Tag Archives: lines

Who’s your boss?

The "Path" to Hoboken NJ

The next portion of our NYC journey takes us to Hoboken NJ to Mr. Cake Boss himself.

TLC’s Cake Boss is one of the kid’s favorite shows.  I believe Buddy fills the extreme baking void that I, the non-baker mom, have left in their lives.  I am rather thankful for his presence in our home and do not harbor any feelings of resentment or jealously even when the kids respond “Mom, how’come your cakes never turn out like that?”  I can easily reply “Ah, because you see, he creates works of art that could be displayed in a museum!”  How can Mrs. No Bake Pavlov compete with that?  I can’t.  That’s the beauty.

It was a no brainer that Mr. Cake Man would be elevated to a high priority level of must see attractions.  But common sense (I seem extremely gifted in this area) told me that we would not be the only cake crazed fans of Mr. Fabulous so I did my research…..research that informed me of the crazy crowds, long lines and baked goods that didn’t quite measure up as expected.  GREAT.

We do for our kids and do we did.  My research informed me:

  1.  Tuesdays are the slowest day of the week
  2. Get there early
  3. Be prepared to wait
  4. Expect rudeness
  5. The baked goods are so-so
  6. People are crazy

After a little travel confusion we arrived at 11:30AM…later that desired.  The line was already a half of a block long and growing.  We secured a spot and within a mere 10 minutes the line grew two blocks and spilled across the street!

A conveniently located clock across the street to make one painfully aware of the agonizing wait.

 As you can see from the clock above we were in line (Outside) for 1 hour and 30 minutes before we ever reached indoor heat.  THEN we had a 30 minute wait inside.  We only had to move a 1/2 block.  The people across the street?  Their wait was 3 1/2 to 4hours before their skin felt indoor warmth.  Ouch. 

For those of you who know Mr. Pavlov and me you know that we don’t do lines.  This was the mother of all lines and a total labor of love for our precious darlings.  I’m quite confident that we will cash in on this sacrifice for many years to come whenever our offspring dare utter “We don’t get to do anything!!” I will simply grin, tympanic membrane to tympanic membrane, and respond “Ahem….remember the 2 hour wait in line in the freezing cold?”   

While I did not get a photo of the actual length of the line (My brain was somewhat hypothermic and sluggish) here are a few of our line frolicking.

I cant feel my fingers!

The crazy "adults"

"Look whats above my head!" Mr. Pavlov is in touch with his inner child.

This gives a whole new meaning to window shopping Weve reached the window!!! Almost there now....

 Once inside you were given a number and got to experience more waiting.  Dos is oh so excitedly (not) showing that we are #13.  After the counter reaches 100 it cycles back to #1.  We have a number journey to go.

Im kinda done with this.

The view from inside looked like this:

How many humans can you heard in a small shop?

Other voyeurs

In possession of the goods

 While Buddy was hiding for his life we did get to see a special baker…

I got my eye on yous psycho fans!

 Psycho fans we almost became when after enduring the elements, mankind and Kronos, we were callously informed that they only had a single – one – uno – solo- Lobster Tail left!!!!  We wanted 5.  What famous bakery runs out of popular items??? I wanted to take the roll of baking string which, was directly above me and bungee jump from the employee’s neck but instead I forced a smile and took the last Lobster tail along with these:

A lobster tail in a world of Neapolitans

C is for Cannolis

We left the lair of Cake Boss and discovered Mexico. Starvation was in full effect and Mexico looked like a great place to stuff our faces.  This line-free place rocked my taco world!  My taste buds were in culinary heaven. 

Mexico and lunch

 Now what everyone was waiting for….dessert.  Our youngest decided to get funky with his oral abilities and sent a little saliva flying right in the direction of the (open boxed) cherished pastries.

They are thinking "Eww, did any of his gross spit get on my precious?!?"

 Who cares.  All normal tendency for grossedoutness was forgotten and the possibly tainted baked goods…devoured!

Content sugar rushing smiles were worn by all as we made our way back to NYC.  Mr. Pavlov and I felt crazily satisfied.  Research point #6 is a fact – people are crazy.  Everything else is open for debate.

Crazy is what makes life fun.

For personality jolt, shock once.

Here’s the scenario:  I was at the dreaded Post Office standing in a line formed from the pits of Hades.  There were two veteran clerks manning the desk and moving things along at the speed of molasses.  Ever so slowly, they would call the next person in line by stating their monotone and rehearsed “I caaan help the neexxt person in liiinnne….” I stood and watched this happen over and over again.  It was amazing how they could execute this routine without even a twitch of life evident in their dead, emotionless faces.  But I guess that’s it right? The routine kills them. Each person that approached the counter met the same cold stare and flat questions about delivery confirmation and postage products which continued throughout the transaction….and transaction…and transaction!

Sigh.  I should have know better than to think I could make a QUICK stop at this place.  Anyhow, while fidgeting in line I glanced up and recognized someone I knew two people ahead of me. I extended my greetings and engaged in brief small talk.

The summons game to the individual I knew and he approached the counter.  Now what I need to inform you is that others may know him too because he used to play professional ball in this area.   As soon as his physical mass hit the counter the clerk suddenly sprang to life-like he took a ZAP from an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). 

For personality jolt, shock once.

He excitedly chirped “Well, Hello [insert name]!  It’s nice to see you.  How were your Holidays? Did they treat you alright?”

Whoa, whoa, WHOA!  A personal greeting and THREE emotion filled questions in a row?  Three questions not related to postage stamps or postage products? The individual answered the questions and they had a nice dialogue filled with smiles and laughter. 

OOOkaaay.  I’d like to give the clerk the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe he suddenly woke up or something.  Maybe he doesn’t come alive until the 100th customer of the day.  Maybe his body just processed the food from lunch and jolted him with a whopping dose of sugar. 

Soon it would be my turn.  I quickly glanced at myself because my daughter frequently accuses me of sporting a perfected homeless look.  Hey, I have to dress up so many days of the week that when I have the opportunity to don the frayed jeans (the bigger the holes, the better) T-shirt and tennis shoes I do so with pride. 

Not me but it's my comfortable look!

I know that homeless people can look unwelcoming to some and did not want to appear scary for this experiment.  But I’m happy to say that, this time I dressed professionally.

The female clerk called the person ahead of me which left me with Mr. Suddenly Come Alive.  I heard him say “I caaan help the neeexxt person in liiinne.”  I walked to the counter and smiled a warm friendly smile, not too overdone or it becomes downright creepy.  I handed him my two envelopes for international mailing and requested a book of stamps.  He stared back at me with that blank stare void of emotion and asked flatly about the need for delivery confirmation or additional postage products.  I waited for some spark of the personality that he demonstrated minutes before.  Nada, Nothing.  Apparently Mr. Come Alive has returned to the land of the living dead.  He flatlined.  I think we need to bring back the human AED to his counter!

So why am I writing about this?  Do I care about the preferential personality and small talk from Mr. Come Alive?  Nope.  Not particularly.  But here is the deal.  It is human nature to segregate individuals.  We judge, measure, rate, class and treat people according to these categories which, are 99.9% of the time external or performance oriented deductions.  The Post Office scene was a vivid example on a minor scale.  However, I realized as I watched the episode play out that I don’t want to act like that.  I don’t want the natural tendencies of our culture to become my normal.  I want to warmly welcome all.  Each encounter I have with people should reflect sincerity and fairness to all – not just toward those whom society deems worthy. 

So here is my challenge:  We all judge and behave accordingly.  We need to….

S T O P.  

Let’s see if we can go an entire week without judging or treating people how we think they should be treated based on notoriety or external assumptions.  Let me know how it goes!  As you begin to stop the cycle you’ll be amazed how many Post Office scenario scenes you will witness!