Reasons Why You Should Quit Bartending and Start Writing.
Your customers are your new best friends, no matter how badly you want to scoop out their eyeballs with that extra long silver spoon. That spoon looks silly. It’s twisted from end to end, as if some magical ergonomic spoon motion is going to make your Old Fashioned taste any better. It won’t. It’s literally just bourbon, which is sugar, and then more added sugar.
Even the nice customers, well, they decided to come too. Therefore you hate them just as much. They may tell you to take your time, but what they really mean is I’m not the asshole who thinks my drink will just appear in front of me, when I decide what I want. But I still want my drink. Like soon.
You watch the sunlight disappear, siphoned out the windows. You think, this is just the beginning of my drudgery. Of my grindstone. 8 hours of Which wine has the least calories?
You long for the days where you worked in fast food. Making predetermined meals for people, who expected garbage anyway. It wasn’t so bad. You could be as nonchalant or enthusiastic as you want, and your paycheck would reflect the same amount each week. Of course, your paycheck was also half of what it is now, in twice the amount of time.
Now you’re really worth something, back there behind the place where everyone sets their drinks and elbows. All to be heard are desperate attempts at conversation. You’re now worth somewhere between 10–20%, depending on their mood. Or your mood. Or the weather. Or the barometric pressure.
You massage your cheeks in the bathroom, because you’ve been smiling at people you secretly hate for 6 hours. You wonder if you can attach tiny weights to your face, so you can strengthen your overused grin muscles. They would probably be pretty cute, though. Little dumbbells.
Your life is one big, perpetual eye roll of humanity’s constant need.
Extra olives. Light syrup. Ice on the side. Very Chilled. Just a splash. New glass. An extra squirt. Just a drop. Not too much. Where is it? I could come back there and make my own drink in this amount of time.
No, you can’t. I hid the vodka bottle underneath the ice. Good luck. You’ll probably get frostbite first.
When you went to college for 4 (ok maybe 5) years, bartending was glamourous. You stayed up past your bedtime. You were able to pay your own bills, like a fucking adult. You were finally able to say fuck out loud, without looking over your shoulder. Getting people drunk is powerful.
But you were in school then. That meant you could do anything. Fucking anything.
After college, you thought Ok, I’ll just bartend and write on the side. It’s a mindless job and I can take plenty of time to focus on what I really want to get out of life. I’ve got time.
Five years go by and your mind is filled with orders, shots, stirs, shakes, late nights, hangovers, because the booze is free and right at your fingertips, so why not? There’s no more room left for thought. All you can fit in there is a fading neon light, blinking and buzzing, with a arrow pointing to the future. That future, you know, is where you get your shit together.
So, maybe you’re filled with a great deal more hatred now for your fellow man. That’s ok. It’s experiential. Perhaps you’ve burned through all of your savings that, to be honest, never exceeded three digits in the first place.
The good news is you’ve become an expert of people at their worst. You’ve handed them a drug to help take off the hinges, revealing all their gross and glowing guts. That’s got to be worth something in that fuzzy future you keep dreaming about. It’s just a few more strokes and struggled breaths, through the sea of bullshit and beer foam that you’re wading in.
Put that stack of coasters down. Screw the wood finish.
You don’t have to be a bartender anymore.
Because this is America.