I know it’s only been a little over a year, but I see no wrong in some reflection. Whether it be a month or ten years of something, it’s always good to take a step back and see how things are. Losing my job (for the time being) with no notice at all, has made me want to see what I have taken from it. I like to look at this as a good thing. This gives me the time to reflect on the lessons that I have learned.
So, here’s a list of lessons bartending has taught me, besides what goes best with tequila. Which is also a very necessary lesson to learn ;).
People can for sure, suck.
I have had many people spend a good $100, hand me a credit card with insufficient funds, and then dip. People who do things like this make me cringe to the point that I look like a raisin. Don’t go out if you know you don’t have the money. It’s as simple as that.
Your time matters. Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise.
This is one of those industries that can easily suck you in. If you work 9pm-2am then you’re really working 9pm-3am. Now I’m sure this doesn’t apply to every single bar, but it’s happened to me everywhere I’ve been so far. Usually as a newbie you get the “shit shifts” which is you mostly prepping for the night time bartenders. Understand you have to deal with this to work your way up to the good shifts, so don’t be discouraged by this, embrace it. P.S. it’s worth it!
You always have to be one step ahead.
No matter what, you have to be on top of your shit. You’re responsible for so much as a bartender. From the drunk patrons, to handling the money in the register, being alert and paying attention is all very important. It’s more than just pushing out as many drinks as you can.
Find your roar because you’ll need it.
I’ve always been quiet, especially when it comes to standing up for myself. I would get myself into a state of panic to the point that it made me feel better to just do nothing. Once I was in this industry, I had no choice but to turn the panic that usually shut me down into a fearless rage. Remember, your reputation is valued in this industry…That’s something I remind myself often.
Don’t take it personally…They were just drunk.
Boyyy, do I have stories for this. I have heard some crazy shit, obviously. I have gotten insulted one too many times. Someone once told me they didn’t like my eyebrows (ok sir, you’re bald, but it’s fine). Someone also once told me that my body is only nice because I’m still young (the guy was a good three years older than me, can’t wait to see what he looks like when he’s forty). Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that these people are under the influence and sometimes things literally just slip out of their mouth. Does that make it okay? No, but you have to learn how to have tough skin, laugh crap like that off, and realize you are perfect exactly how you are.
Don’t let one small obstacle knock you down.
No shift will ever go perfectly smooth. Maybe it’s just for me, but for some reason, something always has to go wrong. I started doing this new thing where I take a deep breath and focus solely on whatever it is that I’m doing when I feel things are turning south. Surprisingly, this small thing has not let me down yet.
Don’t let the industry consume you.
The late hours, the overuse of your energy, the constant standing…It can really take a toll on you. Don’t fall into the trap though. Stay away from smoking cigarettes, skip the red bull, have another coffee instead. It’s hard to do, trust me, I had such a bad habit of drinking red bull during my shifts. Always let yourself sleep, especially after a long shift, give yourself that extra hour. Your body needs the rest.
Being in this industry helped give me confidence I really thought I’d never find. Now that I can’t bartend, I’m going to use this time to see how much I start to miss it and if I love it as much as I’ve told myself.
Thank you for reading my dudes, hope my content is worth your while during these times.