Saturday night, and I’m booked for the lounge.
Better still, because we’re still short-handed from Morgan’s need to have a physical altercation with a co-worker, we’re down another bartender. We have two in the house total. Myself, and Jerry the Older. Normally, this would mean we’d just shut down the service bar and run both of us in the Lounge. Not tonight, however. Our supervisors in residence decided that unless it got nutty, we’d try to just run both venues.
I suppose I should consider it a compliment, I guess, that we’re both considered solid enough hands that we can field it – and to be fair, the band in the Lounge was not what we’d know as a heavy-drinking kind of band. They’re a good show, mind you, they do a lot of 50s-70s stuff, but it tends to attract more of a teetotaler crowd, so really? Me along in the lounge with that band didn’t give me even the slightest bit of stress. It’s also been dreadful slow this week anyway, so. It looked more like an opportunity to actually make some money, as compared to Thursday’s take.
Anyway. I get my usual Saturday night money. The shift change goes smoothly. Don officiates. I ask if he’s got the house tonight, ‘cuz that wouldn’t be so bad. He’s low-stress and doesn’t get in the way and knows how it all works. He does not. They’re apparently all just tag-teaming the job, but he is around for part of it, so to speak, so I guess that’s all right.
I wait on the (very) occasional guest, and meanwhile work on various odds and ends. One of the beer lines is frozen up, due to the previously mentioned cooler icing that persists at this time of year. Fortunately I know that if I go to the little machine that keeps the lines cold from the cooler to the beer taps, and turn it off for about 10 minutes, it fixes the problem. The downside is that during their last rearranging, someone put said little machine -on top- of the walk in cooler. Literally. Above it.
Thankfully a long broomhandle will still get the job done, and while I’d identified that as an option some months ago, this was the first time I’d ever had to put it into practice. Vera, our day barkeep, had been wondering where it’d moved to, so I showed her while I was at it. Sure enough, 10 minutes later, the beer flowed again and I flipped the machine back on.
Our erstwhile worthless dayside barback Dougie totally ignored Vera’s (multiple) requests to restock the bottled water so I mentioned it to Red when he came in and it got done. He’s a bit of a horndog slimey poker guy, but he works hard and if he starts getting chatty I’ll excuse myeslf and find a guest to wait on. Good barback, though.
I also asked him to find me some limes, because we had none in the walk-in. I have two spares in the entire bar. Not a good thing for most nights. Tonight? Eh. We’ll see. Might be fine.
Around then, our brand-spanking new kelly green supervisor comes around and asks when I was taking a break? I honestly hadn’t figured I was going to, what with being the only one there, honestly. She tells me she’ll send Jerry the Older down to cover my dinner break. Well, that’s all right I suppose. I take the time off the floor and recharge for the night ahead. Bathroom, etc, basically anything I can think of that I need to take care of in the next 7 hours.
I come back on time and Red informs me that there are -NO LIMES- anywhere. The… fuck? This is year one nonsense here, people. No limes. -sigh- Whtaever. I thank him for checking into it and proceed to start putting our floor mats together the proper way since Dougie couldn’t be bothered to finish his job when he did it a week ago and I’ve finally gotten so fed up with tripping on them that I can’t stand it. Amusinly, Shelly comes in towards the end of the process and asked what was up, so I took the opportunity to verbally shit all over Dougie just a bit. I don’t usually, but hey. She asked, and I’m thoroughly fed up with his bullshit at this point.
She pitches in to help out with the last couple of pieces, which was interesting. She may have some promise.
Shortly after that it’s almost showtime so I kill the lights and the house music and wait on a couple who then decides that the very best place to sit is -right in the middle of the walk-up-, where I wait on people. I try to politely gesture them to one side. They sit more in the middle. The only thing that saved them from me stalking around to the front of the bar and politely showing them more what I had in mind was the flood of people trying to get in around either side of them.
I swear. Some people can be just the most oblivious twatwaffles.
Eventually they notice a table opened up to one side and migrate. I immediately walk around the bar and move their chairs out of the goddamned way before some other idiot decides it’s a good place to park. They may or may not have been amused or enlightened seeing me do it. I don’t really care.
After that, came a couple of ladies, very obviously a couple (which is fine. no issues with that), and sporting those half-shaven head look haircuts that seem to be getting trendy. They want more stuff at once then they can have. I explain the rules to them. In detail. I correct politely several times. Eventually they settle on something that at least sounds compliant with the rules. As I’m ringing up the sale, I see the one of them try to slide the shot over to the other and give her the ‘nuh-uh’ shake of the head thing. She stops.
Then as I’m brnging the money over, this bozo with a beard talks to them about the stupid rules and he’ll buy them one too, etc. I point out that they have one already. He says it’s for him. I take his credit card and ring him up, smelling bullshit all the way. He tries to hand it to one of the ladies. I say no. Explain. He tries to give it to the other. I say no. I explain. The first one grabs both. I say no. I explain. Finally, with the truth of either the rule, or I’m just not buying the bullshit they’re trying to shovel at me so rapidly, they find a home for their errant beer and walk off. Beardy walks off too, perplexed that not only did his plan not work, but that now he’s not getting a drink either.
I’m amused to notice as he leaves that he’s left behind his credit card, and didn’t sign the slip. I paperclip them together and toss them down near my receipt printer. He’ll be back. Guarantee it.
So the band kicks in. They’re good. They do a good show. I’ve been seeing them play here since before the lead guy was even old enough to drink. Thank god they changed drummers at some point. That dude could not carry a tune in a bucket and insisted on opening up their second set with an extremely off-key “My baby loves the hanky-panky”. So I’m spared that torture.
Things progress slowly but sanely.
Around the second set break, Beardy comes back to the bar, looking somewhat sheepish, and accompanied by a smaller, very unamused looking brunette. Oh this is gonna be fun. She explains to me in her best annoyed mommy voice that her husband probably left his debit card at the bar, and volunteers his name before I even ask. Beardy is looking quite red-faced. She comments further that he shouldn’t have done what he tried to do. I reach to the side and hand her the card, along with the still paperclipped receipt that he has yet to sign. I provide a pen.
Beardy reaches out for the pen to sign the slip. His wife just snaps it out of his hand and says “I’ll take care of it.” in a “completey-had-enoguh-of-your-bullshit’ tone to him. To his credit, he doesn’t say boo to this, just looks more like he’d like to shrink into his collar. Technically he should be signing it, but you know what? I’m being completely entertained by this, so I let it slide. I thank her politely, and they walk off and I’m mentally cackling about it for the rest of the night.
Midway through the band’s last set, the wedding reception in the house lets out, but it’s a small one, so it doesn’t stress the room out much. One couple I wait on has a woman wearing a dress that quite literally shows so much side boob in the middle that I got an absolutely vivid and perfect sense of shape/definition of her breasts. I’m more of a leg man, myself, but I’m not going to say it was unattractive, ‘cuz it wasn’t. I thoroughly enjoyed the transaction at any rate, but otherwise didn’t hang around and ogle or anything. That’d be rude. It’d certainly be obvious at any rate, and I’m trying to work. It’d more be rude because her guy was right there and I shouldn’t be eyeballing her like bacon in that situation. Again, it’s not polite.
Shortly after that, Maddy (one of our normal daytime supervisors) comes by with leftover garnishes from the wedding receiption. She spills some of the limes on the counter and then actually tries to pick them back up to use for another time. No. I”m sorry, no. Your hands aren’t washed, I don’t know where those limes have been, and that counter hasn’t been cleaned in a few hours. Just no. She gives me a whatever but relents, and only bequeths me the lime slices that still remained in the cup.
About 15 minutes before last call, a curious thing happens. An older gentleman walks up and hands me a playing card from a local gas station’s deck of cards. Try to guess which card it was? Go on. Guess. He says that it belongs to the lead guy’s daughter, who dropped it in the food court. I assure him it’ll find its way home and I tuck it into my breast pocket. It’s weird. I still remember the singer as being below 21 and needing his mom to escort him to the lounge just to be able to play because of it. The notion that he’s had kids is hard to swallow.
Anyway. Last call comes and goes and it’s literally the busiest 10 minutes of the entire night, but at the end of it all, we get in under the wire, just. I clean up, get my tips counted, turn in my money, and all of that. As I’m cleaning up the bar, I’m keeping an eye on the band so that I can try to return the card I was requested to deliver. I eventully finish up my stuff and as I’m going around turning off the TVs I walk over and chat with the singer. I of course thank him for the good show, and then go into the tale of the odd delivery to my bar, and then hand the card over to him. He laughed and nodded, and thanked me.
How ’bout that. He -does- have a daughter. I hadn’t honestly belived it until that moment.
Closing observations :
- It was a six of diamonds, in case you were wondering.
- Beardy is -still- freaking hilarious. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such awesomely wifely comeuppance for a rule-breaker in my entire time here.
- I am, however, about ready to request either some bar rails or to simply nail down the goddamned stools. I’m getting fed up with people relocating the chairs to be directly in the way of everybody else. Some people.
Next up : Sunday