Saturday, January 4, 2020

You're a jerk because you're rude to wait staff.

Nearly a year ago, my husband and I made a commitment to each other to start doing Date Night again. We picked Monday nights, because it gave us something to look forward to after the first work day of the week. Each week we pick a new restaurant and spend a couple of hours off of our phones and catching up with each other. It's been a great way to help us stay connected no matter how busy we get. 

I'll talk more about that another time, though, because this blog entry is focused on something completely different. Being out in various restaurants week after week, I've started to pay much more attention to what is going on around me. And one constant I am seeing is other people being crappy to their wait staff.

What's happening, exactly? So many things. And they're all completely wrong.
  • Remember where you are. If you only have a half hour to eat, don't go to a full-service restaurant and bitch that you are in a hurry. Likewise, don't complain that you have to clear your own table and toss your trash out if you are eating at a fast food joint. 
  • If a server or busser is walking by with their hands full of plates and glasses, that is not the time to call to them and start chattering on about a problem with your order. Let them go to the back, and drop off the dirty dishes first. It won't kill you to wait a moment.
  • If you see your server is taking an order at the table next to you, don't start barking out your own request. They're already talking to someone and don't need you distracting them. Wait your damn turn.
  • If you've placed your menu down on the table in the universal "I'm ready to order" signal, be ready. The moment your server asks what you are having is not the time to ponder the many options available.
  • If there is a problem with your order, take a breath. It's not the end of the world. Calmly get your server's attention and explain what is incorrect. Trust that they will be happy to resolve the issue and make things right. Don't act like they made the mistake on purpose just to ruin your dining experience.
  • And most importantly, tip appropriately. Servers not only rely on those tips to make a living, they often have to "tip out" other employees a portion of the tips they receive. So your lack of a tip often means your server is working for nothing. Believe me, your $3 tip on a $50 check is bullshit. 
Servers are human beings doing a difficult job for an insufficient amount of pay. Remember that next time you are enjoying a meal out in a restaurant. Have a little respect for the wait staff and be a bright spot in their shift. Trust me, there are already plenty of other people who are fighting to be the biggest asshat. 

(Image courtesy of

From All Of That To This.

Yeah, I know. It's been a minute since I've posted anything. But the beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to emerge from the shadows, right?

First up, I took some time to "clean house." That means I picked up all the pieces of myself that were scattered across the web and consolidated them all to this one website, San Diego John. Now, the runner me and the writer me and the Captain Awesome me are all here in one place. And that was the easy part.

The next and more difficult part is taking a good look at myself and figuring out how all of those pieces fit together. Am I still a runner? A writer? Am I still Captain Awesome? That's going to take some time to sort out.

But my commitment to myself is that I will do that work. I will take the time to get it together and put myself back out there.

Here we go.

Monday, February 19, 2018

"You're not the same."

I've heard that from a few people lately. And I know they are right. I'm not the same. There's a sadness about me that is completely foreign to the person I used to be. But I don't think it's possible to go through all that I have over the last couple of years and not be changed by it.

Most people may know some of what happened, but few people know all of it.

  • Ric's father and a lifelong friend both died the same weekend a dear friend was murdered. 
  • We lost a close family friend to suicide. 
  • A group of friends and I pulled a young man from a burning car only to learn that he succumbed to his injuries a couple of weeks later. 
  • A different young man purposely ran out in front of my husband's car on the highway, dying instantly when he was struck by the Jeep at 45 mph. 
  • Another friend died in a tragic rock climbing accident.

So much loss over a relatively short amount of time. And it's broken something inside of me. Instead of becoming numb, I've become hypersensitive. I think about death and loss all of the time, constantly worrying about losing someone else. I know it's unrealistic, but it's what I'm feeling.

What can I do? Well, I've seen a counselor a few times, and I think I need to continue doing that. He can help me work on creating different thought patterns, focusing on the positives instead of imagining all the possible negatives.

Beyond that, I don't know what else to do. Trying to work through the stages of grief was impossible, because we had so much loss piled on top of loss. It's hard to move on when a new wave of pain hits you and takes you right back to the worst feelings again.

I don't know that I will ever be the same person again. I don't know how to turn off the worry, which means there is always an underlying fear of more loss. I realize death is part of life, but I need to strike a better balance that still allows me to live my life.

The simple truth is, I'm not the same happy-go-lucky person I used to be. I don't know if I ever will be that person again.

Reading back over this, it feels like I should have so much more to say. But the truth is, this simple reality is a big part of what is consuming me day to day. I worry over what else might happen and I worry that I won't be able to handle anything more.

And now you know.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

No, They Don't Want A Parade.

Speaking for every active duty service man and woman, I can tell you one thing for certain. They do NOT want a military parade.

How do I know this? Because I know what that kind of public display means in terms of work, and I know that no soldier, sailor, airman or Marine wants to do it.

Think about it. A parade means that all those involved need to prepare a dress uniform, clean and prepare any gear or hardware required, and then march for miles in formation. What about that sounds relaxing?

There will be other discussions about why publicly flexing our military muscle will more likely make us look like a banana republic. People are already saying things like that. And no surprise, I agree. It's just dumb. And expensive. And wasteful.

But my small but specific point here is that a parade only means more work for our military men and women. If we truly want to salute our military, raise their pay. Short of something significant like that, just give them a 96-hour liberty pass and say, "thanks for what you do to keep us safe."

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

So, Where's John Been?

I've been at work, mostly, and not feeling at all creative. I haven't written anything in months, and the weight of that is like a stone around my neck.

Writing. It's how people get through tough times. And I think I have allowed myself all the "hide out from the world" time that I need. Now, it's time to turn my attention back to my creative self.

It's time to write again.