It was one of those afternoons that started to look like night around 4:30pm. I had been left to my own devices, relatively untethered by Sal and his nonsense for most of the day. I was working on another endless project of creating color boards out of nothing.
“Katelin!” I heard him yell. It shattered my thoughts of poppy rouge and cerulean blue. Why he didn’t just open the doors and politely summon was beyond me.
I got up, paced quickly around the corner to the second entrance of his office, which was ajar, and peeked in. He was entertaining two grey-haired (greasy, I might add) gentlemen about who-knows-what. The women’s shoe business, oddly enough, seems to turn on the axis of carsalesman-like elderly men.
“Pour me a drink.” he said. “A vodka- two fingers on the rocks.”
Sure, take the girl from Texas Christian and have her bartend. I saw where this was going. Along with my complete inability to understand drink orders, I was puzzled with a little bit of “why me when his assistant is here?” and “why not take drink orders for his guests?” But whatever.
First, I searched everywhere for the vodka, starting with the fridge (I know…). I wasted my lifeline on his assistant, asking her to help me find it. Begrudgingly, she pointed it out via a case in a cabinet and walked away annoyed. I didn’t have time to configure the whole fingers part. I did my best at pouring in what I thought might comprise a couple of shots, then added a bunch of ice.
I tip-toed lightly back into his office, set it on his desk quickly, and turned to get the freak out of there.
“Sweetheart,” he said. I turned slowly. “Does this look like two fingers to you?”
There was a shrill sweetness in his voice that somehow collided gallons of condescending feelings with a healthy dose of unrighteous anger.
I was burning up inside. On my account, he was lucky I even attempted it. That’s what his assistant was for, and she boozed enough for all of us.
“The ice displaces the vodka,” I stammered. Meanwhile, the two greaseballs just looked on, smirking, as if they were enjoying his display of a-holeness.
“Why don’t you take this back into the kitchen, pour half of it into another glass, add some seltzer water, and give it to Mel (my on again off again intermediary boss). Then bring me the rest back.”
I did. Mel refused my cocktail at that hour in the afternoon. I dumped it down the sink.
Looking back, I should have had the vodka myself and then chucked the deuces…my own interpretation of his order.