Too Young To Hold On, Too Old To Just Break Free And Run

Picture of Jeff Buckley


So I’ve been at “bar X” in MPD for a while now. I’ve endured numerous, required, eerily long epically repetitive “training” sessions. I’ve eaten crow repeatedly as The Low Man on The Totem Pole. I’ve made good money here and there over the months and met mostly really cool and very talented people. I’ve also run into a handful of ass-nasty useless turds that pass for service industry employees. I guess there are bad seeds in every bunch.

Just like the majority of my dating history, where I’ve mostly not been a dude who does the shagnasty with a different qualified (a 7.5 with a pulse) pretty young thing from evening to evening, I tend to stick it out at bars and turn them into my own. I can eventually thrive where others have failed. The  primary reason is that I fucking hate looking for  a new job whether it’s an office job or restaurant/bar gig. I despise it almost much as I hate looking for an apartment and moving. Job hunting and moving are two endeavors which cause me so much stress, that I’d rather contemplate smoking endless rocks from glowing, red-hot glass phallus.

There is bullshit to deal with no matter where you work. There will always be people you like and people you do not like. Your scale is constantly in use – with the money you make on one side, and said bullshit on the other. They are inversely proportional. In the middle, lies the measure of tolerance. When the scales of tolerance routinely favor bullshit, it’s time to get the fuck out of Dodge. And that’s exactly where I stand today.

I’m severely disappointed because I’ve been sold a big fat fucking lie. I was painted a picture of greath wealth, The Bigtime; ridiculously busy nights, and high-end professionalism. Although the powers-that-be put on a good fucking show, perpetrating a fraud of a well-to-do, upper-crust, well-oiled restaurant/bar/nightclub, none of those things have come even remotely true. Yes, there have been the odd nights when I’ve been slammed for a few of hours. When it is slammed, the money is pretty good. The biggest problems are twofold:

(1) The tip splitting system is asinine backwards; rewarding all bartenders equally regardless of work effort. It’s the hourly split which is emptying my pockets and filling others’. I won’t get into to the technicalities as I’ve already covered it here. Suffice it to say, that whoever came up with this idea deserves a dozen whacks to the head with an old, musty tube sock filled with leaking D-cell alkaline batteries.

(2) The politics are not working in my favor. I’ve bedeviled by bullshit favoritism, seniority, previous co-worker relationships, and maybe even under-the-table romantic goings-on. In other words, I’m on the outs with the keeper of the schedule for reasons which haven not been revealed to me. I’ve been plagued with infrequent and often shiteous shifts for some reason.

The latter issue is not uncommon in this business. Politics, sexism, sex, drinking, drugging, etc. have all played a hand in every bar I’ve ever worked in. However, at the end of the day, the bar is a business. As such, you’ve got to exploit your assets – those F.O.H. bartenders that are reliable, prompt, speedy, knowledgeable, likable, and attractive. They also need to be able to deal with random adversity in the appropriate manner as well as be a sponge for information in terms of your bar’s food and beverages and it’s procedures. More importantly, you need barkeeps who (a) don’t throw a third of your revenue in the sink through carelessness or malice (b) are not raging substance abusers and (c) can fucking sell the shit out of your product. That doesn’t exactly describe the group I’ve working with – putting it nicely.

Fuck humility. I’m the best bartender in the group – period. Not only that, I’m one of the last men and women standing. We’ve been whittled down to 1/4 of the total bartenders from the onset. Crazy right? It’s not unusual to over-hire for Cattle Calls and seasonal staff. You kind of anticipate it. You wouldn’t be completely wrong to presume that you’re probably well liked (and doing something right) if you’re kept while most others have long been eliminated. So I’m left scratching my head. Am I not banging the correct Regional Manager or waitress? Is my Check Average or Ring low? Do I perpetually have a random piece of lettuce in my smile or shit-stain on my pants? Does someone mistakenly believe that I work this job as a goof and don’t actually need the money to survive? Who the fuck knows? I’ve left guessing. In my entire Hospitality career, this is the first place I’ve ever worked where I have not been recognized and rewarded.

Well, enough is enough. Even a highly-tolerant man, like myself, can be only so complacent. I need to eat. I haven’t been able to eat adequately so it’s time to move the fuck on. I’m saddened in a sense as I had such high expectations for this establishment and sincerely thought I would prosper – flipping it into a permanent position. Such is not the case. Sometimes, you’ve simply got to let go of what is clearly not working out.

Maybe that’s what Jeff Buckley was thinking when he walked fully clothed into the Mississipi and fucking drowned – a complete tragedy.

So back to pounding the streets I go. Off to look for a new bar.

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3 thoughts on “Too Young To Hold On, Too Old To Just Break Free And Run

  1. Here here. At my job the BS has always come in waves. At this point in time, the wave of shit I’ve been riding has lasted about 6 months. I’m seeing things start to turn around, but I’m well aware of needing to cut my losses if it gets worse.
    Being NFG (new fucking guy) at any job, even the best ones, sucks! Even harder when you are older and less inclined to be pushed around.

  2. Hell, I’ve quit more jobs than most people have applied to. I’m even starting another new gig next week, due to my current one reaching the “that’s all the bullshit I can take from you” point. I’ve always considered the nature of this business to be transient by force. Improving your lot is always temporary in this sort of work, and you always have to be courageous enough to know when to make the leap. Best of luck on your next adventure!

    • Yeah Mandy and Terry. Points well taken. I just hate this shit. I guess it comes with the territory. Either that or I’ve had too much good luck in the past with comfortable gigs of several years. I guess this is the New World Order I have to get used to. Sigh…

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