Life of a Bartender

First of all, my sleeping schedule is all kinds of messed up: My bar closes at 3:00 A.M 7 days a week. This means that if I close, I don’t get home from work until 4 or even sometime 5 AM! And once I get home I am still wired and often times can’t fall asleep for an hour or two, so I lay in bed staring at my phone on Twitter/Pinterest/Facebook/Instagram until I fall asleep… In fact, I am writing this post at 6:20 AM Sunday after closing on a Saturday night shift… Needless to say, I sleep in/don’t get my day started until noon or later.

I am on my feet from 8 to 16 hours at a time (depending how long my shift is) yes; I have worked many 16 hour shifts. I’m 24 years old, so it hasn’t caught up to me yet, but I’m sure I will probably have back problems sometime in the near future.

Drunk men confess their love to me – I’m not sure why. Okay, I’m hot & all but c’mon man! Go home. I’m not giving you my phone number, you cannot take me out on a date, and I don’t want to hear you bragging about how good of a guy you are. Do I come into your job and harass you? Didn’t think so. I make your drinks, you pay for them, tip me generously then go away. From the famous words of TLC, “no I don’t want your number, no, I don’t want to give you mine and no, I don’t want to meet you nowhere, no, I don’t want none of your time” Okay, you get the picture. 

We are judged – I was just in the process of apartment hunting in Boston, and a landlord declined my application, because I am “just a bartender.” Another place that I applied to live required that I have a cosigner, regardless of my almost-excellent credit. I’m not quite sure why some people consider bartending not to be a “real job.” You can make a really decent salary as a bartender. How is it not a real job? You don’t need a degree for it, but you also don’t need a degree for a lot of blue collar jobs or retail positions, but people still view serving and bartending is disreputable. A lot of us have day jobs and work bar shifts for extra cash. Others don’t even need to have full time jobs because working a few nights a week at the bar is enough to make a living. I have a bachelors degree and I know I can make more bartending than any entry level position offers. Okay, I get that it can be a dead end job with not much opportunity to advance, and there’s the risk that some days I might go into work and leave with less than $50.. Even so, I am still averaging around minimum wage on a 8-hour day. There’s pros and cons to every position.

People ask us to make the most ridiculous named shooters/cocktails, and then question our bartending abilities because we don’t know what in them. First of all, the drink you are referring to was probably some signature drink served at some vacation resort in Hawaii that features special drinks that are only on their menu. No shit why I don’t know how to make it. Second of all, it’s 2014 – I know you have a smartphone; so Google it. If I have whatever is in it behind my bar, I can make it for you. 

So, I just wanted to enlighten you outsiders on what it’s like on a typical day for a bartender, and maybe you will show a little more respect. 🙂

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