Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chapter 15 - HELP WANTED: Tales of a Free- Spirit Professional

A warm welcome to visitors - old and new! Please click on the right side of the page in the archives to follow this post from the beginning. It ALL starts in June 2011, so take a look and follow along. As always, thanks for reading and enjoy.

I was so nervous on my first day that I forgot what Albert told me about placing one finger on the base of the wine glass when pouring and to never, EVER lean the bottle on the rim of the glass.  I, of course, did both and there went the glass, the wine and my dignity, splashing all over George – one of the many regulars.

“Whoa!!  Easy there, girl!”  He laughed as he sprang up from his bar stool, hands up, like someone just yelled, “Stop!  Police.  Get your hands up!”

I was mortified and when I get embarrassed, I go to the jokes.  It’s a nervous habit of mine that usually works well and thankfully, in this case, it did.

“George!  I’m so sorry,” I said, leaning down and going into my purse which was stored on a shelf below the bar.  “Here ya go,” I smiled, pulling out an umbrella.  “Use this until I get a little more comfortable behind the bar.”

George roared with laughter, his pot belly bouncing up and down.

“I like this girl,” he announced, pointing my way, looking around at the others as if he’d just discovered a rising star.

Thank GOD this guy had a sense of humor and thank GOD, it was raining and I happen to have an umbrella in my purse.

“Next one’s on me,” I said, wiping up the wine, which white – another gift.

“Then, I guess you’ll need this,” he said, handing the umbrella back to me, his belly dancing as he and the others all cracked up at my expense.

The night went more smoothly after that and the more I poured, the more comfortable I felt.  The Cove was a great starting point because being busy there meant five people max all needing a drink at once.   The restaurant never filled up beyond three or four tables at a time, which would eventually get boring.  But in those first weeks and months, I was happy to have my little crowd at the bar.

A month into my tenure, Albert needed Tuesday nights off and offered the shift to me. I was thrilled as it made me feel more like a real bartender.  And the truth was, I was beginning to like how it felt behind the bar.  There was something powerful in it – standing there, entertaining people.

There was still that small item of the promise I’d made to Albert and each time I saw him, he’d remind me.

“But I don’t have a place to perform,” I told him one night when he stopped in for a drink.

Albert was a good looking guy.  He was Latin – Puerto Rican, I think – and tall; very tall.  His dark eyes were always warm and he talked with a thick Queens accent which just made him sound so real.

“Why not have it here?” he said, sweeping his hands across the room like those ladies on The Price is Right.  “You could use the piano!”


“Yeah.  It’s in the back.  They used to have music here on Sundays, but no one ever came, so they rolled it off the floor to make more room for…..” he trailed off.

“The fake plants??!!”

We both had a good laugh over that, but once I recovered, I began to think about it as a real possibility.

“Ya got musicians?” Albert asked, draining the last of his drink with a small slurp.

“I could find some.”

No comments: