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September 26, 2022

Adventures in Bartending

By Sara Dunn

No one ever said life would be easy. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that ... and if I had a dime for every time I heard that damn remark I would be a millionaire. No, no one ever says life will be easy but hey,- it's implied numerous times. Take being a "grown-up" for example: it's all about staying up late, getting to drink, going wherever whenever you want, right? You will gain knowledge you never thought possible, i.e. "You'll understand when you're older." Yeah, nobody can wait to grow up.

Then it hits you, you are grown up and where the hell did all the fun you're supposed to be having go? Yeah, you have to get this thing called A Job, like homework on a whole other level. The staying up late thing? No, no, with this Job, sleep is a must. Oh yeah, the getting to drink thing, yeah, often times accompanies money loss, acts of stupidity you'd NEVER do, memory issues, and generally a major headache the next day. Going wherever whenever, yeah, that's fine ... as long as it coincides with you having a vehicle, money, and time off from this "job". My personal favorite: the all-important special knowledge that comes with being an adult. Yeah, I am more confused now than I was then. The only thing new I truly understand is the concept of "bills" and you must "pay them." Which brings me to the point of this cockamamie story -- MY job.

I am a bartender. For most people that seems to be summed up rather easily. Fun, easy work, glamour, and of course, money. I do have to admit after seeing movies like "Coyote Ugly" and "Cocktail" I couldn't wait to be 21 and 'tending. Conveniently they forget to tell you that all of a sudden, you not only pour drinks but you are now an object of affection, an audience, a babysitter, and yes, the all-important psychologist. You learn the roles and new games quickly, though; my favorite -- Good Bartender, Bad Bartender!!

Don't get me wrong now, it is not without its perks. The money is awesome. You also make a lot of connections with people, in many different fields, because at least 90% of the people I meet at some point wanted to bartend. Some people you even become friends with. Like this one couple, of course confidentiality is key so we'll call them ohhh let's say Sand and Bernie. I even remember the first time they came in and it was my shift, we bonded over talks of Christmas trees. It was my first "grown up" Christmas. I was getting advice. They turned into regulars and good friends. The majority of your clientele however aren't regulars and sometimes you're not even sure they are regular people. This is where the regulars come in handy to help save your sanity. Plus gives you someone to go "Oh my god" with. You get the random people who are old enough to be your parent, but you're sure that they not only missed the step into adulthood but they couldn't even find the damn staircase! Those can be the fun and pain-in-the-ass people. The ones you're not quite sure they should be allowed out on their own. (A good tip: remember the smile-and-nod method.)

Oh, I love the guys and I mean "THE" guys. You know the ones I am talking about -- they think they are the smoothest, best looking, you should drop to your knees and thank the lord they are gracing you with their presence guys. They are the best when they're about 45-55 offering to sweep you off your feet to a tropical location to have a getaway weekend. All while their wife sits at home. Yes, by the way this does happen ... the offer, I mean.

Your days can be hilarious or a bad episode of the "Twilight Zone" when you bartend. Ladies and gentlemen, I have introduced you to my Adventures in Bartending.

Article © Sara Dunn. All rights reserved.
Published on 2003-10-13
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