Tag Archives: Hollywood

My Sister Says that I’m Mean to Strangers: A Merch Girl Rant

My sister informed me that she thinks I’m mean to strangers. She’s probably right. I wasn’t always this way. I think the change occurred when I was managing a bar in Hollywood. Everyone in Hollywood is an asshole and it’s contagious. On top of that, this bar was located in the sketchiest part of Hollywood. So it was assholes mixed with the seediest crowd I’ve ever consistently seen in one place. By far. Every patron that was in their during the day, you couldn’t tell if they were homeless, or a successful millionaire director who has gone off his rocker and now wears ARMY surplus clothes, spends his time doodling pornographic storyboards on cocktail napkins while drinking pints of Smithwicks. Everyone in there at night was either looking to get laid or using the establishment as a mafia meeting point. And everyone, no matter what time of day, got wasted. You did not go to this bar without the intentions of getting hammered. Half of the staff was drunk most of the time. Needless to say, it was a goddamn mess everyday.

Everyday I had stories ranging from needing to call 911 because a strange man looked at me blankly and threatened to come back with a gun and kill all of us basically because the bartender didn’t suck his dick, to little mob men making me go into the safe to give them cash that I was instructed to write off as “credit card reimbursement.” The point is, I dealt with a lot of bullshit at this job and it turned me mean because everyone just pissed me off. The only person who had any sense at all was Nick. He was one of the other manager’s and him and I were our own little two man team because everyone else seemed to be fucking stupid. Nick is a delight and a whole other story that I will tell one day.

Now, I’m a merch girl. My 2014 New Year’s resolution, almost a year ago now, was to learn how to build a fire with my bare hands, and to be nicer to strangers. I really do think that I’m making progress on the latter, but this is why it’s so damn hard…

A woman asks to see a medium shirt.
I hold it up for her as she examines.
Woman: “Is the large going to be bigger than the medium?”

It’s times like these that make my resolution very difficult. What I really want to tell her is that that is the most embarrassing question I have ever heard. However, I refrain. Not so much because I’m trying to be nice, or because of my resolution, but because I am working, and I try to be a professional, so I hold my tongue. I know that if I open my mouth bitter sarcasm will involuntarily come vomitting out, so I usually don’t say anything at all when I hear a question that is so profoundly stupid. I just look at the person in silence for a moment, and generally they will catch their mistake. In this woman’s case, after suffering through my blank stare for a few excrutiating moments, she said, “Yeah, I guess it would be.”

Here’s a very common one…
Person: “How much is that shirt?”
Me: “All of the shirts are $25.”
Person: “What about that one?”
Me: “All of the shirts are $25.”
Person: “And that one at the end?”
Me: “All of the shirts are $25.”

I hate to be sexist against my own gender, but women at the merch table are a catastrophe. First of all, they toss their purse onto the table, and due to most female bags being the size of a small panther, it covers half of my display. They then proceed to study every single size t-shirt, holding them up to one another for comparison, checking the tag then asking me what it’s made out of even though they just looked at the tag. Then they ask their boyfriend what he thinks. Then they tell me that they like my hair. Then they tell me about their hair. Then they tell me about their friend’s hair. Once we’ve finally come to the part where a currency exchange is about to take place, they start shoveling through their obnoxiously large purse and pull out everything from glittery lip gloss that has gross strands of shed hair wound up in the goop, to fucking thongs before finally finding their cash. Here’s what happens when most men appraoch the merch table.
Man: “Do you have that shirt in a medium?”
Me: “Yes.”
Man: “I’ll take it.
He hands me the cash. Done.

I have worked on tour for a ballet company two years in a row. We sell a DVD of the performance, and we also record the performance every night because there are different local children in it at every city, so the parents like to have a copy of that specific performance. With that in mind, I cannot believe how often I get this…
It will be BEFORE a performance. Doors have just opened and someone will point to my DVD that is on the table and ask, “Is this of tonight’s performance?” Holy fuck. Again, I just don’t say a word, and let them come to the realization that they just sounded like a friggen idiot. Almost always, after a moment they say, “Oh duh, I guess that’s not possible,” to which I’m thinking, Jesus Christ, thank everything that I never have to deal with you in my life ever again. But I smile instead. My sister would be proud. Actually, my sister would probably not be able to hold her tongue, and she would just unapologetically laugh in their face.

This one always makes me chuckle and I swear that short pale boys are the biggest culprits.
Boy: “Can I get that Chevelle shirt?”
Me: “Dude, they’re all Chevelle shirts.”
Boy: (Obviously semi-embarrassed) “Oh yeah, the black one.”
Me: “Dude, they’re all black.”

And here’s my all time favorite and I swear to God that I have got this more than once…
“Is this stuff for sale?”
I have never felt superior to others, except for the three times someone has asked me that question. I will say with little regret, that I felt superior to them as a functioning human in that moment.

I think because my annoyance cannot be present while I’m working, it infiltrates my non-working life. So my sister may be right… I’m kind of a bitch to strangers, but only because they made me this way! Not that it’s relevant, but it’s always fun to blame the accuser… my sister, who is 19, is mean to people she actually knows. Friends. I think it’s badass and it cracks me up.

For example, a male friend of hers was over the house and I guess he was kind of drunk and Raven was not at all. The next day he texted her asking, “On a scale from 1-10, how annoying was I being last night?” Raven’s response was, “Definitely 10.”
I would have sugar coated it and been like, oh you weren’t too bad…. blah blah blah. Not Raven. She also told her very good friend that he should be gay because he never gets girls.

She is the opposite of how I was at her age. Back then, I was so concerned with making everyone happy that I would spout out lies. Raven doesn’t give a fuck. It’s beautiful. She has said to me on more than one occasion, “Cait, you are not lookin’ good today.” So funny.

We all have our flaws, and I for sure have a lot of them. One thing that gives me slight solace in my sea of shortcomings, is that I can own up to mine. So I’m sorry to the Target cashier whom I was short with, and the mechanic who tried to make small talk with me but I sort of rolled my eyes, but the stupid people at the merch table made me this way!

Raven at work, not giving a fuck.

Raven at work, not giving a fuck.

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Confessions of a Heedless Sinner – Vol. 10

This is how pathetic I was last night… a prostitute had to help me get a cab.  Rewind, and let me start with what I do remember.

I went with a couple of people from work to the restaurant across the street where we always receive an endless flow of free booze and food.  To our pleasant surprise, it turned out to be one of the manager’s birthday who is a friend.  The champagne is opened.  More drinks and good conversation brings us to the next bar where I dance by myself like an asshole to the terrible live band playing bad 90’s hits.  Now there are six of us.

Next memory: skipping down Hollywood Boulevard arm and arm with Will, the birthday boy, like we’re in the fucking Wizard of Oz.  Who knows, we may have skipped right over Judy Garland’s star.

Next memory: strip club.  Now there are two of us.  Don’t know how that happened.  It’s only myself and Will, who I have never hung out with outside of visiting each others bar, watching high-end strippers bounce their ass up and down in a way that makes it look like it’s independent from the rest of their body.  I shyly threw some ones on the stage, looking like one of those timid kids at the petting zoo who is scared that the goat is going to bite her if she gets too close.

Next memory: standing on the sidewalk at God knows what-o’-clock, and now there is one.  I’m by myself in the middle of the night on a side street that is just off of Hollywood and Vine (an intersection you don’t want to find yourself alone at) with no purse and no car and wearing Will’s jacket.  Until this moment, I was having a great time.

Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street

Obviously, my purse has my cell phone and all of my money and wallet in it.  When I could not find my car, a random woman who was also outside came to my rescue.  I barely remember her face, but I remember she made the executive decision that I needed a cab.  I don’t think I was using words at this point.  She called me a cab, and waited with me.  I really hope I was able to mumble a sincere thank you.

I now believe that everything happens for a reason, because THANK GOD we went to that strip club.  Inside of Will’s jacket pocket that I was wearing, there was $80 worth of ones.  This was the lifeline that got me home.  Don’t remember how I got into my house, because I didn’t have my keys.  Maybe I should check my windows to make sure that I didn’t fuck up at my break-in.  Woke up in the morning still in my clothes, look around me and see a bunch of one dollar bills strewn over my bed, I remember that I have no phone, car or wallet, and I literally started laughing out loud.  This was going to be a fun day.

I manage to get out of bed, and come up with a plan to get my life back together.  I grab the ones, and my little black address book, assuming I’ll need some numbers in a little bit, and walk my still drunk ass the 1.3 miles to the subway station.  I arrived back at my bar and found a co-worker who had Will’s number.  I was hoping that he would be able to provide me with either my purse or some answers.  Both if I was really lucky, but I was not betting on that.  We tried getting in touch with him, but no response.  I put some Bailey’s in my coffee to try to nurse the hang-over, and it definitely temporarily helped.  It’s disturbing how well I can function with a hangover.  Too much practice.

After hanging out for a couple of hours with some of the bar regulars, telling my story to everyone, I had them ALL interested in what the hell happened last night.  We needed clues.  We needed Will.  I didn’t even remember the names of the places we were at to try to call the establishments to see if they found my purse.  FINALLY he calls back with news.  He has my purse!  I am SO lucky.  I honestly thought it was gone for good.  I run over to his hotel bar to collect my things, and begin to exist as a real human being again.

Will had all the answers.  God bless him.  And how this guy ended up with my hot mess on his birthday… poor thing.

At the bar with the lame live music, Will and I apparently picked up some big dude that ended up being a weirdo, so that’s when everyone else left, leaving us with the giant, who we ditched by telling him we were taking a smoke break.  Will and I then went to the strip club, and after, I said I was driving home.  Like a kind gentleman, he talked me out of that ridiculous idea, and we apparently went back to the hotel he manages and the place where the night began, to chill for a bit and sober up.  He told me that we stumbled out to the back patio where we laid down for a bit while our cells rejuvenated, and huddled up together, trying to keep ourselves warm with the two jackets that we turned into makeshift blankets.  As he’s telling me this, I’m vaguely remembering laying with him and thinking it was oddly comfortable, but then it just goes black again.  We were such a pathetic scene, that the night watch guy brought us a big down comforter, and we were able to fall asleep for what I’m guessing was a couple of hours.

Now here is where things took a wrong turn.  Will says that I woke up, got up without saying anything, so he assumed I was going to the bathroom, and then I just never came back.  Leaving my purse and jacket behind and his jacket on.  I must have walked to where I thought my car was, forgetting that I had valeted that day, and this is where I meet the kind stranger who called me the cab.  Will was laughing his ass off when I told him that part, and I was like, “I can’t figure out what her deal was.  She must not have been homeless because she had a cell phone, but she was definitely just on the streets.”  He told me she was a prostitute.  Duh.

Living the dream, my friends.  One drink at a time.

P.S. I did all of this in heels and without throwing up.

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Bitch Be Cool

Here was my weekend:

Was witness to a big black man naked, and crying in the women’s restroom.  I’m one of the manager’s at a popular pub in Hollywood (not as cool as it sounds) and this dude walks in and is TOTALLY NORMAL.  An hour later,  this giant black man is now fully naked, sitting on the toilet in the women’s bathroom with his knees to his chest, rocking back and forth and crying.  What. the. fuck.  Turns out he was on bath salts.

Already drunk in Silverlake, so of course my friend and I decide to get another drink somewhere.  Duh.  We walk up the road to Thirsty Crow.  Line.  Lame.  Keep walking, and go into the next bar we see.  Mexican drag queen show inside.  Yes please!  It happened, and it was brilliant.  Top three sketchiest bars I’ve ever been to.  You know when you mix mexican mafia, drag, alcohol, karaoke and cowboys, that something fantastic is going to go down.

Made-out with a hot Serbian on top of a mountain.

Turned drunk-driving into a sport.  I do not condone this at all!  But with that being said… me and my new favorite girl friend bared our souls to one another over cheap, pink champagne and daiquiris at my place, then decided to drive down Vermont Avenue, in the heart of Koreatown at 1:00am and “see what happens.”  We ended up at a hilarious Korean BBQ place that had no English menu and Korean punk rockers inside.  Fuck yes.  I have no idea what we ordered, we basically said, “bring it on,” to the server who spoke broken English.  I’m a vegetarian, but cheat every three months or so and eat meat, and this was definitely worth the cheat.  I have no idea what animals were on the plates, all I know is that Spam was definitely included.  If I’m going to cheat, I might as well embrace it and go 100% disgusting.

Flat tire.

Waiting in line for the one person restroom at a hookah lounge, and the female of the couple who were obviously on a first or second date sitting next to us, comes up with her hand over her mouth.  Uh oh.  She looks helplessly in my direction when she realizes that she won’t make it into the bathroom.  I give her a helpless look back, and BARF.  All over her hands and arms… got a little on my shoes, but you know, I couldn’t even be mad.  I just went with it.  Poor thing was wearing a white dress too.  Of course, the person in the bathroom was her date, so I just gave him a pat on the back (literally) and said, “Sorry man, but you got to take your girl home.”  I wonder if they’ll ever see each other again.

So, in honor of drunk bitches (including myself), I leave you with a playlist.  This is what you put on when a group of you are at that perfect fun drunk, but there’s that one girl who is just too drunk and being an obnoxious buzz kill.  I know you know the type.  So you raise your glass to her, put this playlist on, and quietly say to her, “bitch be cool.”

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Hollywood Hater

Went to what I would probably consider my first, real “Hollywood” exclusive party recently.  It was so effing lame.  Here is what I was told about it before going:

-Dress Christmas themed.

-The host is doing a toy drive, so bring a toy that is $10 or less.

-It may be a slightly older crowd.

-Mansion in Beverly Hills.

-Alcohol provided, will have a tip bar.

-A lot of attendees from the entertainment industry.

So I was thinking, sweet, this sounds kind of classy, I could be into this.  I’ll wear my slightly ridiculous red dress that I can only get away with wearing during the holidays, and a Santa hat, and maybe get some much needed networking done.  I’m picturing myself sitting next to a fire-place, sipping on champagne and chatting it up with a potential collaborator while sophisticated instrumental music is playing over the gentle hum of a candlelit room.

Nope.

What they meant by Christmas themed was red lingerie and santa hats.  Only.  What they meant by attendees from the entertainment industry, was disgusting reality show stars.  I say stars, but I didn’t recognize any of them.  Granted, I don’t have a television, and when I have in the past, I definitely don’t watch reality television, but I’m not exactly living under a rock either.

Four of us went together, two boys, two girls.  I would say there was easily 200 people at this obnoxious gathering, and me and the other girl that I went with, were honest to God, two of maybe eight girls not dressed in lingerie.  Most of the boys were wearing those extra short boxer briefs that were either red or green or themed or whatever, and Santa hats and boots.  That’s it.  I don’t care about your stupid six-pack abs, you look like a fucking idiot.  People were doing shots out of girls’ boobs (which I’m sure there is a clever name for), it was gross.

I rarely have a “bad time” anywhere.  I try to make the best of things, so I ended up having a good evening because the other three people I went with were cool and we just stayed together and passed around a champagne bottle while discussing who our five people, living or dead would be that we would invite to dinner.  Such a good conversational question.   The moral to the story is, 95% of Hollywood is lame…

And yes, I am a pretentious, hypocritical Hollywood Hater.

P.S. The password to get in was “toy land.”  Are you friggen serious?  Pedophiles?  Check.

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