28 Feb

Have you been fired? It sucks. I got fired a few years ago cause I kept getting my restaurant shifts covered to work on the musical I had written (That, of course is the ‘long story short’ explanation) This is what happened… kind of. (I have changed names and places to protect the innocent.)

White Star Line- part of a Titanic themed restaurant chain in New York City. There are three locations:

  1. Steerage – A bar and grille located in So-ho. Menu: pub food; Attire: Casual.
  2. Heart of the Ocean – A Seafood joint down on South Street Sea Port. Menu: Mediterranean; Attire: Smart Casual
  3. White Star Line – A classy, table clothed, “ladies who lunch” restaurant on the upper east side of Manhattan.

I am on the phone with my manager being fired right now. My entire world is turning upside down…


I stand with my jaw to the ground. “Fired”? I hold the phone in a tight grasp. As tight as I can, but the sweat is causing it to slip from my hands. “You’re kidding?” I ask it.

“I don’t want to do this, Pam.” Then don’t, I’m thinking. “You left me no choice.”

I left you no choice? I immediately, for whatever reason, think of the movie Mrs. Doubtfire and how Sally Field’s character Miranda had a lot to deal with upon the discovery that her ex husband had been spying on her while dressed up as a woman she had come to know and trust. God damn it, why can’t I stop thinking about Mrs. Doubtfire right now? What is the fucking parallel?

Doubtfire“Sam… please.”

How can he resist me begging? A woman I know he’s fond of, teary eyed on the other end of the phone as she panics about the next few months of her life. Unemployed. In New York City. “Pam, how could you allow a trainee to cover your serving shift? And with out running it by a manager?!”

Maybe I feel like Sally Field because I too am on the brink of losing everything I trusted to be safe and real. A friend/job… an income/ a… housekeeper?

“I was told that she was fully trained.” I explain. “Sam, you know me. I would never have gone with someone ill equipped to serve a 4pm close shift. I know that’s poor judgement.” I remind him. “I was a manager.”

“Pam, I’m really disappointed.” I get that. Hence the firing. it then hits me that I have a trip to Texas around the corner and he knows this. The bargaining begins.

“My Trip to Texas!”

“What about it, Pam?”

“I’ll forego it. I will work six days a week, cancel the Texas trip and do all server side week for the next week!”




“Did I mention I’ll skip out on Texas?”

“Stop, Pam. I’ve made up my mind.”

My eyes well up as it hits me. I’m Robin Williams. Everything has come crashing down around me as I am found out. Yes, I am a shitty employee, yes, I spent the majority of my shifts writing scene ideas in 6pt. font on the back of receipt paper, and yes… okay, yes… I bought a box of hair dye from the local Duane Reade one slow day and made one of the blonde employees a brunette upstairs in the “Thomas Andrews” room.

TitanicBut did I not make you laugh? Did I not convince the health inspector that those mouse droppings were Jasmine Pearl tea leaves? Did I not convince that tall hostess to respect your wife and children and keep her sexual fantasies about you to herself?

“Please don’t fire me.  Just give me one more chance. Please.” I was only dressing up as a British housekeeper to be closer to the children!

“Titanic isn’t a priority for you anymore.”

“It is. I fucking love that shit!” I object. “I love sayin’ ‘Ready to go to a real party?’ to the customers before I lead them below decks.” Tears begin falling from my nose. Salty and wet. I forgot to pay the cable bill. I continue, “You can’t do this! You just can’t.”

He could and was. Who am I right now? I’m having some sort of out of body experience. I see myself crying on the phone with my boss, shaking and pleading as if pleading for my life and the cocky self looking down upon the pathetic self just shakes her head.

“I’m sorry. I’ve made up my mind.”

And that’s that.

Then the economy saw a crash that they hadn’t experienced since 1929. I rented my bedroom out to a doctor who prescribed me anti anxiety medication. All because writing has and always will fuck up my priority list.


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