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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Tales From The Back Door: How I Got There In The First Place

June 28, 2005 at 9:35 am (Back Door Tales)

"We're opening a new bar."

I looked in the mirror–DD, my favorite hairdresser, was doing his usual very artful job on my locks, turning them into the Big Hair I wore back in the 80s along with every other party fiend, male or female. "Excellent! Who's 'we'?"

"Me and Sweetie and Cutiepie. We're taking over that old restaurant across from the Farmer's Store building. Come check it out–we open in about a month."

Wonderful! There weren't a lot of bars I really liked in Eau Claire. If I liked the music they played, chances were good it usually turned into the Bucket-O-Blood-Bar once everyone tied on a good drunk. If it was a pretty tame place to go, the music generally sucked ass. I had one requirement for a bar–the music had to be good! This requirement resulted in much back-watching and wishing for less scuzzy places to go partying.

Once the Downtown Express opened, I found I liked it–the guys had opened up the restaurant as well, so there was great food, excellent potables (even splits of champagne should the occasion require them), wonderful management, and best of all NO tolerance for fights in or near the bar! Anyone wishing to raise Hell in the fun, party-yer-brains-out manner was welcome to do so; anyone wishing to raise Hell in the bash-someone's-brains-out manner was quietly escorted to the door. If they didn't go quietly they got thrown out by E-Cup. Five years later I ran into one such escortee–because I heard his friends STILL blowing him shit over "that time that girl tossed yer ass outta that queer bar downtown. Hahahahahaha! You got thrown out by a GIRL!" Best of all, the place was only 6 blocks from the nursing home I worked in, making it the perfect place to catch a drink or ten after my second shift job.

One Sunday night, I and about ten other patrons were having a fairly mellow time, shooting the shit and goofing off. DD was behind the bar, and he and I had just exchanged some excellent…uh…cookies! Yeah, that was it–I sold him some cookies. (Oh, hush–the statute of limitations ran out years ago on cookie-selling) Quite naturally, he wanted to go try his cookies because they smelled wonderful and he just couldn't wait. Trouble was, playing with his cookies in the main bar area just wasn't going to go over with some folks.

"Serra?"

"Yeah, hon?"

"Have you ever tended bar?"

"Uh, no. Don't you need a license for that?"

"Not if I'm in the building–and I'll be in the kitchen. Come back here and see what you think."

Long story short, after a short course in what to charge and quick instruction on the difference between bar rail (some call the non-call brand liquor line "well drinks") and call brands, my friend went off to, uh, "enjoy his cookies." I puttered around behind the bar, mixing cocktails, pouring beer, washing glasses, shooting the shit back (since I knew most of that night's patrons), and generally feeling like I was goofing off behind the boss' back.

Once DD came back, very happy with his new cookies and asking when I'd be, um, baking more, one of the guys yelled, "Hey DD! Where'd you finally find a bartender sans attitude? You'd better keep this one–I'm sick of the bitches you usually hire."

I looked around, confused. Who, moi? "Hell, Bart, I didn't do anything special–I just poured you drinks and took your money"

"Yes, darling, that's my fucking' POINT! You didn't blow me shit even when…ah, geez, I didn't tip ya!" He shoved a five across the bar. "You're how people on that side of the bar are supposed to work–not with your nose so far in the air that you'd drown in a good rain."

"Well, thanks, but I was just covering for DD while he watered the roses." I stuck the five in my jeans pocket with a smile. "I like this but DD didn't…"

"SSS, you want a second job?" DD interrupted me. "He's right–you're good with people and you do know how to mix drinks. The other bartenders want a weekend night off but I didn't have a good replacement. It'd be only one night a week and we'd work around the nursing home schedule. Besides, it'd pay your bar bill plus you keep all your tips."

I considered it. It sounded like a good deal, but with working every other weekend at my job at the nursing home, it'd sure cut into my party time. The extra money would be nice. Besides, this isn't a job–it's a hoot to do!

"Sure–just remember the weekends I work at the home I can't get here before 11."

"No problem–some nights we won't need you until then, and one of us owners can cover you until you come in. C'mon, take the job–we'd love to have you."

Pause, mostly for effect.

"Okay–when do I start?"

Check the archives for more Tales From The Back Door.

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Tales from the Back Door: SPT

May 26, 2005 at 10:31 am (Back Door Tales, Sock Puppet Theater)

Some guys just have a deathwish. Although the guy's not too bright, he does make excellent Sock Puppet Theater.

Tending bar one busy night, watching a drunk, out-of-place kind of guy stumble up to the rail

Me: What can I get you?
Him: A beer and a woman.
Me: You do realize this bar is an alternative lifestyle establishment?
Him: Yeah, but I heard straight women LUV gay men, so…

I let the comment slide, get the silly man a beer and let him go strike out on his own. The story picks up two hours later, after he's apparently asked if there's ANY straight women in the place.

Him: Hi.
Me: Another beer?
Him: Yeah, and your phone number.
Me: Sorry, I'm taken.
Him: I know you're straight.
Me: Yep–straight. And taken. I have a boyfriend.
Him: Yeah, but…
Me: But nothing, dude, I'm not interested. Sorry.

Another hour later, I take a break from the bar and head for the ladies' room…only to find Him following me…closely.

Him: I want YOU, baby!
Me: I'm not your baby and the feeling's not mutual, so…turning to go into the ladies' room
Him: Can I eat you in the bathroom? Preparing to follow me into the ladies' room.

Audible thud as silly motherfucker hits the wall 10 feet away from the bathroom. Wild applause as every woman in the place breaks into cheering!

Curtain.

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Tales From The Back Door: Boyfriends

April 2, 2005 at 9:15 pm (Back Door Tales)

Bartending was fun most of the time. I got to party with the customers, play Mad Scientist whipping up new drinks, and made enough in wages to pay my bar tab and enough in tips to pay expenses during the week. During the time I worked at The Back Door (now known as Scooters and under new management), though, my boyfriend was confused about appropriate behavior. I nearly had to draw the guy a picture: If he threw a punch at all in a bar fight in that bar, his ass was out the door right behind anyone else throwing punches. It didn’t matter who swung first or that either might have a good reason for starting a brawl–policy was that ANYONE throwing punches was OUT. I was in favor of that–fights just fuck over a good night for everyone, especially for someone who is trying to make a living in the battle zone. He finally got the message–he could come visit me at work, but if he couldn’t play nice then I’d be the first one asking him to find a door.

I got to work about half an hour early on the night I’m about to describe. The bar was already packed, but E-Cup poured me a Coke and told me to take it easy a little longer–didn’t bother me, I wasn’t working my other job that day so a little social time suited me fine. I found the only empty bar stool was next to this 6’3″ dipshit I’d been seeing around for years. Most of the time he was lisping some sort of insipid bullshit, so I wasn’t motivated to get to know him at all. He must have started drinking early–he was in bitch mode even before the DJ started playing. After listening to snide comments about fat chicks, bitches, bartenders and other ignorance, I finally got my cue to go to work. Of course, Bitchface just had to open his mouth about that too. I looked at him and said, “Get it out of your system now bitch–once I’m on the other side of the bar I have the right to refuse service to nasty little gutter whores” Pleased with myself, I sauntered off to work.

Just as I ducked under the swinging door to start work, Fifi, my boyfriend, walked in from the parking lot thru the back door. That’s where the “main” entrance was–our back door was off the municipal parking lot, while the front door was on a side street with no parking,.hence the bar’s name. As I set my tip jar out, I heard, “Where the hell’s my Heineken Dark?” Yeah, Fifi in da HIZZOUZE. Whee. I think the only reason he came in at all was because we were the only bar in downtown Eau Claire that served it. It’s not likely he just had a major jones for watching drunks blow me shit. That was too bad–looked like he was going to get a healthy dose of exactly that.

I got his Heineken, cooed over the $5 tip he left me, grinned at the scowl on Bitchface’s pinched-looking mug (yep, Fifi took the only open barstool–the one I’d just gotten off), blew Fifi a kiss and set to work. We were packed already–that meant we were either going to have a very good night, or a very annoying night. Considering the shit started even before I touched a beer bottle, I was betting on number two. Once I started, the owner quit for the night and headed home. As soon as the owner’s back was turned, I heard the bar fridge open and a big bottle clink against the shelf. I loved E-Cup in some ways–that woman knew how Dr. McGillicuddy’s was served–ice fucking cold and on the house, once every half hour as needed for dildo-brain tolerance.

As I breezed by the middle of the bar with a double armload of beer bottles and both hands full of shots, I heard the weirdest thing I’d ever heard said by a male voice in that bar, before that moment or in the many years since:

“The aroma of a woman arouses me.”

The phrase itself, and variations thereof, were not uncommon at all. The Back Door welcomed the rainbow of alternative lifestyle advocates and the friends who loved them. Eau Claire was simply too small a town to support a bar dedicated to only one gender, lifestyle, or subset of the gay community. The same bar whose ladies’ softball team played Tuesday nights hosted the Packer game on Sundays and Monday nights during the season, and once a month set up the stage for the area’s best female and male impersonators. The weird part was the “male voice” thing. Straights did frequent The Back Door for one reason or another, but nearly none of them were male.

I looked for Fifi–sure as shit, that was his voice…and that’s his face right there, licking his lips and leering at me. I was about to get displeased, but I knew there had to be a good reason for the proclamation. I finished the serve I was working on, took the money from the customers and headed for the cash register, ears perked for more of what the hell he’s up to.

All I heard was a big GAGGGGG! I made change and turned casually, just in time to catch Bitchface looking like someone had shoved that nasty mug into a nice juicy pussy. Fifi’s voice continued, “Women just taste SO much better than men do, don’t you agree? And I adore listening to them…” More gagging, and I nearly cheered as I watched Bitchface turn away from the bar, muttering about finding “better people to sit by.” Apparently he didn’t find any–he set his drink down on the pool table and nearly wound up wearing it as the man trying to line up his shot grabbed it and cocked it back to throw it after him. I took the change to my customer, unable to stop giggling. She took her change and left a $10 on the bar for me. “Your boyfriend couldn’t have found a better way to get Bitchface to quit hitting on him. Buy him a shot and you have one too.” She turned and headed back to her friends near the dance floor.

Yep, I’d missed it, but got the story after bar when Fifi and I caught some breakfast at Perkins. Apparently as soon as my cute (at the time) nice (when it suited him or he wanted nookie) boyfriend sat down in my vacated seat, Bitchface nudged him and said, “Watch out for that bartender–she’s a real bitch!” Naturally Fifi still wanted sexual congress with my ass in spite of the extra padding on it, so he told Bitchface that he was my boyfriend. Of course that prompted Bitchface into the best way he could think of to piss me off–get my Fifi in the sack.

Fifi remembered the talk we’d had about bar fights. He specifically remembered that having a man hit on him in that particular bar was NOT a GOOD reason to throw down, especially if I was in the position of having to bounce his ass out The Back Door. I was proud of him–he even remembered that slugging some juvenile-minded moronic bitch-man was not acceptable, no matter what the provocation might be, up to and including said bitch-man NOT taking “I’m not interested” for an answer.

Apparently the snatches of conversation I’d overheard were prompted by sheer luck and Bitchface’s question, “What’s she got that I haven’t got, cutie pie?” Bitchface wanted to know exactly why Fifi wouldn’t let him make hot monkey passion in the nearest semi-private locale–so Fifi told him. In earnest, honest, exquisite, graphic detail. With hand gestures, licking of lips, leers at my ample ass, and specific details on why some men really enjoy sex with women. Even after all these years and all the garbage Fifi’s put me thru, I still have to hand it to him. He couldn’t have come up with a better way to defuse a guy with a grudge and too much ego.

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