So, You Want To Be A Bad Manager?

BADMANAGERFB1000


Don’t say it!

Under no circumstances should you respond to a staff member’s “Good Morning, how are you today?” with actual words. A grunt and a dismissive hand wave will send the message that you would rather not waste  your precious time with the likes of them!

Pick one, anyone.

Each day be sure to choose one lucky employee to single out for inefficiency. That this woman’s biggest mistake may have only been that she selected a shade of eyeshadow that was a little too close to yours and that, unbeknownst to her, she is wearing better, is irrelevant. Single her out anyway. She, too, is irrelevant. After all, it is your world and she is just living in it.

Talk amongst your friends.

Be sure to discuss either this employee — or another, why not? — with your manager pals. Do it just out of earshot, but be certain, through pointing or other gestures, that whoever it is your are discussing is aware that he or she is being discussed AND, this is of utmost important, that the message is clear that nothing good is being said.

Overreact

If you discover that someone has done something wrong make sure that you behave as if he or she has just killed your beloved cat. On purpose. With their car.

Passively be aggressive.

Ask your staff silly questions while they are busy. When they indicate that they have no time to answer you in that moment, be sure that they understand that you have taken note of their inability to add a sixth thing to the five other things they were, as always, effectively juggling.

Wonder aloud.

In full view of clients and/or other employees (bonus points for both!), wonder aloud why this person or that person did not do this, that, or the other thing. Throwing your hands in the air and rolling your eyes always enhances this situation. For added flair, might I suggest a heavy sigh?

If you have nothing nice to say…

Regardless of what your mother told  you about saying nice things, choose, instead, to be harsh, mean, or downright cruel. Adopting an attitude of superiority while you sneer and snap at your staff is a step in the right direction. That promotion you so desire is, no doubt, right around the corner for a motivator such as yourself!

Do it better!

Everyone knows that you can do everything better than they can. Show them anyway. Do this as often as possible. This endearing behavior, while it may not win you fans, is sure to  get you noticed!

Step it up a notch.

Daily and consistently take your demanding behavior up at least a few notches. Everyone loves a challenge. Luckily, your staff exists purely to make you look exceptional.

Gratitude is overrated.

While stepping on the little people to achieve your goals, be mindful that thanking them is a weakness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Have Evolved. Really. I Have.

IHAVEEVOLVEDFBNotes1000

 

I do not have a short fuse. I have evolved. Really. I have.

I am aware that I complain a lot, but that does not mean I am angry. Frankly, the complaining is what keeps whatever anger I may be feeling from being bottled up and, subsequently, exploding.

Think of me, if you will, as a carbonated beverage. A guilty pleasure. Effervescent and sweet when stable. Put the contents under extreme pressure, shake me up, and I, like that bottle of Diet Coke, will likely exhibit what scientists call “volatility”. (I think that’s what they call it. What do I know? Do I look like a scientist?)

Sometimes working the bubbles into a frenzy is accidental. Like when you’re moving things around in the fridge to make room for the potato salad, and you inadvertently knock the bottle of soda to the floor. It happens. It is best, under these circumstances, if you want to avoid an all-out disaster, to release the pressure slowly, to let the bubbles out carefully. Cleaning up a  heap of sticky goo from between the tiles is time consuming and, let’s be honest, not a whole lot of fun.

Once in a while I find myself in a situation where my buttons are being pushed by someone (or, you know, a bunch of someones; a gaggle of someones). I feel shaken to the point of volatility.

Just the other day I was out shopping. In the course of my trip I began to wonder if some sort of strange magic dust had been sprinkled upon me as I entered the mall, dust that rendered me invisible to other consumers.

Why? Because several of my fellow shoppers, in a number of different retail establishments, either walked directly in front of me — like the woman in the shoe store who was eyeing the same pair of shoes as was I — or, in the case of one clearly deranged J. Crew shopper, actually pushed me aside in front of the chino display. (Pushed me aside! In front of the chinos!)

It is when I find myself in these situations that I must stop and make an assessment, that I must ask myself, as I feel the bubbles rising, as I sense the pressure building, is this behavior deliberately directed at me, personally? Or, is this woman in dire need of a pair of boyfriend-cut cropped chinos?

After checking to make sure that my fellow chino enthusiast was not pantsless, or that the other woman was not shoeless, I took a deep breath, unscrewed the bottle cap just a bit, and allowed the pressure to escape. I took charge of how I released the bubbles, slowly and deliberately, so as not to create a mess.

I decided that their behavior, rude and insensitive as it was, while aimed at me, was not, in fact, personal in any way. It was not sinister. Alas, I just happened to be the woman standing between them and what they wanted.

Reaching this conclusion calmed me. So did slipping the shoes into an empty slot on the Men’s Size 13 rack. If I decided to come back for them, I would know where they were; ill-mannered step-in-front-of-me-without-an-excuse-me-lady would have to commit herself to a long search to find them again. There was no need for petty subterfuge over at the J.Crew; there were plenty of chinos.

What then does a person such as myself, one given to volatility when mishandled, do when her bubbles are deliberately shaken? When there is no mistaking that the bottle of soda did not simply fall, but was pushed?

If  such a situation had presented itself a few years ago I would be telling you how the bottle erupted and I had to clean soda from every last nook and cranny in my kitchen, likely down on my hands and knees, which would have put me in an excellent, but unenviable, position to pray for forgiveness or beg for mercy, whichever was appropriate. In short, it — I —  would have been a mess.

Now? I just wait. For the bubbles to redistribute. For stasis to return.

Sure, sometimes I have to loosen the cap. I have to vent a little. Let some air out, allow some air in. It beats being down on your hands and knees, though. That’s for damn sure.

It can often be a delicate and, yes, uneasy process, but I have discovered that when I am successful at navigating the minefield of my emotions I feel at peace. I rest more easily. Realizing that nestling the soda behind the jug of milk, where it is less apt to topple over or go careening off the edge of the shelf, took me a shockingly long time to figure out.

Sometimes, though, I forget and I stick the damn bottle where it doesn’t belong. And I pay the price.

I am not suggesting that I have become a doormat, nor would I suggest anyone else should be (or become) one. Passivity is just as bad as overreaction. Sometimes you have to take a swig from the soda, say what needs to be said. It is simply that I have learned that not everything needs to be said; that it is perfectly fine to leave a little soda in the bottle, put the cap back on, and toss it in the trash.

Move along.

It is fairly easy to predict, and to control, how a bottle of soda will react in almost every set of circumstances. (It’s science, kids!) The science behind human behavior being far less exact than the science behind carbonation, it would follow that it is not so easy to predict or to understand how humans will react on any given day to any given thing.

We can change. We can throw a curve. We can also learn from our mistakes. We can be shaken, but choose not to explode. The carbonated beverage does not have any say in the matter. It behaves the same way every time. We do not have to.

What it took me far too many years to learn is that people have their own best interests at heart, their own motivations for their behaviors, which may directly or indirectly affect me, but which are hardly ever ABOUT me.

Most days I try to act like the sane grown-up person that I believe myself to be. If I find myself getting angry or frustrated by a stranger I can always do something a little loopy, like hiding those shoes. Because, you know, that was FUN!

If I find that I am getting fired up by someone close to me, I remind myself that there is a 99.9% chance that it is not about me. Because it hardly ever is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Wrote a Rap Song

I wrote a rap songOf the most unlikely sentences that I could utter (or write), “I wrote a rap song” would surely make the Top Ten List — mine and everyone else’s. It’s true, though. I did.

We were joking around at work yesterday. How we managed to do that in the midst of the mayhem, I’ll never know. What can I say? Servers are a resourceful bunch.

In response to the anxiety that I felt as I was faced with a dozen tables scattered all over the restaurant, I started to formulate some song lyrics (or, as it’s known in the rap community — of which I now consider myself a member, albeit a fledgling member, but a member just the same — “laying down some bars”). Oddly enough, I found it therapeutic and more than just a little amusing. So did my coworkers.

I am unsure as to whether the humor they found in my running around trying to find words that rhymed with “hammer” had more to do with the juxtaposition of a middle-aged field hockey mom whose taste in music runs more along the lines of Jackson Browne than it does to Chris Brown or whether it was because they were stunned by my ability to punch out those words with the ferocity of an angry female hip-hopper. Either way, they seemed entertained.

Like any class clown worth her salt, I continued with my act. I have to admit that I was more than mildly distracted throughout the rest of my shift. I could not, no matter that I was faced with a severe wine glass shortage and a bar full of Merlot aficionados, to shrug off the idea that I should be writing this stuff down.

When I returned home, physically exhausted and mentally weary after my second twelve-hour shift in a row, I thought about doing just that. I opted, instead, as middle-aged women like me are wont to do, to don my flannel pajamas and allow my head to hit the pillow, rather than moving my fingers on a keyboard.

I slept fitfully. Words — many of them rhyming with “hammer” — kept awakening me.

The minute I rolled out of bed I poured myself a cup of coffee and headed for the computer. I really HAD to get these words down before they became confused and possibly jumbled up with other words like “dish detergent” or “greeting cards”. It was very likely that my synapses would misfire causing a mix-up to occur; I was gripped with the fear that failing to memorialize the lyrics would result in my finding myself in the home improvement store wondering what, exactly, I was doing in the tool aisle. It would not be the first time that I have been nagged by the vague notion that I was in need of a hammer.

Of places where and states of mind in which I can be found, “confoundedly wandering around the home improvement store” comes in just behind “standing in my kitchen wondering where my damn phone is” and “searching my pockets for where I put that twenty-dollar bill that I had in my hand five seconds ago.” Yeah. That is normally who I am, not someone in search of esoteric (and catchy) ways to say “prison”.

I did it, though. I thought it out and worked it up. I committed real words to virtual paper.

While I hesitate to share it here, not so much because I think it might actually be good enough for someone to want to record it (might any of you know the name of an up-and-coming female rapper?), but more because it may convince those of you who are on the fence about me that I am indeed just as batshit crazy as you suspected all along. I have decided to do it, anyway — share it with you.

I will also admit that there is a small part of me that worries that my husband might read this, might find me out. I find myself feeling a little guilty that I spent my day this way. I should be more productive on my day off. I should be cooking, cleaning, or doing laundry instead of wasting my time tapping into the nascent and heretofore unacknowledged lyricist persona (this is how I think of myself now). In other words, I should have something far more concrete to show for the energy that I expended working up a rap song that no one will ever hear. By “more concrete”, of course I mean figuring out dinner or making the bed. I could not seem to help myself, though.

Like all great artists who must divide their time between menial household chores and moments of clarity, most of them, one would imagine, artists of the female variety, I will wrestle with my guilt later. For now, and for what it’s worth, this is the result of my sleepless night and a morning spent not mopping the kitchen floor. I kind of like it. I think it was worth it. There will always be something to clean, but how often do fits of genius that require bursts of creativity occur? Not very often.

Tell me what you think! Should I be working on my rap name? Ordering oversized jewelry? Picking out my grillz? Working phrases like, “Word Up!” into conversations?


NOBODY’S BITCH

No disrespect to Mr. Seeger

Promotin’ tools for higher causes

Me? I’m just a bit beleaguered

Trying hard just to please the bosses

(Everybody’s bitch)
If I had a hammer

I’d like destroy

In the slammer

That’s where I’d toil

(Everybody’s bitch)
Spittin’ down different bars than these

Burnin’ my time

(Ain’t no hitch)

Gettin’ round off that gov’ment cheese

Burnin’ my time

(Still somebody’s bitch)
Playin’ for cigs and swapping tales

Course there’s always a glitch

My luck I’d draw laundry detail

Different venue, same travail

(Still everybody’s bitch)

(Everybody’s bitch)

Think your life is yours

Not unless you’re Oprah, hon

Otherwise, it’s smoke and mirrors

No money in the bank when it’s said and done

(Everybody’s bitch)

Someday I may be

Spittin’ down different bars than these

Burnin’ my time

(Less I strike it rich)

Gettin’ round off that gov’ment cheese

Burnin’ my time

(Still somebody’s bitch)

Free will is overrated

An illusion designed to keep us humble

Abbreviated

We’re all one step away from the tumble

(Everybody’s bitch)
I’ll leave you this

Go ahead and throw your pitch

The best laid plans

Of mice and women

Thwarted by unseen hands

And what might have been

If I weren’t

Just

Everybody’s bitch

(Everybody’s bitch)

Break out the mold

Spit down different bars than these

Let your rounds be hoops of gold

Burn your time scratchin’ your own itch

Don’t get old

Being everybody’s bitch

(Everybody’s bitch)
Pin it on your heart

As your feet hit the floor

Today’s the start

Don’t take no more

(Nobody’s bitch)

Get schooled by me

So you don’t have to be

Anybody’s bitch

(Nobody’s bitch)

(Nobody’s bitch)

Written by Jacqueline Tierney-DeMuro

2/25/15

(Take that, bitches!)

Flat Jackie

flatjackieAt some point last night, as I tried valiantly to meet the demands of my customers — an act which feels, more and more, like a Sisyphean endeavor — I took a few precious seconds to observe my co-workers. Thankfully, they appeared to be as frantic as I was. It is always nice to know, in the throes of madness, that one is not alone.  If even one of them had been, say, leaning up against the coffee station enjoying a snack, it is quite possible that I would have lay down and let that big rock that I was, metaphorically, pushing just roll right over me. Flat Jackie.

I will admit to taking a few precious seconds and flirting with the idea, as I rounded the service bar to replace the third dropped steak knife for one of my clumsier guests, that instead of heading toward where we keep the cutlery, I could take a hard right and walk straight out the front door. It is a lucky thing that my belongings were in the back storeroom and that the temperature outside was a balmy -2°F — a temperature no doubt colder than the proverbial witch’s tit. (Those poor little witchlets!)

Having no desire to become a human popsicle, I remained indoors. Life is full of tough choices. Better, I thought, to be ornery and warm than light-hearted and frozen.

In the midst of attempting to access, from the dark recesses of my brain, recipes for the Bahama Mama, Planter’s Punch, and something called a Jack Honey Tea, I noticed that other thoughts were hovering around the edges of my consciousness. I pushed the most obvious ones away. (Who orders this shit in February? What kind of an idiot drinks this nonsense at any time of the year? What in God’s holy name is a Jack Honey Tea? Who ever heard of such a thing?) Using what felt like the last shred of mental acuity that I had left, I did what any decent bartender in my position does, I made them up. I have a theory, borne of experience, that if it’s the right color, they’ll drink it. They almost always do.

Having, at least to my satisfaction, successfully navigated the drink recipe dilemma, I remained troubled by a much larger question, “What”, I found myself asking (possibly aloud) “the fuck am I doing here?”

Fortunately, my job being what it is, there is very little time to engage in deep, philosophical conversations with oneself (or anyone else). If things were different, if time was not of the essence in my line of work, I fear that I would spend most of my shifts pondering such questions and, as a result, that I would find myself, on an all too frequent basis, awash in a puddle of my own tears.

It is probably a good thing that bartenders cannot expend energy on things as esoteric as philosophy; that we must, instead, use our time to concoct dumb drinks, recite the beers on tap to the latest in a long line of literacy-challenged cretins (the flavors are on the handles, you beer connoisseur, you!), or to muddle mojitos for the groups who want to fool themselves into believing that the mere act of consuming this silliness will magically transport them to South Beach. It will not. Get on a plane.

Such is the life of the lowly restaurant worker. Such is my life.

I fear that one day soon I will be flattened by my own rock. Flat Jackie.

Lucky

NaBloPoMo14DayTwentySixYesterday, in the aftermath of the Ferguson decision I posted about white privilege in the general sense. Today, I’d like to tell you a story about a case of white privilege in particular — an incident that happened to me.

To be honest, when it was happening I didn’t think much about it. I certainly didn’t think of it in terms of white privilege. It wasn’t until afterwards, as I was recounting the story to several people that I noticed a distinct difference between the reactions of my black friends and that of my white friends — I was telling the story in front of people of both races.

Here’s what happened. It’s been a couple of years, but I will try to tell the tale as best as I can remember it.

It was the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, probably 2012, possibly 2011. I was walking home from work when I realized that I had an apron full of paper — customer receipts, beverage napkins, pieces of my order pad. The detritus of my trade.

It was a beautiful night, the official beginning of summer, and I was in a playful mood. As I approached the gas station that is just around the corner from my house, I decided to ball up the garbage and make baskets into one of their garbage cans. I would estimate that I hit about 80% from the makeshift and virtual free-throw line that I had concocted in my mind. I was chuckling to myself as I did it and thinking, no doubt, about how silly I, a forty-some-odd-year-old woman, must look playing trash can basketball.

As I went to retrieve the “balls” that had missed their intended target, I noticed a police cruiser, but thought little of it. I remember hoping that whoever was in it hadn’t seen me acting like a teenager in study hall. I couldn’t see whether anyone was in it or not, as I went about the business of picking up my litter and the few odds and ends that other people had left strewn around the trash receptacle, but I didn’t really care. I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Not only am I no litterbug, I’m also a good citizen.

I went into the store to make a purchase, of what I cannot recall, ice cream, perhaps? As I went to exit the store a Sheriff’s officer walked in. He looked me up and down in a way that felt uncomfortable. He looked at me like I was in trouble. I found it off-putting to say the least.

Within seconds he asked me where I had been that night. Because I did not like his tone, I pointed at my apron, which is emblazoned with the logo of the restaurant I work for — a restaurant that stands about 150 yards from the gas station. At first I thought that he was going to reprimand me for littering. I was thinking to myself, “Didn’t he see me pick up my garbage?”

Then he asked me how much I had had to drink that night. I looked at him straight in the eye and told him “Nothing.” I could tell that he didn’t believe me. I then went on to say that I had not, in fact, had a drink in several years. His eyebrow shot up and he made an “Um-hmmm” kind of a sound. This confirmed my original suspicion that he did not believe me. Really, though, I didn’t much care. I didn’t much care for him either, to tell the truth.

After this ridiculous exchange he asked me for identification. I told him that I didn’t have any identification on me, as I had been at work for twelve hours and hadn’t brought my purse, which was the God’s honest truth.

At this he became angry. He told me that I was “required” to carry identification with me at all times. “Actually”, I informed him, “I’m not.” I then went on to explain to him that the court had recently ruled that the law in Arizona — designed to ferret out illegal immigrants — which required that folks carry certain forms of identification with them, had, in fact, been declared unconstitutional. I may have asked him if he was familiar with this decision. I am fairly certain I offered to pull it up on my phone for him.

Yeah. I was being snarky. I was getting annoyed. “What”, I thought, “does this idiot want with me, anyway? What is his problem.” I began to make my way to the exit. He held his arm out and told me to “stay put” and, I swear that he said that he was “calling for back-up”.

“Back-up?”, I asked the store clerk, “Did he just say he was calling for ‘back-up’?” The clerk shook his head in the affirmative. I burst out laughing and made for the door. There were, I realized, two young black guys in the store with me. I hadn’t noticed them before.

As I began to leave one of them looked at me and said, “You are some crazy white lady. That cop told you to stay put.”

I just looked at him and laughed. I told him that there was no way I was going to hang around and engage in any tomfoolery with THAT idiot. I had done nothing wrong. The kid just shook his head, as if to say, “You are one crazy white lady.”

As I made my way home and, mind you, I walked at a leisurely pace, I remember thinking “What an idiot!”, certainly not “Wow! I’m so lucky to be a crazy white lady who has the audacity to just walk away from an officer of the law.” I was never afraid, not for one second. It never occurred to me to be afraid — even when, as I was opening my front door, I  heard a car peel into the parking lot behind my house. When I got upstairs and looked out the window I realized that it was HIM, the Sheriff’s officer. He was pointing a searchlight from his cruiser all around the parking lot. No doubt he was looking for me.

Still laughing, I dialed the local Chief of Police. He’s a friend. Our daughters swam together on two different teams. I explained to him what had happened and told him that the loony guy appeared to still be looking for me. He told me not to worry about it. I didn’t. I just went off to bed.

The next day I thought it would make an amusing anecdote for my co-workers. It did. Most of them thought it was pretty hilarious. I’ll bet you can guess which audience members thought this. If you guessed the white people, you’d be right. The black ones? They just looked at me and said, “Yeah. You are some crazy white lady. You know what else you are? Lucky.”

Yup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Til it’s Gone”

NaBloPoMo14DayFifteenSnippets of Big Yellow Taxi have been playing over and over in my head all day. Specifically the part where Joni Mitchell sings, “… you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.” There’s a reason for this. In other words, it’s not just some random earwig.

What is it that’s gone? Our hot water. That’s what.

We had it Thursday evening. It ran straight out of the tap, unappreciated. On Friday morning when we woke up, though, it was gone. Our hot water heater went “pfffft”. Yup.

Fang awakened me early on Friday morning to let me know that we had no hot water. I asked him if he had checked the water heater. He just looked at me both quizzically and knowingly, which is difficult to do. I knew what that look meant, though. It meant that he had not gone downstairs to check on anything. (It may also have meant “Water heater? What water heater? I don’t know nothin’ ’bout no water heaters!”)

In fairness to Fang — his lack of water heater knowledge notwithstanding — he does have to be at work a couple of hours before I do. Still, even if he had been off he wouldn’t have done any investigating of water heaters. This is not just because we’re renters, but also because Fang doesn’t know the first thing about water heaters — or almost anything else plumbing-related. Ditto for electrically-related, construction-related, car-related … the list goes on and on. He gets mad when I say these things, but they’re true.

Luckily for Fang I at least know where we keep the water heater. I dragged myself out of bed and went downstairs where I discovered a water heater that was spewing its contents, in a volcano-like fashion, from the top. That’s something you don’t see every day. (Normally they leak from the bottom.) I knew I had to turn the water off. Naturally, the water heater resides in a narrow, closet-like room — a room with a dirt floor.

I tried to think of a way to turn off the water without taking a mud bath — dirt + water = mud! — but soon realized that there was no way around it, I was going to have to get muddy. What I didn’t anticipate was that I wouldn’t fit between the hot water heater and the wall. That I had gotten muddy for no reason at all was slightly irritating.

More irritating, though was that I was dealing with this by myself. Worse, I was dealing with this by myself before I had even had a cup of coffee. Normally, early morning, uncaffeinated me makes very poor decisions. Once in a while, though, I am able to formulate a thought before I’ve had my cup of joe. And formulate a thought I did.

I decided to call in the neighbor. He’s taller and lankier than I am. He was not only available and kind enough to agree to help me, but he also had the forethought to wear boots. I had, I realized after hanging up the phone, forgotten to tell him about the mud. When he showed up wearing them, I breathed a sigh of relief.

With the help of a broomstick he managed to turn off the water. Have I ever mentioned that I really like my neighbor? I do. I really like him. He was not only helpful, but good-natured about the whole thing. Dealing with Fang in this emergency would have been a whole other story. I was actually kind of grateful that he sauntered off to work.

I then had to call in all sorts of favors and rearrange my day to wait for the utility company, which I did. Outside of turning off the gas feed — something I could have done myself (not that I had thought to do it, but if someone had told me to do it I could have) — the utility guy was of no help at all. Wanna know what his opinion was? “That thing’s busted.”

Wow. It’s a good thing we called in an expert. The woman from our management company and I shared a few laughs about that one. He was kind enough to let us know exactly what type of hot water heater we would need to replace the “busted” one. Do I even need to mention that this was also information I could have garnered on my own. Still, he lent some much needed comic relief to the day, so his presence wasn’t totally useless.

After umpteen phone calls and trips back and forth to the basement, very little progress was made. It would have to wait another day, I was told. Okay. No problem. These things happen.

A few minutes ago I received a text from the hard-working lady from our management company. As luck would have it — and, you know we never have any good luck, right? — we won’t have hot water until at least Monday evening.

Okay, so we’ll have to adjust. We have heat, which is a plus because it is cold outside. We also have cold water and cooking gas. I can boil water for a couple of days. We will have to resort to camp showers and paper plates until the new water heater is acquired and installed. It’s an inconvenience, but certainly it’s not the end of the world.

I’ll tell you what I’m going to do when I get my hot water back. Well, first I’ll shower — that should go without saying. Next, though, I’m going to appreciate having hot water flowing from the tap. Yup. That’s exactly what I’m going to do. Why? Because “… you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.” (Ain’t that the truth?)

What have you failed to appreciate today?

Honesty: It Is NOT Always the Best Policy.

honestypolicyThere may not be a bad time to experience that fifteen minutes of fame that Andy Warhol promised us. I would argue, however, that there may be a time when being the “Toast of the Town” may not be optimal; times when, for example, it would be highly inconvenient to be invited to spend a few minutes with Kathie Lee and Hoda. For me, that time would be now. Not now as in right this minute, although this wouldn’t be a good time, either, as it’s Sunday morning and what I’m wearing could best, and if you were inclined to kindness, be described as “a get-up”. Hey, it’s the first cold morning and I haven’t yet dug out my heavy robe!

It occurs to me that the heavy robe has a “get-up” quality to it, as well. Alas, the condition of my sleepwear is a story that will have to wait for another day. For now, we’ll just focus on the condition of my hair.

Now and for as long as I am sporting this bad haircut would be poor timing in terms of my achieving any level of fame, success, or notoriety. Now is dependent upon how quickly my hair grows out.  Now, in this context, could mean months. Or, possibly, years.

Like a beer run at 2 a.m., it all started out innocently enough, but ended, as these things often do, in tragedy and heartbreak. It’s all my fault, though. I take complete responsibility. Although I think it would be nice if the good folks over at Groupon and my stylist bore some of the blame for the situation that I currently find myself in. Nice, but not necessary.

The situation that I currently find myself in is, to be exact, this: I have two different haircuts and only the one head. From the back it looks like she was going for a “Fonz” look; for the front she drew her inspiration from either Victoria Beckham or Anna Wintour. My money is on “Posh Spice”, though, as I don’t think this young lady, if she had a gun to her head and her life was dependent upon identifying Anna Wintour, would be up to the task!

Sure, she was vapid enough to be a “Vogue” reader. She simply did not strike me as they type of person who would have the slightest interest in the history of that magazine.

What she was interested in was giving me something “funky” in the way of a new hairdo. I was not aware that this was her game plan until it was too late, until she was finished and said, “Oh, my God. This is great. Soooo funky!” If you want to send chills of terror through the spine of a 49-year-old woman AND you are a hairdresser who has just cut said 49-year-old woman’s hair, I highly recommend that you utter that sentence. It’s a real attention-grabber.

Why did I end up with the 20-year-old stylist? The one whose own hair was not only dyed a color that does not, to my knowledge, occur in nature, but also a young woman who appeared to have been out to all hours the night before my tragic hair experience? If her breath was any indication, she was not out volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

I was tempted to offer her a mint, to cover up the smell of the dozen, or so, vodka drinks that she had imbibed in the night before, but I feared that this behavior, well-meaning though it would have been, may have been construed as rude, rather than helpful. Certainly I did not want the young lady who was going to take scissors to my hair to dislike me.

Had I known what the end result was going to be, I may have offered her the damn mint. It would be difficult to imagine that there is a worse haircut out there than the one I ultimately received. But, who knows?

I have decided, upon reviewing the events of yesterday, that I ended up with the most inexperienced, the most hung over, the most sleep-deprived, salon worker in the building because I was honest. I did what the Groupon coupon told me to do — something I will NEVER do again — which was to identify myself as a Groupon holder. (The person who walked in behind me, the one who walked out looking like a normal person — you know, one haircut, one head — had done no such thing. She just made a regular appointment, showed up, and THEN presented HER coupon. You live and you learn, folks. You live and you learn.) Because I was honest, I got what I got.

Honesty can be a bit of a sticky wicket, though, can’t it? It is NOT always the best policy. Ask me if I was honest when she finished with my hair? I was not. Because what would have been worse than suffering a bad haircut would have been expressing my feelings about it to the 20-year-old hairdresser, who, her personal habiats notwithstanding, was a very sweet girl.

While my initial reaction was, in fact, “WTF?”, I made the conscious decision to hide it. I decided, instead, when she breathlessly and, yes, hopefully asked me my opinion, to lie. I wasn’t going to be the one to swing the heavy club — the one filled with sarcasm and, yes, shock. I feared that if I had employed honesty, I may have crushed her spirit, damaged her self-esteem.

Who wants to be responsible for that? Not me. Me? I’d rather live with a bad haircut — or, in this case, two bad haircuts.