*Bar Stories

When I first started tending bar, all the stories I heard seemed interesting. After a while, not so much. It took longer and longer for someone really new to come in and say something different. I was always about to quit when it would happen: I heard a new or different story. I was buoyed every time it happened, so I would stick around. Finally the gaps were just too great and I decided to move on from bartending. Of course that’s when it happened one more time.

One day I’m working the day shift at Hubers Cafe and a couple walks in. It was late in the day, between lunch and the after-work crowd rush. They ordered a small amount of food and then asked for a bottle of champagne. Without looking at the wine list, they requested the best in the house. Back in 1975 that was Dom Perignon at $150 a bottle. They chatted quietly while eating their meal and sipping champagne. One bottle led to two, as they worked on their second hour of hanging out. I was intrigued, so I finally could not help but ask them who they were. I’ve never forgotten the answer.

Turns out the guy was in the stock market and traveled all over the world, staying in fancy hotels while he made his deals. It didn’t matter to him where he lived, his only concern was when the ‘Markets’ in various cities opened and closed. Because the NY exchange closes three hours earlier than the west coast, he had been up early and by 2pm PST he was ready for supper. They spent around $350 for ‘lunch’, tipped me $100, and headed out the door. These two attractive, happy, very nice people were the last two interesting folks I met in a bar, and I quit the business soon there after.

Being the person that I am, finding a ‘regular Joe’ job was out of the question. I decided to go with temporary employment agencies. Do a job for a short time, and if you don’t like it, move on. On the other hand, if the people and the company were cool, knock ’em dead with hard work and they’d love you. They would find out I was multi-talented and willing to do anything. I might start out sweeping up the parking lot and end up answering phones in the office. A short time later I ended up in childcare, which I did for 2 1/2 years. I eventually went back to school to get a degree in Early Chidlhood Education, but that is a different story.

Flexibility is a nice trait, and I have lots of it. Just ask me.

“I slept all the way across Wyoming. God bless Demerol”, by Karen Miller


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