The best bartenders are always nice people; but nice people don’t always make the best bartenders
-Mark Twain, Hartford, CT 1873
Bartending is a tremendous gig to make some cash on the side jawn. In fact, it is a quite noble career path.
There are downsides just as there are with any job. Your paycheck fluctuates like Teri Hatcher’s hotness. Some days you find yourself saying “damn, Teri Hatcher may be my White Buffalo” and other days you find yourself feeling really bad about warming up to her scene in that movie clip on YouTube. You deal with almost exclusively drunk people. And of course, you work in a booze amusement park but can’t get on any of the fun ridesThere are long/odd hours, but that goes for any job. Cleaning up after a Saturday night crowd during March Madness also blows, but I’d rather do that then commute home on the Metro North every flipping day.
If you can get past that, you can be a bartender. It isn’t easy work to get these days because bars only want experienced hands pouring their ales, but if you can find a dive or two that is looking for someone lie to them and tell them you worked at a bar in college.
They will be happy to have someone behind the bar who has never been told, “You get one phone call.” And you will be happy to work there and collect some cash and some experience behind the bar.
If that doesn’t work, you can bust your ass as a busboy for a few months and still make decent cash before eventually finding a spot working the taps.
The beautiful thing about bartending is your pay will always be a reflection of your performance. If you are a good bartender, people will reward you. If you are a bad one, your jar is going to wanting.
What does it take to put on a good performance behind a bar?
The most important trait of a good bartender is kindness. If you are nice to your clients they will reward you by paying you money and what’s just as good is that they will be genuinely thankful to you for seeing them through the night.
All you need to do is listen to a few stories, pour a pint of beer and three fingers of liquor, and be prepared for Ryan the Regular who’s drunk habit this month is putting on a Ben Folds Five album on loop at 2 AM.
You’ll totally dig this band, I’m telling you. If you like rock and piano you will love this band!
This is not to downplay the importance of mixology, but is so much more important to be smily and nice than it is to make a killer Pink Rabbit. There are thousands of mixologists out there today who can work the Friday night crowd in SoHo, but there are very few who can kill the Thursday night shuffle at a dump on Sunrise Highway.
DISCLAIMER: If you are a hot girl, you don’t need to worry about this stuff. Just keep doing what you’re doing.