Tales from The Back Door: Women don’t tip?

November 21, 2005 at 5:38 pm (Back Door Tales)

ACW reminded me of this little incident–iron-clad proof that absolutes in the service industry are never a good idea. Absolut, on the other hand…

I got to work at The Back Door one night to find a large woman, a large man and two smaller guys in a large pile in the middle of the floor. Everyone was screaming, which made it difficult to figure out who was getting the worst end of the deal, until I saw a great big white thing fly in the air–a massive brassiere! OK, three men just took E-Cup's bra off of her–I know it's not sex because two of those guys are dating and the third runs this insane "alternative lifestyle" establishment.

Everyone stood up, E-Cup crossing her hands over her massive chest (hence the nickname) and screaming obscenities at the guys. The guys fling the US-flag sized monument to "Lift and Separate" on top of a cooler, then turn around, catch sight of me standing there, and grin at each other before slowly advancing on me. I hear "Run, SSS, You're NEXT!"

Usually, that's enough to make me run. I'm a D cup (see "Hooray for Boobies") and NEVER appear in pubic without a bra. This time I'm curious. What the frell do these guys want with our bras–they have nicer ones! I stand there, contemplating the three men, one without eyebrows in preparation for the festive evening ahead, the other two not ready for Prime Time. It's soon explained to me that the evening's bartenders, no matter what gender genetics has handed them, will not be allowed to wear a bra tonight.

Fuck me running! I'm screwed and not in the fun way! I'm wearing a black velour button-down shirt with fringe and silver buttons down the front–one that there have been attempts to rip off my bod before! They're still coming at me and my bra's not going to stand up to being yanked off my tits. I sigh, try begging just once to allow me a shred of dignity. No dice–not here. Off it comes–away it flies, to join my bartending bud's rack-manager on top of the wine cooler.

Later, I've been schlepping bottles of beer and delicate cocktails for a couple hours, when a short break in the rush lets me look around a moment. That's when I see two Native American women, obviously waiting for someone to serve them, while my co-worker sails on by before pausing to talk to a known big-tip customer. This isn't unusual–E-Cup doesn't believe women tip. I'm used to it–I don't mind if folks don't tip, and if people who don't normally tip choose to toss me some money, I'm flattered. I hop over to the ladies, fill their drink orders and announce the total, trying to get out of the way of a huge drag queen in a Jane Jetson skirt and beehive hairdo, who's got her silly ass on my fucking bar while my boss yells at her to get the FUCK DOWN! I will not look up…I will not look up…as I accept the money I hear, "What are you drinking?"

Nice! I'm about due for a 7&7 tall, so I tell them that's what I want, and turn to make it. Turning back, I set my drink on my side of the rail and hand them their change from the $50 I just broke for them. I see a $20 come back?!? I pick it up, smile and start to show the woman what she laid out on the bar. Before I can get my mouth open, she tells me, "We saw that other bartender walk by us four times before you got your hands free and waited on us. Thanks for the great work–we don't get out where we can be ourselves very often, and we appreciate the good treatment." She waved the $20 off, which found a prominent home in my tip jar.

As I talked to the ladies a bit, it turns out their lifestyle wasn't taken very well in their culture, so they spend most of their days hiding it while working every available hour at the tribe's casino (which has a website but will remain nameless and stateless for obvious reasons). When they've saved enough money and time to go have some fun, they pick a lifestyle-friendly destination, go out to eat, drink, dance, have fun and most importantly relax, blow as much money as humanly possible and enjoy being out with each other.

Over the course of the night they wouldn't let anyone else wait on them (guess the $20 in the tip jar changed a braless mind), each time tipping well, buying me a drink too, and most emphatically NOT commenting on the lack of bra! They did show appreciation for what looks I have, but not in any way that made me uncomfortable even before the raft of whiskey I put down that night. I've had worse nights tending bar, MUCH worse. I chalked this night up to one of the better ones very early in the evening.

After work, I went over to my boyfriend's house–I showed up at 4:30 am, drunk beyond belief, my bra hanging out of my coat pocket, $250 in tips in my jeans, and one confused man looking at me and saying, "What the HELL happened to you at work tonight?"

I just giggled and said I'd met some nice folks at the bar.

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