Posted: October 7, 2013 in Mistakes, Stories
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

This is a pretty awful story, so brace yourselves, but it involves waaaay underage drinking, crooked cops, and shifty servers (me, at the time).

I was working at a beach-side bar in the most touristy part of South Beach, Miami. We were a main attraction on the strip, so on weekend nights, South Beach Off-Duty police officers would pick up extra pay by acting as full-uniform security, contracted out by the city.

The thing is, these cops would drink. A lot.

They stood on the street, just near our streetside/service bar, and they were allowed to get a soda from the service bartender whenever needed. Of the four or so we saw every weekend, two of them had a deal worked out with the bartender that meant that their “cokes” actually meant Bacardi 151 and coke.

Because they were supposed to be drinking non-alcoholic drinks, their sodas were poured in the same glass that was designated for underage patrons, or anyone else who got a non-alcoholic drink.

Let me stop here and remind you that I was young, and I’m not proud of what I did.

I had a table outside that was a family, including a little boy. He ordered a Dr. Pepper, and I rang it in. When I picked up the order, I naturally picked up the kid drink in the no alcohol cup along with the other drinks, and ran it to the table. When I got back to the service bar, there was a little less than a minute of frantic panic by the Cop and Bartender, and I realized that I had just given a 10 year old a 151 and Coke.

I rushed out to the table as quick as I could, just in time to see the kid take a gulp and make a face. My response needs to be documented as one of the worse acts of cowardice known. I told the parents that the syrup had run out on the Dr. Pepper, and it probably tasted funny like soda water, but I’d fix it in a sec and get him a new one.

This was over ten years ago, and I was a sort-of newbie, it still haunts me.


  1. Janet Duperré says:

    Handled very well I think. Can’t think of a better way out of it, and protected the kid too. Nice one in my book

  2. I think you handled it just fine – no need for years of guilt!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s