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She Is Everyone’s Number One Problem

, , , , , , | Right | July 14, 2021

My pub shift is uneventful, until a colleague notes that a female patron is unable to hold her head up and has had a bit too much to drink. Unfortunately, she did not come in to purchase her own drinks, but instead is benefiting from the generosity of the regulars. My colleague and I resolve to not serve her and provide ice water to her table.

An hour passes, and I watch her waddle through the bar, searching for the toilets. I direct her to the door, open the door, and allow her inside to do her business. At this point, I spy a regular easing a handbag over the draft pumps, trying to throw it behind the bar. I ask the regular what’s happening, and his response is simply, “I’m not dealing with that.”

Confused, I watch as the drunk patron returns from the bathroom, sodden. She’s wearing a jumpsuit, and the oblivious woman has not managed to get it off in time before wetting herself. Upon seeing that the regular has left her belongings behind the bar, she proceeds to collapse on the floor and wail. The regular was her date and has abandoned her.

At this point, it’s a little after 6:00 pm and our restaurant tables are beginning to arrive. I phone my manager who asks me to move the woman to the staff-only area so that she can have her breakdown in peace.

Unfortunately, when asked, this woman can’t remember her own address, nor her daughter’s phone number, nor where she put her own phone. Every detail she provides is then immediately corrected, and after a while, it becomes apparent that the sodden woman does not want help.

Finally, a consistent detail emerges. She lives in the next town over, fifteen miles away. She can’t remember her address, though. I phone a taxi and explain the woman’s state. I offer her my spare uniform to wear, knowing I’ll never see it again.

This phone call to the taxi is the most difficult one in my life, as the woman keeps interrupting me to say things like, “I’m not confused. I’m fine. I don’t need a taxi. I’ll drive!” 

The taxi service is reluctant, but as we are a pub and give them a lot of business, they agree to drop her off at her town’s train station. I pay for the taxi on the phone and tell the woman to wait in the staff room until the taxi arrives.

A few minutes later, I go to collect the woman, only to find that she has vanished. The people in the garden say she sprinted away into the night, soaked in her own pee. I manage to get a refund for the taxi but get thoroughly chewed out for wasting their time.

I think that I have heard the end of the tale of this woman, until the end of my shift at about two in the morning: I walk home, only to find that the police have taken up the high street and the local doctors’ office has been broken into.

It turns out that this woman is a doctor and broke into her place of work to sleep in her office. Why she didn’t use her keys, we’ll never know.

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