Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Last Sunday, The Bartender sprang my first bartending shift on me. He knew the best approach to get me back there. You know, the sneaky kind. Of the sort that doesn't allow me a single moment to mull over anything. To worry. He casually suggested I serve a beer. I obliged.
And, Snap! Just like that, I was behind the bar on a Sunday night. More folks arrived. More beers cracked open. Poured into pint glasses. A few shots. Anxious moments. Many questions. Happy exchanges. Sooner than expected, it was almost midnight and I wondered when I'd sleep before waking at 5:30 to drive back to the city. There's no time for pondering or complaining behind the bar, however. You must keep moving on. It's not about you. It's about all of them.
Yes, my feet were crammed into inappropriate urban-style shearling boots. My hair was tucked into a knit cap. A thick sweater warmed too much. Yes, as I had not prepared for this session of serving, I was not clad as I would have liked or would have felt more comfortable. The Bartender sympathetic but enjoying a shift off, suggested I step outside for a cool, rainy pause. That's what you have to do, babe. The shift continued.
I have bussed tables. I have waitressed. I have even poured pints o'plenty on many a slow Monday dayshift. Up until last weekend, I had not spent eight hours behind a bar. Pacing. Eyeing. Bored. Tuckered. Cranky. Smiling. Chatting. Serving and serving.
Don't for one second think that anyone can bartend. It just isn't true.
I never wanted to be one of those owners who doesn't know the business. Yet, here I am. In fairness, it is the business of which he's familiar. I want to know every facet as well. I hate being vulnerable behind the bar. Having more questions than answers. I am grasping at the comfort of knowing that we are learning the whole of this business, together.
See that lady above? She is learning lessons the hard way. Quick and dirty. That's just how this business is. She can pour a perfect Guinness, however. That she can do.
Yes, it's here. Our new tower. Slinging drafts we will be. Ain't it pretty? Nautical, no?
Now, excuse me while I resume quizzing myself with basic change calculations.