Jobs and the Golden Grog
Well, it seems I was right.
The State Unemployment department isn’t letting me back on my stipend again. The reason? They want to investigate how I lost my last job. Yep, that one; the nice admin job in the horrifying conditions with a good window view of a professional office space where my trainer sat and the eye of a massive muck monster of doom. From what I’m told it’s been weeks and they still can’t get close to where my desk was, not after the building collapsed, sprayed with defensive toxic chemicals in the battle to drive it back, and taking from me income, pride, and my favorite mug. Apparently my coffee containers sacrifice was in vein. In situations like this, the government says they have everyone’s back, but the more I deal with the nonsense here, I’m finding myself wondering how this happened in the first place and who didn’t leave high school behind. I admit, I have had to use the government teat on more than one occasion. It’s not my favorite thing to do at all, but when temp job after temp job collapse, when companies lay off whole departments when buy-outs failed to come through, and when I discovered that I liked teaching but couldn’t deal with the local politics, then it’s back to calling in every week, assuring someone that I did indeed look for work, but no one wants a computer game designer, a teacher, a writer, or apparently, an administrative assistant/executive assistant.
(Yes, I have been all those in my life. I have also been a comic shop clerk, a computer sales man, a help desk technician, and a tarot reader. Feel free to ask me how those worked out. Also those ways I listed of getting laid off actually happened too.)
In the meantime, while they review the report, they have suspended my payments, though feel free to keep applying. It might get overturned and all the money I’m owed would be sent out. Maybe. That’s nice and all, but I can’t afford to sit on my duff all day while my wife works hard doing [redacted: at wife’s request]. I love Kay and I would hate for her to be put through the crap at her job forever simply because I can’t find anything. And I have applied, by the gods have I applied. I’m actually heading down to the local branch of the Golden Grog for a barista job, believe it or not. Like a true starving artist, it’s to java town I go.
Now, I’m told that not everyone knows about the Golden Grog and in a way I’m not entirely surprised. I had no idea what an In and Out burger was until we moved west. Most of my friends here have no idea what a Whataburger is and thus don’t know what they are debatably missing out on. The Golden Grog is quite possibly one of the biggest attractions in the Bridgeton area after Nexus books and Nick Scratch’s Donuts. While known more as a brewery and a tavern, they do a great stock and trade in the caffeinated beverage field, all thanks to the founder, Edgar the Ettin. I’m already envisioning a thousand empty and blank expressions, people scratching their heads and wondering what the hell I’m going on about. Let’s try this.
The Golden Grog is actually owned by a retired struggling super from the 70’s who claimed to be a half troll, or an Ettin. He had a decent mostly local career as the massive powerhouse for the Crusaders before they split up in the 80s. According to legend and internet culture, he suffered a severing of his Achilles heel to, of all people, Skeeball of the Arcade Gang. By that time he was pushing 50 and openly retired. Then he openly and loudly started the Golden Grog, restaurant, pub, and, as of 2006, a coffee brewery. They are also known for the vast brewing vats seen throughout the restaurant. These are always in use and produce different concoctions available depending on the season, weather, and moon phase, many of which are known locally as the best completely eco-friendly brews. The signature drink, “Golden Grog,” a hearty, amber beer made with trade secret ingredients, is still made year round and is by far the most popular beverage. I have had some. It’s definitely nice with a mild honey aftertaste and belch that reminds me of all things, jasmine green tea that had been brewed over the course of an afternoon. It’s great after a long day of geek trivia, held every fourth Thursday of the month including Thanksgiving. I’m told they offer the most amazing turkey.
The walls of the Golden Grog, a wooden and rustic interior you first think is pulled out of the best Renaissance festival you have never attended until you see the photos on the wall. Among the open cross beams, painted murals of the Ettin’s adventures done in a Pre-Raphaelite style, and polished wood are 8x11 black and white photos dating back to the early days of the pub. Most of the photos are of famous guests, actors, politicians, superstars, and of course, metas. That’s what fascinates me most about the place; it’s probably the only place where metas and capes from both sides of the aisle have sat peacefully to have a nice meal or a drink. There are photos of Formora (who apparently is only allowed on the patio now and has a 3 drink maximum per visit rule) Meanstreak, (who can also sing at open mike night) the and can be seen right next to Raguel the Avenger, El Magnifico (,whom Edgar arm wrestled for charity. El magnifico won then split the proceeds between both charities), and even Mr. Atomic. I’m told most of the Quantums have shown up but few stay for a photo. The front sign reads “Supers of all types welcome, but take it to the roof.”
The founder Edgar “Ettin” Gunderson, still can be seen around the place but little more than a mascot and a master of ceremonies. His son has taken over most of the reigns of the company with his father’s permission. Ettin is still available for autographs for eager fans on occasion. I got to say he looks great for his age, if not for his wild grey hair, I would say he wasn’t a day over 35. The gut he has picked up has not diminished his muscular frame one bit. I half expect to see him put his old fighting leggings on, rip off that silk shirt he loves, grab a table leg and bash villainy down at any moment.
Ok, if I get in maybe not a bad place to work. If I get in. It’s been a long while since I was behind the counter of anything let alone a prestigious place like this. If I don’t, if we can afford it, I should hang out here more often. There are always supers hanging around.
On the way out I managed to talk to a student who asked me about my blog. She says that she is part of the new campus of Quantum Academy that might be opening its doors in Bridgeton in a while. I’ll keep everyone informed. I won’t divulge the name or alias of my source until I get confirmation.