Thursday, July 28, 2005

Yet Another Reason For Me to Hate "The Grove"

In April of 2005, about 10 pm, a waiter named Eric Gelman was stabbed to death while walking to his car after getting off work at one of the restaurants in "The Grove" shopping center. Other than my initial "oh, that poor guy" I didn't really think about it again. Sadly, that type of thing has become pretty much an accepted part of life in a large city.

The other day, I read the following story posted on Bitter Waitress:

My daughter is working hostess in a restaurant located in The Grove, a big mall in Los Angeles.

The owner of the Grove, Rick Caruso, is charging the all the employee $5.00 everyday for parking in his big 8 -story garage. The garage can put over 3000 cars!

Even on the Mondays, when only the garage is only half-full. He still like to charge the empoyees 5$ for the parking!!! Why?

My poor daughter is working hard and studying to be an actress and she's just graduate college last year. Her student loans is $160 a month.Her health insurance is $95.00 for one month. And she working in the night. Then she pay $80.00 a month also for parking her car now!

Before, she parking in the street and walk to her car for ten minutes.

But 2 weeks ago one of the waiters from the other resaurant.He was walking to his car at 10:00 in the Sunday night after he finishing work.

He was stab in the back of the neck by a homeless. The homeless leave a six-inch knife in the waiters neck to die.

I say pobresito. I tell my daughter she needs to get a second job so she can pay for park in the garage.She tell me that the waiters and employees is not allowed to park in the 8-floor garge on the weekend. Thats how come the waiter don't parking there. She say Rick Caruso make the empoyees paying $5.00 in the weekend to park, but he make them park at the parking lot at CBS tv Studios. They still have to walking ten minutes so nobody want to pay $5.oo for parking ten -minutes away, because they can parking ten minutes away for free in the street.

I was crying in Church last Sunday and I pray for this man Rick Caruso that he find God in his heart and let the children parking when he have the room in his 8 floor garge to let them parking for free. Then maybe in the weekend they can afford to parking in the lot where is the security guard are.

My daughter she say all of the employees is parking in the street in the weekend , because they pay for parking every day during the week, so if they seeing a free parking in the street in the weekend, they parking in the free spot in the street.

She say sometimes the waitresses in the restaurant pay $12 in the weekend for parking in the weekend night, because they want to be safe in the 8-floor garage and not walk too far in the night.And no employee discount in garage on the weekends.

I tell my daughter to go to the funeral service for the waiter to say she's sorry to his mother for she's loosing her only son. She went to the service they having in the resaturant in the grove for the family. She say she was leaving the service on the Monday of the service and the mother is crying and the owners of the restaurant is sad and crying also.And all of the waiters and the waitress is crying.

Then I say, next time you working late in the weekend, I give you money for parking in the garage, even you $12.00 maximum rate. She say,"Mama they raise the maximum rate. Is more than 12$ maximum for parking, they raise it to keep employees out of the parking so the customers can park and eating in the Cheesecake Factory."

I understand that parking is a problem at the Grove, but sheesh. Once an employee gets killed because he's forced to walk through a not so great area late at night I'd think Caruso (a former member of the LA Police Commission) would feel some type of obligation to try to protect the underpaid worker bees who keep his INSANELY profitable mall running smoothly, but I guess not.

Yet another reason for me not to shop there.

"Bitter waitress" story was edited slightly to take out a few speculative statements about Caruso's dubious parentage and poor breeding that could potentially get me sued.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The 21 hour day

It's my fault - I decided it would be a good idea to 'double dip' yesterday.

Well, not really a good idea, but the problem is that if you cancel on people or turn them down too often, they stop calling you.

This guy I work for a lot (who looks just like Shakespeare), called me Sunday night and asked if I wanted to work Monday night - "It's a commercial", he said "You'll be coming in at the end of the night for a few hours to help them get off the stage since production doesn't want to pay stage rental for a wrap day".

I agreed, and figured I'd spend Monday day doing laundry.

Not five minutes after I'd hung up, the phone rang again. This time it was the best boy from Mr. and Mrs. Smith, wanting to know if I was available Monday morning. The movie Flight Plan was doing some reshoots that night and all we'd do is go in really early Monday morning, pull out the rig, and be done with it. "It'll only be a few hours work", he swore when I asked him if he thought we'd be done by 6 pm (my call time for the commercial).

I'd already said yes when he told me where it was.

Mohave Airport. The middle of the desert at the end of July. Whenever I'm having a really, really sucky day at work, I always say "at least I'm not pulling cable in the desert in summer" - pulling cable in the desert in the summer being just about the suckiest thing I can think of.

Since I'd already said yes, I couldn't back out of either job without damaging a work relationship, and both of these guys throw me a lot of work.

The plan was to have a 5 am call time at "The Lot" (formerly Warner Hollywood), and ride up to Mohave in a stakebed, then get the cable up and get the hell out of there before the temperature got over 100 degrees F.

It took us two hours to drive up to Mohave - we got there about 7 am, and it was already 80 degrees. We wrapped some stuff out of the main hangar, and then went to pull up the cable runs. The cable was run down the side of an active runway and on both sides of the taxiway to the runway. We spent most of the morning in the field between the runway and the taxiway. Thank god Mohave's not a busy airport), so we had to have security with us.
The security guys were really, really nice guys - they had great senses of humor and we had a great time with them.

The movie takes place somewhere where it snows, because there was fake snow (it's made of shredded paper, in case you were wondering) on the runways - hilarious in the baking heat.

Mohave Airport

It took us a while to get the cable pulled up because everytime a plane took off or landed the security guys had to clear us back 500 feet. As we were finishing, it got so hot that the sweat was evaporating before I could feel it on my skin.

We ended up closing the truck doors just as the temperature broke 100.

We got back to the lot about 3. Since my call time was 6 at the same lot, and I didn't want to fight traffic, I'd decided to go have dinner (and more coffee) in the interim. I was so sleepy that I ended up taking a 90 minute nap in the back of my car and then going to eat. I had some pasta (that low carb thing can bite me, and no, I'm not fat) and more coffee and then reported to job number 2.

Job number two was uneventful - just wrapping sets, although I crashed hard right after craft service took the coffee away. That and the perms here have never, ever been vacuumed, so there's a real good layer of slippery dust up there. Every time I have to go 'up high' I'm afraid I'm going to slip on all that dust and fall.

Dusty Perms

Got home a little bit after midnight.. Since I'd had to get up to go to work at 3:30, that makes almost a 21 hour day.

It's Tuesday morning, and I'm still wiped out.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

"Danika" Wrap Party

The wrap party for "Danika" was last night at the "RokBar" in Hollywood.

Wrap parties are fun because you get to see everyone dressed up, relaxed and in a less stressful situation than at work. You also get a TON of good gossip about stuff that happened on set, and you get to see who's been secretly dating whom.

I sat and chatted with my boss and his wife until they left, and then I introduced The Blonde (my date for the evening) to the makeup designer. It turns out that they already knew each other from working the counter at Bloomingdales years ago. Small world.

One of the grips became instantly smitten with The Blonde and spent the entire evening trying to impress her (unsuccessfully, might I add). When she left to go to another party, he sort of slunk off to a corner to sulk while the rest of us danced.

RokBar played 80's and early 90's music, and we all had a great time . I wish the place had a better dance set-up, but I still got a priceless photo of one of the actors 'dirty dancing' with the makeup girls. Fun stuff!

I reviewed the "RokBar" on LaFoodblogging. You can read it (if you care), here