Five years of loyal service. Five years of creating friendships with coworkers and customers. Five years of biting my tongue, trying not to complain too much about how our restaurant was run. Five years of being under-appreciated but staying with it because I liked the people I worked with, I liked the customers, most of them, some of them, and I liked the money I made. Five years at Barney Greengrass in Beverly Hills, home of the best smoked fish on the west coast, hoping our industry potent clientele might one day be my ticket to the career of my dreams, and it all ends because of a Tweet.
I got in yesterday morning at 8:55 for my 9am start time and was immediately called into our managers office. They sat me down with somber solemnity. I knew what was going to happen, I just didn't know why. I had been called into the office before. Being late, thinking I was cut when I wasn't, writing the bar temps down in the wrong place. But this was different. The attitude was delicate and ominous. I knew this was the end and I was racking my brain to figure how I had screwed up. My boss said the word "Twitter" and pulled out a printout of all my Tweets. I had written about being attracted to actresses not wearing bras and comedians who were nice guys and TV couples whose real life mirrored their scripted life. I had also written about Jane Adams, from HBO's Hung, who neglected to tip me until she read my Tweet (read also http://howtosucceedasafailure.blogspot.com/2009/08/tipping-twitter.html) All in all there were ten Tweets about celebrities on that print out. I was told that Jane Adams and "others" had complained to Barney's New York corporate (the department store my restaurant is located in) and they were forcing my management to let me go.
Let me remind everyone that we are in a recession and jobs are not easy to come by. Especially if one has been fired. Let me also remind everyone that I have a 10mo old daughter and I am trying to move into a baby friendly location with her and her mother. I sit silently in my car wondering, "What the fuck am I going to do?" As a waiter I make cash to pay my bills. I don't get pay checks. The money I make each week covers whatever I owe. It always works out. Now, there is no money.
I think about how f-ed up the situation is. I got fired for complaining on a public forum with no link to Barney's New York or Barney Greengrass about a successful actress not paying a bill and not tipping. My Tweet had no ill effect on her, on her TV show, on HBO, on Barney's or on Barney Greengrass. My little Tweet did nothing to stop people from shopping, eating, or watching her show. But her complaining about it cost me my job, my health insurance, my stability. So I decided to Tweet about the whole thing.
After numerous, sympathetic people Tweeted and re-Tweeted, it came to my attention that I could sell this story to some tabloid. Here is my dilemma, sell the story and contribute to the Jon and Kate gossip crap that I refuse to pay attention to in order to make a buck and ensure a little negative press hopefully for Ms. Adams and BNY, or forget the whole thing and look for a new job finding someway to spin how I got fired in my favor. Does anyone know the number for TMZ?