2017 literally flew right by. Amongst the chaotic running
around and endless holiday parties, December is the
busiest month out of the whole year for the service industry.
It’s a time when customers are full of emotions: excitement,
loneliness, happiness, disappointment and optimism, and
we, as bartenders, get to witness it all. That doesn’t mean
that we don’t experience these emotions ourselves, but as
people who are the ‘face’ of the bar, it is up to us to keep
ourselves in check so we can do our job. As someone
who has recently been seeking out daily positive mantras
in order to obtain a happy, content and peaceful mind, I
thought I could use this month’s column to provide some for
bartenders this holiday season. Enjoy!
Make today so awesome that yesterday gets
Each time you walk through the door to bartend, it’s an
opportunity to meet new people, make a memory, and/or
make some money. Try to capitalize on the energy you feel
each day and try to make each shift a great time – for you
and your customers.
Go the extra mile, it’s never crowded.
Recite this as you enter each shift. Your boss will thank you.
Stand your ground, it’s sacred.
As a bartender (and a human being) you know what is
right and what is wrong. Don’t compromise your morals
to please other people, whether it be serving under-aged
or intoxicated customers, or dealing with work drama.
Consider the situation, listen to your gut and stay true to
yourself, even if the outcome leads you to being the “lesserliked
bartender”. Screw it, you’re not there to make friends,
you’re there to make a living.
Work smarter, not harder.
The key is not breaking into a sweat, but finding a way to
create your own flow and balancing it when the nights get
extremely busy. Since the holidays are the busiest time of the
year, it’s crucial to remain cool, calm, and collective. Discuss
with co-workers ways to eliminate running into each other
while making drinks or try to figure out ways to help each
other when you get the chance.
Not my circus, not my monkeys.
Remember this when you have to deal with drunk
customers who are a little too hands-y, who give you the
side-eye when you give them water instead of a cocktail,
or who can’t finish the night without starting at least one
argument. I’ll be the first to admit that as a bartender/
writer/over-thinker/empathetic person I’ve found myself too
involved in people’s lives. When people ask me for advice,
it’s hard for me not to dive nose deep into their story and
give my honest opinion. When I see a couple on the brink
of domestic abuse, it’s hard not to jump in the middle and
play mediator/couples therapist. The truth is: the happiest
people are those who mind their own business.
Work to become, so you can acquire.
During the holidays, stress levels are at an all time high
in the service industry. Waitresses cry, chef’s curse, and
managers scream. There may be days when you have to
serve a person who, when they see you at the same bar
you’ve bartended at for the last 6 years, says, “So, you’re
still here, huh?” During these times, remind yourself that
you’re fortunate to have a job in a time when so many
people don’t and that whatever pays for your rent, your
bills, your vacations, your makeup, your clothes, your nails,
your hair and other miscellaneous things can’t be that bad
after all. Work hard, work a lot, and save your earnings so
you can put your money towards things that make you enjoy
living your life. Bartending pays your bills, people’s opinions
Work for a cause, not applause.
Have you ever handled a crazy bar by yourself, when
you know most bartenders would need assistance? The
adrenaline rush that comes from persevering through it
often fades when there is nobody there to pat you on the
back when it’s over and say, “Good job!” In those moments,
pat your own damn back and get back to working. You and
God know how much of a hard worker you are. At the end
of the day, the most important thing is how proud you are of
yourself for kicking ass.
This too shall pass.
Throughout the busy holiday season, tell yourself that for
every chaotic shift you work, there will be a reward at the
end of December: Christmas and an upcoming new year.
Embrace this busy time because as soon as the impending
snow starts, business tends to slow down until people come
out of hibernation for spring. Appreciate the rush now and
you will reap the benefits later!