The beginning of my illustrious career bartending, waitressing and short-order cooking. In this bar, we usually had a bartender and a waitress. We knew all positions, worked them all and were kept very busy! I was training in on a Sunday night. Sunday nights were slower but still active as this bar just never ceased to lack patrons.
I must mention, I had worked as a ‘satellite’ pull tab seller for a bingo hall (yes a third job I held down for a time) and this bar was my satellite spot. This helped tremendously as most of the patrons were regulars, and I knew them from my pull tab selling days.
Warning: Offensive Language.
“D” the owner was going to give me a shot at a position in this bar. You can make a lot of money working at a bar, and this one was no different. I made up my mind that I was going to pass this little test and make my money! I took this ‘shot’ and never looked back…
One of the regular guys was bartending, and I was waitressing when a call came in that his wife had been in a minor car accident but had to be hospitalized. He left with apologies, but he absolutely had to go. I told him not to worry, “I got this…”
Then “D” made his way to the bar to ‘help’ me.
The guys started ordering drinks I’d never heard of! This was ridiculous… this was a biker bar for christ’s sake. Top shelf whiskey was about as fancy as we got! “D” took out a bartending book and decided to tell me how to mix these absurd drinks. (Let’s be serious, the regulars don’t like change, “D” was half in the bag trying to tell me how to mix drinks, this was a damn losing game, and I was getting fed up!) In the midst of this nightmare, two biker’s, …er… patrons… were arm wrestling in the corner and “D” told me to go break it up. (Arm wrestling leads to horrific fights in a bar, I’d witnessed a few.) Everyone’s yelling for “the bartender” at this point and one smart ass says “D” better get his money back and replace me.
“That’s it!” I yelled.
I grabbed the last two drinks I was trying to make and slammed them on the counter! I told the smart asses if they couldn’t tell me what was in the “candy ass drinks” they were ordering they better shut the hell up because I wouldn’t be serving it! I cracked open a few of their regular bottles of Old Mill I knew they drank and yelled $2.50! I walked past “D” over to the bikers. I put my hand on top of theirs and said very quietly, “we don’t hold hands in this bar, got it?” They stopped arm wrestling immediately. I walked back behind the bar and grabbed the book out of “D’s” hands and said, “if they can’t call it they can’t have it!” I threw the book behind the register and yelled over the jukebox, “This is my damn bar tonight, you assholes, who wants a beer?”
Silence. Slowly … a clap … then clapping and finally, a roar of laughter… “I’ll take a whiskey sour, Miss Kim!”
“You got it!”
(Wholly hell, I just became a bartender with street cred.)