My Life as a Bartender

As some you may or may not know, I have a second job as a bartender working for my uncle’s bar in Hamtramck, MI.

I KNOW! I’m supposed to serve people drinks and *not* poison them.

In the last two weeks, I have met some terribly interesting people, as well as derelicts, crackheads, and alcoholics. I open early (5:30 p) and then leave early (11:00), and while I don’t get the heavy tippers, I am rarely bored.

I have been proposed to, and hit on, and called many things – most of them flattering.

This past Friday, as I was preparing to leave for the night, a woman literally stumbled in, declared the bar a “funeral palace” and proceeded to buy everyone three rounds, because she “was an alcoholic and very drunk”. She gave me three dollars to plug into the jukebox so we could “get the party started”. I was “pretty lady with the long pretty hair”, and at one point she even distracted me long enough for the bartender to slip me another drink. What a neat trick, playing on another’s vanity. She made cracks about her next AA meeting being held at the bar, and I commented to the fellow barmaid (my aunt) that next time we’d have her turn in her Five Minute Chip for a free Whiskey Sour. So on an empty stomach, I had three of the El Cheapo well whiskeys, and discussed my favorite Twilight Zone Episode with a regular, who goes by the name H.O. (no, not “ho”). Real nice guy, heading to China at the end of the month. He had been drinking Pabst and at some point slipped me the movie “Feed” (which I’ll talk about in another post).

John, another regular, is probably Ukranian, as most of the residents and shopkeeps of Hamtramck are. The Friday before last he put is keys to his heart and told me in beautiful broken English that I had unlocked his heart.

Everyone now: *awwwwwww*

Yeah, well he’s told that to every bartender that’s ever worked there. I am green when it comes to that crap and I used to think I could smell a line a mile away, but I have such a soft spot (apparently in my head) for people who don’t speak good. I won’t make that mistake again and will learn to tread the line that hovers above “friendly: give me tips” and “friendly:clearly I’m not sleeping with you but give me tips anyway.”

There will be more exploits about this little bar, I’m sure. Soon I’ll be in charge of booking bands for the Tuesday Independent Band Night. Looking for funk fusion and rock (but not garage rock, please).

Is it Happy Hour yet?