“Well, there’s my favorite disc jockey,” she said as she continued wiping down the bar.
He laughed, “That’s why I keep coming back – you know how to feed my ego.”
“You’re here awfully early, aren’t you?”
“Yeah, wanna get a jump on licking my wounds.”
“That don’t sound good.”
“Maybe not, maybe it is – we’ll see a few drinks in.”
“Your usual, doll?”
“Naw, simply whiskey. No beer,” he said as he laid a $100 bill on the counter.
“Must be serious,” she smile as she poured a double-shot.
“Still no work for me, though I’m happy to announce a couple of my radio friends found studio work again.”
“Well, that’s good for them. But what about you? Is this why you’re wanting to get your alcohol on?”
He tossed down the double and lightly banged the empty glass on the bar. She poured another for him.
“By the way, how’d you get here?” she asked
“Oh, I walked,” he answered.
“Well, I hope you’re not walking home wasted.”
“I’m not – my son and daughter-in-law are Lyft and Uber drivers. I’ll give them a shout – or more than likely have you do it ‘cause I don’t plan to see straight by midnight.”
“Deal! Now tell me what this is all about.”
“I applied for the same positions, but never heard a thing from the stations, till I heard them on the air.”
“That’s gotta hurt.”
“It’s a two-edged sword. I’m glad they have jobs as radio is getting harder and harder to get into because everyone wants an all-rounder.”
“Yeah – a term I made up ‘cause I can’t think what else to call it. All-rounders do sales, promotions, write copy, cut commercials, are on the air and mop, sweep and make coffee, too.”
“I jus’ ain’t one of those kind of people,” he said slamming the second drink down.
“Sounds like multi-tasking,” she replied.
“Sorta,” he said, “But each one is separate from the other and the pay is shitty – says the idiot without a job.”
“So they have you doing more for less pay.”
“Exactly and I jus’ ain’t the guy for that. Hell, I have trouble walking and chewing gum.”
“So what do you think you can do about it?”
“I dunno – that’s why I’m here planning to get shit-faced.”
“Can any of your friend’s in the biz recommend you?”
“Maybe, but they won’t?”
“Why?” she asked as she pour yet another double, neat.
“Fragile egos,” he answered, adding after drinking down another glassful, “An innate fear that someone might get ahead.”
“That sounds kinda cutthroat.”
“No…jus’ the way the business goes – though I have recommended folks for jobs, seen them hired, trained them and watched as they moved up in status – better shifts, positions, more money, bigger markets, crap like that. That’s gratifying.”
“So, why you sitting here getting drunk again?”
“Hmm…fuck if I can remember,” he smiled, as he handed her his cellphone, “Would you please call my ride for me and keep those doubles coming until my kid gets here?”
As she dialed the number, he added, “I’m glad we had this talk.”
The bartender pour him another one and smiled, “Me, too, hon. This one’s on the house.”