Please forgive my story telling. I’m not good at reflecting hard times of my life, and it was back in 2015. It has helped me grow as a person, and taught me how to read others better. Please let it be a warning to anyone in the hospitality business; Always be alert and aware.
I’ve worked in bars since I was 18, and had been around them since younger because, alcoholic father. That sounds worse than it is. Dad may love his beer, but he can handle it. Unless it’s wine, and some old bangers are playing in the background. Sorry, that’s pretty irrelevant. Point is, I know bars and I know drunks.
I did volunteer work for a bar for a while, from when I was 18, and met a lot of interesting individuals there. I delt with a whole range of characters and it helped me build a lot of experience.
About 20 years old, I moved and actually got employed at a bar; a military bar. That fact alone has a lot to do with the story. The base was big, with many masses and bars. As a beginner, I worked the shit jobs at the shit mass. By two months, I had worked to the nicer, but still rather busy mass for day work and then did bar work every night, 7 nights a week. I devoted myself to my work, and worked every day, for a long time 6 days a week double shift.
It was because of this obviously seen dedication that I got unofficially promoted to team leader of the bar. The hospitality business; do not get me started. Those who work in hospitality know. Trust me, retail and hospitality aren’t wholey different. Anyway, I trained up new people for other bars, since we went through casuals like a kid goes through candies. So, point being, I sort of ran the bar I was finally placed at. So, as it happens, I got to know the people there. A lot of them are amazing men that I have grown to respect highly. Because of that, all names and such, as my own, will be replaced. But then there’s two men I didn’t exactly respect, and two damn good reasons for anyone in the hospitality industry to listen up for.
I had worked at this bar for about three months. I knew the bar. I knew the men, their drinks, the deliveries, everyone elses work schedules…. Everything. As previously stated, this place had become my home and obsession. Everyone knew me. To them, I pretty much lived there. For the most part, I loved it. But… Ted and Ross… the most disgusting and terrifying men I’d ever meet.
For the record, anyone who serves, I have nothing but respect for you, and no anount of thanks can ever gesture to the amount of appreciation I feel to you all, and those who have fallen. Unfortunately, there’s a small percentage out there who serve, and aren’t the most noble like their fellow brothers and sisters.
The last month I worked there at the base was the worst. I’m a big girl during this story too, so I didn’t take a lot of comments and advances prior to all this seriously. No matter size or how you think you look, in the bar business, ALWAYS, be on full alert with any flirtatious customers. Some can mean it.
The weekday shifts weren’t interesting at all and I feel I can skip majority of it. Neither Ted or Ross got too drunk, which was when things got worse. Comments were made though, such as “You look cute with that smile,”
“I like how you say my name”
“Feel free to taste test my drink for me” etc
I know. I shouldn’t have laughed it off like I did. It was the Friday and Saturday nights I dreaded. Definitely Saturday’s, believabley the quietest. My bar was a smaller bsr, so had a small usual group of about 7-10. That’s including Ted and Ross. Close to another 5 to 7 others would semi regulate themselves around the bar, though soley on weekends.
I didn’t have a boyfriend but made a big point about having one whilst at work. I should also mention the bar I worked at resided older gentlemen. Some were a bit older but namely between 35-45yrs. I told them I had a boyfriend because they loved hearing about young love, more than actually doing so in protection. And,one busy Friday night,dyring the chaos of an event,it slipped out that I did not in fact have a boyfriend. My dumbass had said this to Ross. I hadn’t really registered what I’d done. To this day, I’m not sure how I told him actually. It was very busy and Ross was being rather annoying, trying to sound important, how he was one of the very few who could deal with the music system, I think. He had fixed it a few times, so it wasn’t like I didn’t know that. So, word got around that Andy was single. No one brought it up to me, and no one tried to hit on me. I was half their age and would be saying I was with someone for a reason.
But then Ted started paying me extra attention. More than usual. I noticed this right away. I’m a very easy going person, with too much of a “she’ll be right ” attitude, but his kindness and politness was just too…. nope. Girls, when an ugly guy is chasing you around with a drink but you’re NOT interested? That feeling. Boys, when you accidentally dance against that ugly chick and she thinks she’s got a chance so chases you around the dance floor? That feeling.
Basically, the first Friday night Ted found out,he wasn’t shy to approach. He kept giving me more sexual comments, and ask to go out after I knock off so he can truly appreciate my “beautiful baby hips”
Guys. We fucking hate that.
At the end of the first night, there was an envelope with my name on it. My co worker said one of the customers (as she was on her second shift at the base, first at my bar) handed it in and said before I started my shift this fell out of my pocket as I was walking in. I felt sick, but not terrified. Where I enter work is from the back, and enter via the storeroom. No customers should see me. The parking lot for workers is hidden from the customer parking lot, so pretty much… HOW was I seen?
$50. Inside the envelope was $50. Because everyone did so well, as the night was so busy , I discreetly split it three ways. And for the record, only three people work on Fridays. Every other day is two. Unless Saturday is busy, then we can steal someone from the mass for an hour. When you habe a six hour shift, four hour fast serving pace, that doesn’t do a lot but am always grateful for the extra hands. The last month, no matter how busy it was, I found myself hiding away in the cool room restocking, terrified of Ted. I had made an anonymous complaint, but without revealing my face and sitting down with hard proof, it did nothing. I was up shits creek without a paddle.
The first Saturday of Ted finding out I had no boyfriend, he met me at the stoore room’s doors as I went to open. I worked day shifts, and was exhausted. My anxiety of the shift hadn’t set in yet, but it all slammed me when I saw his creepy smiling face. The conversation was short and polite. I rushed into the bar before long, and hid in the back until my co worker showed up. The co worker from hell. He was fine, really. He just happened to give Ted my number that goddamn Saturday night. So, after telling Ted I was pretty much already hooking up with someone else, and still receiving relentless flirts and hit ons, it was finally time to close. I went home without incident.
4:30am. Monday. My alarms going off. I go to turn it off only to realize it isn’t my alarm. It was my ringtone. I happened to have my alarm the same as my ring tone, so whenever I hear my phone, I’m always jumping for it. Is it a phone call or an alarm I forgot to set? The adventures I usually endure through out my day.
Anyway, I had unfortunately realized it was my ringtone and not my alarm tone when I had accidentally answered the phone.
“Hello?” A drunk male voice had slurred.
I hung up immediately befote checking the time. It was just before 4:30am, so I got up anyway and got ready for work. I forgot about the phone call for most part of the day. At lunch, I had mentioned it to a co worker. She had pretty much everyone’s number who worked on the base so we had a look, but she didn’t have it. It makes sense for her to not have the number of a customer, which I can lose my job over instantly.
Wednesday or Thursday that week, the mysterious number I had forgotten about texted me one morning, about 3.
“YOU TURNED ME DOWN FOR ROSS?!” and some other colourful things. I’m not a detective but this narrowed down the suspects. In my anger, and panic for in case anyone saw it, I deleted the message. I didn’t forget about it so easily as I forgot about the phone call. That was obviously Ted. No one else had made moves on me like him. But what in Earths name gave him the wild idea I was remotely interested in Ross? Those thoughts of him turned me completely off. The idea of anyone wanting me in such a manner was bizarre to me.
When I saw Ted that afternoon at work, I held back all smiles and all familiarities he had with happy go lucky Andy. I was pissed. I pulled him aside and asled him in a very furious manner where he got my phone number from, where he got the horrid notion I liked Ross and stated again very clearly why I did not want to be with him, which was; I am attracted to another,much younger male, and definitely not older men or customers. I love my job and having money.
In return to the phone number and Ross… He told me my co worker had given my number to him. He had told him I wasn’t with anyone and hadn’t told him to back off at all when he approached me.
A side note from the story; he was cute, but I was bigger than him so wasn’t… interested. We joked about, but never even touched,or kissed. But is still very inappropriate behaviour.
And about the Ross part…. Apparently he knew of Ted’s feelings to me. Instead of being the bigger man however and helping out a young, unsure woman in distress, he had informed Ted that I had left my other fake boyfriend for him. Ted believed him. I was in too much shock to correct Ted on his findings from Ross, and he slinked away as I stared off, numbness sweeping over me. He left the bar entirely, and I ressumed my tasks as usual, hiding it all back. When Friday and Saturday rocked up, Ross and Ted were nowhere insight, and slowly became out of mind. The next week started off quiet and slow and I loved it. All the craziness seemingly gone away and the normal bullshit of the job began to take over.
Until I came home the next Thursday night to find flowers at my home. Now I should mention; I lived in a caravan park. You had to go in some way and my van was tucked away a little out of sight. I rode a bike, which was black and hid easy. Without trying, it was made pretty hard to find me to begin with. Thinking of Ted right away, I found his number in my phone and rung him up. I went off at him for a solid five minutes before he managed to but in.
“Andy, I got sent away this morning, remember? You’re lucky you got me… We’re about to get on the next plane.”
…get on the next plane…
That’s when I remembered. A few guys were sent out for a weeks training. They wouldn’t be back until next Thursday. My stomach twisted and I hung up without another word. Could… could have Ross followed me home one night? It made sense… I hadn’t seen him for the first half of my bar shift that night, which was unlike him. He usually is the first to greet me as I open up the bar shutters.
Next Friday night was an event and I didn’t get a chance to talk to Ross. I barely saw him that night. It was a big night and thank god the co worker who trained me up prior to taking over the bar was there. We finished later than usual due to a cock up with the till, we were constantly out but never did the out total to the same amount twice. Lucy, a good looking woman of late 30’s, sent me home around 1:30am. No point in two of us staying back, we were both so deliriously tired. I was nervous about the ride home. I had drunk a lot of coffee but was still struggling to keep my eyes open. I had started early that day, 5am so was up at about 4am.
I was gearing up, getting ready to go home. First, I had to find my headphones. I knew I needed loud, angry music for the ride home. Slipknot and Marilyn always kept me going, but where were my headphones? Being so submerged in looking for them, I didn’t notice Ross ride over on his push bike. He gave a lame ring of his stupid bell. He had been drinking coke all night but regularly rode his pushbike, as he lived on the base like 99.9% of the customers I served. He made usual comments, how I always looks beautiful, I did a great job tonight, did I watch the game, can he join me on my bike ride home….
The question caught me completely off guard and I stared at him like a Magikarp. He commented how cute I looked rugged up, looking surprised. That comment knocked me from my shock and I went real angry real quick. I told him as aggressively and insensitivity as possible how I’d never touch him, even if he were the last man on Earth. Whilst laughing, he said I was even cuter angry.
At that time, the store room doors opened and Lucy popped her head out, holding headphones, asking if I needed them, smiling. Ross rode off and Lucy stopped smiling, spotting me visibley concerned. She asked if I was alright, and I finally told her everything. I trusted Lucy. She was a good person, and I wasn’t surrounded by many at this time. I lived alone and my family was in another state, which was why I dedicated myself to working. I didn’t genuinely like many people there, but I would go as far to say, Lucy’s my friend. I still keep in contact with her, and all those few I came to find as friends there.
Lucy believed me. She promised me she wouldn’t tell anyone, and would help me file a report. She informed me Ross had actually pestered another female worker who had worked at that bar. She became heavily distressed and quit, only saying that Ross was a lying sack of filth. So an official report against him wouldn’t be overlooked, according to Lucy.
It’s not like a normal bar, where I’ve been harrassed before. It’s easy, just say something to a manager and things are slowly sorted. Out here, where a patron is in the army, the military, navy or possibley marines… It’s not so easy. It’s a bar attendant’s word against a highly respected soldier. It’s a whole life of building a respectable reputation at stake, so any claim of such natures have had tendencies of being… missed. Yet somehow, the person who has made the claim suspiciously loses their job shortly after.
With Lucy at my side, I was less frightened of that happening to me. So, Saturday, between shifts, I met up with Lucy and made an official report. Luckily, there was a camera at the parking lots, and I had parked in view Friday night. You can see I get visibley shaken as Ross speaks to me, and leaves as light comes from off the left side of the camera, where the store room doors are. With that alone, Ross was given official warning to not approach my bar when I was on duty. He would be informed an hour ahead of time if I would be workint or not.
That helped for the last week I was there. I had one more weekend there before I quit, and worked somewhere else. Somewhere safer. Calm down, before you think this story has a happy ending. We haven’t forgotten about Ted, have we? As planned, he came back from training a week later. My peaceful week at work was over. Word was quick to spread about Ross’s ban, with various rumours. My favourite was he sexually attacked me. I’m not one to advocate false sexual rumours, but he made me feel very violated and no girl deserves that. I want that rumour to be heard, so future girls hear and take warn when working there. He ended up receiving my number somehow and sent very vulgar, and sexual messages, thankfully separatedbut still. I have a new phone number now, if you were wondering.
So, Ted heard about everything and from his twisted mind, he gathered I was available. That Friday night wasn’t an event but was busy as usual. Boys were back so celebrations were in order. This meant Ted got incredibly drunk, and hr can’t habdle his booze to begin with. I scoulded my co worker, another newbie, for allowing him to get so intoxicated. It was to a point he was openly giving me grief, not caring who heard.
“I loved you! I bought you plane tickets!” Ted slurred loudly from his beer. “You could’ve been the better mother for my children!”
He finished his drink and threw $100 at me in $20 notes, everyone standing in shock at this. Everyone besides me. I had had enough. I picked the money up and threw it back, tears in my eyes from rage as I held myself back from jumping over the bar and killing him. I told him to buy me some therapist sessions, since his delirious obsession had nearly sent me insane. I got sent home early and was offered the next day off. I went in to speak to my boss personally about why I was quitting, and warned them to offer better training for girls, especially if they were going to do to others what they did to me and whack them in charge with minimal training.
I worked at my new job for two weeks before finding a ring at home, IN my caravan, with a single red rose. I had my dad flying up there that night, finally telling him about everything that was and had happened to me. No idea why I didn’t call the police, but I was back home in two days, with a new phone and new number and new pub job in a little town in the mountains. 10/10 don’t recommend for bike owners in the wintee time.
I was mentally and emotionally abused, I was terrorised and even had my property violated and broken into. If that sounds disgusting to you, then don’t let it happen, even to you. Break the cycle. Always be alert. Don’t let the madness slip, even to my extent. Plane tickets were purchased, an engagment ring was bought… Even the safest places can be some of the most dangerous, with the wrong people present. I suffered anxiety for a while but worked on it and am a lot better now. If this sounded easy for me, it wasn’t. I can’t dwell into emotional detail too much,for my mental sake. As far as I know, as I do not pry for my mental health, Ted never got assigned to that base again and Ross apparently just stopped going to the bar. Maybe he felt his name was tainted? I won’t taint it here, as then it’ll connect at lot of dots to a lot more identities in this story, so sorry but as mentioned, I respect them too much to say by real name.
Anyway, that’s my story. Stay safe out there, in this strange world of ours ladies and gents