Greetings friends, enemies, and unaffiliated parties! So I know it’s been a while, but a lot has been going on. For starters, I have been tasking like crazy whenever I have free time, and it’s going very well. When I flag myself as “available” on the app, I typically get hired for jobs within the hour. I’m going to write a post specifically about my tasker adventures soon, but my big news for today is on the bar front.
Since day one at my bar, I have been vocal about my goal of becoming a bartender. To the general manager, to the bartenders, and to pretty much anyone who would listen. I knew from the start that the path from busser to bar would be a long one, but I was up for the challenge.
As I got more comfortable with my official duties, I made a point to introduce myself to all the bartenders and let them know that I was happy to help them in any way I could. Whenever I had a spare moment I would check to see if I could bring them ice or help them restock. I learned everything I could. The bartenders also got to know me and saw how committed I was, so they started to give me tips about bartending. One of them took me under his wing and gave me the house cocktail recipes so I could study them. I downloaded a flashcard app so I could quiz myself on the way to work.
During this whole process, I pestered my poor general manager with weekly updates on my progress.
“Just FYI, I’ve memorized all the house cocktails now!”
“Now I’m up to 50 other cocktails!”
” Just so you know, I started bartending private parties so I can get more experience!” etc. etc. etc.
Basically, I wanted to let her know that I was going to be ready to hit the ground running. When the call came, I wouldn’t let her down.
This week, everything happened at once. On Monday morning I came in to find out that they didn’t have a server, so they were going to have me serve instead! (Part of me wondered if the customers wouldn’t be disappointed at being served by a skinny guy in a black T-shirt rather than one of our beautiful waitresses! Nobody said anything, but I bet they were thinking it…) I took it as a challenge, and in my humble opinion I did pretty well. I served thirteen tables during lunch service, learning a new POS system as I went and running/bussing all my my own tables. I felt confident– like I had gotten a chance to prove my versatility, and knocked it out of the park.
On that very same day, one of the bartenders came up to me and said he got the official OK from the general manager for me to start shadowing him. It was really happening! Even faster than I thought.
I came in every night after that, ready to soak up all the knowledge and skills that I could. I stayed late, I mixed drinks, I closed the bar with them, and I tried to be as helpful as possible without getting in the way. Then on Friday I got word that the Saturday barback wasn’t feeling well, so I had a chance to cover for an actual bar shift. It was a total crash-course because I had never opened the bar before, but I came out of it feeling like I had learned a ton and was ready for more.
I’m still in training right now, but I’m incredibly grateful to even be a backup barback at this point. To think that I’ve worked an actual shift behind the bar, and it’s hardly been two months since I started! I feel extremely lucky.
And as if all this weren’t enough, there’s even more icing on the cake this week. One of my most talented and illustrious friends just joined the crew as a new hostess/server! (Hi Clara!) Chances are, another might just be on her way too. (Hurry up, Trysten!) Soon I’ll have ALL the friends at work, and it will be awesome!
PS: after writing the main part of this article, I’ve also been conscripted to help out in the kitchen. Now I’ve done at least one shift in pretty much every section of the restaurant, and I kind of love that. Variety is the spice of life.