One night in Santa Ana, I was cruising to the AM/PM for some late night snacks, when I hear some crying coming from inside the dumpster near the store. I flipped the lid, hoping not to find a human baby. Instead, the most handsome, lovable, dirty, sickly little face popped out of a shoebox. Someone THREW HIM AWAY. He is my best friend and closest confidant, the best pal anyone could ask for. He is especially calming for me lately, since my job has been absolutely nightmarish recently, and I have been ridden with anxiety.
Daytime shifts at the bar are usually a breeze. My philosophy is: a daytime shift means I have an "out-time" which means that definitively, I will be leaving before the sun goes down. I hope. Evening bar shifts are a crap shoot, you could leave early or you could be so swamped that you are sure it would be wiser to sleep at the bar, instead of going home. It all depends of the patrons, the business and of course, the management.
Yesterday I was stoked because I had a day solo shift in the bar. Nine times out of ten we split the bar sales between two bartenders, especially at night, so I love being able to walk away with my OWN money, instead of waiting until the next day for my tips to be calculated, bagged and then picked up at the appropriate hour. The whole process has never made any sense to me, but oh well.
Yesterday, just as I was beginning to finish up my side-work, a couple sat down at the bar. They were both in their late forties to fifties, and were casual, but well-dressed. If you tend bar, or work in any kind of customer service environment, you might posses the same skill set I do; that being I can spot an asshole at about forty paces. This guy- asshole.
First, he complained about the beer. He obviously had no idea what he was talking about, because hoppy beer was described as "flat" and every malty beer was described as "hoppy." He would wait until I was doing dishes to ask any questions.
Him: "Do you like your grilled artichoke?"
Me: "Yes, it's one of my favorites, it is delicious. Would you like me to get one started to for you?" Him: "Nope."
Hmmmmmmm, okay. Then:
Him: "Do you like this song?"
Me: "It's alright."
Him: "Do you know who it is?"
Him: "Well, that's a shame."
And finally, my favorite:
Him: "You new here?"
Me: "No, I've worked here seven years."
Him: "That's impossible, this place hasn't been open for seven years."
Me: "We opened in February 2006."
Him: "Yeah, maybe. Well all I know is everything here has gone downhill. Too fucking corporate."
Me: "Sir, we're family owned and operated."
Him: "Sure you are. They don't tell people like YOU anything."
People like me, huh? Like, the people that work here?!? Anything I suggested, he did not want to try. He ordered the cheapest oysters because "they're all the same, don't try to tell me this one's better because it costs more." He actually accused me of suggesting things on the menu due to the fact that they were "expensive."
He and his "lady friend" who said all of about four words the entire time, basically whispered about me, as I was standing right in front of them. Newsflash people: if you are whispering the words "tattoo" and "bartender", I'm going to go ahead an assume you're talking about me. Especially if you are doing this while simultaneously giving me dirty looks.
In situations like this, there are so many things I want to do and say, but alas, such things would lead to my termination and most assuredly, arrest. The guy barely left ten percent, and made sure to flash his BMW key set in my face before leaving.
"Cheer up," he snarly smiled, "and one day you'll have one of these." I am assuming he was referring to his yuppie car, since he was waving the keys around with his left hand, and shoving them in my face. I looked at his wrinkly fingers and noticed something awful, gaudy, and completely ridiculous. "I'll have a pinkie ring with a giant CZ in it?!?," I said both with the right amounts of bravery and sarcasm, dead on looking at his jewels. His girlfriend burst into uncontrolled laughter. He grabbed his wallet and left. Ah...the day shift.