The Day I Made Someone’s Day Because I’m Autistic

HAPPY AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH!!!!!!!

Autism is a disorder that impairs one’s ability to communicate and socially interact with other individuals. More than 200,000 people are diagnosed every year and it changes the way parents view their kids in more ways than one. As an autistic myself, I have struggled with this disorder (along with ADD) for most of my life, but have grown out of it to where people can’t tell at first glance. I’ve gone from being extremely antisocial and non-talkative to being more socially active and not afraid to speak to other people. On a Saturday night, I was working at Pappasitos and I would make a mother’s day worth while and here’s how I would do it.

On a semi-busy night, I was appointed with a party of 10 people to take care of. I did my usual greet, pitched this month’s drink and got their drink orders. It all went downhill from there when I accidentally dropped a glass of water on one of the guest. I was wildly apologetic and got paper towels to wipe off the table and the floors but that wouldn’t help because something awfully worse would happen to another guest out of the whole 10-top party.

This happened out of the corner of my eye so I didn’t get a good glimpse at what happened but apparently, a tree roach fell from a ceiling and landing on a mother’s head and the went crawling through the restaurant and that, I felt, was the end of my chance of getting a good tip from this table. I already put in the order in place so the food was already coming out. I told my manager their situation and he decided to comp their whole meal, which was already a $180 tab, so I was already feeling upset and agitated from these occurrences.

After their food came out I continued to be attentive to what the guest wanted, but while I was taking care of them, this one individual with a full Houston Astros outfit was very introverted and to himself. I was very intrigued by this and had a gut feeling that he was autistic. I continued evaluating him until I had the courage to approach his mom and ask if he was autistic and she said “yes he’s autistic” and then I replied “awesome; me too”. Then we conversed a little, mentioning how I couldn’t speak until I was five years old and the mother said he couldn’t speak until around that age either. Feeling satisfied, I left it there and continued working.

When they were ready for their checks I separated the tabs by four checks and handed them the guest. While I was checking to see if they were ready, everyone was ready except for the mother, who said she needed a minute. From what I could see, she was getting emotional, but I didn’t really bother to understand why so I proceeded to do my job. I processed the other guests’ payments and started pre-bussing the table, then I saw the mother was talking to Michael (my manager) and he processed the payment himself because he wanted to surprise me with the tip she gave me. After they thanked me for the service and left, Michael pulled me aside and showed a $0.1 tab (after he voided everything) with $60 tip behind that.

I was flabbergasted at why the tip was so high when my performance was so low and he said that she had no idea that I was mentally challenged, which Michael didn’t know at the time, and seeing that reminded her of her son. I was very happy to not only get a great tip, but also make her day by expressing my autism towards her. That’s the thing about autism; it’s not a disease and it doesn’t make people stupid or retarded. If anything it opens the imagination of an individual’s mind to any possibilities. Autistic people are the most imaginative, creative, and inspiring people you’ll find. If I had the chance to cure my autism, I wouldn’t because it’s a special part of me. It’s not a disease, it’s not a virus, it’s a tool for your imagination to prosper and lead you to great things

The Unseen Recession of The Restaurant Industry.

BY: CAMERON T. WADE

BY MICHAEL SOMMERS/JULY 30, 2020 5:23 PM EST/UPDATED: JAN. 11, 2021 2:48 PM EST
Read More: https://www.mashed.com/231983/restaurants-that-are-going-out-of-business-due-to-the-pandemic/?utm_campaign=clip

I’ve been working in the restaurant industry for four years, and I have never gone through this amount of stress and uncertainty in my life and jumping from job to job amid a pandemic has set me over the edge. Not only is this line of work require direct contact and food safety (which can get very serious with covid involved), but the tedious, disappointing tip money you get in the end makes this job one of the most stressful ones to work at in during these times. .

At the start of 2021, I occupied a bar-tending position at TGI Friday’s, which the bar-tending community has a saying towards the company: “if you can bar-tend there, you can bar-tend anywhere.” In this case, that quote turns out to be true because I went through the wringer at TGI Fridays. My experience at TGI Fridays has caused me to look at restaurants with a lot more detail because the restaurant acknowledged not even the standard principles of a stable working environment. So the second chance that I got to start looking for jobs, I downloaded three job-searching apps (Linkedin, Indeed, and Monster-Jobs) and reviewed each of them by star ratings, job satisfaction, location, and average salary. However, through this endeavor, I would soon be at a crossroads with my choice of career.

Throughout this year, I have become so invested in the restaurant industry that I had a firsthand look into how this pandemic caused an uproar, convincing everyone to rethink how to operate as a restaurant with as little contact as possible. Enter: Curbside Pickup; A form of service that allows guest to retrieve their food and beverages while parked in their automobiles, and the servers hand them through the window. It was essential for businesses, big and small, to stay afloat. Unfortunately, that didn’t save the thousands of restaurants that shut down back in 2020. I was working at Pappasito’s Cantina when the pandemic started; I felt the concern and worry emancipating from the surrounding staff that this… was serious. On the day after, the store would remain closed for a couple of days, and corporate sent a statement on Hotschedules, stating that stores will continue business by adopting curbside. It followed up by saying that employees can choose to stay home on unpaid leave, which I decided to do since I wasn’t comfortable working amid a virus. When it came around to reopening the restaurant for dine-in, I remember hearing that 3 to 4 different locations in the Houston area were closing down(permanently or temporarily) because of rising cases within the workplace. Still, although my site had about five confirmed cases within the store, we stayed open.
On top of that, when I decided to stay on curbside pickup instead of dine-in service, corporate decided to drop wages for To-Go servers from $7.50hr (which wasn’t enough, to begin with) to $2.13 to equate the money deficit. That was a problem for me because customers aren’t known to tip ToGo servers, which generally wouldn’t be a problem (thanks to minimum wage), but we relied on tip money because of the wage drop. At that point, I was only making $50 to $60 a night. Because of this, I had to resort back to serving to make rent; I don’t know how I would’ve made it without the money I received from unemployment that took months to process.

In 2020, over 110,000 restaurants shut down because of covid, and 9,000 of those establishments were in Texas alone. Before the pandemic, restaurants contained at least 10% (15.6 million) of payroll jobs in the work economy. Since the pandemic started, 62% of fine dining establishments and 54% casual and family dining establishments are 20% below staff levels. Now imagine you are the business owner of your restaurant. As a Restaurant owner (Or General Manager if you work for a corporate franchise), you have to worry about how you can get your ingredients, produce, and liquor delivered to your establishment to serve to your guest. But because of covid, suppliers can’t distribute the goods safely; so you have to take money out of your safe and buy your goods locally and shorten the menu. Not to mention that there is a worldwide liquor shortage, so you have to dial back the quantity of liquor you purchase, which is a big deal if your establishment is a bar or lounge because that is what boosts your sales, which is why they’re most important likely to shut down.

The grimmest part about all of this is that this is only going to get worse from here. This is why it is imperative now more than ever to be supporting your local small businesses. Not just for your own community but to make sure that we pave the way for our generation (Gen Z) to prosper in our careers like we were suppose to do.

What Does It Take To Impeach President Trump!

U.S. President Donald Trump ATTENDS a bilateral meeting with Iraq’s President Barham Salih on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

There is a lot of speculation and debate within congress on whether Trumps past actions such as encouraging a crowd to outcry “SEND HER BACK”, or “All Mexicans are criminals” are enough to provoke The House of Representatives to impeach Trump. Unfortunately. to think that common courtesy towards an un-president like ego such as Trump’s would be enough to dictate his place in office is naive to say the least. So what kind of spectacular phenomenon does Trump need to get kicked of office?

To most of the majority people are ecstatic to see that Trump has finally been impeached for something that he has been doing since his first 2016 campaign: Looking for dirt on his competitors via foreign affairs with Ukraine. This stunt was just the thing to give people the ammunition to get him out of office. But impeaching Trump is not the only way to remedy our problems. No, in fact, there is another way to keep him from staying in office and that is to simply IGNORE HIM.

Here me out on this. Why does Trump have such an astounding following despite his ignorant ego? Because that ego is exactly why people love him so much. His actions are very similar to how Kanye West presents himself. One reason why people despise Kanye is his ego, despite his recognized talent as an artist. The stunts West pulls are just as controversial in a social aspect as the stunts that Donald Trump pulls in a the political aspect. In Kanye’s case, everyone just ignores him cause his stunts bring no significance or relevancy to the social media or any other platform. For example, when Kanye publicly went to the White House and expressed how much he supports Trump where both he and President Trump’s egos were at their highest. Or when he made the most infamous opinion that slavery was a choice.

Democratic Candidates Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg

In contrast, Donald Trump is doing the exact same strategy in order to win his second term. In all reality, Trump has nothing to offer or promise for in his journey to attain a second term. Therefore, we will eventually ignore every stunt that Trump tries to pull on them. And when the other presidential candidates like Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren realize his jokes, Trump will become irrelevant and eventually lose his chance coming back to the White House.

In conclusion, as the new decade approaches, Trump’s status as a legit candidate will debilitate as soon as people realize that Trump is all talk and no action. He’ll lose his legitimacy as a potential candidate and when that happens, either he will be impeached or lose the 2020 election. Either way, he will be known as the worst president alive.

Why So Serious? The Pressure of Mistaking a Person’s Gender-Identity or Sexual Orientation.

This is a opinionated essay on how I feel this new decade should bring on regards to the growing increase of gender-queer individuals. So much so that I believe now is the time to educate people about the cycles of sexuality and gender-identity. ENJOY!!!

It seems we live in an age where politeness is so expected, that everyone gets offended by the littlest of things. Topics like gender-identity, politics, out-of-closet celebrities, and the beauty community (that’s just to name a few) are where controversy spawn the most. There are so many sensitive and misunderstood people on social media that flood the airwaves when a phrase, comment, or statement is dubbed “offensive”. There’s no more room for being expressive because the idea of expressing yourself has evolved. So much from changing your fashion aesthetic, to now being able to parade your sexuality at a pride festival without prejudice.   

17-nonbinary-1559596392

One of the most common offensive remarks are when someone misuses an individual’s  gender identity. For example, Non-binary- When a person’s sexuality spectrum varies between masculinity and femininity with “They, their, them” pronouns-  is becoming the new norm and there are many people that are very confused by how they should approach someone that’s non-binary. Celebrities like Sam Smith, India Moore, Miley Cyrus, Cara Delevigne, and Adore Delano have all come out as Non-Binary or gender-queer. So how should you approach someone that has a sexual orientation that you don’t understand? 

download (10)

Let them explain it for you. Because if you try asking a question, whether from ignorance or curiosity, it will most likely come off as offensive and insensitive. So questions like, “what’s going on down there”,  “are you a drag queen”, or “what bathroom do you use” are just too blunt and personal for a gender-queer to answer. Instead, let them tell you who they are. It’s easier to let them introduce themselves then try to figure it out yourself because they don’t expect you to know right off the bat. 

download (12)

People that are non-binary or transgender don’t expect you to understand their identity right away, just respect their ideals and choices. Because all they want to be, like all people of LGBT, is accepted as human beings. Since the sexuality spectrum has expanded throughout the past decade, now it is time to educate ourselves and future generations about sexual orientation and gender identity. The term “sex” has evolved into so much more than male or female; now sex can be manufactured by that person’s coming of age process as he/she/they find their true self.

When Habits Turn Into Addictions

This is going to be a short blog because I’m not trying to put out facts but relativity to what addiction is and possibly reach out to people that may have a problem.

So the past three months since turning 21, I’ve developed a couple of habits that have brought opinionated feedback from my loved ones. For example, I’ve taken a habit of drinking a lot. Not to where I’m always waking up drunk in an alley with no memory of what happened that night, but consecutively enough to worry my boyfriend. I would even try harnessing my craving for alcohol by making drinks at home. Sometimes I would convince myself and my boyfriend that I’m fine, but the past two weeks would be my “Wake up Call” that would help me realize that I have an issue.

2 weeks ago I went on a drinking spree for 4 days in a row. I made drinks at home, went to bars after work, and bar hopped from many locations just cause I was in a mood for a drink; or drinks. On the fourth day of my drinking spree I called my boyfriend to tell him about my night and to also verify with him that I was fine and heading home. Unfortunately, that didn’t make him any less worried about my well being. It took me a while to realize that he wasn’t just upset that I drank a lot that night, but that I’m drinking too much entirely.

Yesterday, I finally realized that addiction is real and it can consume and devour you until you can’t survive without it. So if you think you have a problem with any substance, whether it’s cocaine, meth, or alcohol, ask for help. Because it’s one thing to have an unhealthy habit but it’s another thing to have an addiction.

Pride vs. Straight Pride

NYC Pride 2019 | WorldPride NYC | Stonewall50

Pride Month is the only month of the year where people of LGBTQ get to celebrate who they can love. It’s the month that unites us all as whole and grants us the resources to keep fighting for LGBTQ rights. That’s why when a group of Evangelical Christians decided that there should be a straight pride, you could best believe that there will be gargantuan backlash. There’s no reason to be “prideful” for being straight because the straight community has never been discriminated for loving an opposite-sex. So why host a Straight Pride parade?

What the straight community doesn’t understand about pride is that it isn’t just about being gay, bisexual, lesbian, or trans. It’s about what we, as a community, have had to deal with the discrimination, brutality, and innocent murdering of people of LGBTQ. It’s a celebration of being able to love who you want to love, ignoring the Christian protesters, and being able to kiss your same-sex lover without persecution or public shame. There is no way to take Pride and just turn it straight; because there is no solid history of a person being discriminated, brutalized, or murdered for loving the opposite sex. Instead it brings mockery towards everything the LGBTQ community has fought for and continuing to fight for. The only valid argument is that “If there weren’t straight people, then there’d be no gay people”, which is just another way to mock LGBTQ pride.

The reason why we don’t have a straight parade is the same reason why there isn’t a white history month. It’s because they’ve never had to fight for their existence like Black, Asian, or Hispanic people, who have had to fight just to live in the same country as them. It’s also why we celebrate success from individuals like Annise Parker, who was the first Mayor of Houston to be openly gay or Pete Buttigieg, who is the first openly gay candidate running for President. It is the type of success that we’ve fought for so long. The “American Dream” has been a metaphor for a selective few, being mostly white male, so imagine our excitement when that metaphor can now coincide with woman, people of LGBTQ, and people of color. It’s because a society as such deems the LGBTQ community unworthy of such achievements, so they try to keep them underground.

Cody Barlow, a self-described straight county from Cherokee County, Oklahoma, is the pride of LGBTQ advocates with his pickup truck message of support.

But what the straight community doesn’t understand is that all people of sexuality are welcome, including the straight community, because it celebrates happiness and love, not just the gay kind. That’s why you see straight people visiting pride festivals out of respect for what the LGBTQ community has fought for. Pride doesn’t exclude straight people because that expresses hypocrisy from our side. All that the LGBTQ community wants is acceptance from a society that discarded us from society since the 1980’s.

So instead of making a straight Pride, instead, come join the party; EVERYONE is welcomed! Because the LGBTQ community doesn’t celebrate pride just for being gay, we celebrate it for the ongoing fight for human rights, expressing love as just, and showing our colors wherever we go. Love is love, and that is what the message of Pride is; LOVE.

POSE: Season 1 Review

Pose is an FX original series that is set in New York during the late 1980’s where the LGBT community is still finding it’s light in the dark. Ronald Reagan is still President and the HIV epidemic is at large. In dark times like this, a stigmatized community needs to find a haven where they can be themselves without persecution or discrimination. In this time period, the term “Ball” resonates through the LGBT community that is defined as a place where the unaccepted are accepted; where the “odd” can be as odd as they want; where they can “Slay”, “Work, and “Pose”. It is a hidden world undiscovered by the streets of New York.

The series’ main character goes by the name Blanca (Mj Rodriguez), who leaves the House of Abundance to start her own house where she can be her own mother and recover people of all backgrounds off the streets to give them shelter and also have them compete at the ball. The ball is a night where all the houses compete in posing competition where the only way to win is to get a 10 all across the board. Blanca is a fearless transgender woman who fights for herself, her community, and her family. She has ambition, courage, compassion, and fierceness. The actions she takes to better her community resonate through her loved ones as she tries to make the streets a better place for her kind. A great example is when she tries to go to a gay bar to celebrate her recent win from the ball, but isn’t served because she’s not a “man”. After that incident she protest by going to the bar every night until she gets a drink from the bar.

In this series, you’ll find that every character has a story that is being told. All of the people that Blanca brings into her House have completely different backgrounds because she doesn’t shy away from anyone that needs a place to stay. Damon Richard (Ryan Jamal Swain) is a 17 year old homosexual who was kicked out of his home because of religious persecution. Lil Papi (Angel Bismark Curiel) was a hustler in the streets selling drugs even after he moved into Blanca’s home. Angel (Indya Moore) is a fellow transgender who came from the same house as Blanca but is keen on selling her body on the streets and Pray Tell (Billy Porter) struggles dealing with HIV+ along with his boyfriend who’s hospitalized for pneumonia. Everyone in Blanca’s “House of Evangelista” has a story that is expressed throughout the series and it up to Blanca, in her own mind, to give them a better life and to better themselves. She’s is a very selfless queen who gives kids like Damon a chance to be a dancer, or giving old queens like Elektra (Dominique Jackson), who discarded Blanca for leaving the House of Abundance, a place to stay after her white boyfriend kicked her out for becoming a “full” woman.

Every character has a heartfelt story that can resonate through viewers of LGBT while wowing them with the colorful, vibrant culture of the Ball. It’s a place where everyone is accepted, which wasn’t present in the 1980’s; instead there was turmoil, discrimination, and the AIDS epidemic that the rest of New York tried disregarding. This show will have you crying tears of sorrow and joy at the same time because in every cloud of darkness there’s a beam of light that shines in every episode. For those who are caught up with the series, I’d start watching season 2 if I were you.

Christianity is LOVE, Not RULES!!

13215 Boudreaux Estates Dr, Tomball, TX 77377

For most of the LGBT Community, religion is an enemy that follows them everywhere. From religious protesters to extremist, LGBT people are always discriminated by people of religion and are caused to believe that they’ll be “condemned” to hell. Everywhere around the world, gay people are dying and being persecuted because they can’t love who they want to love. Although change is happening in our country politically; socially, extremist are still attacking, condemning, discriminating, and killing people of LGBT. This is why gay people can’t fall behind religion because they’re afraid and don’t see a place for them in “God’s House”. But I and other individuals that still hold their faith, practice it often and don’t feel stigmatized by God because if He created me in His image, then there’s nothing for me to be afraid of.

On Easter Sunday, I was able to get the day off from work and I decided to go to church (River of Praise) with my family. Regrettably, it’s been a while since the last time I went to church. I’ve always had my faith contained in my heart but never went out to practice my religion because I felt I was working too much or had to focus on school. But when I did go, I always enjoyed hearing my Pastor preach because it was genuine and never neglectful of other things that might be considered “sinful”. After the church band finished performing, Pastor Richard came on stage to start speaking the Word; mentioning the resurrection of Christ and him dying for our sins but also spreading love for all man and not just the good ones.

But there was one thing that he said that resonated with me the most. He says that rules aren’t going to get you to heaven, it’s your relationship with God. What he means by that is you can read the bible daily, not eat meat on Fridays, or lose your virginity when engaged, but none of that will matter because that is not what gets you to heaven. It is accepting God from within yourself, therefore loving yourself and God as well. I loved hearing that because not all queer people see it that way. For most queers, they think that it’s too late for them and that they’re going to Hell anyway.

Hearing Pastor Richard say that made me believe that it’s okay to be bisexual and love God because He created me in His image both inside and out. So even if I don’t practice Christianity all the time, at least I still know that my faith in God is still intact as long as I know it. If there is any person of LGBT that is trying to come back to Church but afraid otherwise, just be sure to love yourself before you can love someone else.

http://riverofpraisechurch.org/

Las Vegas: Top 7 Things To Do When You’re 21!!!

Congratulations; you are finally 21. You’re able to buy drinks, gamble, go to bars, clubs, and all of the others freedoms that this country provides. And if you’re a celebrator, like me, you’d want to celebrate it in a place where all the freedoms of being 21 are expressed in extravagant proportions. What better place to go to than The Sin City, Las Vegas. If you are planning a trip to Vegas, then here are the Top 7 things to do when you’re 21.

Number 1: Buy drinks

You’re 21 in Vegas so naturally you’re going to want to buy, beer, vodka, liquor, whiskey, rum, and tequila because you have the freedom to do so. If you’re with a group a friends in a hotel room, then the first thing to do is buy drinks and get drunk off the first night with shots, mixing drinks, and even playing drinking games. And the best part is that you won’t remember anything in the morning except vomiting before you went to bed. Or is that the worst part? In any case you’ll be having an awesome night.

Number 2: Going Out To Eat

Las Vegas has hundreds of restaurants on the strip that you can visit for a quick bite. You can probably find five restaurants in one hotel and never have to leave. What’s amazing about Vegas is that it’s a service/entertainment industry so any place you go to is going to have restaurants. You can find anything from Cajun, Southern BBQ, Vietnamese, Japanese, Seafood, Mexican, Italian, and the list just goes on and on. It seems almost as though every restaurant has a trait that makes them stand out from the others, whether that’s entertainment, good food, the best drinks, or just excellent service from the staff. This just goes to show that in Las Vegas, nothing is dull.

Number 3: Go Gambling

Now gambling is not for everybody, but if you have a lucky hand in rolling dice or flipping cards, i suggest you go gambling so you can earn hundreds of dollars. Every hotel in the strip has casinos (minus the Trump Hotel) so you can go to a neighboring hotel and try your hand at some slot machines or Black Jack or get creative and just gamble on the street; as long as you win some money while you do it. But if you’re a guy that deposits some $30 on a slot machine and only leave with $6.50 (me), I’d stay away from gambling.

Number 4: Bar Hopping

Just like there are restaurants on every block, there are also bars on every block. If you and your friends want to go to a bar but can’t decide on which one, just go from bar to bar and try all of their best drinks and get drunk while doing it. Now this is a required activity both for heavy-weight drinkers and if you have money to waist and if you have both those attributes then you’re in for a good night. If you go bar hopping, I suggest trying the Perfect Margarita from Margaritaville.

Number 5: Go Sightseeing

Las Vegas is such a beautiful city and there are so many things to see and activities to do like seeing the Statue of Liberty and The Eiffel Tower. There’s also zip lines, roller coasters, museums, aquariums, circus shows, a romantic boat that you can ride with your significant other and a Ferris Wheel. There are a lot of things to do in Vegas that can intrigue you in one way or another.

Number 6: Buying Marijuana

Nevada is one of many states that have legalized the consumption of marijuana so if you’re 21, then you can get a vast amount of different types of marijuana from pre-rolls, edibles, and even pens. Although they do have limits on where you can consume it, if you’re staying in you’re smoking suite or staying in an area with little to no people, then feel free to get as high as the replica Eiffel Tower.

Number 7: Go Clubbing

You’re in Vegas so of course you’re going to want to go clubbing on your 21st birthday. Whether it’s to dance your feelings away or just get drunk with tequila and vodka, there are clubs on every block in the Strip for you to choose. It’s a sea of lights, DJ’s, eye candy, drugs, alcohol, and wonderful music that you can sink your teeth into and just enjoy a night with your best friends.

In Vegas, nothing is dull and everything is lively. Las Vegas is an amazing place to go to for coming of age individuals that want to have a glamorous 21st birthday and be able to try everything on the table. It’s a place that opens your eyes to a world of wonder and opportunity to explore your freedoms. If you are contemplating on a 21st birthday vacation to go to, Las Vegas should be your unanimous decision because it has everything you can ask for, and then some.