“What’s your real job”. Hard to believe but bartending is a “real job” done by real people. As bartenders we work as hard and as long as anybody else does. We just happen to be around a lot of liquor while doing it. Most people think that’s a perk of bartending. But did you know most and I mean MOST bars do not allow their bartenders to have a sip of alcohol during their shift. Never mind a drink. So no we are not back there getting drunk with you having a party all night long. That’s most likely coffee from 4 that afternoon in my cup that I’m drinking at midnight. “You must meet so many great people” sure we do, and it would be great if we had a minute to actual talk to them all, but most times behind the bar you hardly have a second to think never mind get to actual have a conversation with someone. We’re not being rude. We’re busy. And to those people who think it’s ok to say rude or sexual things too bartender. It’s not. “Bartending must be so much fun”. It’s a job and just like any other job it’s work. We’re on our feet 10-15 hours a day pumping drinks like machines, usually not eating, rarely getting a bathroom break and I really hope you’re not a smoker. Well at least you’ll break that habit fast. “You must make so much money” meh. Yea sometimes. But sometimes you do “ok”. People forget we work on TIPS alone. Therefore sometimes our guests “forget” to tip. But…there’s always a flip side. “What’s your real job” well bartending is a very real job. But it also frees up my days to do things when places are less crowded because most of the “normal” population is busy behind their desks. I can also take days off and vacations at my leisure. There’s always someone willing to take your money shift. “You must meet so many great people” we do! I love meeting Interesting people from all over the world, not to mention your co workers who quickly become like Family members after all you are trapped behind a small cage with them for 10 to 15 hours a day for five days a week. “ bartending is so much fun” yea. It definitely is. I get to stand behind a bar and listen to top live cover bands like changing lanes lifespeed or the Benjamins or a Dj play and zone out. Put my head down and get people drunk. I get to work along side the most amazing people who keep me laughing all night long. You can’t take it too serious. We’re not saving lives back there. “You must make so much money”. Yes. Yes we do. Most nights we do great. We leave work with a fistful of cash and we appreciate it. It’s our jobs as bartenders to provide a fun filled night of great service for our guests and when we do you show us your gratitude in the form of tips. And we are grateful for every dollar left of the bar. It’s a good feeling to get paid at the end of your work day!
The point of this all is bartending has great perks but is also a tough gig. You have to have thick skin and be prepared to take some verbal abuse. But if you can make it. There’s really no better way to spend your nights.
BY Kara Signorella