Can Only Get It Back If You Can Say “Mjölnir” While Intoxicated

| Oxford, England, UK | Learning | January 27, 2017

(I’m working as a bartender in a university college bar. All the other bartenders are not students, so sometimes customers don’t realize that I am. The student body is holding a theme party in the bar, so it’s very busy, but I spot a particular student is carrying and waving around a steel-headed claw hammer as part of his costume. Fortunately, he came to me to order his drink.)

Student: “I’d like a pint of [Cheap Beer].”

Me: “Sure, I’d be happy to serve you that, but first: could I ask you to either leave that hammer in your room, or hand it over to us to keep behind the bar? It’s a dangerous weapon, and I wouldn’t like anyone to get hurt tonight. You can have it back when the party’s over.”

Student: “What? I can’t take it back to my room! The party’s here!”

Me: “Well, I’m sure you live on site, but if you don’t feel like going back to your room, you can hand it over to me and I’ll take care of it for the rest of the night. Otherwise, I’m going to refuse to serve you and will insist that you leave the bar.”

Student: “Fine, I’ll leave it in my room.”

(He leaves for a few minutes, but I see him again later – with the hammer sticking out of his back pocket. I’m still not happy with him carrying an offensive weapon around the bar surrounded by drunk people, even if he’s no longer actively waving it in people’s faces. He approaches the bar, and I ask my colleagues not to serve him unless he surrenders the hammer. My colleagues repeat this to him, and again, he refuses. I spot a graduate student volunteer responsible for low-level disciplinary action, inform him about the situation, and ask him to speak to the student for me. He comes back.)

Grad Student: “He said he didn’t have a hammer on him.”

Me: “Look, you can see it now; the handle’s sticking out of his back pocket. He was lying to you.”

(The graduate student shrugs and walks off. Taking action into my own hands, I sneak up behind the student and take the hammer from his back pocket.)

Me: “I’m confiscating this.”

Student: “What? Give it back! That’s mine!”

Me: “You were warned on three separate occasions by three members of staff that this was a dangerous weapon and not permitted down in the bar. You refused to leave it in your room or behind the bar where it would be safe. Instead, I’ve seen you waving it around all evening, surrounded by drunk people. Now I’m going to hand it over to [Campus Security], and if you really want it back, you can try explaining to them in the morning what you were doing with a claw hammer in a bar full of drunks.

(The student turned pale and ran off. I don’t know if he ever tried to get the hammer back, but I would’ve loved to have seen that conversation!)

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