After my anniversary-present night at Vito, I knew the bartending bug bit me. Being on hiatus and having some free time on my hands, I asked Roberto, Vito’s brother and co-owner of the restaurant, if I could come back during the day and train and with the girl who works lunch. Since I was willing to work these day shifts for free until I knew what I was doing, he was happy to oblige. When I told a few of the waiters I’d be coming back to train during lunch, they’d look at me with a mixture if pity and horror and ask, “With Alina?” When I replied, yes. They just wished me good luck and walked away. I wasn’t intimidated. How bad could Alina be?
SMASH CUT TO:
Alina, late 30 something Romanian immigrant with a fierce body and an even fiercer look on her face, is wiping down the bar in anticipation of a lunch crowd that will never come. When I walk in I say brightly, “Hi, Alina. I’m Julie, Roberto might have mentioned me to you.” Alina looks up and snarls at me with a heavy accent, “Oh. You. You’re here to take my job.”
I explain to Alina that, no, I don’t want her job I just want her to train me how to do her job in case she wants to take a day off in the next few months or so, I could fill in or something. She doesn’t believe me. I literally explain this three more times. I tell her I have a full time job. This is just something I’ve always wanted to do. I definitely do not want her job. Finally she comes around to believing me. “So you just want to fill in if I need day off?” “Yes! That’s it!” I’m so relieved that she finally gets it because I’m not afraid of many women, but this chick would cut me if push came to shove.
Alina comes so far around that by the end of the shift she is telling me that I’m her angel. Now she can take time off to do her modeling and acting. Seeing that she’s pushing 40 just like me, I ask her what kind of modeling she does: she’s a foot fetish model. Fantastic. Apparently from her years as a professional singer/songwriter/choreographer in Romania she has a very high arch. And that is very desirable in the foot fetish world.
But calling Alina just a model would be selling her short. Apparently she was very famous in Romania before she came to this country under political asylum. She is a singer/songwriter, a choreographer, a producer, a fashion designer, and a jewelry designer for dogs. She’s just put all her money into a record she produced herself and swears she is going to blow up global when that shit drops. Why not?
See for yourself: