Journal of Pirate Lingo*


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04.27.02 - 11:17 p.m.

I think my boss at Cafe Sole is going to yell at me tomorrow. Or maybe fire me. I was supposed to go into work today, but because my bed was more occupied than usual, I called in sick. (It is a scientific fact that cute naked girls exude an intense attractional force, similar to gravity but much much stronger.) The thing is, Ray (owner of the cafe, my boss) knows I wanted today off. It doesn’t take Colombo to deduce that I’m malingering. God knows what he’ll say tomorrow.

My reasoning this morning was simple. I hardly ever get to see N., since she’s so busy. And here I had the opportunity to spend the day with her. The sun was out, birds were singing, hardly a cloud in the sky. Was it worth giving this up to get up at 8 AM and trudge to my crappy $7 / hour job? I hardly ever get any hours at the cafe anyway, and furthermore I charge Ray with the following crimes against humanity:

1) calling everyone “boss”. “Hey boss, can you fill up these canisters?” “What’s the problem boss?” “I need you to ditch your girlfriend and come sling coffee to persons considerably less attractive, boss.” What is with the “boss” talk? Is it a subtle attempt to invert the traditionally hostile management / labor dynamic and make the cafe’s motley crew of somewhat drug-free, more-or-less-English-speaking employees feel as though they are truly “the boss”?

2) inducing further “boss” related confusion by claiming “the customer is the boss”. I have examined my paycheck at great length, and cannot find evidence to support this claim. Which customer is the boss? All of them? Did they collectively vote to schedule me for 8AM Friday, 8AM Saturday and 8AM Sunday? Why? What did I ever do to them?

3) never saying anything nice to anybody, ever. Ok this is really my chief complaint. Ray seems like an ok guy, but he’s continually stressed out by all the demands of the cafe, which he opened pretty recently. He takes this stress out on his employees—not so much on me, since I’m relatively new, but on everybody else. He calls people stupid, when they fail to read his mind. He doesn’t give the kitchen staff clear guidelines, and then shouts at them for not performing as he desires. His management style is all criticism, no positive feedback. If you try to suggest changing something, he dismisses your opinion as irrelevant.

All of this would be bearable if I were getting paid more, or my hours were more regular. As it stands, I never know when I’m supposed to work, and when I do know it’s typically a weekend shift. Nuts to that! Getting canned would almost be a good thing.

Ok, but I’m still stressed out. In the ten years I’ve been in the workforce-- spanning two years of fast food service, three technical internships, two jobs at Rice, two jobs in London and a year and a half at Sapient—I’ve never been fired. If the first time comes tomorrow, it will be an ignominious blot on my record.

But worth it. A lovelier drowsy Saturday could not be had. Brunch at La Note, basking in warmth on the patio outside—- we tore into raspberry oatmeal pancakes and omelettes with caramelized onions, subdued large bowls of cafe au lait. Later we printed color pictures of N. teaching her class about Earth Day. This is the only time my color printer has ever been used, except for the time when I tried to print counterfeit currency. (An altogether ugly episode... sufficed to say that there is no such thing as a “jillion dollar” bill, and no amount of harranguing will convince a bank teller otherwise.) The pictures were cute.


It was a struggle today. After N. left, the lazy Saturday afternoon beckoned seductively. It took enormous mental effort to withstand the urge to sit in a cafe and read a magazine. It doesn’t help that the latest issue of the Economist arrived yesterday and is now in our kitchen drawer making noises like the corpse under the boards in The Tell Tale Heart.

economist: Read me!
me: no!
economist: I contain a special report on America’s bankruptcy laws, and news of Uruguay’s hotly contested regional elections!
me: no!
economist: Uruguay! URRRUUUUGUAAAAYYY!!

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