8What Is a TIP?

Brian watched as the last person walked out of the bar at 4:00 a.m. The evening was over. He made it, although he felt and looked like roadkill.

Jack and Kelly had begun to clean the bar as the crowd started to thin, so when the last person left, they only needed to wipe down the bottles and count out the registers.

It was about 4:30 a.m. when the three of them finally sat down at a table along the back wall of the lounge area. It was the first time Brian had sat down in 11 hours, and he felt as if a knife were sticking in the lower part of his back. Totally out of shape, he thought, as he rubbed his eyes.

“So,” Jack said pointing to the three tip buckets on the table, “good night?”

“Yeah, I think so,” said Kelly.

“I’m just glad it’s over,” added Brian. “That was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done. I don’t know how you guys do it night after night.”

Jack flipped over all three of the tip buckets, and Brian watched three mounds of money spread across the table. They all started unfolding and stacking the money into piles. There were some fives and tens and a few twenties here and there.

As they continued to count, Jack spoke.

“You know Brian, Kelly and I weren’t born back here. We didn’t come out of the womb with a bottle opener in our hand. We started at this at one time or another, and I won’t speak for Kelly . . . but when I started, I wasn’t very good at it.”

“Like me . . . ,” Brian added.

“No, not as bad as you,” Kelly added, “I’ve never ...

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