The Facebook Site for the pub I work at is called "Rhyddings Hotel, Centre of the Universe." Cough. Cough. Cough. I didn't make it. This probably means, however, that I'm entitled to talk about what happens there as it effects everything to occur anywhere, ever.
so here we go: Superhappy Workfun #1.
There's too much longwinded backstory that isn't interesting to get this one across, but I'll try. There's two of the regulars who come by. One is Huwie, who is nicknamed "the horrible cunt" and then there's Ceri, who's a good few decades younger than Huwie, but is his boss. On and off. It's a complex relationship; Ceri often comes in and asks. . . So. . . any horrible cunts around?
No, no sign of odiousness.
Good good. So it hasn't been that loathesome in here today?
Not that I've seen.
It's good banter. Actually, probably 60% of the truly quality banter from the dailies comes from Ceri-- "I'll take a few pints of self-loathing with a chaser of despair and-- oh wait, you don't SELL dignity here, do you?
So it was pretty la-a-ame when Ceri was in a few weeks ago with a good group of mates I'd not seen before and they proceeded to give me and Simon a good bit of shit.
( Parentheticals you probably figure but I'll say anyway--Now-- Taking Shit is part of a bartender's job. Not enough bubbles in your pint? Here, let me pour your pint into a new glass and top it up, wasting what ends up being nearly half a pint of beer just so that your Fosters is foamy enough. Too MUCH head on your beer? Let's just top that up for you. Yes, it sure IS a shame this isn't a "Real Pub." I'll serve you so much faster when you snap your fingers. Etc.--)
But there's Taking Shit and there's some shit-- when one of Ceri's mates' pint was flat after about three new glasses, well, that's not my fault, is it? Plus by now we've put almost a pint and a half in the waste tray just trying to conjure up some bubbles. So then every time I walk past he complains, cusses at me or remarks that he paid £2.60 for this pint and blah blah blah (he actually paid £2.45.)
This isn't what got Ceri banned. Ceri was just sitting there laughing. Would I have liked it if one of my regulars who I'm always quick to serve actually said something-- anything-- to the effect of "come on, guys, I drink here every day, lay off." Yes.
But I wasn't expecting it.
However, when the lot of them started sending texts to the pub phone aimed at Simon saying things like Next time make sure my pint has bubbles in it, you hairy cunt and similarly hilarious bits (revolving around the C-word. I'll miss it's ubiquity when I go home.) that Simon refuses to serve them. I go along with it, because seriously, fuck those guys.
Meanwhile, the "horrible cunt" is sitting at his stool, shaking his head and politely waiting to be served. Ironies.
So if there's one thing I can say for Tony and Angie, it's that they back up their employees. None of this "customer is always right" rot. Tony tells me that he doesn't want those guys in here any more and if Ceri wants to keep drinking here he needs to issue an apology. Now I don't want the guy banned-- I just want his charming friends to leave me alone. However, Saturday night he comes in and gets into a proper Row with Angie and now he's 86ed. Meanwhile, "horrible cunt" now works for us as a cleaner.
Jane has worked at the pub for quite a while now. She's been in and out of the bartrade for a good long time and the customers like her. She is not, however, good at managing her drinking habits in such a way to line up with her schedule. Even by the Rhyddings standards. Which run along these lines-- "If I can go out and get absolutely shitfaced every night and still show up here and do my job for eight hours, you damn well can too."--Kim.
We don't care about hangovers, blurry eyes or cranky tempers. We do care (or I do) when we get texts at 6:30am asking for coverage of the 11am shift. Hypothetically. Which I did because 1) I'm a sucker and 2) I'm good hearted and 3) I'm broke and 4) all of the above.
So working an unexpected 11-5 on a rugby day was fine; but when Simon shows up and asks if I want to cover him because "he's got to do some shit" well. . . alright. Half your shift. Til 9pm. For an even 10 hours.
But when Simon doesn't show to cover the last half of his shift, well, I'm already on a pint of bitter and sure as hell no one ELSE is picking up the slack. So Angie tells Kim to text Simon "If you're not here in 15 minutes don't bother coming back."
Needless to say, he doesn't show. I'm sure he'll have a story. On one hand I feel bad for the guy -- 22 years old, two kids and what sounds like the banshee from hell to contend with, personally. When he didn't show up for a week and returned, teary-eyed and apologetic, Angie let him back.
On the other hand, I believe Nicola put it best when she said: "Well, it serves the stupid twat fucking right for not showing up. Asshole."
Because at the end of the day, yeah man. We've all Got Problems. But we show up.