Monday, December 22, 2008

A Few Pros And Cons Of Bartending

Sleeping Late. Really Freakin Late. Most bartenders have had to work a lunch shift or 20, and let's face it; If we have to get up early, it had better be for more than 60 dollars and 6 hours spent doing the daily crossword, then the word jumble, and then reading the paper cover to cover (obits included). That being said, once a bartender is solely working nights, they will nary have to experience the full wrath of the sun again. Of course becoming a vampire is a nasty little side effect of bartending, but luckily vampires seem to be all the rage right now. What with that movie and that show on HBO and such. Decision: Huge PRO.

No Health Insurance. Not being able to play a pick-up game of basketball with friends because you might sprain an ankle and have to declare bankruptcy is a horrible horrible feeling. Some corporate bars offer health insurance, but most bars do not. I pay for my own health insurance now, but I've gone long stretches without it. Laying in bed with what could be a hybrid Avian Bird/Monkey Flu for two weeks straight and not being able to go to the doctor is also a horrible horrible feeling. Decision: CON.

No "Corporate Ladder" To Speak Of. Okay so they say bartending can be a dead end job. They also say that you should floss everyday, or that you shouldn't sleep with strangers, but c'mon?! I've seen bartenders hit the dead end, but I've also seen bartenders move into management or restaurant ownership. I've seen them meet people through bartending and start business ventures or different careers altogether. I myself am starting to see more and more opportunities come my way through this work. Tending bar is a career like any other and by that I mean, the cream will rise to the top. The ones that dead end are the ones who aren't trying hard enough. Decision: PRO and CON, depending on your outlook.

Unlimited Access To Any Type Of Booze You Want. Remember those first few trips into the liquor store when you turned 21? It was like being a kid in a candy store, a candy store full of life-altering liquids. All of those brands and shiny bottles. I used to walk around the whole store just picking up everything and exploring, but eventually it lost its luster and now I just walk straight to the back of the vodka aisle for the cheapest half-gallon I can find. Well, all that is sort of similar to bartending. At first your shift ends and you end up spending 20 minutes looking at all the pretty bottles and trying to decide what you want to sip on. Then after awhile you just grab some expensive shit and pour a triple with soda. The novelty wears off, but still, getting to choose from booze of any and every variety rocks. Decision: PRO.

Meeting Women (Or Men). When you're in an office you see the same people, day in and day out. You grow close to your co-workers and you have drinks after work with them. You rarely interact with new people outside of sales calls or various conferences. For a single guy looking for love, this blows. Bartending on the other hand lets you meet hundreds of new people every night. Some of these new people will be girls who may or may not send you picture mail on your phone in the middle of your shift. The picture may or may not be of that girl inserting some sort of pleasuring device into a hole that God had only intended for outgoing mail, and you might just end up serving that girl a drink 30 seconds later. That scenario was completely hypothetical of course.

Although if things like that start happening in cubicles, then I'll think about jumping ship. Decision: PRO.


Readers, if you have a pro or con to add please do so in the comment section. I'd be interested to hear some different and what are sure to be, completely opposite takes.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Higher STD rate? Greater chance of getting a bottle smashed on your temple? I'm going with two CONs here.

You know what I'm talking about JGF.

Kelly said...

Being one step closer to vampire mode is always a con... as is being able to have weekdays off to not have to fight crowds at movies, ABC stores, malls, etc... (well, that is if you can get out the house...always a prob for me when I bartended)...

Kelly said...

wait... i meant to say being one step closer to vampire mode is a PRO... i have had too much vodka tonite...

Taylor said...

How about if you wanted to actually start dating... I see that most bartenders end up dating someone who is in that whole bar scene, either another bartender or a waitress/waiter. To me, it just seems like a whole shit ton of drama... at least, from what I have seen. I would never date a bartender bc they would be going into work when I am leaving work... and I am a needy ass bitch. I need A LOT of attention. Maybe some girls will do it, but not this one.

Anonymous said...

I don't think there's a pro or con about this. The only pro or con here is whether you're happy. I know plenty of bankers, doctors, business owners who have their own insurance, make money, great women options, and are unhappy. Usually, it's not about their jobs -- it's about them. No amount of money, sleep, women, sex, booze makes you happy about yourself if you aren't. The pro or con here is, is this what you want to be doing with your life? If you stepped off tomorrow, is there something you left on the table? If the game ended today, would you say "I left it all on the field?" If you can say that, then bartending is the only choice for you. If you can say, "I wish I had raised wild horses in New Zealand", then you need to go raise wild horses.

Anonymous said...

Taylor is right. It's extremely difficult to date a non-industry type. Schedule and lifestyle play a big role there.

Paleohawk said...

Cool blog. I am in a similar state of mind, same age, but there are some interesting factors that complicate my choices.

Our search for happiness continues.

S. Preston Duncan said...

I think a weighted chart is in order, with free alcohol and sleeping late being awarded the highest level of significance.

in vino veritas said...

preston: i am with you. late morning/afternoons tucks and gratis libations... ahhh.

SuzzeQ said...

as a fellow latenight SIN (service industry) worker my biggest con is that I love breakfast foods....working 10-14 hour shifts that start at 7pm makes it a little difficult to meet friends for brunch or breakfast....ha its the little things you miss when you don't see the sun Jack, like the days warmth or in my case, extra light to help my asian ass drive! I wish I got to see the sun more than 3 times a week...

somewhat a con...

but a pro is having friends work at other bars, or manage other bars, and meeting all the hot bartenders from those other bars

Chuck said...

As a bartender you either gain a ton of confidence or enhance the confidence you already had. The bartender is the rockstar of the restaurant. You also learn how to deal with a position of power. As you know, a bartender has a shit-ton of it. You can either become some power-mongering asshole that creates enemies or you can handle your power with poise and garner respect and more money. The process of their adaptation to that power develops character and is a great tool for a post-bartending career.
Plus, girls will throw their vaginas at you.

James - the Expat Rock Star said...

The other great think about bartending is it’s a portable skill that you can use just about anywhere in the world – I did some bartending part time in the Middle East and in Southeast Asia

Anonymous said...

what are you on vaca or something?? Blog boy blog!!