My name is Miles, and this is my gallery of words.

If I’m gonna tell a real story, I’m gonna start with my name.
— Kendrick Lamar
Industry Studies: Real Birthdays of the Industry

Industry Studies: Real Birthdays of the Industry

I need birthday singers...
— Some poor son of a bitch

Birthdays are annoying.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  I know what you're thinking - wow, I'm really kicking the doors down with this one.  But the stale bread and can't believe it ain't butter of this one is that I, badge-wearing and meeting attending industry shithead, just can't be forced to give a fuck about your birthday anymore than a nurse gives a fuck about your sniffles.

Just like any other irrelevant bullshit you want to hit me with.  Go 'head.  Test me.  You're on lunch break and only have 21 minutes and 49 seconds?  Not my problem.  I'll drop the check with your food, but your hoops can fuck off.  This cunt ain't jumpin'.  You're in a hurry and need to go?  Call ahead, place your order to go, pick it up at the bar, and fuck off back to your cubicle.  A` tout a` l'heure bitchboí, as the French say.

Just graduated?  Unless I can spot a parent, or grandparent, with a heavier than average credit card in their pocket and a golden twinkle in their eye, then you can kick rocks.  You just graduated.  Loans!  You're broke, and will be for a while...and I profit off others generosity...see where I'm going with this?  Get these fucking balloons out of my way.  It's only a business and communications degree anyways.  Fuck you celebrating for?  Trust me, I made the same mistake.  Hope you can balance three plates...

Bachelor party?  Gag.  Mutual disinterest on this one that only continues to decline, along with the tip percentage, as shot after shot of tequila is consumed and it becomes more and more evident to them that I don't, and never will have, tits. 

Bachelorette party?  I mean...I guess I can allow myself to be ogled like a piece of meat by the desperate.  The question is, which one of these lovely drunks are one more vodka soda with two lime twists away from handing me their phone to take a picture of the group with a wink and a titty picture already 'cross the screen.  Classy.  Sometimes you wanna be treated like the gentleman you are, ya know? 

I mean, don't get me wrong - I'm not some sort of insensi....I'm not incapable of humoring you.  I'm here to give you a good time and a good time I'll fucking give.  Believe that.  I'll use your moment of glory to strangulate some sort of tip out of you in the most gentle, rape-ish way you could possibly imagine.  I'm really good at it.  You'll feel real special while leaving real abused.  Tonight is your night after all.  Happy Birthday!  You deserve it.  You just don't deserve it all.  There's a difference.  Just don't push it.  But, you'll push it.  You'll get greedy.  You'll forget that you're essentially the antithesis to my night.  You're here to have a good time.  I'm here to guide you along your path to it no matter how little I give a fuck about you.  Lane bumpers, training wheels, floaties and all guns left on safety.  It's my job to think for you, ahead of you, and better than you so that you won't have to.  All you have to do is sit in the spotlight and smile while I orchestrate the rest.  It is to be seamless and painless.  Except there is inevitably that fucking asshole that trips themselves up and falls out of the industry members good graces by being an annoying, little bitch to their restaurant shepherd.  And if they don't know, let em' know Bethenny.

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That's right son.  Saw that shark tank and I'm leaping over before ever even being popular.  That's called ambition.  Speaking of shark tanks, allow me to introduce "The Real Housewives" gif edition of "Industry Studies."  Featuring Bethenny Frankel of "The Real Housewives of New York City."  You can thank Marian.  What?  I already pulled this shit with Archer in previous industry articles.  Don't look so confused.  I can't always have stupid fucking paragraphs that all start with the same letter and metaphors that don't even make sense to me.  What you want, matching lyric quotes?  Give me a break.  Also, hit me up #Bravo.  I'll gladly give up my #GTkombucha shout outs for #Bravo & spots on #AndyCohen.  Shit tastes like fermented cat piss anyways...and #MountainDew isn't about to send me a gift package anytime soon.  Cousin fuckers.

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That's the fucked up reality though, right?  Being handed money to care.  No set amount dictated...that is, until you become ostracized for not giving the suggested.  Then, it's in your best interest to just relocate to the next shop in pursuit of fucks given.  Anyways, we're talking about birthdays.  I used the word antithesis earlier.  Strictly dichotomy speaking without excuse're about as special as your initial view of me when I greet you.  I'm just some generic order taker, and you're not the only birthday today.  You're not even the most likeable of individuals born relative to this date, and I probably won't be your most likeable server based off some of the other shit I've written.  Actually, scratch that - I'm amazing, I just...draw on selective taste.  Combine "Get Out" and "The Birdcage" audiences.  That's my forte.  And that's with me thinking "Get Out" sucked a fat one.

Your birthday is an osmosis of emotions and dolla dolla bills.  Let me break it down.  See, I am the semipermeable membrane from which my emotions will pass through to you, and you hopefully don't welch on this understanding by tipping.  Simple at face value, yes?  Unfortunately, there is a certain rate of diminishing returns when it comes to your tipping, and the amount of emotions I gotta' dole out like slop in a high school cafeteria.  Eventually, your money is just not fucking worth the anguish.  Let's just assume that moment has now transpired and I'm throwing the numbers around in my head, along with the occasional verbal outburst - just letting off steam, everyone chill the fuck out.  I'm fine-ish.  What most likely brought me to this moment?


It probably began with you having way more people joining your little party than what you originally told us via that last minute call ahead.  Thanks for the five minute heads up, by the way.  Gave me just enough time to round up all of my tables that were paid out and body bag them just so that we'd be able to accommodate you during this Friday night rush.  Hey, fuck everyone else, right?  It's your birthday!

The fuck is so hard about figuring out who is coming to your dinner?!  This seriously perplexes me every time.  Maybe I just don't have enough friends and family, but I can put together a fairly legit group text that gives me a fairly legit consensus on who is going to be coming to my fairly irrelevant birthday. just dawned on me that I'm a narcissistic, self-loathing, know it all & consciously ignorant in a selective fashion individual.  That self realization will make for a great article later.  But until then and despite my short comings, I can still make a fucking accurate reservation that doesn't leave a restaurant fantasizing my death.

I imagine if being able to coordinate an event in your eyes was to send out Facebook invites to all 726 of your friends tonight and call ahead just minutes before, then I can go ahead and rule out you keeping your ass in the same seat.  Plus, you all smell of split checks.  None of you look like you like one another enough to buy anymore than the cheapest gut-rot shot for thy royals birthday, let alone cover your homies tab.  Let the musical chairs commence.  I'm good at this shit, so don't worry about me keeping track of you heathens.  Worry 'bout that tip.

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Speaking of gut-rot shots, it's that time!  And by that time, I mean time to shoot down every cutesy shot you can think of.  Please, stop flipping through that rolodex of sugary bullshit you remember losing your virginity to.  I can't make them.  I have a limited bar.  You're either going to have to take a shot of straight liquor like a respectful degenerate, or fuck off.  Although...since it is your birthday, and your stingy friend is going to blow this month's Hot Cheetos fund on ya, I might as well try to get creative.  One Irish car bomb, coming right up.  That'll be sixteen dollars.  Eh, you weren't going to tip off of it anyways.   Your pink pussy shot tasted weird?  I'm sure it did.  All I had to work with was some shitty promo cilantro tequila, sugar-free Ocean Spray Cran-apple, well vodka, muddled cucumber and floor cleaner solution.  Look, I didn't have to muddle that cucumber.

Four more of those floor cleaner-cucumber shots later, and you're inevitably screaming out shit at random times to let everyone know you still deserve any and all attention.  Your friend has to piss.  WOOOOOOO.  The food is arriving at the table.  WOOOOOO.  You're probably the last one to receive your plate, because that's just how the fucked up Industry Gods like to operate when money is on the line.  They've sacrificed your plate for their own amusement.  It now lies somewhere in the "industry ether" along the rest of the kitchen fuck ups, pocketed tickets, dropped food, and my soul.  BOOOOO.  I console you and promise that it'll be out soon, and give a not so subtle hint that there will be a dessert later.  WOOOOO.  Dumbass, you were getting one either way.  It's your fucking birthday.  These little tricks save the restaurant pricey comps in the long run.  What can I say, I'm kissing your ass and the ring.  Your friend is back from pissing.  WOOOOOO.  SHOTS.  Easy, easy.  I already anticipated this and have another round ready off to the side.  Not sure at this point if I'm trying to keep everyone happy and enjoying themselves, or just really want to see how much floor cleaner solution someone can consume.  I'm kidding by the way, people.  I would never give someone sugar-free Ocean Spray Cran-apple without asking first.  Shit tastes weird.  It'd be like handing me a rum and diet-coke.  Yuck.  WOOOOOO.

Now to stick the landing with that free dessert.  Handing people free sugar?  Easiest shit in the book, aside from asking how their food tastes as soon as they're chewing their first bite - they'll inevitably panic and give some obscure hand gesture and nod that will always signify that they're happy.  Let's you move on to the next task feeling like you did your due diligence.  People being surprised while eating are a lot like dogs being surprised while shitting, now that I think about it.  I've already been asked to sing at this point of time, of which I shamelessly joked that I wouldn't want to mistakenly serenade someone's bitch.  Before feelings get hurt, I quickly grab the nearest server, server assistant, expo, busboy, manager, or owner within arms reach and let the party know that this sorry fucker loves singing happy birthday.  Two smoke bombs and one middle finger up later, I'm ghost. Happy Birthday.

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The hardest table is the table you care about.  The one that disintegrates your guard and leaves you actually giving a fuck about the outcome of their night.  It's a lot more common than I'd leave you to believe.  Usually ends a lot more amicable, if not pleasurable, than you'd expect me to say.  That's the nature of hyperbole though - it wouldn't be amusing if it wasn't only just mildly true.  And when they fuck you, they fuck you proper.

Let me just fast forward to the other night.  I had the pleasure of serving a three and a half hour gamble, that is, I pampered and emotionally primped this family for a hot enough fucking minute that made me question the profitability of neglecting the rest of my section.  Thankfully I can handle my own.  But this party got the dog and pony show to the max, with everything going perfectly.  T's crossed, I's dotted.  Came time to stick that sugary landing.  Unfortunately the dessert we offer up for free on such occasions comes out in a skillet that I can only describe as being as hot as O.J.'s balls on trial with Trump representing him in front of a jury consisting of feminists, transsexuals, and DACA recipients.

Upon placing O.J.'s balls on the table in the guise of a chocolate dessert, I automatically go into the deliciousness that is the explanation of the Juice's balls.  Bad move.  The grandfather automatically reaches in and grabs a piping hot nut.  I'm talking about a baked to order brownie, you fucking weirdos.  Anyways, grandpa burns himself.  Nothing serious, I'm sure it hurt - but he'll fucking live.  I recover and make a joke about how I should have maybe began with saying it was hot, blah, blah, blah.  You care about as much as I do.  The rest of the family is laughing and are every bit as deep in my pocket as before this incident.  The mom that I schmoozed the most asks for the check.  Yeah, she's paying for it all.  Didn't expect that one!  I already had this shit all split up.  A double birthday?  Not as bad as I figured.  These people are actually nice.  Needy, but polite.  I had no expectations of this ending so smoothly, especially after indirectly cattle prodding grandpa.

That's because it wasn't going to.  Grandpa was paying.  He snatched up the check in one fuck me swoop.  Told me I did great, kid, as he left before the rest of them.  Left $19.54 on $278.46.  I'll let you do the math on time to tip ratio.  Not sure if it was retribution for not telling him to keep his grubby hands off to the side sooner.  Not sure if it was just an old-fuck stereotype.  I'll admit that I got mad, bruh.  Tossed shit, stomped, walked out the door in such a fashion that drew the soft, silent support of my industry brethren.  Came back.  Wasn't even close to the worst tip I'd ever gotten, but it was a slow night and such slights tend to burn longer...and shittier.  After aggressively bussing the table to let them know they were no longer welcomed based off their elders sins, they eventually left.  In total belief that everything was alright.  And it was, I guess.  Dude gave me a twenty essentially.  But I'm accustomed to better.  Call me spoiled by the culture.  But fuck me.  It was almost sweeter to be able to yell out to them to have a good night, thanks for everything, and tell your grandpa I said thank you.  Tongue lacerating the side of my cheek.  Coworkers hunched over laughing.  Did I make it worth it?

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I don't blame you much for wanting to enjoy yourself.  I'm fresh off a belated birthday of my own.  The restaurant knew.  Things were said.  Offered.  Ideas entertained.  Left on the other end of the spectrum wanting this moment for life while glancing toward someone else's server station.  The nature of the beast is within full understanding.  Drowning the situation in happenstance happiness.  Frenching the bones down to silver linings.  Until ornate moments are made to feel ornery.  Resistance in mind, all you wanted was a feeling of temporary bliss & blessings.  What's to blame? 

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Trying not to walk crooked while this anchor’s dropped
But I been out on them choppy waves and it’s hard to say where this land begins and that water stops
I got sea legs
I got sea legs
I got sea legs
— Run the Jewels
Industry Studies: Check Please

Industry Studies: Check Please

Jungle Cats:  Part I

Jungle Cats: Part I