Archive for September, 2013

As I have mentioned in earlier episodes, along with my position as manager of a gay bar, comes also the management of monthly gay parties that draw quite a decent crowd from around the country. At these events and at the bar we have very strict policies about narcotics and whenever we get the chance we enforce them as publicly as possible. Setting examples is proving very, very effective. So with all these strict rules how did it come to pass that I, last August, was to be found, at one of these parties, on duty and tripping balls? Well if you’ll allow me to tell you, please read on.

It was early August, the weather was about as warm as it gets here; a balmy 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit for the people who still find it relevant to discuss whether abortion should be legal. Yeah I went there, it’s 2013 you guys, come on! And 545,7 degrees Rankine for the engineers) and I was heading out of my front door. It was early afternoon and about that time when I get started on all the party-prep that can only be done on the actual day. I pointed my nose in the direction of the bar and was looking forward to a short walk along the river, where all the beautiful girls would be sunbathing in the grass wearing hardly anything. It was going to be a good day. As I was crossing the wooden bridge near my home my phone rang. It was Ray. He’d had last night’s shift at the bar and had heard some of the lesbians talking about someone bringing some coke to tonight’s party. We agreed we would keep an eye out and see what would happen.

A few hours later and the temperature had dropped a bit, but it was still much too hot for a bunch of Scandinavians. I was hot, sweaty and happy. Warm temperatures meant a rise in beer-sales, not a bad trade-off. It also meant that the smoker’s courtyard would be filled to the brim which makes patrolling for rule-breaking easier. When everyone is in one place and they can’t scamper off, it usually means we catch a lot more people and get to have a little chat about what one does and does not do at our parties.

Around 1 AM my walkie blew up like a 4th of July fireworks display (Bastille Day for the French, National Day of the People’s Republic of China for the Chinese). All I could hear was “Courtyard” so without knowing what was going on I rushed there. There was a struggle, the always calm and gentle Eugene was doing his best to hold on to a young woman I had never seen before. She was kicking and punching him to get loose. Ray appeared a moment after me and used his enormous frame to carve a passage through the mass of bodies. He grabbed the struggling woman by the shoulder and the weight of his hand made her calm down instantly. All Eugene could get out between gasps was “Kitchen…now…bring…her.”

The kitchen serves as a sort of backstage area, this is where we sort bottles and run dirty glasses through the dishwasher, but it’s also where we go to discuss things out of earshot of the guests. Now we marched in there all four and as Eugene slowly recovered he told us what had happened. The woman had apparently been trying to sell drugs in the packed courtyard. As she went around she eventually got to Eugene, she asked him If he would like to buy some coke, he responded by grabbing her and shouting for staff. Someone repeated it over the walkie and that was the story so far. We called the police and had one of our bouncers watch over her so she didn’t make a run for it.

So far so good right? I mean how unlucky have you got to be if you incidentally offer coke to the owner out of 400 guests? She was smart enough to shut up the minute we got her in the kitchen though so all that was left was to wait for the boys in blue. They would search her, book her and charge her if she had anything on her person and we would issue a lifetime ban from the parties and the bar and that would be the end of that. Right? Well…no, not quite.

The police showed up, two nice lads in uniforms and the gays got all excited. We hurried them into the kitchen to spare them from too many cat-calls and “You can cuff me anytime sugah”s. Once in there one of them checked the woman’s pockets while the other asked me some questions. Did we know her? Was she a regular? Had she come with anyone else? Had we checked her pockets before they arrived? Had she said anything? Just like when I ask girls out, the replies were all negative.

The other officer called his partner, he hadn’t been able to find anything in her pockets and they both had to be present for him to legally search her any further (I’m not talking cavity here, just your standard lifting up the shirt to expose your stomach and such). Suddenly the woman decided to speak. Well yell is more accurate. She had been totally cooperative with the officers until that point, but the words “search her further” made her lose her cool faster than a broken freezer in the middle of the desert.

“You ain’t touchin’ me you fuckin’ pigs!” (I didn’t say she was eloquent or even original). The officers tried calming her down, but she would have none of it. “Getcha hands off me you fuckin’ perverts!” The officers were now trying to restrain her; she managed to get an arm free the hand of which she promptly dug down between her boobs. “You wanna get the stuff, have it then!” And she pitched this little baggie right at me.

Now this wasn’t a Ziploc baggie, it wasn’t even one of those that work kinda like a Ziploc, except you have to press the little plastic things together yourself. No it was a very thin, very worn regular bag about the size of a deck of cards. It wasn’t full, but it was full enough that when it hit me square in the face, I got dusted. Now even for me, with all the crazy things that happen to me at work, getting drugs from a cleavage thrown in my face was pretty damn shocking. And what does one do when one is shocked boys and girls? One gasps!

I gasped…

I took a hit like I was a professional athlete! Tony Montana had nothing on me! I could have beat Sheen and Lohan easily! I was on top! I felt good! I felt like nothing or no one could touch me! I felt like shouting! I was the king! I was on top of the fucking WORLD MAN! YEAH!

The cops dragged the woman out in cuffs. They were real nice and told Ray to look after me, but that I would probably be fine. If I started getting dizzy or my mouth went dry I was to say something immediately, other than that there was only the option of riding out the high. Yeah, right on, I was up for that!

Ray wanted me to go to the hospital; I told him “fuck it, I’m good, I’m perfect, never been better!” Then he tried to make go sit down, but I was way too excited for that. He wanted to at least take my walkie and make me go off-duty. But nah man, I was ready to kick some rule-breaking ass! In the end he gave up, he resorted to checking up on me every five minutes and doing his best to keep me out of trouble. He was a pain in the ass. (And an awesome friend!)

In the end it wore off. I got really tired and cranky and mainly just sat in the backroom giving orders over the walkie. When we had finished up Ray insisted on taking me to the ER to have me checked out (suck my free healthcare!). Everything was fine and they said there was nothing to do but sleep the come-down off. When I woke up the next morning I felt like I’d been trampled by a drunkenship of cobblers wearing their own clogs. (Look it up, like a murder of crows it is really called a drunkenship of cobblers. How great is that?) I was completely wasted and just could not drag myself down there for the clean-up. Luckily I didn’t have to, Ray had called in some favors and told me to “stay the fuck away and have Neil (my roommate) make you some eggs and bacon or something”.

After that experience all I can say is hugs not drugs you guys. Drugs’re bad m’kay!

It was the day the summer died and autumn came to town.

I had forgotten all about this incident, so many crazy things happen here every day that it takes a lot for an episode to stick out. I only remembered because I took a short break the other day and went for a walk along the river to clear my mind. It started raining as it will in Denmark when it’s September, the leaves were rustling and the river was joyfully clucking and bubbling along and a smell hit my nostrils. I’ve always, ever since I was a small child, thought I could sense the exact day the seasons changed. There’s this feeling I get like time is swirling around me and making me dizzy, my senses seem to go into overdrive and I feel one season dying and the next taking it’s place. It’s probably silly, but I still feel it to this day. Four times a year I sense the change and it’s a rush like no other.

At that exact moment, as I was standing on the soft bank and looking up into the grey sky, I felt it. The seasons changed and I remembered the day that happened last year and I remembered the story I’m about to share.

It was the day the summer died and autumn came to town and I had been forced to do something I didn’t want to. Owen and Eugene (the owners of the bar) had called me a week before and told me they had an old friend who was getting married. Her friends were planning her hen night (bachelorette party for the Cadillac producers, polterabend for quite a few European countries including Denmark and Germany) and they wanted to come by the gay bar and have some drinks and the bride bartend for an hour or so. Fun!

I said no.

Not that I am opposed to fun, I like fun. I have had fun on numerous occasions. I am, as the kids say, down with fun. What I am not down with, is unskilled people behind the bar as a gimmick. Every time there’s an election, some bonehead politician invades my bar as a “guest-bartender” for a night to show all the gays how much they care about them and their problems. It definitely has an impact on the votes, at least for me, I go out of my way NOT to vote for them just because of the cheap ass bootlicking they try to give the community.

This was, of course, different, this was not an attempt to bond with the LGBT community in town, this was just for a bit of fun. Good, great, let them have their fun somewhere else. A guest-bartender does three things: 1. Get in the way, 2. Fuck up orders, 3. Piss me off. I would have none of it.

I was shot down, it would happen whether I liked it or not. And, as Owen said, “that was the end of that!”

So there I was, standing on the corpse of summer and watching 10 straight girls waltz in the bar. (Side note: I have nothing against straight girls, some of my best friends are straight girls, and here comes the inevitable but; but these were the woo kind of girls. I believe I have written about them before yes?) They were already pretty sodden and then the girl in charge squealed “TIME FOR SHOTS BITCHES!”

I am not a religious person, in fact I’m an atheist, but five words ran through my mind at this moment. They were not really fit for an atheist, but I cannot lie (I totally can, do it all the time, but in this instance I won’t, trust me). The five words were “Dear Lord, save me now!” He didn’t, which firmly sent me back to my atheist ways. The hens all flocked to the bar and started downing shots like they’d just found an oasis in Sahara. The lady soon-to-be-in-white was pushed behind the bar by her posse. There was much giggling and whistling and then they all ordered cosmos. Naturally this bint-in-a-veil didn’t know her arse from a bottle opener, so she just stood there awkwardly while I made 9 cosmos (and I hate making cosmos). Most of the straight squad moved outside to smoke and bitch at something or someone. I put the blushing “virgin” in charge of opening bottles. That’s right, I might be stuck with this simpering waste of space, but that didn’t mean she got to have fun. So when I sold someone a beer or soda I would ring it up while I pointed out the appropriate bottles and she would take them out of the fridge and open them, she might even be allowed to put them in front of the customer. That was her big bar-experience.

While we were just having the time of our lives behind the bar the bands of bitches were up to their own brand of fun. They were making out and saying things like “Ohmigod, so gross!”, “So gay!” and “I’ve never done anything like this before!” Yah right…..

After this exhibition of inebriation’s influence on inhibitions, it was time for the ritual sacrifice of an innocent bystander. A sweet young lesbian tried flirting with one of them. Bad move. Once they realized they went completely on the offensive. They started calling her nasty things, they went on to screaming at her to fuck off and never come near them again. This was where I stepped in. I told them, very calmly, that this was a gay bar and when they were in here they had to live with the fact that another woman might hit on them. They would be wise to handle it nice and politely. Their focus shifted from the poor civilian to me. They were hollering and screaming the stupidest things like “nasty little dyke”, “fuck off” and “who do you think you are bitch?”

Oh this was good! Looked like I would get my way anyway. I was smiling from ear to ear, grinning like a fucking maniac, that shut them up. They looked like they didn’t know what to do with themselves. I didn’t matter; I knew exactly what to do with them. I told them to get the fuck outta my bar. Then the screaming resumed. There was no getting through to them so I did the most logical thing, I grabbed as many blinged out handbags I could get my hands on and ran to the door. I chucked them into the street and then I stood back and held the door as they ran out to retrieve them. Closed the door, locked it and waved through the window while the whole bar laughed.

One out of the band of bitches had been in the bathroom while all this happened. She came out to an unfamiliar scene. All the “besties” screaming at the front door and a bar full of gay gays. I decided to hold her hostage until the Hens from hell decided to pay their tab. It was a high stakes hostage exchange. They sent in one of their senior cunts, she swiped her card and the moment the transaction went through, I let the prisoner go.

Finally they left, but not before this gem floated through the air towards me: “Fuck you, you fucking lesbo!” Such eloquence, such extensive vocabulary!

The following morning I was awoken by my phone angrily ringing. It was the kind of ringing that went “If you don’t pick me up this instant there will be dire consequences young woman!” I picked up, consequences I can deal with, but dire ones and early in the day, no I know better. It was a very angry Owen.

What the hell had I been thinking throwing them out for getting a little rowdy? I explained what had happened and that they certainly had been a bit more than a little rowdy. Owen calmed down considerably. We talked it all through and he decided to call them up and yell at them instead of me. All in all a good solution.

And that was how I got my very first official complaint. I couldn’t have been happier with it.

The Eulogy

Posted: September 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

I have been very busy at work lately, but apart from that I also went to a funeral. I know none of you knew the deceased, she was not famous or rich, to most people she was just an ordinary woman, but she was loved by those who did know her and I would like to send her to wherever she is going now, knowing that she was loved. In short I would like to tell you a bit about her, so that even strangers know why we, who knew her, loved her.

John is a shift manager at the bar. In June he took a leave of absence to take care of his 63 year old mom, Ingrid, because she had been diagnosed with some terrible and very fast version of cancer. When she died a few weeks ago he was completely devastated, as were we all. His mom was one of the coolest people I know. When John came out to her she not only accepted it completely, she insisted on being a part of the LGBT community. She has given speeches at the local high schools about the relationship she and John had, how they would talk about everything, even the things they might find embarrassing, and how important it was to her that her son felt he could always trust and confide in her.

Ingrid was a regular at the bar, mostly she would come with John, but sometimes she would bring friends her own age along and show them around and proudly proclaim “My son works here.” She was so incredibly proud of him.

She would make layer cakes (which when filled with fresh fruits and topped with whipped cream are the traditional birthday cakes here) whenever one of the bartenders had a birthday and for my 25th birthday, when my dad had the flu and my parents couldn’t take me out to celebrate, she insisted on cooking me a three course meal and inviting all my closest friends to her house to celebrate. It was one of the best birthdays I have ever had, and that includes the one when I turned 9 and my parents bought me the coolest yellow mountain bike ever! Everyone was in such a good mood, the whole night was perfect and Ingrid stood up, raised her glass and proclaimed that if she had ever had a daughter, she would have wanted her to be just like me.

Ingrid was the mom of the gay bar. Everyone who worked there knew and loved her. They went to her for advice and when times were tough and she was always there to give a hug, a friendly word, or a couch to sleep on. She was the backbone of our tiny community and I am not sure what we will do without her.

Her funeral was beautiful. The church was completely packed, people were standing in the back and in the end they left the doors open so the latecomers could hear the service from outside. There were so many flowers that John insisted we all take home a bouquet so she would stay with us a little while longer. At the moment Ingrid, in bouquet form, is sitting right here on my desk, keeping me company as I write this and silently cry.

I miss her; I don’t think I ever won’t.

And I really don’t want to end this eulogy, because when I do, well then she’s really gone isn’t she? I know everything has to end, but can we just say there will be no ending to this? Can we pretend it keeps going, at least for a little while longer? I’d like that.

Well first of I’d like to thank the lovely Baroness Lesbiana von Lichtenclit from Pucker Up Buttercup for nominating me for a Liebster award. I am honored and frankly a little frightened. You see it comes with rules and stuff. Now I like setting rules, but I always make sure I can get around them myself. Why? Well because I don’t do rules, I don’t do authority and the fact that something is there simply to tell me to “do this” or “don’t do that” means I am honor-bound to do the opposite. Oh god, I sound like I’m trying to be this cool “I couldn’t care less about society’s norms” kinda person, s’cuse me while I go help some old ladies across the street and focus on being an upstanding citizen (also I hated Kerouac’s On The Road and I wanted to smack Holden Caulfield and tell him to grow the fuck up so I doubt I can be considered edgy and cool.)

Let me first list these rules:

  • You must link back the person who nominated you
  • You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you
  • You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers
  • You must come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer
  • You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees

Now let’s have a look at which rules I’ll have to break in order to keep the cool and edgy thing going:

  • You must link back the person who nominated you – No problem here; I should hope I could manage to link a blog post.
  • You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you – Yup totally do-able, in fact; if you keep reading I do just that down below. I know I’m totally excited too!
  • You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award with fewer than 200 followers – Aaaand here’s where it gets iffy. You see I only follow one blog (that being Pucker Up Buttercup) and I don’t really have the time to read a bunch of blogs, though I would totally love to! I work six, sometimes seven days a week, in fact I’m writing this as I should be sleeping since it’s half past one in the morning and I have a meeting at eight. So nominating ten other blogs is just impossible.
  • You must come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer – See above; re: Lame excuse.
  • You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees – And again…

So breaking three out of five rules is not so bad right? Right? Okay, I suck, but after the whole Harry/Caspar debacle I’m just swamped at work so this is what you get, take it or leave it!

Without any further ado (or bad excuses) I shall answer the ten questions I was posed:

What’s the most important quality you look for in a friend?

I started thinking of my closest friends and what they have in common. They are so vastly different. So I wrote a terrible poem! (At least it rhymes.)

Friends are fun
Friends are great
Some are gay
Some are straight
Some are single
Some are not
Some are ugly
Some are hot
Some are funny
Some are strange
Some I think
Are quite deranged
Some are short
Some are tall
Oh how I dearly
Love them all
I think what makes them
Friends might be
They all just
Put up with me

What would your superhero name be?

Drinksmaster! I wouldn’t have a cape, but an apron and I would serve awesome drinks and get the super villain drunk. And if that didn’t solve the crisis I would just smash his head in with a bottle of Jack while screaming “IT’S WHISKEY, NOT SCOTCH YOU CUNTRUNT!” Or maybe I would actually fare better as a super villain. I would get the superheroes wasted on my drinks and they would be defenseless! MWAHAHAHA….

Have you ever broken someone’s heart? If so, whose?

Yeah I have, but she broke mine first so I think I was in the right.

Is the pursuit or the capture better? Why?

The capture. The pursuit is full of doubts and speculations, the moment you capture someone it’s like everything just collides and turns into this wonderful spectrum of light. Your heart is beating faster than what seems possible and you can feel your muscles spasming. Hands shaking, mouth dry you reach out and feel that impenetrable wall that has kept you from your desire just crumble at the slightest touch. The light comes pouring in and the dim twilight you’ve been living in fades under the awesome power of the bright, hot sun. You feel like the world is there for the taking and you don’t even have to think about it. You just grab hold and cling to it for as long as you can. You’re floating above the ground and you feel as light as a feather. That is what the capture is.

What do you most wish you could do over?

Nothing really. I mean we all have regrets. There are things I would do different, but they’re all tiny little things. Like I would say something else in some situation and not be made fun off for saying something stupid. Or I would have not eaten that thing and gotten sick, but really I am quite happy with where I am. I have no major regrets so far. Maybe in 20 years I’ll look back and think “man I wish I’d done X instead of Y, my life would have turned out completely different”, but for now I’m good.

Is it ever okay to put raisins in cookies? Why or why not?

NO! NO IT IS NOT! Why? Because raisins are disgusting, treacherous little bastards! You see a sweet little cookie with chocolate chips and you think “yumyum Imma eat you!” And then you bite into it and what do you find? Those weren’t delicious chocolate chips, those were disgusting raisins. YUK! I’m convinced even the Cookie Monster hates raisin cookies.

What’s the last compliment you were given?

Someone called me a nerd the other day. I decided to take that as a compliment because 1. It’s true. 2. I thoroughly enjoy being a nerd. I think it holds a lot of value. So even if it wasn’t meant as a compliment I took it as one.

How important is the first kiss?

Uhm can I say see above; re: capture? The first kiss is this magical moment where time stands still. Unless of course you are awkward like me and mess it up. How does one mess up a first kiss you say? Weeeell let’s see; I’ve ended a first kiss with a high-five, I’ve ended one with a “fuck yeah”, I’ve accidentally stumbled after one because my legs were all “omigud sexy lady kisses, we cannot control ourselves!” and I’ve done a first kiss with my eyes open because she was so hot and I wanted everyone to see. Kisses should never be done with open eyes; they just feel wrong that way.

What’s the best name for a turtle, and why?

Skippy, no Terry, no Mr. Turtely fantastico, no Donatello (because he was the best TMNT), no dove (get it?), no Travis, no Trent, no Boulder, no Shelley, no Sheldon, no Frank, no awesome McTurtlepants, no Tina, no Tray, no Trina, no wait I will go for Awesome McTurtlepants!

What do you wish people knew about you?

I don’t know if it’s something I wish people knew about me per se. But I wish people in general would be better at looking past what we all look like on the outside and see us for the amazing human beings we are on the inside. Take me for instance, I’m not good-looking, I’m a little overweight, I don’t dress nice but for comfort, I don’t wear makeup because I honestly can’t be bothered. I’m in no way hot, but my brain is! My brain is a wonderful thing, it’s funny and quirky and smart all on it’s own. Once girls get to know my brain they always say “how come no one’s scooped you up, you’re a catch”, yeah I am, I know I am, but the first impression caries way too much weight in this world and at first glance I sure as hell ain’t no catch. So I wish people knew about me and all the other funny, quirky, smart-brained nerds out there that we are way more than what the eye sees. There’s an old Danish proverb “Man skal ikke skue hunden på hårene” (You shouldn’t judge the dog by it’s fur), basically it means that you should get to know the dog before you jump to conclusions. It might be mangy and dirty and smell bad, but it might also be the sweetest most lovable dog you’ve ever met. So people of the world, I beseech the to get to know the dog and forget what it’s fur might look like!

Previously at The Gay Bar: I, the manager of a fabulous gay bar somewhere in Scandinavia, had to fire a shift manager for simply not doing his job.

After I fired Harry I needed a new shift manager. I have always been a big fan of promoting someone from the regular staff. That way I know them and how they work. And they feel like they have accomplished something which makes them more likely to stay longer. It also tends to boost morale among the other bartenders, they get a sense of “Here I can work my way up the ladder”. And they can. But after I fired Harry I needed a new shift manager and it had to be someone new. I had only just promoted Laura and I had no other bartenders that were ready or skilled enough to become shift managers. For the first time since I became manager of the bar, I had to hire a shift manager with whom I had no experience.

“That couldn’t have been too difficult” you might say and you are very right. Hiring someone isn’t difficult at all, but finding someone who will do the work properly is apparently very, very difficult.

I was behind the bar a few days after I had returned from my holidays. Everything was starting to fall back into normal pace and most of the hell Harry had left behind was sorted. A guy walked in and went straight for the bar. He was about 25, dark haired, wore thick rimmed glasses and tight pants. He had a messenger bag slung over the left shoulder and he tugged on it as he addressed the male bartender next to me “Who’s the boss here?” The bartender nodded at me and the hipster threw out his hand “pleased to meet you, my name is Caspar with a C”. All I could think was “Does he introduce himself like this every time?”

Caspar with a C: I was wondering if you’re hiring?
Neo with an N: We are actually. Do you have any experience?
Caspar with a C: Yeah I’ve worked as a barista for a few years and recently managed a bar in Copenhagen.
Neo: Sounds good. Why’d you move?
Caspar with a C: I moved to start an education, but I dropped out.
Neo: Fair enough. Do you have any references?
Caspar with a C: All here on my resumé.

I took the resumé and I asked him to write an application with focus on how he had worked while managing the bar in Copenhagen. He said he would drop by the next day with it. Over the weekend I sat down to look through the application and call his references. I could only get a hold of the owner of the bar, but I figured that would be enough since he seemed to be genuinely sad that Caspar had left them and praised him for his skills, both as a bartender and a manager.

I called Caspar Saturday night and asked him how he would feel about downgrading to just shift manager since I wasn’t looking to replace myself. He sounded a bit disappointed at first, but he quickly came around. I told him it was very important that he understood that he had his duties and I had mine, I would not have him interfere with my work however well meant it was. He completely agreed, he would keep to his own yard work and not cut my grass.

He came in the following Monday to sign papers and be briefed on what his duties would be. He asked a lot of questions which is a good sign, it meant he was paying attention, he cared and he wasn’t afraid to learn. So far so good. Then he started making suggestions. I nodded curtly at the first few ideas, but he didn’t seem to get the point, in fact it only spurred him on. In the end I had to tell him to focus on his job and I would do mine.

We got him a work-schedule and a shirt with our logo and he was ready. Fully briefed, completely equipped to handle whatever the bar would throw at him. I had confidence I had found someone who not only could do the job, but would also fit in well with the rest of the crew.

It has always been very important to me that my employees have a good relationship. They don’t have to love each other, but they at least have to like the person they’re working with for 8 hours straight. A strong team means I have something to fall back on when things go wrong. (Things like a shift manager on long-term leave and another fired). Finding someone who fits in to an already tight group of co-workers can be tricky, but I was certain Caspar would do just fine.

After Caspar’s first few shifts I took him into the office for a chat. How did he like working here? Any troubles? Everyone treating him well? All seemed to be cake and ice cream. He liked it here and all the others had been really nice and helped him whenever he had a question. Easy peasy boobie sqeezy! (Side note: I judged a “Who’s got the best boobs” contest last night, it was awesome :D)

A week and a half later I was looking over the economics for July. We’d fared pretty okay considering it was, traditionally, the slowest month of the year. But after looking a bit closer I found some weird numbers. We’ve never had problems with the till not balancing, but this month there were both minuses and plusses far beyond what I would call a normal transaction mistake.

I checked the dates and the work schedule. What do you know, it’s new guy’s shifts, all of them. He was working that night and I called him into the office.

Neo: Hey, how’s everything out there?
Caspar with a C: Lookin’ good. Gonna be a good night I think.
Neo: Good, good. How are you getting along with the register? I know you said it’s different from the one you know.
Caspar with a C: Yeah, no, I think I’m doing all right. A few mistakes maybe, but nothing bad.
Neo: Seems you’ve been having some trouble balancing it?
Caspar with a C: Yeah but I’m getting the hang of it.
Neo: Let’s just go out and have a look at it again, just to make sure. Oh and everything over 50 kr. over or under when you count it out you should leave me a note, mkay?
Caspar with a C: Sure thing!

We went through it and he seemed to have the hang of it. Him stealing money seemed unlikely since there were both too little and too much money in the till after his shifts. I hoped it was just beginner trouble, but I checked after all his shifts after that. He kept his promise, he left me a note when the till was 50 kr. off-balance, but he might as well not have. It was almost always that much.

I talked with him again and went through the register again. No change. I needed him to learn this! Then the reports from the bartenders started streaming in. They had kept it to themselves, but now they decided enough was enough. Five of them came into my office, sat down and started with something akin to “We don’t want to tattle, but…” And then it started this avalanche of fuck. Caspar couldn’t mix a drink if his life depended on it, he couldn’t remember what guests had ordered, he was a slob behind the bar, he spent all his time talking about how to make the bar better and more effective and ignored customers, he couldn’t even brew a pot of coffee and the guy used to be a friggin’ barista!

I couldn’t understand. He had such an impressive resume and his former boss had showered him in praise. I decided I would try to get a hold of one of the bartenders from the bar he had managed. I googled the name. Didn’t find anything. I tried several other sites (national registries where one would most certainly be able to look up a bar), no dice. In the end I had to face it. There was no such bar.

I called up Caspar’s former “boss” and yelled at him until he confessed that it was all a lie. They had set it up so Caspar could get a job as a bartender. He had wanted that for so long, but no one would keep him because he either didn’t fit in or couldn’t learn the routines. I had never experienced anything like it.

The problem with bartending is that some people view it as a glamorous profession. A glamorous profession in which you hardly need any skill. It is true that anyone can call themselves bartender, but you do need to learn a little to be successful. And it’s not glamorous at all. It’s long nights, dealing with jerks and douches and mopping up vomit. It’s moving 100 crates of beer, wiping off tables and emptying the urinal with a pitcher because the pipes are blocked. It’s watching someone get over a breakup by taking out their liver, taking out the trash and taking out the drunks before they get in a fight. It’s sore backs, flat feet and cuts all over your hands.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, but people who think it’s all fun and games quickly learn that for every ton of fun there’s around 60 tons of hard work. (That’s 2205 and 132277 pounds respectively for the winners of the space-race, and 313 and 18750 cloves respectively for the British sheep shearers from the medieval period).

Back to Caspar with a C. All that was left to do now was fire him, but I wanted to make sure he never pulled a stunt like this on anybody else. I called him and asked him to meet me at the bar. I put on my game face; I’ve been told that it’s quite scary; it’s just completely void of emotion, no hint of anything, just blank and cold. We sat down and he started out saying his friend had called and he knew I was about to fire him. I asked how he ever thought this would work, that I wouldn’t find out? He had no answer. I told him I had called every bar manager I knew in town and if I ever heard of him doing anything similar it would have dire consequences. He was very quiet, what was he supposed to say anyway? Nothing he could say would make any of this okay. I continued, telling him how disappointed I was, how he’d betrayed my trust, wasted my time, wasted the bars money and been an all round idiot. He started crying.

I told him to stop. I didn’t care if he cried; I didn’t care about his feelings. I just wanted him to understand that what he had done was completely unacceptable. I’m sure if I’d bothered there was some law he had broken, but there was no reason spending any more money on this fool.

Just because I was angry and disappointed I kicked him while he was already down. I told him that if he had been honest I might’ve even have taken him in on a trial period as a regular bartender, but he would be lucky to even get a busboy job in town after this. Yeah that’s right, you fuck with me I fuck with you!

So now I’m still down by two shift-managers, but for now I’m just gonna work some extra hours and focus on training some of the bartenders for the job. I have a few who with some extra practice might work out. Oh and Laura’s being a frigging champ! She’s been working her cute little ass off while all this has been going on.