18 August 2007

file this under 'things one should never say outloud.'

so it turns out that i'm not as nice as i thought i was. go figure.

there was a regular at the bar when i worked there pre-bebe. bob was an ass. his mouth would open and out would fly such things as, "i could fuck any of you girls that work here whenever i want" or "we need to turn iraq into a parking lot - fuck those towel heads." "n-word this, n-word, that." the things this man continually said made me feel sick at my stomach - and angry. i'm not one to talk politics at work unless someone brings it up first. if i'm asked, i'm honest. he would draw me in, knowing where i stood, but after a few weeks of that tedious dance - i told him it was best to agree to disagree...

i didn't laugh at his sexist/racist/misogynistic/poor people suck jokes. he was at my bar most every shift for months. he grew to hate me and was very verbal about it. he was a staunch republican - most likely a neo-con, given his strong approval of the bush administration. he never tipped me, i was married after all. and he was always, always talking about his piles of money.

see, he used to tip hundreds of dollars. literally. it was nothing around christmas time for him to drop $600 bucks in tip alone to a server or the other bartenders. at the other times of the eyar - he'd leave a hundred to two hundred bucks. the girls i worked with ate it up. they laughed at all his jokes, flirted with him, let him touch them, etc. i don't play that game well, never have. my co-workers mostly talked shit on him behind his back, but said they liked the money. i figured at least i was being honest. i wasn't mean to him, i pretty much just got him what he needed to drink and went about my way - sometimes making obnoxious small talk about the weather or whatnot. safe stuff. ya know.

one day when i was huge and pregnant, right before i was put on bedrest, he came in near the end of my shift. the bar was wrapped. most of the folks had been there all day and had sizey tabs. i was having such a difficult time maneuvering at that point of the pregnancy, i was glad to almost be finished for the day. bob ordered his token drink then told me to cash him out. then he said, "you know what? put everyone's tab at the bar on me." there was much whooping back slapping and thank you-ing. i ran his credit card and took it to him. "thanks, bob. see you next time!"

i started to walk away when he said, "hey! come back here!"
i waddled back over to him and saw that he was putting a huge zero in the tip area.
"you see that?" he asked, as he made a huge circle around the total, pressing extra hard for emphasis
"i'm not tipping you" he growled, "you're a fucking bitch."

i just stared at him. for once in my life i was speechless.
then i went in back and cried.
i made 3 dollars in tips that day, after pulling a grueling 10 hour shift. there were bills i was relying on that money for.

up until that moment, i had tried to understand him. i felt sorry for him - he was clearly lonely and relied on money as a means to get people to "like" and accept him. that's no way to live. but after that day, i snapped. no one deserves to be talked to that way.

like i said, i was put on bedrest shortly after that. i heard stories about him on and off for awhile. he finally stopped coming in about a year ago after he told a bunch of people at work that he was sleeping with one of the girls that worked there - and that she was essentially stalking him by phone. he hadn't and she wasn't. she called him on it and he disappeared.

once that girl got a different job, i hear that a couple of the servers went out around the area looking for him to tell him that she was gone and he could come back. they were missing his bankroll. puke.

so i got to work the other night and the obits page was behind the bar. boss man told me he'd died a few days before and that he was going to his funeral that night.

the co-worker that chased him off also said she was going "to pay her respects"... uh... because he was so respectful of her?

everyone. was. so. sad.

not me.

don't get me wrong, i wasn't happy he died, either. i just didn't care. we're all headed that way eventually - surest part of living and all...

my other co-worker walked up.

"did you hear about bob?" she asked.
"i wonder what happened to him?" (he was pretty young - 67)
"well, i imagine his hatred for everyone and his meanness ate a whole through his heart and it killed him. i'm tempted to go to the service to make sure he's really gone."
"oh, KA-RA!!!"
"what? you know how he was. the only reason anyone "liked" him around here was for his money!"

i know it's not nice to speak ill of the dead. i know. i imagine that his service was rife with stories and remembrances about what a fantastic guy he was - how he was well respected in the business community - how he was a top notch father - and husband while he was married. how his friends and family will all miss him the wonderful caring guy that he was during his time on earth. i also can't imagine that i was the only one that he was such an ass to. i wonder if there were moments before his passing when he considered his treatment of others - or if he thought he was justified in his actions and in the way he thought and felt. or if he even thought about it at all. perhaps he really believed he was a kind and generous person. who knows.

and perhaps i'm just as awful as he was for not being sad that he's gone... i guess that's not entirely true - i'am a little sad for those he left behind - he had to have been somebody's somebody, after all. hopefully he's found some sort of peace in his transition. too bad he wasn't living for it.



FAIR USE NOTICE: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We have posted it here in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific, social justice and other issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The material in this site is provided for educational and informational purposes only.