Last week we got new promoters for our Thursday nights, and I almost wish we hadn’t. Last Thursday and yesterday were B-U-S-Y. Yesterday particularly wreaked havoc on my well-being. The Manager was joking that I looked like a ghost by the end of the evening, and how sweet it would have been to have had a cloak of invisibility.
It started out well enough. The sun was shining and I always remember to smile when that happens in London. My first customer was a hilarious software salesperson smoking ‘special cigarettes’ outside whilst finishing off his day’s work on a laptop with a beer. I always admire good work ethics. Things kicked off fairly late, so at this point there still wasn’t much to do other than squeezing limes and talking to New Girl. ‘You maa girl, you and me the same’, according to her…… I’m not sure that’s strictly true. I think we particularly differ in the things we look for in guys. For me it’s all about a variation over the simple but rarely achievable combination of handsome and witty, but to New Girl those are flexible details that can be tempered with according to the guy’s… WEALTH. A self-proclaimed ‘gold digger’, she won’t go out with a guy unless he’s able and willing to pamper her with expensive dinners and presents. I don’t think I was the right person to consult, but in all seriousness she was asking for advice on whether to sleep with this – in her words – unattractive ‘gorilla’ with a killer flat by St. James’ park. Err, no? Then the conversation took a nosedive into completely unrealistic territory when she started planning a night out on the town with me. All I’ll have to do is throw on something skimpy and evidently we’ll be sipping expensive champagne at rich guys’ expenses. My hysterical laughter was probably enough to communicate my disbelief.
Despite being a Thursday (doesn’t anyone work Fridays anymore?!), party time rolled around that evening and chaos descended on our bar much in the same way anarchy has a way of descending on Gotham City.
For some reason that I must discern so I can argue against it, The Manager made me work downstairs last night. Our bar spans two floors, the lower of which has a DJ and dance floor. Working down there is boring and exhausting all at once, and it basically consists of banging out 1000s of spirits with mixers/shots/opening beers. It doesn’t exactly challenge your creativity, and the orders are never-ending. Add to that asshole customers who will never stop with ridiculous complaints of missing decorative lime wedges in their vodka lemonades, too much/little ice and having to repeat their orders when THEY GRUNT AT A 2M DISTANCE IN A LOUD CLUB. Oh, also add to that a broken glass washer and a pile of 80 glasses that have to be hand washed all the while taking orders from impatient boozers. At one point some pipe started leaking behind the bar leaving us in a giant pool of water that had to be mopped up. I love a good challenge.
I’d already discovered a new geological layer of frustration when the excessive alcohol consumption on the part of certain people produced what can only be described as a glass throwing contest. An angry one with shouting, punching and huffing and puffing. A group at one of the seating areas started getting territorial when another group haplessly encroached with their dance moves. When smug 19-year old kids tell people to fuck off out of their face, they’d be wise to expect a reaction. It was all too familiar when the music stopped and I could hear shouting, but thankfully we had a Batman (aka our bouncer) in place to diffuse the drama, and two minutes later things were back to normal. He came storming down all bad-ass and grabbed two guys in one hand, two in the other and barked ‘I’LL BE BACK FOR THE REST OF YOU’ at the remaining culprits before throwing them all out. Evidently the fight continued outside amidst racist slurs. The aftermath: a broken mirror, nine broken glasses and broken glass from the door in a big pile that looked like The Shard had blown up. In our bar. What fun for the staff to clean up.
I think The Manager would’ve forgiven me if at this point I’d perched a machine gun on our bar top or released a vile of the bubonic plague. Unfortunately there was no time for such ingenuity. Moments later two girls started fighting, and I can only thank them for leaving mere hair extension in their wake. The clean-up was decidedly more swift, but I kid you not when I say there was another fight to be had before we closed. A girl was expressing her dissatisfaction with her boyfriend in no uncertain terms, verbally and physically, and after a while the guy got fed up and smacked her across the face. The police were called and one of our customers who’d witnessed this had to spend half an hour giving statements.
Not to labour the point here, but why why why why why why why why WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY? WHY? Why? Why?
………. Why is it impossible for some people to act like decent human being after they’ve consumed alcohol?
Tough night, indeed. I may have lost my faith in humanity, had I not had Council Estate Boy (CEB) working with me downstairs. He seems to have a sixth sense for when I need a hug. After work we stayed in the bar chatting. CEB left after a while, but The Manager and I remained for another hour after he left chatting and dissecting our love lives. I have nice co-workers. They keep me sane(ish).
When I left the sun was rising again. The start of another, better day.