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Monday, September 6, 2010

drink of the day

apple sauce
1oz of cinnamon schnapps
1oz apple pucker
splash pineapple
served chilled in a shot

A Time I Almost Got Fired

Once upon a time, I was working at a bar in Michigan. I was serving a party of thirty people who were executives for a well known automotive company. They were ordering rounds of shots every half hour or so, in the jager bomb type classification. I had a rather large section and I was not paying much attention to what the party was up to. I knew that they were all pretty much intoxicated after the first hour at my table. I offered them a variety of appetizers hopping that they would calm down a little if they ate something. They were quite the rambunctious group of drunken people. I really did not have plans to cut them off like I normally would have, due to the fact that their bill was already in the upwards of two thousand dollars and I knew it would be auto-gratted.
My boss walked into my section in the middle of this tornado of drunkenness that I had created. He kept telling me that he could smell vomit in my section. I denied that it was even a possibility, I told him that all of my tables were good and that I had it under control. The next thing I knew, my boss had found the vomit and total chaos had erupted in my section.
My table of thirty had turned into a shit show that was that could be matched by none. These grown ass adult men had lost all inhibitions and some of them had lost control of their bodily functions. It was like a domino effect, my boss was yelling at me to clean up the puke off of my table. As I started to clean up the puke, two more had vomited. One of the guys from my table had walked onto the dance floor, kicked a broom out of the bouncer’s hand, and then proceeded to piss his pants in front of the entire bar. So, I was getting yelled at yet again, but this time my bosses face was a color of reddish purple that I had never seen. No shit, at the same time the bouncer comes running up to me telling me that I need to go into the ladies restroom. As I approached the door I took a deep breath, I didn’t even want to see what was going on in there. I pushed open the door to a vomit fest that looked like a scene straight off of the exorcist. There were three ladies crying and two projectile puking on the floor, totally missing the trash can. It was awful. At this point my boss was so pissed that he just stopped talking. This is about the time I started crying.
My section was not just this thirty top, at the same time I was serving two eight tops and a fifteen top. So I, with the help of our entire staff shuffled these business men and women to their designated taxis and out of the building. I then proceeded to clean up the disaster and serve the rest of my section. I had to take orders for the remaining two hours of my shift crying, with vomit on my legs. It was horrible.
At the end of the night I was sure I no longer had a job. I did have an eight hundred dollar tip in my pocket to make the news a little more bearable. I was taken to the office where my boss said to me, “Lisa, we are letting you go”. I lost it and asked him if he was serious. He then preceded to un-fire me and wrote me up for blatantly over serving a party of thirty. Needless to say I learnt my lesson on that day; realizing that as a server or bartender you can never trust anyone to cut themselves off. Even the richest of business men get shit faced and turn into drunken fools. Thank you to all of the restaurant and bar managers who have ever let me slide on even the biggest offenses, I have had a few, and I appreciate the fact that I have never been fired from a bartending job. xoxoxo

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Drink of the day

Dumptser Baby
10z strawberry vodka- or any flavor
10z strawberry pucker- or any flavor
cran and sprite
serve on the rocks

only exception is the watermelon DB- it is made with cuervo, watermelon pucker, cranberry juice, and sprite.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lifers

There comes a time in every bartender’s life where they feel that they should call it quits. This can happen after a year of working in the madness or twenty years. Working in the bartending industry can be physically wearing on a person. There is only a select group of people who are cut out for it and only a handful of people who can do it for life. In ever bar and or restaurant that I have worked in over the years there has been at least one “lifer” who has worked there.
“Lifers” are a special breed of people and at times I too have questioned my own status in the bartending and serving industry. There have been times where I made conscious decisions to take jobs outside of this industry for less money, in hopes that I would be able to kick the lifer label. I now know some distinct differences between the “lifer” status bartender label and the “I can’t get enough” bartender status. For those bartenders wanting a break or needing an escape from the job due to the fear of the “lifer” status, there is still hope! Here are the differences I have found.

Lifer
Have worked in a place for so long that they could be the boss, but choose not to.
Never stay at a place long enough to get asked to do anything over head bartender or trainer.
If asked to manage, they usually will try their hand at it. Some will manage, some will make excuses as to why the bar or restaurant screwed them. Known for working their way up in a company.
I Can't Get Enough
If asked to manage, they say “Hell No”! I make three times as much as the managers. If they decide to manage a bar or restaurant it would be one where they had not previously bartended.
Lifer
They in the beginning of their career started bartending/serving night shifts where all of the money is. They eventually move to days so that they can have a set schedule, less work, and less customer contact.
I Can't Get Enough
Throughout their time bartending, they take the shifts where the money is. They can handle customers with ease, they don’t mind working, and they love the crazy bar schedules that come with the shifts. It’s what they are used to.
Lifer
They do the majority of the side work duties.
I Can't Get Enough
They scam on side work when they can get away with it. But they always fly under the radar.
Lifer
They bitch about their job most of the time at work.
I Can't Get Enough
They stay too busy to bitch. They only bitch when their money is affected.
Lifer
They can make every drink in the bar perfect to the oz. They make them just like the managers tell them to. They also use the appropriate glass ware.
I Can't Get Enough
They “wing it” sometimes in drink making. They over pour for a better tip. They disregard the manager’s instruction on drink making most of the time. They use any glass ware handy.
Lifer
They have a million stories about how the “Old Days” at their bar were. They have a good collection of stories, but they are usually all about the same handful of people.
I Can't Get Enough
They have the best stories. They have a million stories about different past co-workers and bar regulars. They usually have stories about different states as well as bars they have worked in.
Lifer
They have usually never held any other type of job. They have never worked more than one job at a time.
I Can't Get Enough
They have worked in other job fields, even if just a second part time job.
Lifer
They are usually not educated past the high school level. If they are, it is usually company training or restaurant management degrees.
I Can't Get Enough
They usually obtain the jobs to work their way through college and they cannot get enough of the money. Sometimes they are teachers who still bartend in the summers ect…
Lifer
Bartending is a career and they take it seriously.
I Can't Get Enough
Bartending is fun, they have been fire or quit without notice at least once.

The “Lifer” is a special breed of people who make the bar and restaurant industry world go around. If it weren’t for these people the job wouldn’t be the same. Plus the “can’t get enough” people would have no one to hide from, antagonize, or bitch about at work. I have come across many “lifers” over the years, but like every “can’t get enough” bartender, I have a favorite.

The “lifer” who grew to be my favorite over the years is a lady whom I have worked with in two different establishments. This lady has had a full life cycle in the bar and restaurant industry, and over ten years I have personally gotten to watch most of these cycles take place. I started serving tables at a rib joint/ sports bar in my twenties. This lady was a bartender who was eager to move up in the company. Before long she was an assistant manager or shift leader, this lasted a few months before taking the spot of another manager who had been fired. She was one of our favorite managers because she was pretty much an alcoholic and would let us do whatever we wanted. She moved up the chain quickly in the two years that I worked with her, but she had previously been bartending and serving her whole life. This was her first real management job, and she was really no good at it from an owners view point. This lady would call corporate and bitch about schedules, our GM, and any other cause she deemed fit every week. She would rally her server and bartender troops and try to get people fired all of the time; this is how she was so successful with her job advancement in the company. Weeks before I left this job she was fired for being drunk at work and injuring herself.

I had heard that she had gone back to serving tables and bartending at a different restaurant, but I had lost contact with her when I moved out of the state. When I relocated back to my home town years later she was still at it, serving tables at the restaurant she had went to after being fired from the sports bar. I would go in and see her occasionally listening to the same complaints I had heard from her at our previous job. Seven years into this job, she decided she could no longer take management and ask me to get her a job at the bar I was currently working at. I did, and I did not warn the managers because I hated that job. She came into that job serving tables at night, and then she moved relatively quickly through the other cycles. First she was a night server, bartender, trainer, day bartender, and then back to day server. She never quite made it to manager status at this bar.

She has worked at that establishment now for six years. She has botched her way from promotion to demotion of all positions available. She cannot be fired though; it has been tried by all managers who have worked there. One of the keys to her success is that she stays after work and drinks with the management, so she always has something on them. She is my favorite “lifer” though, because she somehow manages to get job opportunities and she takes advantage of them. She usually fucks it up and is demoted, but she has only been fired once.

The Full Cycle of Life in a Bar: host, busser, or bar-back/ day server/ cocktail server/ night server/ day or service well bartender/ night bartender/ assistant manager or shift leader/ manager/ general manager/ corporate-if they have skills/---bartender/day bartender/server/day server/retirement.
I guess ever bar needs a “lifer” to keep the memories of old times pasts, to keep the managers in check, and to motivate the “non-lifers’ into doing their side work. Every “lifer” serves a purpose in the bar, but as the older they get the purpose becomes less clear. So remember when you are at work bartenders, be kind to your “lifer”. They deserve respect, they have been at this job their whole life and for most of their life they were probably better at it than you. They are also; old, tired, and have seen it all so when they are grouchy or slow at their jobs, cut them some slack

Drink of the day

Incredible Hulk
10z of Hennesey
10z of Hypnotic
served chilled on the rocks

Saturday, July 17, 2010

T-shirts

T-shirt’s
Every day walking down the streets of San Diego I am surprised at what young girls are wearing these days. Apparently it is now in style to wear tights as pants, underwear as shorts, and T-shirts as dresses. I guess we have the retired Mickey Mouse cast to thank for all of these fashion trends.
When I lived back in the Mid-west the girls were a little behind the times when it came to fashion. Then I started running a dance club. Even the girls in this small town mid-west dance club came out dressed like fashionista's. I feel a little bad in hind sight making fun of all of those girls who wore T-shirts as dresses; because it appears that it is in style.
From a bartender’s sober perspective, here are some things that are wrong with wearing a T-shit as a dress especially when going out to dance.
First, only a handful of rail thin girls can wear this and still look good. I am a small individual myself, and I could not pull off this look. In order to wear a T-shirt as a dress one must have no cellulite, perky boobs, and long legs. I promise the girls in the magazines have all been airbrushed. So unless you are sixteen years old with the perfect body, the T-shirt dress should be left at home. If your girlfriends tell you that this is a good look for you, they are more than likely eliminating their competition for the evening. Don’t trust any friend who tells you that you look good wearing a T-shirt as a dress, especially accompanied by UGG boots.
The second reason for not wearing a T-shirt as a dress is because no one wants to see your beef curtains flapping to the “Cupid Shuffle”. While working behind the bar, my fellow bartenders and I would make a game out of how many we could spot. We even had our own sign language to alert one another if we had seen one, if the music was too loud to yell over. If you are even considering doing the “Stanky Leg” at a dance club; wearing a T-shirt as a dress, please stop and think about whom you really want seeing your vagina. If the answer is an entire dance club, then more power to you. But please keep in mind and be considerate to the poor sober bartenders getting you liquored up, and face it away from the bar.
The third reason one should not wear a T-shirt as a dress is because it attracts the ever dreaded “backpackers”. If you have chosen to go ahead wear the T-shirt to the dance club, beware. There are a multitude of guys lurking the dance clubs looking for the girls who wear these T-shirts. It is like wearing a sign on your back that says, “I have my vagina out, so please come hump dance my back”. Keep in mind that “backpackers” are a special breed of unattractive men who try and dry hump you from behind, in a locked and loaded position. So if you do not want attention from the “love dungeon” old men (we all know some) and or the “backpackers”, once again, leave the T-shirts at home.
I will give my final reason for not wearing the T-shirt as a dress through a story about a fellow bartender of mine; take from it what you will. When I moved back from Detroit I held a job at a chain restaurant for a short period of time, the transition job, if you will. I bartended with a girl who was an amazing person, she was skinny, cute, and nice. She was one of the only people who were nice to me at that job, hence the short period of employment. Years later when opening up my own bar, she was one of the first people I hired. This girl was still attractive and nice, but definitely not twenty-one years old anymore.
Shortly after the bar took off she decided that she would push the envelope with her outfits. We let the girls pretty much wear whatever they wanted as long as it was night club attire. She was one of the first to break out the T-shirt as a dress outfits in that town. Keep in mind she qualified for all three of the reasons “not to” in the previous paragraphs. And as expected other people followed her new fashion trend.
Eventually the T-shirts got shorter and she would even sometimes break out the tank tops. The shorter the T-shirt the more people would talk shit about her. I do not know how many of the rumors were true, but there were a lot to pick from. This brought out the worst in her; she started hating the customers and her fellow bartenders. She began fighting with female bar guests over their boyfriends. Then she began fighting with the bartenders, which eventually led to her stealing their money, and her termination with our company. Although there were girls that followed her fashion trend, they never dared to take it as far as she did. No one knows what rumors were true and false about this girl, but we all know the stemmed from wearing those damn T-shirts. So girls beware; the guys at the dance club might enjoy seeing you in the T-shirts, but their girlfriends never will.
So ladies if you want to start a trend and look sexy when out at the dance clubs, please take into consideration that there are other people that have to look at you. If you are confident enough with yourself to wear a T-shirt for a dress, then do it. Just take these paragraphs as a warning; I have seen no good come from the T-shit in place of a dress at a dance club. Also please keep in mind when you wake up the next day and take your “jager-bomb goggles” off, I told you so… “Backpackers” are ugly as shit!

Drink recipe of the day

Choclate -cherry martini
1oz three olives chocolate vodka
1oz three olive cherry vodka
splash grenadine
splash chocolate syrup

serve chilled in a martini glass