Eric was a letting agent, working for an estate agent who owned his own small business. David Erikson sold the properties and Eric did the rentals for him. Eric received a commission on every flat or house he managed to rent out. The property sector was a cut-throat business. There was fierce competition out there, and now a lot of people advertised their properties to rent or sell on the internet. They were trying their hardest to cut out the middlemen – like David and Eric.

Yet David’s Properties managed to keep going. They couldn’t claim to be hugely successful but they somehow managed to keep the wolf from the door.

Eric was studying part time to become a qualified estate agent. He wanted to advance his career and dreamed of one day owning his own retail estate business.

Meanwhile, to supplement his income Eric also worked as a barman, every Friday and Saturday night. This suited him perfectly. He could eye out the talent and decide which girl he would go home with. Women were his weakness. He spent far more time thinking about them than he did about his estate agent’s exams.

He would never admit it, but Dolores leaving him had damaged his ego very badly. He liked to pretend he didn’t care. He wanted to show everybody he could have any woman he wanted.

The Barn and Barrel was a lively bar in Southend. They also sold pub grub and every weekend the place was packed full, mostly with young people. Eric ran the bar, and he was good at it.

One Friday night in April he was behind the bar as normal. He mixed drinks for the ladies and handed out beer to the men. The atmosphere was fun and lively – a huge crowd of youngsters were trying to down as many drinks as they could, before going on to a party in Central.


Tell us: Would you like to work in a bar? Why or why not?