Crazylandia Thirteen

The next Friday, I’d planned with E. to again work at Flora.

I have to admit I was far more nervous this time than the first. Afraid I’d get over confident, and really muff it this time. Actually had a little of a hard time sleeping the night before, due to worry. Very tired during the day Friday and pretty burned feeling as I took SF MUNI and BART to Oakland. Plus, there was the fact that friends Trott and Humuhumu had promised to come and visit me while I was working. Glad they were interested in showing support, but still it was another thing to weigh on me during the course of the evening.

Made it in, changed, said, “Hi,” to E., and he said today he’d have me work the well with L. instead of working with him. When I greeted L. he told me he and I would both work the well and deal with the bar customers on our end of the bar. As well, he would show me how the Point of Sale System worked. Well, nothing like confronting your fears to distract you from being a bit tired.

In the drink making category the night went great. I had to double check each recipe only once the first time I made it, but from then on was good to go. I could make them without pausing or thinking too much.

Customer work was a lot harder for me. Honestly, it was like developing a muscle I hadn’t used in a long, long time. I just didn’t feel comfortable at first greeting customers or asking them what they would like. One of the hardest things I’ve done in a while. I started to feel a bit more comfortable towards the end of the evening when a nice couple sat near the end of the bar and I was able to engage them in conversation about Absinthe and other interesting events in their past.

Trott and Humuhumu arrived fairly early. 7:00 PM, maybe. They were able to get seats at the bar after a bit of a wait. When I went over to greet, they told me they would like me to make a drink for them some time during the evening. I replied, “Oh c’mon, you can come over to my house any time and I’ll make you a drink. You should have one of these other fine gentlemen make something for you!” Amusingly, E. soon took me aside and said, “Uh, you either know those people or just made a completely inappropriate remark.”  Fortunately, the former!  It was great to see Trott and Humuhumu, I was truly grateful for their support, and from what I could tell they had a great evening of food and drink.

The evening wasn’t as busy as the previous week, but bar orders kept dribbling in at a regular clip until much later. There was a group of a few larger tickets around 9:30-10:00, and my mind just couldn’t quite take it in. I guess, understandable, as by this point I had been working for over 12 hours, with only a break for a lunch and a BART ride. L. told me to go check on E. and he would handle it. This ended up being a poor decision, and perhaps due to poor communication between the wait staff and the bar, one of the tables walked before their drink order came out. This snapped me back into focus, but the night was mostly over.

Highlight: Awesome bar back Enrique asking me, “Are you going to be working here?” and then adding, “You’re really good!”

Around 10:30-11:00 we put in our food orders, as the kitchen was starting to close. Our orders came up and E. and I sat down to talk about what was next.

4 thoughts on “Crazylandia Thirteen

  1. Nice writeup, again. I am really enjoying these posts. You’re living the cocktail-blogger nightmare, and succeeding very well! I can mix a better cocktail that 99% of bartenders in my city, but not under pressure or in their context, not in the least. You’re pretty brave to put your pride on the line to try this in the line of duty. Nice work!

  2. It was, indeed, a great evening of food and cocktails. Too bad we didn’t manage to finagle a way for you to make me my Carter Beats The Devil! But no matter, it was wonderful! Glad to hear that you were having as much fun as it looked like you were, viz. a lot of fun tempered with a small amount of mild and entertaining dread.

  3. Thanks for the encouragement!

    “Nightmare,” though? More like a dream world to me! I can’t believe the interesting people I’ve met and experiences I’ve been lucky to have. Certainly, “a long strange trip,” to use a dead-ism, but I’m happy to have the chance to take it.

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