Going through some old stuff the other day I came upon this card.  It's a souvenir from my days as a bartender 25 years ago.  For the most part, bartending wasn't that bad, as dead-end jobs go.  It usually provided a funny story or two to tell my wife the following day.  The bad part, though, was that every week or so you would run into a problem customer.  Usually the cause of this was that they had been told that you could not serve them, or no longer serve them, because they had already had too much too drink. They would then get very angry, sometimes threatening violence of one sort or another, and sometimes, if you were lucky, just screaming obscenities at you until the police came.  It occurred to me that some of this anger might be caused by the embarrassment of being told that they were being shut off in front of other people.  That's when I had my brainstorm.  Instead of telling them out loud that they were being shut off, I would simply slip them a printed card.  I drew a cartoon on the card, to soften the news with a  little humor, I thought, and then I had my drawing photocopied on card stock, and put several of them in my wallet.   Now that I had my cards, I was almost eager to have the opportunity to shut someone off.  My opportunity came soon enough, and I tactfully slid the card across the bar, next to his glass.  He ignored it.  I pointed it out to him.  He picked it up and squinted his eyes, moving it to and fro to try to bring it into focus.  It was then that I realized the flaw in my plan.  People who have reached that stage of inebriation often have trouble seeing clearly, or at any rate have trouble concentrating enough to read clearly.  I had to explain to him what was written on the card, which kind of defeated the purpose of the whole thing.  He threw a quarter at me and left.  I put the quarter in my tip jar.  So my idea was a failure, but 25 years later, I thought it would be good for a blog post.

6 comments:

Ellen B said...

This is too funny. Thanks for the late night laugh!
Ellen B

June said...

Ha, but at least you got paid for that card :o)
I thought the idea was a good intended one...
I still occasionally deal with difficult customers - in the public library - can you believe it! Maybe I should think up a card system for those occasions... unless of course they are also drunk!

Jane said...

maybe some overserved cartoonists would have enjoyed this! very funny!

Anni Matsick said...

Sometimes an effort is worth it just to have a great story to tell 25 years later!

Amy Huntington said...

I got a good laugh! Thanks!

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

A very long time ago I was a waitress and I love your idea! Probably with drunks though, you need to be more direct and less subtle with your phrasing. Maybe, "You're Drunk... No more booze for you!" would do the trick? Maybe you would still get punched though, who knows!

Great post... made me laugh!