This week at work I was dealt a blow that I may never recover from. My life blood was essentially drained from my veins. The teat that I suckle was pulled, nay, ripped from my lips. Someone reached into the cavity of my chest and pulled out my still-beating heart and threw it onto the floor and stepped on it as if it were a day old Dunkin’ Donut that deserved no kindness. I would cry, but my eyes have leaked to the point of exhaustion and there is nothing left to weep. You have heard of the dry heaves? I’m having a serious case of dry cries. I want to cry, but there is only sawdust, Goldfish salt and resentment in my tear ducts. What horror has befallen me? Brace yourselves. Seriously, lean your ass up against a wall before you read this, because the earth shall quake and the heavens will roar with anger. At my job, management has come down with a new decree. I can hardly type this. My hands are shaking with anger, confusion and disgust. No more shift drinks. No. More. Shift. Drinks. What the hell? Don’t they know that the only way I can deal with table 25 is with the promise of the sweet nectar of Kettle One after I punch out? How am I expected to not strangle table 6 if there is no glass of pinot grigio to reward me for not committing murder, assault or manslaughter? How will I numb the pain of separating the check for three ladies who each ordered the same exact thing and each gave me a credit card, yet still demanded that I create an individual check for each of them? The only way I could handle that shit was knowing that at least at the end of the night there would be a libation with my name on it. The humanity!
I understand the thought behind this. I do. It all comes down to cost and how can they be expected to give up a cocktail for the two employees a night? Okay, I don’t understand it. It makes no sense to me. A happy employee is a drunk one, I always say. But I wait to drink until the end of the night when I want to pull up a bar stool and sip my martini as I commiserate with my co-workers on the night that we just shared and that we will never get back. And now I no longer have that. I still can’t believe it. It seems unreal. It’s like hearing that the New Adventures of Old Christine was canceled all over again. The moment that I was denied the drink from the bartender will haunt me forever.
ME: Whew, this night is tough. I am really looking forward to that shift drink tonight.
TOM: Oh…yeah…about that…
ME: What, Tom? What is it?
TOM: Well, uh, we met with the owners and uh…
ME: Tom, what are you saying? Spit it out, man. What is it?
TOM: We aren’t allowed to have shift drinks anymore.
ME: What? Nooooooooooooo! You can’t be serious. This is wrong. So wrong. On so many levels.
(I collapse and begin crying and pounding my fists on the floor.)
TOM: You can still have sodas.
ME: Really, Tom? A soda? A soda? I’m supposed to drown my sorrows in a goddamn Sierra Mist? This isn’t over, Tom. Not by a long shot. I will have my shift drink again. Even if I have to carry my own goddamn flask in here, I will be drunk at work. (I sob uncontrollably. I shake. I convulse. I throw up. I shart a little bit in my underwear.)
TOM: (after ten minutes) Are you gonna go to table 4 or stay in the fetal position all night?
ME: Oh, I already did. Two jack and cokes, please.