Ah the hospitality industry… From the sticky floors to the sore feet to the boozy smiles–it can be the worst of times, and the absolute best of times. Here are 14 truths that every aspiring glassy, bartender and waiter/waitress should know about:
1. Getting lit is cheap or freeeee
One of the perks of bar work is that you usually get discounts on booze. This is both good and bad.
2. People are the best
Tfw someone throws a tenner in the tip jar, gives you a non-creepy wink and walks off to drink beers with their polite and intelligent friends. Priceless.
3. People are the worst
How is it that people can be so ridiculously loud and rude and demanding? Sometimes you just want to throw a shot of whiskey in someone’s eye and tell them to stop requesting that song from 2012 that wasn’t even cool at the time.
4. Standing up for nine hours is actually pretty full on
a) Expect sore feet and sweaty socks.
b) Invest in some comfy shoes.
5. Smiling for nine hours is even harder
“Service with a smile” is freaking exhausting, especially when you don’t feel like smiling. For help with smiling, see the next point.
6. Caffeine is key
The hospitality industry (and, for that matter, every other industry) functions with caffeine. Tired? Drink a coffee. Too busy to have a break? Drink a coffee. Feet hurt? Get a double shot. Can’t smile? Maybe a triple. Seriously the hospo wonder drug.
7. Redbull works too
When coffee stops working, you’ll need to take it up a notch. Energy drinks are the commonly used method for those late nights in the booze pit.
8. No one is a fucking “mixologist”
Just no. It doesn’t matter how hip your bar is, or how fluffy your beard is, or if you make drinks really, really carefully, you’re simply not a mixologist. You work in a bar. That’s it.
9. Joking about head will never get old
You (after pouring a beer): I hope that’s not too much head for you?
Customer: You can never have too much head (laughs).
10. Dad jokes for days
Two peanuts walk into a bar. One was a salted.
11. Talking about the weather sucks
The human race has sent rockets to the moon, mapped the entire world within a single app and cured polio. So haven’t we evolved as a species to the point where we don’t have to say, “Nice day, isn’t it?” or “Hot enough for ya, mate?”
12. Music is a necessity
Without making bar work sound like a cheesy musical where everyone is constantly breaking into songs about the collective mood, there are a lot of albums that help the team push through a long shift. You’ve just got to hope no one listens to awful music.
13. Sleeping all day is perfectly normal
When you work all night, you sleep all day, and there’s absolutely nothing to feel guilty about. Ignore those pesky, early rising friends and their judging eyes.
14. Colleagues become solid mates pretty quickly
There’s nothing like a long and ridiculously busy night of pulling beers to form a friendship. Working a busy bar and copping the onslaught of loud noises and excited punters is kind of like going to war–if you survive, you become mates with those who survived it with you. For life.