Cast of Characters:Teresa: Owner. I have a theory that all small-business owners are bat-shit crazy and this loon is no exception.
Doug: Bar manager #1. Doug looks like your dad and once made me turn off CNN and put on Fox News because he refuses to "let the liberal media infest his bar." Doug is soft-spoken and nice enough, but talks about Jesus way too much for my liking. Doug's wife just had their first child and when I told him that I hadn't made up my mind about having kids, he told me not to worry because when the time comes, Jesus will turn on the switch to make me care for another being as much as I care for myself. Frankly, I don't hold myself in the highest regard, so if I do have kids, I sure as shit hope that's not true for their sake. Plus any and all conversations involving Jesus and turning me on make me painfully uncomfortable.
Julien: Bar manager #2. Julien wears an Under Armour mock-turtleneck everyday (despite the fact that we're not playing a football game in 32 degree weather,) is a part-time karaoke DJ, a single dad and only drinks shots of Peppermint Schnapps. More importantly, Julien is also coked out of his gourd 9 times out of 10 and has a penchant for grabbing my ass and calling me "lover."
Melissa: Part-time bartender, full-time girlfriend of Julien. Melissa is what I can best describe as "Boardwalk Hot." Every time I've seen her, she's wearing the same thing: white Reebok sneakers, khaki booty shorts and a Secrets Ocean City, MD sweatshirt. She is unusually tan, has long platinum blond extensions and has the personality of a parking meter. The weird thing about Melissa is that her face doesn't match her body. She has this amazing body and given the above description, I always think she's 22 years old. Then I look at her face and realize she's probably more like 42 years old. It's unsettling.
Adam: Adam is a weekend bartender and looks like Tom Green times nerdier.
Chef: Chef is Kenyan and learned English in France, which means 99% of the time I have no idea what he's saying. Chef came down to the bar this afternoon and said, "It smells like Satan's asshole in here," and it was the first thing he's said in a week and a half that I actually understood.
Ondreah: Ondreah might be the only person who hates the concept of working more than me. Unfortunately, the only thing Ondreah hates more than working is white people. This created some tension between us during my first few days of work. Eventually Ondreah explained why she hates white people so much, and I explained that I'm not a White Devil and just want to be her homie. One night I was complaining about having a stressful day and she started lecturing me about how white people can't really have hard days. I lost it and shouted, "You're right! Everything is fine! I'm not tired at all! I never really work hard and everything comes easy to me and none of my problems are real! Now I'm going to float away on my cracker rainbow and continue to have a wonderful night!" Her reaction: "You. You are alright." We've been bestest friends ever since.
The Greater Kitchen Staff Population: My BFFs #1. They save my ass when I inevitably screw things up and then come down to the bar at the end of their shifts to have a shot of cognac and shoot the shit with me. They each have oddly specific ice requests, which I know by heart. I now have a PhD in cognac mixology and feel pretty good about it.
I have to admit, being a bartender is a lot harder than I had originally anticipated. Before this job, I had never waited on a table a day in my life or made a single martini. Now I'm doing both. I got this job by lying my face off and telling Doug in my interview that I had worked at a bar before. Talia was my "boss" at this supposed bar and gave me a shining recommendation. I know, I know, I'm a raging liar and blah blah morals blah, but the bar is literally next to my apartment, I need money in a fierce way and it's a recession. After Doug gave me the job, I went out and bought Bartending for Dummies, watched a few instructional videos on YouTube and bada-bing-bada-boom; a bartender was born.
If I may say so, I think I'm doing a damn good job so far for being so full of shit. I've only completely fucked up one drink. Last Friday a guy came in and ordered a Long Island Iced Tea. Although I went through a phase Junior year when I consumed at least a dozen or so of these a weekend, I had no God-given clue how to make one. I remember learning in high school health class that a Long Island is just a bunch of various liquors mixed together with a splash of coke for color, so I threw a bunch of shit in a shaker and called it a day. As I was preparing the garnish, I noticed that the color of my freshly made cocktail resembled human excrement and began to get nervous. When the guy turned around to glance at the sports score on the TV, I threw a straw in his drink, sucked up some liquid and quickly hid under the bar to sample my concoction. It tasted like gin and death. I threw out the drink and tried again, but got the same disgusting result. Being the only bartender there, I told the guy our CO2 tank was out and I couldn't make him his Long Island Iced Tea because only syrup was coming out and please pick something else. As I successfully served him a Grey Goose and Pineapple, I applauded myself for my ability to think so quickly and then proceeded to serve the next customer a Jack and Coke. Coke being the integral part of that mixture. Bubbly, bubbly coke made from my magically broken and then magically fixed CO2 tank. Long Island man tipped me zero dollars, and I earned every penny of it.
Besides that little snafu, things are going swimmingly. The only downer is that I'm not crazy about my fellow bartenders. I think they're rednecks and I'm pretty sure they think I'm a snob (in the end we're probably both right). It's not a big deal because I'm usually the only bartender during my shift, but it's just sort of a drag when they are there. They're always gossiping about God knows what and doing drugs in the back room together and I am in no way invited. At first I was sad that they wouldn't let me in on the work gossip or share their drugs with me, but I'm starting to realize that it's probably a good thing that I'm not in on that in-crowd. I'm there to serve the booze and get some good stories, not make friends (I feel like I'm on a reality show all I'm not here to make friends!) Besides, I totally do have work friends! They're cognac drinkers and cognac beats coke in the backroom any day.
Besides, it'll be a cold day in hell before I spend a Saturday night at a karaoke party in Virginia, belting out "Fins" in a pair of khaki shorts.