I’m behind the bar at the hotel. Got called in last minute to cover a shift for a fellow bartender. I guess my fellow bartender had a death in his family. Happy to help, he’s a great guy.
I get the bar set up, one guy is already there. I go up to him, he asks for a vodka cranberry. Sure, no problem. I make him the drink.
We get to talking. I would say he’s from a small town in Iowa, by the way he looks, and he told me. He’s wearing what I believe to be a Nascar shirt. He tells me he’s an electrician. A solid occupation. Better than bartending, I’ll tell you that.
He asks me, you like track racing? I think for a moment. My answer could help or hurt my tip line. I say, honestly, um…I don’t quite know what that is. But, no, car racing really isn’t my thing. But it seems cool.
The thing about the beginning of the shift, there’s always that first guy that sits down, and you have to talk with this one person, because there’s no one else to help. It can get awkward and exhausting, depending on the customer. This guy, well, I’m trying to look busy cleaning and organizing, so I don’t have to talk a year with him.
He finishes his 3rd vodka cranberry, he asks for another one. I make it, set it down, then he says, you know what I like about this place? I say, what’s that? He says,
There’s no black people.
Oh boy. Here we go.
I can’t even remember the last time I met a straight-up racist. At least one that ADMITS to it. They’re a strange, hateful, ignorant breed of bird that I like to stay away from. Yeah, of course, we’re ALL racist, up to a point. But I clearly have a handful of black friends that I care for and love greatly. And also, I voted for Obama TWICE. And you definitely can’t be racist if you did that.
Just to clarify, I say back to him, you don’t like black people? He says, no. I don’t.
I say, ok.
Wow. I just can’t believe this guy. Yeah, I’m white, but I could easily be married to a black woman. And yes, I said before, some of my closest friends happen to be black. I don’t want to be on my high horse, but that’s just WRONG to put that out to someone you don’t know.
Minutes later, he says, can you run my tab? I say, sure no problem. I run his tab, it’s around 30 bucks. I put it in a folder, hand it to him. I say, fakely, hey. Thanks for sitting at my bar! He says, sure. Thanks.
He signs his slip, leaves, I look, it’s a 2 dollar tip.
Great guy. Racist…and cheap.
The perfect combo.