Once a former abbey, the building now serves as a pub that’s popular for co-eds and football fans alike. Its business is hopping thanks to the atmosphere and the customer service provided by owner-operator Kara Viridian.
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by: Damien LeMarch
May 15
12:30 pm

Fix me or just conflict me, I'll do anything

It didn't matter how much of an extrovert you are; when applying for a job, the rule is you have to be nervous. The Universe didn't accept cool confidence or cocky, smarmy charm from applicants and supplicants. No, the proper sacrifice was to have knocking knees, a tremoring heart, and scattered thoughts. Leave your dignity at the door, because no matter how sharp your outfit or how neat your hair, there's gonna be that bit of fear in your eyes as you wait for one of the staff members to fix you with that customer service look only to pause when they see the application in your hand. Then the second looks come: who is this skinny kid and what does he think he's doing here? Is he even old enough to work, let alone work in a pub? And who the hell brings a guitar case to drop off an application?

Damien took a deep breath and forced himself to grin. The Charm would help, he knew, but he had to be relaxed if he was going to work his one edge over the other potential new hires looking to, of all things, wash dishes and bus tables. What had happened to the economy that menial service jobs had gotten so competitive? He had no secondary degree and had forged graduation papers from a muggle school just so he could say he attended public school and was qualified to work.

He reviewed his application with another steadying breath. Maybe this was stupid. This pub was close to Diagon and there surely would be wizards popping in for a drink, so his odds of getting caught here were higher than he liked...but, eating was still a thing he needed to do, food still cost money, and this was one of the few places he hadn't put in an application. His record was freshly publish, so maybe that would take off and maybe it wouldn't, but maybe didn't pay rent and it sure as hell didn't buy food or keep the air conditioner working, so he needed to supplement his meager as hell income with somethjng, anything...The gigs at the Borderline paid well enough, but three days of work a week just meant he was starving to death more slowly instead of normal speed. Speaking of which, he needed to cut another hole in his belt tonight...dammit.

The singer put that out of his mind and smiled at one of the patrons, trying to turn the Charm in so that he was warmed up and in good form for the inevitable 'can I help you'?
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by: Kay
It was another day at the Abbey, and the lunch-time rush was nice and fast-paced, making the day go by quickly.

Busy chatter buzzing from tables, delicious smelling food heading out to the customers, drinks nearly flying off of the counter, and best of all, there were great tips! Henrietta fluttered about, doing her managerial thing and checking on each of the patrons personally, hoping they were enjoying themselves. She smiled and laughed with a few regulars, and went to grab a couple of refills from the bar where she thanked Seamus with a wink and smile. This was nice, she thought. Getting to run this place while the owner was away. Not that she didn't like having Kara in-house--it was not that at all. She loved her boss and they got along just fine, but getting to actually feel like this place was running smoothly without her there gave Henri a sense of pride and accomplishment. She couldn't wait to back to Kara that things were going alright without her so she could finally relax and take time away from the city if she needed.

Seamus looked over at the kid at the entrance, who made his way in with a... guitar case? He looked like he might have come in looking for someone too, but Seamus continued to watch him as he made his way through. The bartender narrowed his eyes a bit as he finished cleaning out all of the glasses that the crew had brought out to him from from the wash, and placed them on the racks. He noticed that Henri was busy talking with guests and taking orders to help out the only other waitress they had on schedule today, so he made his approach to the young man, throwing a towel over his shoulder as he did.

"How's it going today? Can I help you?"
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by: Damien LeMarch
And here we go...

When the male staff member approached, Damien smiled and tried to crank up the charm with his response.

"It's going well today...hopefully even better soon. My name's Damien LeMarch. I saw you guys were advertising for help. I came by to drop off a resume and express an interest. I'm willing to do whatever; hard work and I aren't strangers."

He smiled again and set his guitar down carefully before extending a hand for a handshake. His work history was spotty and filled mostly with playing night clubs, but the occasional dishwasher, floor mopper, table wiper, trash taker-outer, general work positions filled in the gaps between the gigs he was passionate about. Damien didn't let his attention wander from the barman over towards the two women taking and bringing orders. Instead, he leveraged his focus on making the man feel like he was the center of the musician's attention and this conversation was all that mattered.

Well, in a way, it was. This was his food budget. This was the difference between making rent and going back to playing on street corners. He needed this job, but Damien knew he couldn't be obvious with the desperation that made him fill out application after application, spending his last bit of wizarding gold for the necessary forged documents to have a 'legitimate' muggle identity.
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by: Kay
Seamus sighed, a short huff through his nostrils as he peeked up at the sign in the window. Henri did post up that they were hiring, didn't she? It wasn't that he wasn't impressed with what he saw, but the turnover rate for their floor help had been pretty rough since kids were returning to the Uni soon, heading off for vacation before that, or just simply unreliable. He wasn't sure what to gather from the young man who had come into the bar but since he could already hear Henri and inevitably Kara nagging him in the back of his mind, he decided he'd give the lad a chance.

"Seamus." He reached out a hand to shake, as was customary for someone coming in for a job interview, and gave the young man's hand a firm shake. Seamus didn't break eye contact as he did, and then gestured toward a table across the way, in a section that wasn't currently in use so they'd stay away from all of the noise from their current patrons. He motioned towards the empty seat and took the chair across the way. "Manager is a bit tied up but I can help you out here, get some of the standard questions out of the way. Uh, can I get you some thing to eat or drink or anything?" He offered, wanting to make the interview process as comfortable as possible, as he'd seen Henri do with the others.
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by: Damien LeMarch
This was going well so far, Damien thought. He wasn't outright told 'no' and was actually getting a sit-down interview. Definitely, definitely better than the last three places. Seamus. Okay. He could remember that name. Damien studied the barman's features unobtrusively. The Irishman was a lot bigger than him in every way; Damien felt like he was a duckling following its mother, trailing behind the man.

He slid into his seat, setting the guitar case upright beside him. At the offer of food or drink, he shook his head.

"No, thank you. I appreciate it, but I already today."

And it was even true. It was the last of his sandwich bread, but the pb&j dinner had left him feeling satisfied and ready for practice. All he had to do was land the interview and go play, song the set that Doris had chosen for the week, and get home to bed. The interview was goi g to be the most difficult part of the day, really.
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by: Kay
At over six feet tall, Seamus towered over everyone and his frame was noticeably wider than the kids too. That wasn't fair, considering he was a regular at the local iron palace, working out on every single day off--and again before and or after his shifts at the Abbey. He tried not to stand too much taller than him, as not to completely intimidate him, though it was fun to scare the unruly ones out on occasion. He and Liam would make work of those drunkards, he remembered, but now he was the sole bodyguard of the pub and took pride in being able to keep this place safe. The boy seemed harmless, though he didn't want to let his guard down too far considering he'd never seen him come through before and he wanted to be sure he wasn't any trouble.

"You sure?" He cocked his head to the side, surprised that anyone would turn down a free meal. Even if Damien said no after he pressed again, Shay would grab a pitcher of water and two glasses, and he set them in the middle of the table as a centerpiece to give him a choice to take some if he wanted to later. He didn't think this would take too long.

Once settled in his seat, Seamus set the bar towel down in his lap and folded his hands together on the table in front of him. "Right. So, Mr. LeMarch, tell me a bit about yourself. Other than lugging around what I assume is a pretty spectacular piece in the case there--" He nodded at the guitar case, a patron of the arts himself as he appreciated a well-designed guitar. "What brought you to us? Uh, and did you bring a resume or anything?" They had an old application system that was on paper and was archaic. He'd suggested to Henri and Kara they needed get that updated, but that was still in the works. For now, they got along just fine with resumes, minor background checks and a proper interview.
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by: Damien LeMarch
The twenty two year old shook his head and denied a free meal a second time. It was stupid; he wasn't so abounding in mess that he could afford to turn down a hand out, but he wasn't cromfortable with the message of neediness it sent a potential employer.

"No, thanks. I appreciate it, though."

He watched Seamus get a pitcher of water and sit, then poured himself a glass. Water he could and would do. At the comment about his guitar, all he could bring himself to do was grin and nod. Damien took a sip of water to unstick his throat before answering the questions. He slid his resume across to Seamus and began on his story about himself.

"Well, my first love is music, but she's not paying the bills yet, y'know? Um...I wasn't that good in school; being a hands-on kind of guy in a lecture was pretty much a set up for mediocrity, but I think that just cemented my work ethic. When I did well, I know I earned it, and when I did poorly, I knew I did my best. Most of my positions were seasonal or temporary, like the gig at the Horse and Harrier...I was covering for a friend out on maternity leave."

He was babbling. Damien stopped himself and smiled, sipping his water again and taking the chance to breathe.
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by: Kay
Seamus sat up straight, back flush against the back of his chair and kept his hands together as he listened. It was rare that he seem so overly professional in this bar setting; He had his regulars of which he'd engage in some friendly banter, his colleagues who would see the open and sometimes raunchy or brutally outspoken side of him, and them family and his girlfriend who would get an exaggerted version of both. New hires and potential workers were forced to see his somewhat intimidating side. Henri smacked him last time he stayed steely eyed at the interviewee, so at least this Damien kid was getting a pass in that department. He kept a neutral face and didn't seem bothered or upset that he had to take on this administrative duty while Henri walked the floor.

"Horse and Harrier...ah, alright yeah." He gave an impressed nod. He had heard of that place before. Seamus relaxed his hands and accepted the resume, skimming the boy's work history before looking up again. There was a lot of temporary work on there from bars across London and then some, ones he had heard of and a couple he hadn't.

When his eyes fell on the Borderline, Seamus noticed it was his recent employment and he smiled. It was a bit more formal of an establishment than The Abbey, but not hoity toity enough for him to stay away. "Borderline... is Garen still tending there?" That was the name of one of his old mates from school, but he was also not a bartender... it was Shays way of testing whether or not he was familiar with the workers there. He was well aware of the staff there, and Garen wasn't one of them. Torrance Gray, Vana Harrison, Tilda Warner were some of the staff there and he would surely call to reference regardless of the kids answer.
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by: Damien LeMarch
Man, this guy was intimidating. Damien did his best to keep eye contact, keep his grip on the charm, and try to stay confident, but Seamus was a big man. Damien's gaze dropped to the table and he scrutinized his thumbnails. He knew how it looked to have so many six and seven month stretches on his papers. He was a hard worker, charismatic, knew how to shut up..His early stuff was all seasonal over the summer because of school, but the more recent stuff? That was all bad luck. No. Not bad luck really. Damien needed to be honest with himself. It was Fiona. She came in and harassed him. People complained. She started shit...out he went. Hopefully this time it would take her longer to find his work place.

Damien's dark eyes flicked back up to Seamus' face hopefully when he mentioned the Borderline. That gig was his favorite job so far and he wanted the opportunity to talk about it. He could really showcase himself if the man asked about it. Ask he did...but a Garen? Damien's brows scrunched quizzically.

"Garen? If he does, he must work the midweek shifts. I mostly work with Terry...Torrance Gray's his name but we all call him Terry. He takes the late shifts on the weekends along with Tilda."

Babbling again out of nerves. He had to shut up now. Damien smiled, gaze flicking down and back up in his nerves.
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by: Kay
Seamus slowly nodded, taking in his answer. His blue eyes were boring into the kid, though he didn't quite mean to put on his angry eyes but it was habit whenever he was trying to snoop out the bollocks from the truth. Terry. Tilda. Alright... If he knew them and wasn't familiar with Garen, then that meant he had to be giving him an honest answer. "Might have to give them a call and sort some things out, references and whatnot. You know how it goes, right?" He didn't mean to seem rude, but that was the process, and the kid having so many jobs listed, he had to know each step an employer takes before giving the green light.

"What we have open right now is a lot of grunt work. Kitchen duty--mostly cleaning though. Our cook and prep cook deal with the food and whoever is tending or waiting out on the floor runs the food so you won't have to worry about that. Out here it'll be bussing, tidying up front of house, straight'nin up the bathroom when it needs it, which surprisingly isn't too bad here compared to other joints I've worked at. It'll pay minimum, which I know isn't much of a livin' wage but it's what we have to offer."

The bartender waited a moment to let the boy add anything there, chime in with any thoughts on that rundown, before he continued. However, before he started up again, he leaned in close an whispered quietly, his blue eyes still staring at him with a cold an stern look in them. "Now if there's one thing I need to ask, and I know it's probably not on your standard interview questionnaire...but... we don't take kindly to trouble here. Now we don't have to worry about that with you right, lad?" Seamus' eyes flickered with suspicion, "Any sort of trouble after you?" If it was anything that Seamus couldn't stand, it was any sort of hooligan that tried to come in and ruin the rep of the bar with their gang affiliations, mob troubles or even drug use. The last bus boy they had rarely showed up on time, and it took a couple of months of dealing with his nonsense before Henri gave him the go-ahead to cut him loose. He wished he could have wrung that boy out to dry, but he got away alive, and the pub was better without his trouble here. He just didn't want a repeat of that, not while he worked there, not ever.
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by: Damien LeMarch
Everything was going just as anticipated. Damien smiled and nodded at the appropriate places. Yes, he knew quite well how the process worked by now. He was probably more familiar with it than the average twenty two year old had any right to be. And scut work, or grunt work at Seamus called it, was exactly what he was anticipating. It was mindless work and that’s all he needed. Something to do with his hands so that his mind could be free to write songs and compose music. At the mention of pay, the young man flashed a smile.

”Minimum pay puts food in the fridge and rent in the manager’s hand, so you won’t catch me disparaging it.”

His expression only faltered a little bit at the next phrasing. He’d never do drugs at work or show up high, not did he have any friends that could be construed as a gang or any of that nonsense. He did have Fiona, however. And she was trouble that was most definitely after him. The grin faded to something annoyed as he confessed her in a way that made it not so dire and palatable for a muggle.

”Met a girl some years ago back in school. We had our time as a couple before I recognized that she was in want of a pet, not a boyfriend...manipulative type, you know? She’s shown up at some of my past jobs trying to reel me back in like I’m some fish that got away. She goes away when told, but that’s the most dire thing after me. I’m too busy writing music and trying to break into the industry to be worried about anything else. I go to work, do my job, play my gigs, and write my music. I don’t have time for anything else, really.”

Damien was earnest and honest with his set assessment. Self care was last on his priority list, but he finished that metaphorical list of tasks every day. It wasn’t a complex habit, but he was a creature of it regardless.
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by: Kay
Eager to work. Seamus was only slightly impressed and he made sure not to let it show in his face. All workers who were desperate for a job said that, and then when the going got tough, they got the hell out. Bussing and bar-backing wasn't for everyone, kitchen wasn't for everyone either. The customer service game was no fun sometimes, and in a restaurant setting, that in itself made everything a hundred times more stressful.

Seamus was tempted to pour himself a glass of water since he found himself parched, but he didn't move. He listened close, keeping his brilliant blue eyes settled on the young man in front of him, mostly because this answer was important to him. Without the old owner Liam around to throw people out, Shay took it upon himself to throw what he referred to as "the unsavories" to the curb. Drunkards, belligerent patrons, overly rowdy football fans, the usual. He was not, however, above throwing anyone on staff who caused trouble out on their ass. Period. He didn't want Henri to have the headache, Kara to have to deal with that either when she came in, and it just made things easier for everyone if the crew had their heads up and their noses clean, literally and figuratively.

So the kid had a troublesome ex. Alright, noted. Seamus handled unruly women in his day, so if this ex of his came along to cause trouble for the kid, he'd have to play some damage control. Fine. If he checked out and was hired on, he'd deal with it when the time came. But the guy had heart and a passion for music, it seemed, and he knew the starving artist life quite well since his brother was the same way.

Eventually, Seamus leaned forward. It was clear to him Henri was tied up and wouldn't be able to come over, as she was still fluttering through the few patrons they did have, cleaning and tidying up the bar and moving some of the food that wasn't getting out quick enough by the wait staff they had on hand. So, he made the call, even if it wasn't the full executive hat he had to put on. It was an offer he would make...for now. "Alright lad. Tell you what. I'll move the info through my manager there, we'll chat, check your refs for now, but I don't see why we wouldn't give you a shot. Might have to speak with the owner too since she still helps manage the crew and comes in fairly often. Don't take this as an official offer yet, but I'll give you a call in a couple of days, if that's alright with you. Do you have any questions for me?" He was curious if he'd ask anything at all. No one liked that portion of the interview, when the employer turned the tables. You could prep all you wanted beforehand, if that was your thing, but the second that question dropped, one tended to space out and ramble or forget everything they wanted to ask. Nevertheless, he wanted to give the guy an opportunity to do so, in case there was anything he might have missed.
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