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My one shift as a bartender

A bar called Yates in Nottingham is where I learned that I make a terrible bar tender. Yates are Britain's oldest pub chain.

However, I didn't last long: I only had one shift.

The boss advised me to stay at the quiet end of the bar - up at the back - as it was a Saturday night and very lively. I made the big mistake of serving the person to the left each time.

Within 20 minutes, I was in thick of things, three deep at the bar and a sea of glaring faces.

There were no electronic tills at the time, so you had to add everything up in your head (not my strong hand). I remember at one point I was totting up a particularly complex order from a hen party consisting of a dizzying array of spirits and mixers with a glass of ‘Australian white wine’ (shudder) when a huge roar went up.

On the balcony, some lad had decided to take off his drawers and dangle half-naked from the rafters like a inappropriate Christmas tree bauble. Needless to say my mind immediately went blank...

Still, that shift wasn’t as bad as the horrid Robin Hood Tavern round the corner, another 'one night only' stint. My job description on the contract was 'Serving Wench'. I was sacked on the first night after being "rude to a customer". I won’t go into the detail here, but the little 'Friar Tuck' deserved it!

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