I have officially reached the next echelon of my ‘personal limit’ pyramid. Having worked in the resort and restaurant business for most of my employed life, I have seen the full spectrum of mortal behavior and potentially every single human emotion at its highest velocity and its lowest hum. I have met people from all walks of life, people from each position on the financial scale and every personality type described in psychology textbooks.
During each new experience dealing with behavior I find intolerable, my patience wears a little thinner and I don’t handle myself as gracefully and tactfully as I once was able to do. Call it experience, call it aging or call it exasperation – in the depths of my mind there is no excuse for some of the behavior I have witnessed during my career in
hostility hospitality. Today was no exception.
Being a server in restaurants and a bartender at an upscale eatery, you learn quickly how to carefully deal with the clientele who don’t know when they’ve imbibed enough in their alcoholic beverage of choice. I have learned how, over the years, to go from politically correct to obviously blunt and the message still never reaches the target. I have handled my fair share of disgruntled guests throughout my journey but I have yet to master the fully intoxicated. Sure, the few whose cocktail of choice is a mixed drink are the easiest to help. A quarter of a shot instead of the full ounce goes unnoticed in a glass drowned with sugary syrup after the blood has already been saturated. But those who drink beer or wine are tougher to fool.
Today, more than ever, drunkenness wreaked havoc on my composure. What should have been a pleasant afternoon turned into a side-show at a forgotten carnival. The generosity of one became the over-indulgence of another and I didn’t know whether my emotion should be anger or sadness. It was neither my battle to fight or my place to speak. I could only sit back and hope the situation wouldn’t end badly.
Water, water everywhere – and nary a drop he would drink.