Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ramifications

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?

11 comments:

  1. I would highly encourage you to sell it. I wish you all the best in the world, my friend, but... well, I don't mean to be alarmist, but from my point of view in about 2 weeks I will have been out for work for 5 months and I am looking ferociously and daily.
    Plus, as I said in my blog, this kind of behavior ought not stand. In a way, I think we have an obligation to talk about this as loudly as possible. This is a horrible thing that has been done to you. We ought not live in a world where this sort of thing can happen and if we have a voice, I think we ought to use it.
    I don't have the number for TMZ, but I know they have a "contact us" thing on the bottom of their site.
    Hang in there. If there is anything we can do for you, please do let us know. Best wishes.
    -Paul

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  2. Do what you got to do. She did what she felt she had to do.

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  3. I def think you should put this story out there, but I think you should think about changing the intent... or at least how you verbalize your intent. If your intent is to "ensure a little negative press" you might be adding to the "Jon and Kate" gossip. BUT, if your intent is to tell the story of a Man who was f-d over in a really difficult economic climate by someone who will gain NOTHIING by f-ing him over, the story could have more of a human interest appeal. You know, two wrongs don't make a right - or whatever - but pointing out someone else's serious WRONG from a place of honesty and love can help solve problems on all sides. Coming at her with anger is only going to make her more angry, coming at the sitch with love and honesty will make you shine even greater than you already do and still prove that she made a seriously bitchy move.
    I know you live this way anyway, but I think approaching it from that angle might help reconcile the fact that you seems torn about what to do.
    Hearing that they actually printed out your twitter history is so ridiculous. It is also a good lesson to people that they should watch what they write.

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  4. Wow... I know nothing about Jane Adams, but she sounds like a total cow. First, not tipping, and then having the gall to complain about someone who is struggling to make a living and made a comment on the fact that they didn't recieve part of their income due to the no tip.

    I'll never watch any of her programs now...

    And yeah.... sell the story. She effed you over big time. She needs some negative publicity!

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  5. Sell the story...take care of you and yours. I agree with Molly Made...it really is sad that you were a good employee and their first course of action was to fire you.

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  6. SELL!!!!

    Or write a book about all the celebrities you've met in your 5 years, the stories you've "overheard", the ridiculous demands they make, who they were with etc.

    These celebrities make big bank and by being celebrities they've given up their right to privacy when out in public.

    This *itch cost you your job, for nothing more than her being embarrased to her peers.

    I say GO FOR IT. With a book deal, you'll make millions. Just think, NO MORE WAITING TABLES for you and you will join the ranks of the elite. You will be able to send your baby to the same schools they send theirs to, play in the same parks, hell go to their kids birthday parties.

    YOU CAN DO IT, and WE ARE ALL BEHIND YOU!!!!

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  7. definitely sue for wrongful termination

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  8. It worked for Dooce - run with it!

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  9. Keep in mind that I never heard of Jane Adams until I read about her on your blog. There is no such thing as bad publicity in Hollywood. You may improve your career, but you will most certainly improve hers...

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  10. I'm curious, has Jane Adams (or anyone affiliated with her) reached out to you to help you at least get an acting gig, given how this TRULY makes her look REALLY BAD! SMH. Everyone makes mistakes, but losing a job in this economy is HORRIBLE!

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  11. PLEASE GET A LAWYER. IMMEDIATELY. DON'T TARRY.

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