In a Pickle
Is this week the week that Tabatha kicks butt? I sure hope so because she’s up against a entitled brat that needs a wakeup call. The family business is Modica’s which has been a stable delicatessen in Long Beach, California, for over 20 years. Unfortunately due to a “very acrimonious” divorce, huge debt has been accumulated by the owner Orsa, and son Anthony (21) doesn’t cut the mustard – or the cheese – because he’s lazy as shit. Enter Tabatha who will try to cut through the drama in three weeks.
What’s most interesting is Anthony loves to tell people he’s an owner of Modica’s, when in fact he’s only an heir, and the family fortune is upside down. Currently Anthony works as a life guard and goes to school two days a week. He wants to hang out with friends and sling back a few drinks, so cleaning dishes are not on the menu.
Tabatha stops by and to meet mom and son and sees that the deli is stuck in 1997, the year they opened the deli. After the divorce, Orsa took on $100K in debt and now that amount has doubled. Mom confesses that her son doesn’t put in the work and wouldn’t even be there today if it weren’t for Tabatha. Orsa calls Anthony an “entitled kid.” Hmm, wonder how he got that way?
So how much does Anthony actually work? Every two weeks at least once a week. WTF? So Tabatha rephrases the question, speaking slowly, as if Anthony is intellectually challenged. “How…often…do…you…come…into…the…deli…to…work?” He says once a week, more than once a week, depends on the month. Tabatha tells Anthony he should be a fucking politician.
It’s dinner time! Tabatha stops by to meet the whole damn fam. Cousins, siblings, children, parents, everyone’s there. Family claims they help out but only when they’re not living their own lives. Family members says the employees are lazy, more structure is needed, and nothing’s changed. But hear Tabatha roar, Change is coming. Gulp! Orsa is afraid of change. So here comes slacker son to agree that he too thinks his mom needs to change and that if mom doesn’t change, then nothing will change. Impressive. You can totally tell he goes to a community college two days a week. Or is it once every three weeks? Thankfully a family member calls out Anthony for being…unwilling to do more. I thought they were going to bring up that he’s gay. Nope. Tabatha is getting really annoyed by the “entitled little twerp” but doesn’t say anything at the dinner table. What? Suddenly she’s got manners? Before Tabatha leaves, she tells Anthony if he’s really committed to the process, she’ll meet him at the deli in the morning. Spoiler alert: guess who’s late.
The following day Tabatha discovers that Modica’s profit and loss statement is much worse than Orsa thinks. Tabatha arrives for the lunch rush and eventually so does Anthony. He admits he would never be late to his other job. Tabatha brings the mother and son upstairs to discuss the action plan. She asks Anthony once again if he is 110% committed to the deli. He nods. It’s very underwhelming.
Here is Tabatha’s action plan. 1. Create a happy hour since dinner is not working. 2. Create staff handbook because people are confused. And that’s it. When Tabatha tells Anthony he needs to market the deli through social media, he claims that SM is hard for him. Are you freaking kidding me? If this millennial brat can figure out how to swipe left or right with the other boys, he can snap a few pics and send that out on the internet highway. Tabatha asks for a private meeting with Anthony to get inside his complicated head. His dream is to turn the deli onto a restaurant. So why not work in a restaurant instead of being a life guard? Anthony blames it on being a homosexual and not being able to be himself around his mom. Aww, such a sweet cop out.
Mom and son sit down to discuss action plan #1, the new happy hour. Hours go by and it’s slow going for an idea. Later, Tabatha meets with Orsa and asks if the family knows about Anthony’s sexuality. They do and prefer the don’t ask, don’t tell method concerning it. When Anthony came out it was in the middle of Orsa’s divorce and mom wasn’t able to help her son so much, drowning in her own sorrow.
It’s time for the happy hour menu presentation. Tabatha arrives and samples the food items. She’s impressed. She asks to sit down with Anthony alone and shares her coming out story where she was disowned by her mother. And look at her now! Good times. Here’s the thing, why is Anthony so uncomfortable being out? He says it’s because he’s worried it will affect his family and his financial future. Tabatha gives him the advice to tell people who reject him to eff off. Well done!
Next, Orsa conducts a team meeting with her staff and lays down the new laws, holding back the tears. Everyone is hopeful the happy hour will be successful. Or else. Tabatha has a surprise, the dinosaur cash register is being retired and a new POS system in being installed. Hello 2018! How can they top this? Anthony learns a new task. What is the new task? How to make a sandwich! Wait, what? This kid doesn’t already know how to do this? Isn’t making a sandwich Deli 101? But mom celebrates this baby step in her son’s future.
The restaurant gets ready for the soft opening which includes table service instead of counter service. Chaos ensues (in Anthony’s mind) when a table receives meatballs they didn’t order. Anthony berates his mother in front of everyone for trying to pitch in and help. Tabatha tells him to STOP. Anthony is dismissive. Tabatha tells him to go save the world and walks away.
Let’s just say it wasn’t a very happy hour. It was a snippy hour. Next week is the grand opening and these people have a lot of work to do to handle things. Now grab the tissue, Orsa has something to share with her son. She bought a rainbow sticker and she is putting in the window to show Anthony that he, and other hungry, hungry homos, are accepted. Together they place the sticker on the window, in the corner, behind the shrubbery, to show the world they support the LGBT community when it comes to their dining needs. Another change, Tabatha tells them to remove the word “deli” from their window since they are clearly so much more.
It’s grand re-opening and things are going well. The restaurant has doubled their dinner time revenue from the soft opening and tripled their revenue from it’s pathetic existence before Tabatha graced them with her presence. She congratulates mother and son on their progress. Here is the update: Three months after filming, Orsa’s Happy Hour continues to be a success and profits are up 35%! Anthony has a rotating spot on the work schedule meaning Orsa has more time for herself and her daughter. Orsa and Anthony now plan to host Modica’s gay pride events every year.
Next time, Tabatha helps a struggling fitness studio and is accused by one of the “sisters” of knowing nothing about the industry.
Missed last week’s episode of Relative Success with Tabatha? Check it out here.