It’s 8:15 on a Friday night. Doors opened at 7:30. 45 minutes ago. Zero paid so far. I go chat it up with the door person. How many you think gonna come tonight? She says five, I give an optimistic seven. The shitty thing is, all of the bands are really good tonight. I heard all their soundchecks. So it would be nice if we could get a crowd, for their benefit, and ours.
Flippantly, I tell the door girl, I’m gonna make an executive decision. Let’s change the door price from seven to five bucks. For some reason, people get itchy when you charge that odd number. They’re less prone to walk away when it’s an even five. Oops…five’s an odd number, too. You get what I’m sayin though.
After about another 1/2 hour, at the end of the first band’s set, a few people show up. Yay! We might make a little money, cover costs. I get to bartending, after awhile I look up, and there’s a good 25 people in the house. Good good. And I doubted. My bad.
Near the end of the night, I’m bartending, I check my phone for the time, huh, I got a text from the booker. And it reads as follows:
You don’t have “executive decision” of changing the price on door. You consult me first. This show is contracted. The bar will pay the difference if we go beyond cost based on your call.
Oh shit. I screwed up. I didn’t even think it would ever go down like that. At first, I was flabbergasted the door person listened to me. Who actually listens to me? I just say things with force, hoping people will buy my act that way. Sometimes it works. Tonight it did, and backfired in my face.
I respond to his text:
Sorry bout that. I was feeling desperate when there was zero people here 45 min after door. Will never happen again. And I’ll pay it out of my pocket for my mistake. Just tell me the number.
I see the booker ten minutes later. And I want to say, I love the guy dearly, and have a deep respect for him as a person and for the job he does. I go up to him, he’s at the door, counting money. I say, hey, man, I was out of line. I should have never said that. How many people came in? He says, 29. I go grab forty bucks from my tips, and hand it to him. Is that enough? He says, that’s more than enough.
Later on, when I’m cleaning up the bar, I’m thinking, hey, I learned a lesson tonight and it only cost me forty bucks.
I go home and sleep decent.
From my heart to yours,
Clint Curtis. Bartender.