way you’ll shut the eff up and let me pack my croissants in peace” but he didn’t say that aloud)

Turned out we hadn’t forgotten anything except putting boxes in the lines (stocks have to do that if they finish early)  and so when Marshall checked we were all set. A trio of stars. Smiley Emilie and Calimero and meself.

2) spend a quiet night in bliss : mission failed

Went to bliss with Pixie and Saniwipes and other cool kids. It was the first (and probably the last) time I was in this club. first the drinks are crazy expensive and second, the men in that club: are you kidding me? they are all over you and around you, and invade your breathing space like a cloud of smoke. And as soon as you hit the dance floor, they all come dancing with you uninvited. That wouldn’t be so bad if they wanted to waltz with you; but what they want is to rub themselves against you, the kind of rubbing my pet poodle did to people’s legs when he was a baby, and mom used to chase him away with a rolled newspaper in her hand. I had no newspaper for those dudes, so I had to do what I could to keep them away. But either some guys had ham baguettes in their pockets, or else I felt some things a lady doesn’t really want to know about ! Gross!

3) develop big voice and communicating effectively: mission accomplished

Someone (I will not name and shame Bernadette) slipped an ice-cube in my shirt while I was giving change to a little Canadian girl and I yelped so, loud that the whole bakery turned around, trainer two at the other end of the bakery, agent Smith (named like that because of his never smily face), Ice Mimi, Closet Peggy, and even trainer one poked his head outta the kitchen. Every customer saw me and rushed to my empty register this time! I knew I’d manage to this one day!

That’s all folks! (at least for today)

stay tuned,


Gotta Get Along Without You Now (arrival,part 3)

Published July 3, 2011 by Dorothy

Day 3 :

I arrived to discover I would be trained to use the cash register. Handling money is always a bit stressful; so I stressed all along the day as you would expect from me. I wasn’t with my usual trainer but this new one was okay too; especially as I kept panicking and messing everything up, I must have been kinda annoying, but Trainer 2 did not say anything about that. I think if I ever have to train someone like me I’ll resign 🙂

I did every mistake I could possibly do:

  •  thrown away receipt I had to keep for paperwork (“it’s okay, it’s only your first day” Trainer 2 sighed. Before overturning the bin and gesturing for me to help him find the missing ticket.)
  • charged a grandad for 270 chocolate croissants when he had only ordered two. “oh f**k” trainer 2 said, then looking from my  face growing panicky to the ticket saying the grandad had been charged 695472729.65 $:    “herm, t’s’okay, don’t stress. I’ll sort this out. Hold on to the register and no more catastrophes for 5 minutes while I’m looking for the manager?”
  • Drove the coffee machine crazy;I punched the wrong button and it served me a whole liter of decaf even though I kept shouting at it to stop pouring coffee this instant.
  • Somehow managed to make 11  dollars disappear from the till; whe counted and counted the money again about a dozen times after we closed the bakery (poor trainer 2 stoically helped me and smiled through the whole process) but we still couldn’t find it.The manager gave me the cross looks but let us go unscathed, ordering us to clock out.

So now that’s it. I’m trained at every job in the bakery! no more trainers! though I’d probably need some more training!

later that day I met trainer 2 at a party and he toasted me,calling me his little “full of shit checkout girl” ! humhum. He probably shares my views on my needing more training.

stay tuned!!!


Sugar Town (arrival, part 2)

Published July 1, 2011 by Dorothy

So that’s it: I’m officially on my week end! So I’ll start these two days of complete and utter freedom by pouring myself some Margarita and updating the aul blog! I can now tell you about the beginning of the Floridian adventure! I will skip all the boring details about the first days of welcome sessions and skip directly to the first day of work, shall I ?

Day 1 :

a few of us new Cast Members got in the bus. Having heard all sorts of Urban Legends about work at the bakery being extremely difficult, we are all scared out of our mind and very skittish, so it took us a little while to realise the girl we had sat next to was also French. She was tiny and had a small, heart shaped pixie face. She told us she also worked in the bakery and so we pressed her with all sorts questions like “did anybody survive the job?” and all. Pixie Girl smiled at our anxiety and dismissed all the Urban Legends with a wave of her tiny hand, so I felt a little reassured.

We then followed Pixie Girl who hurried out of the bus, like a row of little ducklings (and we really looked like ducklings with the bright yellow shirts of our uniforms) onto the next bus and in the bakery. As soon as we were in she ran off someplace wishing us good luck; then the manager greeted us and told us to go to the kitchen where our “lead” would tell us what to do. Pixie Girl was there, bent over some food that she was apparently setting on fire; then she yelled for someone to come pick up the burnt stuff “Creme Brulée!” she shouted in a voice bigger than herself. Then she pointed at us one by one “you! Go to line one! You!to stock! you! stop talking when I’m talking! You! (me) drinks two!” Turned out our Pixie Girl was the lead and she got to boss us around! hadn’t see that one coming!

So Pixie Girl sent me to drinks, which is quite easy : All I had to do was ask people if they wanted any drinks and pour them some of whatever they asked for,and also keep the bin near the exit empty, plus I had to restock the table with all the plastic cutlery and sugar, cream and straws. Each of us were assigned a “trainer”, meaning someone who was here longer than us and could explain everything about the job. My trainer should really pursue a career in education, he’s the coolest trainer ever 🙂

I spent the rest of the day serving drinks with Trainer who didn’t get mad when I made mistakes even when I spilled Iced cappuccino on his freshly polished shoes and when a little blue haired granny shouted her head off at him because I’d forgotten to put ice in her drink.

Day two :

Time to try ou the line, where we serve food to guests. and  be paired up with a new trainer! A little nervous, I walked up to the line only to find my same trainer, fortunately! He looked a bit drained when he saw me coming (and did he look at his new shoes and flich? I shall never know) but anyway I was glad I didn’t change trainer.Everything went smoothly except when I had to call out guests to my register.

“you have to call out loud” Trainer advised. I was shy but I would do it, I thought.

“Bonjour,” I shouted on top of my lungs “come over this side!”

But then I turned to Trainer so happy with myself for speaking superloud and he cleared his throat.

“Humhum,louder, trainee, they can’t hear you if you’re muttering like that!”

“but, but!that’s the loudest I can do!” I said, offended, and Trainer laughed heartily.

“go again” Trainer said and I tried again to call people. Nobody budged or even turned their heads and at my third attemps, Trainer called out bright and clear, covering up my voice with his, and as soon as he spoke, heads snapped up and a whole herd came to our line.(note to self : there’s no way I can speak that loud. Should buy myself a vuvuzela)

(to be continued in next post)

m xxx

the Star Spangled Banner (arrival, part one)

Published June 25, 2011 by Dorothy

Arrived! and it was a long long way!

Level 1 : Make it out of Ireland

Easy, will you say? well, not if you spent 5 days prior to your departure drinking vodka with Shirley, Hev and Dot! I’d promised myself that the night before I left I’d totally go to bed at 8 in the evening, but the evening came and the kir came about and Matt the Miller’s came up in the conversation. And before I knew it I was locked, in a taxi, heading for the pub. We made it back home about an hour and a half before my airport shuttle left Kilkenny, and I drunkenly fell asleep on top of Dot and almost missed it!

That’s not the funniest part, though; still intoxicated, I arrived in the airport, checked in my luggage and after that I got lost in the terminal and my flight was delayed because of me! I’m telling you, I’m meant to be a star. This is proper diva behaviour, isn’t it 🙂 ? The American air hostesses gave out as soon as they saw me coming at the boarding gate, and I did deserve it 🙂 but then when I went through security check and the Irish security lads had a good aul laugh at me. “had your goin away party last night didja? had fun didja? haha yeah just give da passport to Liam there!” And so I ran and shoved the passport in Liam’s face, he was trying not to laugh too hard and he said : “ah, don’t ye worry yourself, ye’re grand! ye’re not the last one, we’re waiting on other people!” Still I snatched my passport back and ran away. Ah, I’m so going to miss Irish people!

The flight was okay, only the beef Stroganoff we had for lunch was really bizarre (beef Crapanoff,more like) and it was the definition of “bite size”;one spoon of mashed potatoes,one spoon of spinach, a bit of beef floating in Crapanoff sauce and that was it! And also,the landing felt like being in the Tower of Terror; apart from that, fine. I arrived in Philadelphia completely exhausted, and waited for my connecting flight to Orlando; That was okay, I had a rest and I even got time to play Matrix with the American payphone; that phone was really cool, it looked just like in the movie so I couldn’t resist.

Level 2 : Make it out of Orlando Airport and to home

first, I hand a zillion bags (I don’t know how I managed but this time none of my bags were overweight.Still, they were fierce heavy). And second, I had no clue where I was and where to go next, and I’d had the excellent idea to not come with the group of French people, but on my own, so I had nobody to rely on for help. But then a young luggage kid came by to offer his help carrying my luggage out of the airport. The poor guy ended up an improvised travel agent, telling me where to go in the airport to find an atm, finding out for me where the airport shuttle counter was, organizing my transport, holding on to my luggage while I went to the restroom…Given how much of a pain in the backside I was being, I estimated I had to tip him ten bucks. I do hope it’s enough. Because without him I’d probably still be in Orlando airport dragging my suitaceses around in circles 🙂

level 3 : find food

I rode in the bus with another two new Disney cast members (that’s how people who work at Disney are called : Cast members) ,and we were greeted, at our arrival, by a super smily dude, with gleaming teeth impossibly white and glowing skin impossibly tanned, looking like he had stepped out of an ad for Colgate. He happily waved at the bus  and invited us in the welcome center, where another cast member was waiting to brief us.

“Sooo” Colgate said. “here are some cookies and apples, you guy can help yourselves while we review your files…” I was starving, because I had had nothing to eat since the beef Crapanoff but I don’t really like sweet things when I’m hungry, so I passed. I’d rather go and do some shopping, I thought…

“If you want to do some shopping you can go to Wal-Mart” Colgate’s colleague said.” But you have to take bus Z235 which leaves from commons clubhouse which is there, (he had unfolded a map and was pointing out places to us) you take a bus from here, then stop at the clubhouse bus stop, and then get out ans take the H689 but then when you arrive you must go left, right, wait no, left, left , then past the market.”

…or not. I’d rather go for the cookies and apple than get lost in Orlando, actually. I’d go the next morning, when I and my brain would be fresh and rested. Colgate gave us paperwork to fill out and also a timetable for the next few days.

“So do you understand guys ?” (flash of white teeth) “tomorrow, be there at eight o’clock sharp for your first welcome session!” Meaning no time for Wal-Mart tomorrow before the reunion. I extended my hand to the cookies bowl and subrepticely grabbed a few more.

“Yeah, yeah, take more, take more, it’s all for you!” Colgate’s colleague encouraged. We were then driven to our homes, mine was totally empty, all the flatmates were still at work. You can see a picture of the house above 🙂

the next morning I went to the reunion and decided to go to Wal-Mart with my colleague to be, Sam, and we got off the bus at the wrong stop; we still found a small supermarket, Publix, where I was able to get some food!

now I’ve got to go get ready for work so no time left to talk to you about my first days,, but check back for part two of this post, coming soon 🙂

m xxx

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