My reflection stared at me through the mirror. It showed a face that was calm, cool, and collected. If only mirrors revealed what was happening inside a person's brain, if they did then my mirror would have malfunctioned a long time ago. Today was my first day at my dream job. I had wanted to do this ever since I was a little girl. I didn’t realize I would be so nervous, I had studied the technique of being a bartender for years, and now I couldn’t let a little first day jitters get the better of me. “C’mon Sasha, get yourself together, go in there and put on a winning smile,” I told myself, leaving the bathroom. I had on my red strapless dress, that was just above my knees, and put on my red high heels. My keys jingled in my hand as I practically skipped to my car. I arrived fifteen minutes early and sat, waiting, in my car, staring at the glowing purple sign that read, Boisterous Bar. Each time someone went in or out a loud burst of music would accompany them.
Soon it was time I went inside.
When I opened the door to the bar I was met with a blast of music, almost as strong as winds in a hurricane. The noise from the talking alone was enough to be at a rock concert. And if the noise wasn’t enough, the smell of men who haven’t bathed in days filled the air, as well as cigarettes. I nearly gagged at the smell. I found the main bar and walked behind it into the door with the neon Employee’s only sign. There I found my name tag along with my apron. I met one of my co-workers in the room and they shook their head and laughed, “rookie, you won’t make it past midday,” and walked out. I ignored them and went out into the bar and started taking orders.
The first few orders I got were fine, but after a little while an older man started to creep down the bar, staring at me with his beady little eyes on me. I felt uncomfortable at first, but a huge rush of customers came and that put my mind off of it completely. By midday my brain was clouded with cherry margaritas and mango tequila's when a very grumpy man came up to me and gave me the most confusing drink order that I had gotten that day.
“Do you mind repeating that again?” I asked kindly, trying not to aggravate the already grumpy man. I took out my notepad and started scribbling down what he was saying so I could recreate it perfectly.
Once I finished scribbling, I set to work on the complicated order. After a solid ten minutes of putting ten drops of mango and fifteen drops of cherry with everything, just as the man had instructed, I brought the drink over to him, feeling very proud of myself for tackling such a hard drink on my first day.
“Better be good,” he mumbled, bringing the glass to his lips. I eagerly watched him take a sip, waiting to see his bulldog face turn into a young Labrador puppy. But as he took a sip, his face, if possible, turned even more grumpier and miserable. My heart plummeted, why didn’t he like it? I followed his instructions exactly.
“This is horrible,” the man said, spitting the drink out, all over my face and dress. Every part of me wanted to scream at this man for being a rude customer, but I knew I had to keep my cool.
“Why is it so horrible?” I asked politely, grabbing a towel to wipe my face off.
“You added too much mint, and hardly any mango! This bar used to treat me with respect! I have never been so disrespected at this bar, I demand a refund,” he growled, slamming his fist on the counter, making the glass shake.
“I’m sorry, I can’t give you a refund, it’s company policy,” I said, determined to keep a cool head.
“Oh yeah? Well maybe if you young folk had your heads outta your tok tik crap then you wouldn’t have messed up my drink!!” The man roared, so loud that he drowned out the music. Several heads turned to see what the commotion was about. I started getting nervous. One of my coworkers noticed what was going on and came to my side. He was tall and muscular, not the type of person you want to get into a fight with.
“Sir, if there’s a problem I’d be more than happy to direct you to our manager, but please don’t yell at the bartender, they’re just trying to do their job,” the employee said, it sounded as though he had said it several times. But whatever impact on the man it had before, didn’t work this time.
“I can yell at whoever the damn I want!” the grumpy man spat in my coworkers face. “I’ll ask you one more time to leave before I call my manager,” my coworker said through gritted teeth.
“Speaking to a manager would be very nice actually,” the man said coolly, sitting back in his chair. My coworker nodded curtly and went through the door that led to our manager's office. A few minutes later my manager and the coworker came out and started talking to the man.
Deciding it was best left in their hands I went a little ways down and started taking customers orders again. Every now and then I would look over to where the manager was still talking to the grumpy man.
“Call the police?!” the grumpy man yelled, swiping his hand across the counter, scattering several glasses onto the floor.
“We’ll have no choice if you don’t leave now,” my manager said, not needing to yell because the rest of the bar had become silent. Then all of a sudden the man let out an angry scream, he ran and jumped over the bar, tackling my manager to the floor. I let out a terrified whimper.
I reached inside my apron pocket and quickly dialed 911. I explained to them the situation and they said they’d be there soon. While I was on the phone, my other coworkers were trying to pry the man off the manager. Sirens sounded, and they got closer and closer until the blue and red lights were flashing outside the door. I ran to open it for them.
Once they were inside I showed them where the fight was. They quickly intervened. They dragged the man off our manager, who had a bloody nose and swollen lip, he seemed unconscious. Though he came around quickly. The officers dragged the man from the bar, he was yelling and sending curse words everywhere. But as the door closed on him and the police officers, everyone in the bar started to clap and cheer.
Though the slight moment of bliss for us employee’s didn’t last, we had to make sure our manager was fine. Myself and one other heaved the managers arms over our shoulders as we helped him into his office so we could check on him in private. A coworker filled a glass of water for the manager.
“How are you feeling?” I asked, noticing the stem of blood coming from his nose had stopped.
“Sore, but other than that I think I’m fine,” he responded, taking a sip of water. Everyone let out a sigh of relief. He dismissed us and said to check on him every ten or twenty minutes. We obliged and went back to our jobs as though nothing happened.
The next hour went by fine, we checked on our manager occasionally, made drinks, and made light conversation with our customers. That’s when I noticed the older man was staring at me again. Thinking he may want a drink I asked if he would like one of our specials. But he just shook his head and continued to stare at me.
“Do you need anything?” I asked, getting uncomfortable at him staring.
“No thanks,” he said, continuing to stare. I tried to push it off as nothing, but after ten minutes I couldn’t take it anymore. I went into my manager's office and explained what was happening.
I told him I didn’t want to call the police, I just wanted to go home. He said that was fine and told me he would keep an eye on this customer. I thanked him and left, grabbing one of my male coworkers to walk me to my car.
Once I was safely inside he went back inside and I drove home. I didn’t feel completely safe until I entered my house and made sure the door was secure. I laid down in bed and closed my eyes.
Today has been very stressful and tiresome. Not at all what I expected a bartender’s job to be. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be one anymore. Deciding I’d feel at peace in another job, I’d call in the morning letting my boss know I’m resigning.