The Whine Bar

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“Vodka squash no ice, Carlton, make it two, no make them Super Dry, a Strongbow original with a glass of ice and a gin and tonic, tall glass with lime”…. Was all the acknowledgment I got before the woman turns to continue her phone conversation. I finsh her order and wait a respectable amount of time being ignored before reaching over the bar, grabbing her phone and dropping it in her ginandtonictallglasswithlime!
I wish
Episodes like this are common place in my job. If I am not dealing with rude patrons such as I’m-too-busy-talking-on-the-phone-to-pay-you-any-attention woman, then I am dodging the wondering hands of the locals who get all too familiar after their seventh hour in the pub.

Local bar seeks tender with no self respect and who welcomes insults. Applicants must take abuse, both verbal and physical, on a regular basis and be willing to work in a hostile environment’ should have read the job description!

Mouthing Mark

Mark. Mouthing Mark.

Working in a bar I expect to encounter various types of people from all walks of life. I do not judge, I hold conversations and give each patron what they need. If what they need includes a listening ear at the end of a hard day, I give it. If it is a cheeky comment to make them feel like they have at least one friend in the world, I make it. More often than not I become several different characters over the course of my shift. One such character I will not indulge however is the secret lover of Mouthing Mark.
In his late forties, Mark is a man of quirks. He does not speak with the quiet tones of most patrons, in fact he does not speak as if he is indoors at all. Rather, Mark will talk remarkably loud, typically the volume of someone who is going deaf. The interesting thing is he hears our responses quite well. It is as if his hearing is not impaired at all, he simply chooses to test the limits of volume. Scrap that, he is testing the sound barrier.

One rather busy Friday afternoon Mouthing Mark decides it is time for a beer (if you call XXXX a beer). He makes his way to the crowded bar and strikes up one of his shouting matches with me. After 10 minutes of his screaming evey other patron has turned around to see who is yelling. With all eyes on him he says, or more to the point yells, “JUST ‘TWEEN ME AN’ YOU,I GOT A TWELVE INCHA’ SO ‘ERE’S ME NUMBA”.
Somewhow I don’t think that was just for my ears.

Serving the Serbian

We had been introduced over the bar: I the wench, he the patron. He mumbled and with a crooked finger pointed to the Carlton tap.
“You know what I want!”.
Not once had his eyes lifted. He had decided I was not worthy of his gaze. All signs of life and human compassion ceased to exist. I realised that the heirarchy had been established and knowing my place I began to pour the beer.
“I’d get better head off my mum!” He remarked as he defiantly kept his head lowered.
Fighting back words of rage and resentment I bit my tongue, literally because that was the only way the comments were staying put. I took pleasure in taking his money. It was a subtle reminder that he was on the same level as us common folk. He turned his back and I smiled remembering the glass I had used for his beer was from the dirty rack.
Complete accident of course!

Hey guys what can I get you?

Feeling down about life? Wondering where you’re going? Or just having a bad day?

Work in a bar!

Trust me, it’s the sure-fire cure to feeling bad about yourself.

I’m telling you, you see everything from behind the bar. After a few years tending, I feel it is time to share my vast experiences with all of you. Be prepared to hear all about the weird and wonderful things that go on in your local bar.

Ever wondered what your drink says about you? Think the pickup line you used on the bartender was original? Wondering what it means to be a ‘local’? I will reveal all. Stay tuned guys, I promise what is to come will make you laugh, cringe and need a stiff drink by the end.

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