My first night working in the nightclub one of the other bar-maids advised me to "Be a bitch. They'll tip you if they think you're playing hard to get."
The "they" were men who were roughly 50 years old, the patrons of the over 28s' night, out to desperately pick up whatever they could get; whether that be woman, trannie or stale whore that had staggered up the road from the brothel (seriously) that was after any loose change.
It didn't matter that most of us girls behind the large concrete bar weren't 20 years old yet; we were fair game too in their eyes. On my first night I was watching the glasses pile up on tables when I asked whether I should venture from the post to get them and I received the instruction, "Stay where you are. There's dirty old men out there."
When I received my first tip ($5 in the first 20 minutes) I started giggling and holding it up and was told to put it in a glass above the beer fridge otherwise my pockets would be overloaded within minutes. And sure enough, coins and notes began to fill that glass and I looked upon it like a proud mother of her child.
That week I smiled nicely, apologised as I spilled drinks, dropped glasses and had to ask people to repeat their orders again and again and again, straining my already sore ears over the roar of the pumping music.
Last Saturday night I tried a different method from the Be-A-Bitch-Get-A-Tip.
Two wog guys who looked like the only patrons to meet the 28 mark that had obviously rocked up to pick up girls below 30 were standing by the bar looking disgusted as they surveyed the crowd of 50 year old grandmothers in short sequined skirts and high heels and hookers who looked much the same except they could barely speak English.
I sidled up to them with my Dirty Bar-Maid grin.
They were turned away watching something on the dance floor. I followed their gaze and saw one of the regulars; the little, bald, Harry-Potter glasses Evan already grooving his plump little stature amidst the Vietnamese call-girls and Supre-clad mothers as they giggled like school girls and patted his shiny scalp as though he was a pet.
The two wogs snickered things that weren't quite audible, but I got the jist.
I lent over the bar, turning the Dirty Bar-Maid charm on full-bore, "Don't Laugh!" I shouted, "That'll be you in 20 years." They turned around and seemed surprised for a moment before finding their bearings.
"See that old girl over there sculling that wine?" The tall one said with slight indication of his head.
I grinned and rolled my eyes, "Yeh"
"That'll be you in 20 years!" And they started cackling.
"Yeah, good on ya. " I laughed, "Now you fellas gonna stand around admiring the scenery all night or are ya gonna start kicking ya nights' off?"
They asked for bourbon and coke.
Then Jager Bombs.
I was handed a $5 tip.
Then two more Jager Bombs.
I was told to keep the change- $12.
As I rushed up down the bar I continued the banter with them, grinning and pretending to slip like a kid's entertainer in the puddles of beer on the tiled floor, making them roar with laughter. Challenging them to out drink each other, taking the piss out of the loser before asking what they wanted next with a raised eye brow and my lips parted in that oh-so-Dirty-Bar-Maid-way.
"Two more jagers!.....And two more Johnnies and coke!" The tall one announced as he threw a 50 dollar note at me.
I made the drinks, handed them over then stood waiting for them to finish. "Come on!" I teased. "What are you? Girls?!"
Down went those drinks and four more drinks were ordered. I was told to keep the change again- $13.
Now a bit more worse for wear they stood over the bar, swaying slightly.
"What's your name beautiful?"
"Lana" I smiled.... (I've considered coming up with a Dirty-Bar-Maid alias but just haven't got around to it yet).
"You single?" the tall one leered. I was saved by another boozer who came to the bar and ordered 3 pots of Carlton.
After that they moved away.
Shortly after I looked over to see Tall Wog trying to chat up another bar-maid. She was trying her Be-A-Bitch method and I was tempted to go tell her that that didn't work with these guys, but he hung around her for over an hour.
Eventually I got a chance when Tally's bladder was probably almost bursting after all that boozing and standing in one spot and he disappeared. I skipped over to her, "How much did you get?"
She shrugged, "$6.50"
I gave her my secret (there's a Dirty-Bar-Maid sisterhood) and wished her luck then hopped back to my part of the bar just as short wog sauntered over for another drink and he handed me another big tip, telling me I was stunning and my face exquisite, gesturing his chubby hands over his own face to emphasis his meaning. I laughed. Man I love drunk people, especially when I'm the one that has gotten them drunk.
Tall Wog came back again though, bringing a job offer for me at 'his' bar in Richmond along with the same question of whether I was single. I've never been so grateful for ear-piercing music in my life as I sidled away to serve another patron.
At 1.30am I finished for the night/morning and finally stuck my hand in my pocket and gaped at all the paper my hand met. $45 in tips!! The easiest money I've ever made!
I laughed all the way home and on Monday morning I proudly announced to my shrink that part of the money I was handing over to her was 'tip money', which saw her raise an eyebrow and I knew I was going to get a lecture next session.