Sometimes I’m jealous of bartenders, because they get to drink on the job, sleep till 4, and don’t have to deal with things like Microsoft Outlook.
But then, I think about how, as a bartender, people you hate can come into the bar any time and you have to a.) be cordial and b.) serve them.
Well, that’s what professionals should do, anyway.
Mike, this guy my friend Candace dated in college, was NOT a professional, and he had zero intention of being cordial or serving her anything after they broke up.
And they didn’t even date that long!!
They had met at the bar he worked at, a popular bar that we all frequented, one of the few that allowed underage drinking. Candace and Mike struck up a conversation one day, exchanged numbers, and went out on a few dates.
It was fun dating a bartender and Mike was cute and nice to everyone. During the time they dated, Candace and Co. were always served first and given a nice discount on beverages. (Score!)
But, alas, the VIP treatment didn’t last long.
Candace broke it off after about a month, for reasons she would only describe as, “he was part boring, part shady.”
She had stopped returning his phone calls and then told him that she wasn’t feeling it anymore.
We all patronized another bar down the street for the next few weeks, out of respect.
After what we thought was enough time, we went back to our old bar to meet up with friends that had flown to town for the holiday break.
Mike was working, as usual, and we all said hello as we walked in.
He didn’t acknowledge anyone.
“What an asshole,” someone commented, and we took seats in the back of the dive bar.
Candace said it would be better if someone else ordered drinks for her so we had one friend buying for the whole group.
After a few drinks, everyone loosened up. Candace even thought that it wouldn’t be so terrible to approach the bar and say hi.
She walked over.
“Hey,” she said. “Happy Thanksgiving!”
That’s when Mike exploded.
“GET THE F*CK OUTTA HERE!” He screamed. We all looked over.
“Excuse me?” Candace asked.
“YOU'RE TOO DRUNK TO BE HERE,” Mike said, lying, and on a high horse. “I’m NOT serving you.”
(Dude. Get over it. Be a professional.)
“What are you talking about?” she asked. “I haven’t even done anything.”
That’s when Mike turned even less professional than before.
Out of nowhere, he bent down and picked up an empty box that had formerly held Newcastle beer AND HURLED IT ACROSS THE BAR AND HIT HER IN THE HEAD WITH IT.
It bounced off her forehead and landed on the floor.
“I SAID GET OUT!!!!!!” He screamed. Our jaws dropped.
AN EMPTY BEER BOX!
AT HER HEAD!
(WHO THROWS A SHOE??)
That was our cue to leave, and we hustled to get our things as Candace, mortified, got into a screaming match with him, picking the box up off the floor and flailing it back over the bar.
We left immediately and decided we were never going back to the bar when Mike was working, since he was completely unstable and unable to control his emotions.
And then we spent the next four years laughing about it.
What ever happened to just overcharging people you don’t like?
Come on, Mike. Be a professional.