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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mr. Fuck Off

It was a Friday night, and it was already getting started with a bang. We were slammed, and short handed. I was running tables on the floor and making my drinks behind the bar, Abbye was holding down the other end of the bar, and Terry had the other half of the floor.

I look up from making a Gin and Tonic to see a blur of Sugar, one of the best dancers we have, slam some girl up against the wall by the dressing room, throw her on the floor and immediately jump on top of her to commence pounding her face in. I run around the bar to split it up when I realize this is no ordinary cat fight. Usually two women fighting consists of a lot of screaming and hair pulling, not this time. I was afraid if I jumped in the middle I would get caught in the crossfire, so to speak, so I let the bouncers break it up.

This story; however, is not about that fight. It's about what happened after.

Approximately ten minutes later, after the hubbub had calmed down and all had returned to normal, we noticed that Terry was no longer there.

"All these guys are asking what happened to their waitress," my best friend Abbye told me when I made a trip to the bar for more alcohol.

"Well where the hell is she?"

"I don't know, I haven't seen her since the fight."

It was about that time that Ryan, one of our managers, came to the bar to tell us that Terry, having been terrified by the fight, grabbed her purse and hit the door.

"She quit!" I exclaimed, shocked that someone would quit not only in the middle of a slammed Friday night, but because of a silly catfight.

"Yeah," Ryan responded, "she said she couldn't work in this kind of environment anymore. Can you cover the whole floor?"

"No problem." I didn't see it as a big deal, I just saw it as more opportunity for me to make money.

I made a round of drink orders and when I came up to the bar, Abbye was explaining the situation to someone at the bar. He was average looking, glasses, nothing outlandish about him, but he was very upset that his waitress had disappeared. He seemed to take it almost personally, which should have been warning sign number one.

"Look, darlin," Abbye pointed towards me, "she's got your tab now, she'll take care of you."

"Sorry about all the confusion sweetie, just chill out and I'll take care of everything."

"I just don't appreciate the fact that my waitress ran off with my tab," was his response. I could understand his concern, I've worked in a few bars where the waitress carried the credit cards around with her, which could have been disaster. Fortunately, in my club, we keep all the cards behind the bar, thus eliminating any stressful situations.

As Abbye was explaining this to him, I made yet another round, dropping off drinks and taking orders...Such is my life on the weekends.

When I returned to the bar for another round of drinks, the gentleman with the tab was sitting in a table chair in front of the server station, facing the stages.

Let me break away for a moment and explain a few things. There is a difference between bar chairs and table chairs. Bar chairs are straight backed and high, when you sit on them you are sitting level with the bar. Table chairs are low, rounded, on wheels, and padded. The height of a table chair is a smidgen shorter than the height of the bar, which means that you can literally push a table chair underneath the bar, if their was room for it to fit. Also, for those of you not in the industry, the server station is the area of the bar where the waitresses make their orders and pick up their drinks. It is usually characterized by bar mats, featuring whatever brand of beer the distributors gave us; condiments, lemons, limes, olives, sometimes cherries; and the cash register, for easier transactions and less time at the bar for the wait staff. Having someone sit or loiter in the server station is a big no-no, it cuts into our service time and hurts not only our money, but the bars as well. The more time it takes to order and be served, the less drinks we can take out a night.

Now you can understand the rest of the story.

Normally, I would just tell someone to get out of the way, but I knew this gentleman had already been upset once tonight, and I wanted to be as polite as possible in order to salvage what was left of his evening, and possibly his opinion.

"Sweet heart, this is probably the worst place for you to be sitting. I'm going to be coming and going from this spot all night." Sugar wouldn't have melt in my mouth at this point.

"Yeah, what the fuck ever."

"I'm sorry," I said, as I leaned even further down until I was eye level with him, "what did you just say to me?"

Without even granting me the benefit of tearing his perverted gaze away from the stage, he said "whatever, fuck off." At the same time, he lifted his right hand, palm facing towards him, and made a shooing motion in my direction.

I went from lovely to livid in less than half a second. Forgotten were the drink orders, forgotten was the tray.

"Ryan, get this motherfucker out of here!" I screamed to the DJ booth as I ran outside to find Billy.

Billy was sitting on the bed of Ryan's truck, talking to Officer Johnson, as I burst through the double doors of our club, panting, steaming anger from my pores.

"Billy. Motherfucker. Inside. Asshole. Want. Him. Out." The words were coming in short bursts. I'm not sure if it was the snide "fuck off" without even the benefit of eye contact, the "you're no better than a fly who's annoying me" shooing motion, or a combination of the two, but I was irate. I was irate enough for thirty people.

"Billy," Officer Johnson interjected, "would you like me to take care of this one for you?" And who says cops don't come in handy?

Just then, Ryan came running outside.

"Who the hell am I supposed to kick out? You ran outside before you could tell me!"

In my haste to have this asshole removed, I had forgotten to point out which asshole. I rushed inside with Ryan and Billy at my heels.

I pointed him out to them, and then stood, staring, ten feet away. My blood was boiling. I wanted vengeance. As Ryan and Billy are talking to this guy, trying to get him to leave in the nicest way possible, his friends are starting to gather around, attempting to figure out what all the commotion is. Now Ryan and Billy are dealing with fifteen guys, instead of just the one. While this is happening, Mr. Fuck Off has made his way back to the bar and is, incredulously, ordering a drink.

"Abbye," I screamed at the bar, "don't you FUCKING serve him. Tab him out, he's cut the fuck off."

Abbye looked at Mr. Fuck Off, shrugged, and began tabbing him out.

At this point in time, several of Mr. Fuck Off's friends are coming up to me, begging me with bribes to allow him to stay. I wasn't having it.

"I don't care how much money you're offering me, I want him the fuck out of here."

"What about two hundred? Three hundred? C'mon, please. He's eaten some xanax tonight, he's normally not like this." They were bartering, pleading, begging. I was stone.

Ryan walked up to me, put his hands on my shoulders, looked me dead in the eyes and told me to get back to work. I didn't move. I couldn't move, my anger had rooted me to the spot.

It was then that I became aware of my surroundings. I turned around and realized that every dancer in the club who wasn't onstage was standing behind me, ready to strike. My own private militia, stationed at arms. Tatum, a friend of mine, grabbed me in a bear hug.

"We got your back girl, don't you worry. We got your back."

I think it's times like these when you realize who your true friends really are. It's easy to be friends with someone when everything is sunshine and roses. When the shit hits the fan, and they stand behind you; that's when you know.

Eventually Mr. Fuck Off and his crew were escorted out of the building. I went back to work, no worse for the wear. Five minutes later, Ryan approached me.

"I'm just letting you know," he started, "we're letting those guys back into the club."

"What!? Why!?"

"They're coming in by themselves, Mr. Fuck Off isn't with them. They left him in the truck out in the parking lot."

I guess it really is hard times when you realize who your friends are. Poor Mr. Fuck Off's friends abandoned him in the truck while they went back inside the club. I can't say that I felt sorry for him.

Maybe your quality of friend is equal to your quality of person.

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