Monday, August 2
Two Weeks BackRighty, let's start with this catching-up (another compound word. Dammit I'm becoming Americanised in my writing style. Bad Rob) by going through the week I had at work two weeks ago. Actually, shit, that was three weeks ago! I really am very behind in my writing.
So, cast your mind back to the evening of Tuesday, 13th July. Can you remember what happened to you that day? I can, because I took the precaution of making a week's worth of notes on what happened at work that week, with the intention of typing it all up before I went home the following week. Of course, I didn't get round to doing it, but at least I now have something to freshen my memory. Organisation: it's important.
Just a quick reminder as to the two pubs I work at. Y is a great little drinkers' pub just off Goodge St, full of Young, Hip and Trendy media types, as well as office workers. I spend most of my time there, but I also work at X, a bigger, blander food pub at Oxford Circus. That pub has two floors, with the downstairs section being smaller, more cramped and more intimate. I prefer working the downstairs bar, because the clientele are more interesting, and also because it is air-conditioned, a godsend in recent weeks.
My note for Tuesday reads "7pm - 11.30, V. quiet, LIT, London Eye."
Not particularly helpful, it must be said.
I think I've written about taking my relations to the London Eye during the day, so I'll skip that bit. I guess the evening's shift must have been deathly quiet at work, with nothing of any note occurring. What a good start to my catching-up...
"LIT" stands for Lost In Translation, which my housemates were watching when I got back that evening. I still can't believe that I haven't seen that film yet, especially since I've ripped the DVD onto my hard drive. Again, my laziness / preoccupation with minor matters has prevented me from getting on with converting it to a viewable .avi file. Shame on me once more.
Wednesday's note makes much more sense, and I can remember the details of the evening very clearly. "6pm - 11.30, other pub, not supposed to, Cavendish Sq, Polish girls, many fit girls, should have given number"
I started at X at 6 in the afternoon, but before I got there I stopped off to grab a sandwich, since I'd skipped dinner at home. I was probably doing something meaningless and pointless (Champ springs to mind) which prevented me from finding half an hour to eat at home, and I knew that there are a number of sandwich shops in the vicinity of X, so an al fresco snack seemed the ideal choice.
I'm telling you this fairly pointless and non-eventful story because of where I ended up eating my al fresco sandwich. I found another little idyllic piece of greenery in central London, quite literally around the corner from X. I didn't know Cavendish Square existed until that evening, but now I adore it.
It's truly amazing how you can be so close to Oxford Street and Oxford Circus (less than 100 yards), but hear so little of the hustle and bustle. The world suddenly stops, sits down and relaxes for the briefest of periods. I was only there for 15 minutes, eating my sandwich (ending up with my face being covered with mayo, if the truth be told. Stupid, mayophile sandwich-maker) and listening to random tunes on my iPod, but I felt thoroughly relaxed before heading into the maelstrom of work.
I've been back to Cavendish Square a few times since, and I still fall in love with it anew each time. I can't get over how close it is to Oxford Circus (the third circle of hell for shoppers, as I've seen it described somewhere), but yet is so far from it in terms of its tone and atmosphere. I swear that the air even feels cleaner.
And so it was with this relaxed attitude and free of stress that I went to work. It lasted about 5 minutes.
It turned out that I wasn't supposed to work that evening, you see? I'd got my days mixed up, and wasn't due to work until Thursday. Thankfully, one of the other bar staff had phoned in sick merely minutes before my arrival, so I quickly became the saviour, rather than an inept and unorganised barman.
I worked downstairs for the entire evening, watching soundless TV and trying to keep cool, aided by the blissful air conditioning. It was fairly quiet, and I spent some time chatting to one of the Assistant Managers at the bar, about anything and everything. He is one of the few other staff there who is English, so it is a lot easier to talk to him than many of the others there.
At one point in the evening, he came down to see how I was getting on, saw the amount of good-looking women that were downstairs in my bar (I tell you, I don't know how I do it!), and stayed for most of the rest of the evening., It was a strange one that night, since I don't usually attract that many pretty girls to my bar...
Two in particular stand out. I was leaning on the bar, chatting to Steve (the assistant manager), when this very pretty girl / woman came down the stairs, and came over to order a drink. She sat at the bar with us, whipped out her phone and spoke in some random language at a fair old rate of knots for a minute or two. It turned out to be Polish, as did she.
We got chatting for a while, mostly about her recent holiday to Barcelona. I've wanted to go to Barcelona for a fair old while, mostly to have a look at the cathedral they've got there. She said that it was incredible, truly inspiring and a masterpiece of architecture, and I have to agree, although my view is only based on photos.
We were chatting for a good while (yes, the bar was that dead), before her friend arrived. Dear God was her friend stunning?! The first girl was very pretty, but her friend was truly jaw-droppingly beautiful. Admittedly, she seemed a little cutting at first, but I still think she was very nice.
The rest of the night is a blur (well, it's a blank space on my notepad), but I distinctly remember the end of the evening. I'd done most of the clearing up downstairs, and had shooed the vast majority of the punters upstairs and outside, but the two Polish girls were being a little slow with their drinking-up.
They still had a tab going, which I needed to cash off, so I made numerous trips over to their table to hurry them along a little. Of course, I was polite as can be, even if I was probably drooling as soon as I got within ten yards of them.
Finally, I made the ultra-smooth comment along the lines of "As much as I'd love to spend the rest of the evening in your company ladies, I'm afraid it's time to go." See, I told you it was smooth... I'm always so very smooth around women. Ahem.
Their response was surprisingly positive. Some flirtatious replies came my way, as did they flow back from me to them. We threw these little comments around for a minute or two, before they started to get their shit together to go upstairs. I think they went to the loo as I did the final clearing-up, and then I went upstairs to see how everyone was getting on up there.
The two Polish girls came upstairs from the loo, and were just about the last ones out of the pub. We were still having a little bit of fun and some gentle flirting as they walked out of the door, but I didn't think too much of it at the time. It's almost the duty of a barman to flirt, have a laugh and be a bit cheeky towards female customers. That's the way I look at it, at any rate.
I was on the night bus on the way home, listening to more tunes and running through the night's events in my head, when it suddenly hit me:
Shit, I should have given at least one of them my number.
That was just about the furthest I have ever got with a random girl on a random night, and I was still unable to get or give a number. It may come as a bit of a surprise, although probably not to long-term readers, but I have never got a number from a girl or given my number to anyone on a night out.
And yes, I am fast approaching my 21st birthday. How depressing is that. Nearly 21, and I've never truly pulled on a night out. Of course I've pulled random girls on a night out, but never to the extent where I get a number.
Note to self: Must try harder.
Shit, this post has taken a lot longer than I expected. I've only managed to type up 2 days' worth of events in just over an hour. It has indeed become epic, as I expected. Tristan, see how I ramble?! I've got to eat (the first meal of the day, shame on me for about the 50th time today) and go to work, so I'll have to do some more writing later.
Note to self: Take notebook with you on Tube. Then when I get back, I only have to type up my writing, rather than create it too... A punning clan if there ever was one. Even more cunning than a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University. I need to watch Blackadder again sometime soon.