For most hardened, service industry lifers, the the grind eventually devolves in to it’s insidious yet beloved state, where your twenties seemingly overnight give birth to your thirties, and – gulp – beyond. That grind is: a chronic routine of pre-shift (followed by post-shift) debauchery, “progressing” to a prone state, naked and unconscious state, wallowing away the daylight hours, nursing a seemingly more and more tolerant, mild hangover. Resistance is building. Wake up at sunset, pop a few Ibuprofen, maybe drop off a load of laundry, grab two slices of pizza, Hair-of-the-dog to polish of that headache, and it’s back to work having accomplished nearly nothing during the day.
I know… the title sounds like a bad 70′s sit-com. But here’s the bottom-line: The Man really doesn’t appreciate you/us being in a “cash business” and will flex everyone of his muscles in an attempt to put the hurt on your wallet these days. That’s true of both business owners as well as bartenders/servers. Over the last 20 or so years – coinciding with the rise of the machine (read: computerization of anything and everything) – The Feds and your municipal tax thieves have been putting the smack down on our business like never before mostly because they have the ability to do so like never before. If they’re not all up in your grill today, rest assured that they will be paying your trusty liquor-dispensery a visit sooner or later in order to forcibly extract their not-so-fair share of your income.
This is by no means meant to be a commentary on my personal appearance, or an evaluation of my “attractiveness” or lack thereof. However, throughout my career, I’ve managed to land bartending gigs in several “high-profile” (read: trendy) bars/clubs, teeming with stereotypically attractive young barkeeps. Read from that what you will. I’m not inferring anything in particular. But, I’m not gonna lie; being surrounded by the hotness does have a certain way of making a brother feel good.
Dude. I’m a bartender. Get it? Bartending is “what else” I do. This summer, I’ll (celebrate?) my 20th year since I first got behind the stick. Wow! At this point in my life, it’s clearly a profession, lifestyle choice, and environment that suits me – I think. However, a continued life of pseudo-Indentured Servitude – for that enigma called “The Man” (read: rich boss man) – is something that no longer agrees with me. I’ve grown into too much of an obsessive perfectionist, too knowledgeable for my own good, and sometimes, too bitter to accept idiocy or swallow stupidity. For those reasons, I’m working to complete my Business Plan, save more money and open my own bar. My bartending stint has introduced me to a seemingly endless string of wanna-be investors all itching to pull the proverbial trigger. They’re simply awaiting an extensive, qualified plan, and for that plan to be put into action.
I’ve witnessed far dumber (albeit, determined) folks – many with little grasp on the English language – achieve stupendous success and wealth in this business. In each instance, I’m left scratching my head, pondering: “how?” Regardless of how they obtained the Seed Money, how they navigated the dozen or so onerous permit processes, how they managed to flourish despite having abysmal operational efficiencies, etc., the point is: they did it. I consider myself far more knowledgeable about most aspects of the bar/restaurant business then they; so much so that I find myself being tapped for consulting engagements with increasing frequency. As much as I’m occasionally entertained by Bar Rescue, I tend to think Taffer is a smart man who’s much more of a master marketer (with cheesy taste), and less of the “genius” barman the entertainment business portrays him to be. Anyway, I tend to believe there’s no reason I wouldn’t be uber-successful running my own shop.
Well, she’s at it again folks. The all-too-familiar, trendsetting bar customers have sure made their mark on the ever lovely Casey Young .It’s pretty difficult not to show mad love for a fellow barkeep who also has to deal with indeliblely pompous and inconsiderate guests (like Mr. Fake Big Baller) so frequently, that the need to identify and exploit their dumb asses in YouBoob satire becomes completely unavoidable. Believe me, I get it. Subscribe to her channel and enjoy.
I speak French. I know what the French word “frotter” means. There are only two well-documented qualities known world-wide to instantaneously persuade any and all American babes to “drop-trou” lickity-split: (1) proven employment as an Air Force fighter pilot and (2) the ability to speak French. I’m not a pilot. But I can honestly report that – combined with just a tad of naivety from your mark – that second skill works wickedly well… as advertised. That said, I’ll save y’all a couple of unnecessary translator clicks: “frotter” means “to rub.” As we tradition-minded Americans often do, we’ve bastardized it’s derivations to include: “Frottage” and “Frotteur,” meaning: rubbing and one who rubs, respectively. Now look… I know what you’re thinking. Being a “rubber” is not a crime and has never significantly hurt anybody really. Occasional chafing and eye irritation? Maybe so, for the completely careless – sure. I’ve never known anyone who could prove they’re not indeed even part-time “rubbers” themselves. In fact Masters & Johnson long ago provided key statistics and evidence as to how it can actually contribute to one feeling – umm – self-fulfilled. But today, we’re not talking about that kind of rubbage. I’m here to lay the smack down on something far more dastardly, underhanded and downright illegal – Frottage.
New York City is a traveler’s Mecca to most good-hearted folk worldwide. Imbibing fans in particular consistently score my hometown somewhere in their top-ten-lists of places to get sloshed before they kick the bucket. In many neighborhoods ’round these parts, there is some wickedly evil alcohol dispensery, issued a NY State Liquor Authority license of some sort (click link for various NYS SLA classes), about every other storefront on each and every block. Think: Lower East Side and West Villiage. The most common, happens to be the On-Premises Liquor variety.
I can see it in your eyes… Ah old age. Quoting old songs as I do (like Lionel Richie jams) elicits endless confuzzled facial expressions and stares into space by the twenty-something year old set. I’m a relative Grandpa in the bar biz – at least in busy clubs. But I still gots it according to some of the loons who keep hiring me. And, as long as the occasional 22 year old hotness aspires to drag my ass from the bar, to the secluded VIP section from time to time, I suspect I’m not all that decrepit just yet (despite what my throbbing bunions, abysmal short-term memory, and constant narcoleptic state tell me).
I don’t know why most bartenders fuss about getting “stuck” with Sunday night shifts. Most of my colleagues continually clamor for Friday and Saturday night shifts – for reasons beyond explanation. Look… I don’t like working Sundays anymore than the next person – period. But given the fact that I do have to work, these days, I’d much rather take a relaxed Sunday night shift over a craptastic, robotic weekend shift any time. I’ll tell you why…
I live and work in New York City. That affords me the opportunity to stand on almost any street corner, close my eyes, swing my arms around, and smack maybe 3 celebrity grills. Being in the Hospitality game, that also means I’ve had many an opportunity to wait on countless celebrties. Not a big deal really – we all put on our pants one leg at a time. I’m never star-struck. I simply don’t give a crap about anyone’s celebrity status really.