A bartender has many responsibilities, these include maintaining a clean and safe working environment, making alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, serving guest, and few others. But the one quality that every good bartender should posses is being a good listener. Often times I write about funny, weird, or just downright unbelievable things, but this story is on the more serious touching side and I hope everyone that reads this will take this story to heart. This story involves a man we’ll call him Steve, he is someone who was doing the best he could to make ends meet.
Bartenders are sometimes considered to be the local free psychologist, because people just need someone to talk to and listen to their problem or situation. Steve was one of those people and I happen to be the psychologist on duty. Honestly, I don’t mind listening because I have learned a lot about myself and life lessons just from hearing other people’s problems and issues. Steve was married and had a baby on the way. I can tell this family was dedicated to providing because his wife worked until the day she went into labor, she was actually at work when her water broke and was back at work two days later. Steve worked long hours to provide for his new family and never complained about his line of work. On one particular day Steve came in and was walking with a slight limp, I asked what was wrong and he replied that his foot was swollen. Although this was true, Steve still attended work and stood on that foot for at least six hours. I recommended for him to visit the hospital in the event something was wrong, Steve took my advice and attended the hospital after his shift.
A few days later Steve came back in except this time he was on crutches. Apparently he went to the hospital so I asked what the doctor said. Prior to this incident Steve was on antibiotics for another condition, well Steve ran out and as a result some of the illness was still lingering. Sometimes bad luck is worse than no luck at all, because Steve cut his foot and probably didn’t treat it correctly because the cut ended up getting infected. The infection is what caused his foot to swell. Well it turned out to develop something worse than a mere infection. Because he wasn’t on the antibiotics his previous illness led to the infection becoming gangrene. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the doctors told him that they would have to amputate his infected toes because the gangrene had spread too far. I watch a lot of discovery channel, and I remembered a show where doctors had used leaches to restore circulation, so I suggested he check into this as an alternative. Unfortunately the doctors informed him that procedure wouldn’t help and he would have to amputate soon so the gangrene wouldn’t spread further. Throughout all of this Steve continued to work (on crutches might I add) because he knew he had a family to support and unemployment wouldn’t suffice. I asked Steve what he going to do after the surgery, he replied “I’ll be back at work the next day.” I was just amazed at this man’s strength, determination, and dedication. All I could do was feel bad, because here I was complaining about the little stuff that was going on in my life, and this man was about to have his toes amputated and still dedicated to supporting his family. It made me realize just how fortunate and blessed I was and not to take things for granted. We have been conditioned to take the things we have for granted, this includes our employment, loved ones, possessions, even down to our bodily extremities (arms, legs, etc.) It is not until these things are taken away from us that we realize how fortunate we are to have them.
Just when you think your situation is bad, there is always someone out there in a worse situation than yours. Keep this in mind when you face life’s trials and don’t take anything for granted, because one minute it could be there and the next minute it’s gone. Appreciate life and the little things it has to offer, and don’t make fun of other peoples misfortunes try helping them instead. Stay tuned tomorrow for a story called "Up and Arms."
These stories are real accounts, so if you plan to drink and have a good time do so responsibly. Remember to call a cab or a friend because the cost of a DWI is way more than a $20 cab ride home. Also, if you plan or happen to take someone home use protection. For two reasons, one there are many STD’s floating out there and it only takes one to ruin your life or that of others. The second reason is because a $3 condom is less expensive then 18 years of raising a child.