“Oh, wow! You bartend? That must be so fun!”

And it is! For the most part, at least.

A lot of people glamorize what it’s like to work on the opposite end of the bar rail. I often see looks of intrigue or amazement when people hear that I am a bartender, considering how young I look. And don’t get me wrong – it’s really fun! The atmosphere is electric almost every shift and the money that can be made on a good night can definitely help cover the bills. But there are a few things that grind my gears…

  1. People that make a big deal about being carded. It’s not a painful experience, nor does it cost the guest any pain to pull an ID out of their wallet. The only time that is being wasted is the time that is spent complaining about a law that I don’t have any control over anyway.
  2. People that make a big deal about opening a tab. I get the hesitation to have your card information behind the bar – I really do. The concern is real and a lot of companies have broken the trust of consumers by not properly caring for their information. But that is not the case here. The reason why we open tabs is because a walk-out (when someone doesn’t pay for their bill) comes out of our check/tips or we get fired. We cover our asses by getting information and keeping a tab open for guests so we can close it and charge their card, even if they walk without paying.
  3. People that want you to give them a “long pour” or to “make the drink strong”. I can charge for a double or I can give a regular shot, but I’m not going to steal alcohol from the bar that pays my bills so that someone else can have a good night. (Chances are that if they’re too cheap to pay for their alcohol, they’re too cheap to tip you anyway.)

Despite all of this (and plenty more, trust me) I can honestly say that it is one of the most fun experiences that has ever been thrown in my lap. (I might make a more detailed “10 things bartenders love/hate” list in the future.) It’s easy to get wrapped up in what you hate about a job and forget the reasons why you got into it in the first place. But don’t let the bad parts make you bitter and take your happiness away! Cheers to gunning toward opportunities that you never expected the universe to throw at you.


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