Girl on Girls

Tending Bar in a Catty Workplace Environment

erika anne
7 min readOct 26, 2018


Photo Credit: Amberleigh Storms

I was in my late 20’s and when it came to being objectified I still had it going on. Long, dirty blonde hair swept across my shoulders. I was slim, curvy and cut. My smile — convincing. It was an era when flat chested and braless was all the rage.

I was also a single mother, working toward a grad degree at NAU, recently stationed at the AZ Guard Joint Forces Base at Papago under a new MOS, living off base with no allowance and freshly panic stricken over how I would now support my family on a Guardsmen’s microscopic pay.

It had only been six months since I left my children’s father who had left us with zero dollars due to spending every penny he could scrounge on heroin.

I was basically fucked.

I needed a job. I also needed to pull time out of my ass in order to accomplish it all, and I needed to travel from one place to another throughout the day dependent on public transportation.

I decided the best thing to do was to find a job near Papago or school, any job that paid enough money to cover the bills and feed my kids. At this point in my life a “career” was last on my list of things I gave a shit about investing myself in.

It was the employment section in the Phoenix New Times where I saw an ad for bartender/server needed, apply in person, start immediately located a few blocks from Papago. I’d never bartended or waited tables. Con. My idea of being social was asking you to stop talking to me. Con. I could walk there in five minutes, work flexible hours and leave each shift with cash in hand. Triple Pro.

I envisioned work in a bar/ grill being mindless and easy going. My bad. It was physically demanding. When I wasn’t running my ass off I was sorting, cleaning and restocking because if i didn’t, I would die when the next tidal wave rushed through. Opening entailed two hours of prep work in the kitchen. Closing entailed two hours of scrubbing.

It was emotionally stressful as well. There’s nothing like engaging with a bazillion people in a four to six hour time frame while drowning in total chaos to suck every ounce of life from your soul. However, none of that compared to the stress of the catty group of girls I had to work…



erika anne