A mini Eastenders episode – minus the lights and camera.
I was on my break from work last night and I received a phone call from my manager.
“Don’t come back.”
“Don’t come back, okay?”
“Okay?” in a confused state I hung up.
I couldn’t have been that long surely? Maybe I was only meant to go for a couple of minutes. I headed back straight away thinking that my manager, Hana, as well as I know her, was being sarcastic and was actually having a cheap dig.
I get back, thinking she’s pi**ed off with me, say nothing and get on with the job.
About ten minutes later, her 6’5″, bald, tattoo-on-his-head, goggle eyed boyfriend walks up to the bar, slams his glass on down and spits at Hana. I glance up to see who the f**k he is and he goes for me shouting something in Polish. Hana manages to stop him as I move well out of the way absolutely petrified.
Everyone in the pub takes notice and there is now a sickeningly tense atmosphere with the only noise coming from the Pole, whilst throwing money at Hana demanding a drink. She manages to calm the situation and keeps him locked in a strange conversation as he pulls out wads of money and carries on throwing it at her.
I was asked by some of the locals to call the police, to which I replied, “No, if he sees me making a phone call, what do you think he’s going to do?” So they got the picture and one of them made a move outside to make the call. Around five minutes of heated discussion and a mystified atmosphere later, a couple of officers make their way into the pub and approach him. Immediately, it’s as if there’s a switch, he is completely calm and makes his way outside of the pub with the officers.
The next half an hour ensues with the police and making statements and clearing the whole situation up, inevitably by this point Hana is puffy-eyed and struggling to hold back the streaming tears.
I finally ring the bell for time, very shaken myself, making a considerable amount of mistakes as I serve the untimely rush of customers. As soon as the last customer has left until it’s just Hana and I clearing up.
After a little silence, almost too long, I have to ask, “What was that about?”
She shrugs, “I dunno… I can’t believe he did that.”
“It was pretty scary,” I manage to gather some courage, “What was is over?”
“You.” She gives a half laugh of disbelief, “He thinks I’m sleeping with you.”
I give out a burst of laughter as if to say, “what the hell is wrong with him?”
We toil off into conversation, mainly me asking questions and Hana going over the same point that “it will be all my fault,” as he says every time. I gradually find out how the whole situation came about and the situation that Hana now finds herself in. The fact is that she’s six months pregnant with his baby and he seems to think that she’s shagging around with just about every man she comes in contact with; his last girlfriend left him for his best-mate and he should now be carrying a sign above his head that says, “paranoid and jealous at every opportunity.”
The night finishes after a couple of much needed pints (how was I going to sleep with an image of this monster flying around my head!) and I manage to cheer Hana up a little and divert conversation away from the event, although it inevitably often leads back to it as it dominates both our thoughts.
I’m not sure how the next episode goes, but last night’s what just enough for me as it was. I’m the worst person in dealing with any situation of extreme conflict, aggressiveness or violence – the only thing I can do is stay right away, but in hindsight, that’s also the way I like it.
So there you have it, the night that the Eel Pie pub became the Queen Vic for a short while, with plenty of action.