WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2012
Trying New Things
I've been busy lately.
I haven't been blogging as much as I used to simply because I just don't seem to have the energy. Going back to work is pulling more out of me than I thought it would. Not that it's particularly physically hard work, but 9 hours of constant movement on my feet is wearing after a few days, especially fresh off taking a 3 year break from doing it.
It's such a strange and awesome job with so many different roles. I play the part of a therapist, a babysitter, a comedian, an actor, an enabler. Everyone is looking for something different from their experience at a bar. I have a handful of customers who want companionship and someone to listen to them. Some just want an escape and to be left alone. Some want someone to vent to or cry on. Some just want a beer and a smile.
It's a tricky thing to work with people instead of products. When I see the same people, day in and day out, we all become like family after a while (complete with the perverted uncle, the wild cousin, the smelly grandpa, the annoying little sister, the overly dramatic aunt, the mothering helper, the Bitter Betty, the thoughtful dad and the over protective brother). Everyone is so different and require so many different ways of service. Every day you learn a little more about them and see another glimpse into their particular puzzle. You learn what to say and what not to say. You learn to resolve conflict from the assholes. You learn that, in the end, your regulars have unknowingly become the bread and butter of your life, and you love them for it.
I've been bartending now for about 10 years. I was pulled into it, having zero experience, by a coworker to a bar down the street from where I was waiting tables. I was taught how to master pour counts, how to memorize recipes, how to hold bottles. Eventually the rest of the stuff sort of filled itself in throughout the years. You learn to see the bar as a stage of sorts. Dozens of bar stools all facing you, filled with people watching, and you turn your switch on and entertain them for a while. You put up with a lot, and you give anyway with a smile.
I wholeheartedly believe it's the best job in the world. To meet new people everyday so the routine never becomes monotonous, yet still see your friends and have a good time? It's pretty unbeatable. Plus, you get to get people drunk, which is always personally entertaining for me.
(Ok, this post is getting way off track here...)
MY POINT WAS:
I learned a new drink this past weekend at work!
The Flaming Spanish Coffee! (as taught to me by the kitchen manager who picked it up from a bar in Seattle many years ago)
"Oh you hate your job?
Why didn't you say so?
There's a support group for that.
It's called EVERYBODY
and they meet at the bar."
~ George Carlin