Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lessons from the Burrito: How to be a jerk

Me, Hard(ly) at work!

At the Burrito, I've learned several lessons that are applicable to life in general. Through a series of posts, I would like to share my Burrito Wisdom, as I like to call it. For the first one, I would like to tackle one of my favorite lessons I've learned from the Burrito: how to be a jerk.

I've been suspicious of this fact for several years now, but my work at the Burrito has confirmed my suspicions on the following theory. There are two types of people in this world; there are people who play by the rules, and there are people who try to get as much as they possibly can while putting in the same, or less, effort as those who play by the rules. Let me illustrate with some quotes from Burrito customers: "Is that all the meat I get?!?" "Can't you put on just a little more cheese?" "Two dollars for extra meat! C'mon, man, just do me a favor this once!" And my two favorites: "If I make out with you, will you take a dollar off my bill?" (my response: "Sorry, miss, I'm not into chicks.") And, of course, "Can I get free food because I'm pretty?"

As a side note, the last two quotes were from customers who I have affectionately named "Burrito Skanks." These are women who come into the Burrito dressed in outfits that may be considered "sexy" in the low lighting of a bar situation and have exaggerated "evening" makeup looks; but in the florescent glory of the Burrito, they literally look like clowns. A tip to all the women out there: when you are dressing for the bar, please keep in mind that you may be in situations where non-drunk people who do not want to sleep with you will have to encounter you. Just a little PSA from me to you.

Now, on to being a jerk.

Back to the two types of people in the world. For the sake of time and space, let's refer to the first group of people, the rule followers, as "Saps" (now, please keep in mind, this is nothing personal to all you rule followers out there. I'm one of you, so don't be offended). And let's call the latter group, the rule benders, "Assholes" (I'm not going to apologize for that generalization, they truly are assholes).

Interacting with saps is easy, because we are generally an agreeable stock. We genuinely believe that everyone out there is working as hard as they possibly can to put forth their best work they can, and we work as hard as we possibly can to put forth the best work we possibly can. Therefore, we don't often get angry at people because we are extremely empathetic and constantly trying to see things through other peoples' eyes. Generally, we believe the world works best when we all work together toward a common goal and our priorities are larger scale in nature. It's more humanistic and less individualistic.

Interacting with assholes is much more difficult. This is because assholes are much more individualistic in their interactions with others. They are constantly striving to improve their own standings: socially, financially, professionally, even in getting a little extra meat on their burrito for free. You see, assholes are basically sociopaths. They know what they're doing goes against social mores, but they honestly don't care. They do everything they possibly can to get as much as they possibly can with as little personal effort or cost as possible. Basically, they're Republicans.
= Assholes.

Now, when I first started working at the Burrito, I tried to be as nice as I could with these people: "I'm really sorry. I'd love to give you some extra food for free, but we really aren't allowed." "I'm sorry, my boss is standing right next to me, and if I give you extra food, I'm going to lose my job." "I'm sorry it's so expensive, but I don't set the prices and there is really nothing I can do here." "I'm sorry that I don't find you attractive, but I really, really, REALLY like dudes." However, the longer I have worked at the Burrito, the more I've realized that these people really don't care about these reasons. All they care about is getting as much as they possibly can and that if I show any weakness whatsoever, they will pry as hard as they possibly can to get me to bend to their will. Thus, a two sentence interaction with someone becomes a ten minute interaction.

The answer? It's okay to be a jerk. "I'll give you extra food, but you're going to have to pay more." "Stop yelling at me or I'm going to call the cops." "Sir, I'll throw your burrito in the trash if you call me one more derogatory name." And, of course, "First of all, I'm really, really gay. Second of all, even if I weren't, I wouldn't sleep with you because I enjoy my life herpes-free."

These answers do a couple things for me. First of all, they're really REALLY satisfying. I mean REALLY! I used to be extremely non-confrontational, but there really is an endorphin rush associated with telling someone to eat shit and die. It's not the best problem solving method in life, but man, does it feel good! Second of all, I think these answers teach the assholes a lesson. It teaches them that they cannot coerce their way through life and that people can see through their bullshit and recognize just how unattractive it is.

Now I'd like to share a story of one of my first, and most satisfying experiences in being a jerk. Last Halloween I was working late night at the Burrito when a large group (about 10 people) of very drunk, and very young, college students came in. It was probably around midnight at the time and they were all in costume. They all proceeded to use the restroom and not purchase any food. When they had all used the restroom, they decided to sit at one of our tables and have a very loud conversation for 20 minutes (without purchasing anything from us). Towards the end of their non-burrito, Burrito foray, one particularly annoying woman dressed head-to-toe in a gold leotard with large-rimmed black glasses (obvious American Apparel/Hipster/Douchebag wear) approached the counter and yelled at me, "Hey burrito boy!"

"Yes miss?"

"Is that shirt you're wearing American Apparel?" (I was wearing a deep-V American Apparel t-shirt at the time from my favorite pub, London Underground [212 Main Street, Ames, IA])

"Why yes, miss, it is."

"Everything I'm wearing right now is from American Apparel! Guess what I am?" she exclaimed.

I took a second to ponder her possible costume choices, and I responded: "A giant douche?"

Well, needless to say, the woman was enraged. But, in my defense, what other costume possibility could that be? A member of the Special Olympics gymnastic team? A C-minus student? A huge disappointment to her parents?

The woman yelled a number of obscenities at me, tried to get behind the counter to punch me, and proceeded to tell all of her male friends what I had said to try to get them to hurt me (each one of them laughed when she told them what I had said). She continued to yell at me and curse me as harshly as she could "NO TIPS FOR YOU! NO TIPS FOR YOU!" as her friends dragged her out of the restaurant.

This interaction was extremely satisfying for me.

Try it for yourself sometime! I promise you won't be disappointed!

That's all for now, Lieblings, it's already been a long day and my allergies are acting up. Love you all!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Project Runway: Addendum

Oh, and how could I forget:

"Designers, I'm on a boat."

That is all.

Project Runway: Let's catch up

Oh Heidi, you look terrible.

Good morning girls! I need to start this post off with an apology. I'm afraid I've gotten a little behind in my Project Runway posts. It's a long story. I had a very eventful couple of weeks and had to be sequestered from my TV, so only recently have I caught up on my stories. However, I'd like to do a quick recap and update you all on my ever-evolving opinions of the designers.

FIrst and foremost: FASHION WEEK!!! For those of you who may be unaware, the Season 8 finalists showed their collections last Thursday! The way this works is that all designers left on the show at the time of airing design a collection for fashion week. Basically, this means that 10 designers presented collections last Thursday (even Casanova, who was eliminated about 8 hours after the fashion show... you'd think the producers would have delayed the show until Friday so that they could have saved some money in funding Casanova's line, but whatevs. If they want to waste money, that's their business!) So there were probably 7 decoy collections and 3 finalists.

If you'd like to see all the individual lines, I would encourage you to visit one of my favorite blogs of all time, Project Rungay: http://projectrungay.blogspot.com/. I will post my opinions on the individual lines after the finale because... well... I don't want to take the time to dish on a bunch of shitty collections *AHEM... Michael C.*

So lets get to the gossip!

Pictured: One (no longer?) Cold-Hearted Bitch

Gretchen! What happened to you? You aren't getting the bitch edit anymore! I must admit, I kind of miss hating you! However, it's hard for me to maintain my distaste for you when everyone is hugging you and being all lovey-dovey. You were even patient with Casanova this week and really worked with him on piecing together the look in his mind.

However, the look you pieced together was still this:

Could this possibly be sabotage? I'd love to think so, but I honestly don't think it was. I truly think this is what Casanova wanted.

However, shitty Ladies who Lunch aside, Gretchen has kind of fallen to mediocrity. She caught the judges attention early because of her expert sewing and tailoring skills, but over the past two weeks she's produced this:

And this:


(Again, having problems pulling up individual runway photos from this week)

Horrendous. Atrocious. Humiliating. Those poor models.

It seems to me that Gretchen is doing whatever she can to obscure and misrepresent her models' bodies. "Hey, I've got an idea! What if I made a nighty and layered it with a dirty tank top that looks like a 3 year old took a pair of safety scissors to it?" Or "What if I made a jumpsuit out of the cheapest material available, with a heavily bloused top?" Those are looks that are flattering on SO MANY women!

Gretchen, it seems to me that when you are being a bitch, your designs really catch the judges' eyes. However, when you're trying to be nice, your designs are mediocre at best.

Let's ramp up the bitch factor, Gretchen! It's the only way you're going to win!

On to my new villain:
Get your hands away from your face, you douche. You look like you belong in a Jane Austen novel.

I must admit, I had sympathy for Michael Costello for about 3 seconds. It seemed like all of the other designers were ganging up on him and he seemed genuinely hurt by the ugliness.

However, I was never fooled by his design capabilities, or lack thereof. His design style (which was confirmed to me by his final collection) is one of "I'm going to look at what every other popular designer is doing right now, copy it in a cheap fabric, and put my name on it." He shows no capability, no promise, and a total lack of taste.

You may be asking right now "What happened?!?" Only a week and a half ago, I was showing leniency towards Michael C. Well, something happened to change all of that. I've been reading some blogs and interviews from Michael's fellow contestants, and I've been reading some disturbing things. Accusations such as his character being a fabrication with the intention of creating interest so that he may generate his own spin-off. Trying to be the "wounded lamb" in order to garner sympathy and a fan base. Now having a reality TV contestant fabricate a persona is not necessarily a new or even original concept, but I think it does show a disturbing amount of disingenuousness and does not win points in my book. Were these accusations coming from only one designer, I would not necessarily believe these accounts, but this is something that has been posted by multiple designers.

It seems that the producers are playing right into this scheme. It seems that they are going out of their way to make Michael appear as the victim and everyone else as the "bad guy." However, every other designer is saying that Michael cannot sew, has no design aesthetic, and is generally kind of a jerk. I trust the other designers much more than I do the producers, editors, or even the judges. The other designers were with one another 24/7 for several weeks. If they all say someone can't sew, I'm going to believe them.

Michael C., you are a troll. You have thumb-fingers and can barely operate a sewing machine. Plus you didn't bring a tape measurer, you dumbass.

On to the person who HAS been getting the bitch edit lately:

"Guys! Michael C. is totally talking shit about me! He called me the BITCH of the show! How dare he! I say that because a friend of a friend who went to High School with Michael C. for 3 months before he moved because his dad was re-stationed to Germany told me so!"

"Oh yeah, Heidi, Michael D. totally can't sew. Even though he's now had two looks in the top three and I've had two looks in the bottom and never been in the top 3, I'm TOTALLY better than him."

Well, gurl, you wanted this to be The Ivy Show, and it's certainly becoming that. However, I don't think it's The Ivy Show you were imagining. You need to stop talking shit, put your nose to the pavement, and start producing designs that are visually pleasing.

Now on to my little princess:
Isn't he adorable? I'd love to see his head hat/handkerchief-less. I can't help but to wonder what he's hiding under there!

However, regardless of how adorable he is, he produced this:
Which can be best described as "1998 Lane Bryant Chic."

It's obvious that Michael is very accustomed to working with a very specific body shape: very thin, very tall women. Again, there is nothing wrong with that because that is the majority of the models for whom he will be designing. However, as far as clients go, it's a very small percentage of the populous. Michael made up for this misstep a bit this week with his resort wear, but if you take a close look at that look, you will notice that it doesn't transcend body shape. That look would only look good on a woman who is very tall and very thin. Again, nothing wrong with this fact, it's just a small percentage of the clientele.

Michael has a serious shot at being very successful in this show barring the chance of a menswear, drag queen, or professional wrestler challenge.

Now I'd like to take a moment of silence to remember our fallen comrades:

Peach, Casanova, you were absolutely terrible designers, but goddammit, you were entertaining! You were the life of the show and even though I hated your designs week after week, I found myself rooting for you two. You are fun, funny, energetic, and beautiful people. Well, except for Casanova's nipple sweater and Peach's shoe/sunglass blouse.

Regardless of poor design aesthetic and poor personal style choices, you two will be sorely missed. RIP.

Okay bitches, that's all I've got today. I hope everyone enjoyed and has a wonderful MONDAY!

Hearts and ass-smacks, C.