‘You’re a fat cunt. A stupid cunt. An ugly cunt. Lesbian cunt. You look like Jimmy Saville. You fucking bitch. Fucking lesbian cunt.’
A redacted version of the abuse I faced from one customer this weekend. And what had I done to ‘deserve’ it? Merely refused him a drink. Not only had he had too much, but when I had been collecting glasses outside he had asked me to give him a blow job. So I exercised pretty much the only power I have in my workplace and refused the bastard the drink he felt he was entitled to. He was with a friend, who, once his disgusting amoeba of a companion had been ejected by security, then profusely apologised on his behalf. He said nothing whilst I was being verbally battered, he was only apologising so he could have a few more jaegerbombs. I refused him. There were people standing around him who said and did nothing, they just carried on drinking their champagne. My manager, who was at the next till, could not have failed to overhear and said and did nothing. He should have defended his staff, instead he put his head down and carried on serving.
The lack of support from management is disgusting. If that were my staff, that guy would have been out of the pub before he could put the t on cunt. He certainly would not have been allowed to stand there for 5 minutes screaming abuse at my staff before that staff member had to get security.
No doubt that particular customer would have kicked off no matter who had refused to serve him, and I admit that his demand for oral sex had more to do with my refusal than his drunkenness and I was completely justified in doing so, but the terms of abuse he chose say a lot about his view of women. First, that insulting my appearance would cause maximum damage (it didn’t- I may not be Marilyn Monroe but I’m not hideous); secondly that ‘lesbian’ is an insult (it’s not really, is it. Pathetic. Although, not the only time asking customers to leave has resulted in that term being flung around as an insult. I’m too tired to theorise on why that is, but perhaps refusing them the drink through which they define their masculinity somehow threatens them and therefore they see my refusal as a rejection of their masculinity and hence I must be a lesbian because how else would I be immune to their manliness. Just putting that out there.).
Not the only dickhead I dealt with this weekend. ‘I’ll have a courvoisier and a Skyfall’. Ok, so what’s a Skyfall? Is it a martini, shaken not stirred? (not that we even have a cocktail shaker in this pub…) Is it a cocktail based on Skyy vodka? Nope. I ask the customer what he means by ‘Skyfall’. It’s….Heineken. I ask why he didn’t just say that. His mate says ‘cheer up’. Like they have the right to control how I feel because they’re spending less than ten quid in a shitty little chain pub. I told them I didn’t feel like cheering up, and was that all they wanted to drink. He tells me he doesn’t want to be served by me, because I’m not fufilling his expectation of the cheerful, fake-smile plastered, ‘oh wonderful customer let me worship and your feet and give you a massage with that crap pint’ bar worker. I told him that I didn’t want to serve him anyway. Then, as I walked away, I heard him say something that sounded like ‘I bet your boyfriend slaps you’. There was no way I was letting that one go, so I asked him to repeat himself. He refused several times until claiming that he said ‘I bet your boyfriend’s happy’. I don’t believe him. And even if he did say that, my relationships have nothing to do with him. And if he said what I think he said…he’s a scumbag bastard.
Even without the domestic abuse comment, this guy was a grade A wanker. I don’t understand why customers seem to think that you’re a robot who does not tire, does not get stressed and who thinks that all their stupid little comments are hilarious rather than inconvenient. Saturday was pandemonium, and he came in 8 hours into my 11 hour shift. I’d done 13 hours the day before and had 6 hours sleep before coming back into work. Next time you see a tired, stressed out bar worker don’t ask them to smile. Buy them a drink, that’ll cheer them up.
This post was a bit of a whinge, but that’s basically what blogs are for. I’m just fed up of having to deal with wankers like this all the time, and I don’t think people realise how prevalent this kind of behaviour is. We might work behind a bar, but we’re human beings, so treat us like one.