I was furious when I found out that I was serving instead of bartending on Friday nights. More so when I realized the reason was trumped up and political, yet disguised in vagaries. More so when I am told to consult a bartender I don’t have much respect for, with a very narrow spectrum of experience in bartending, to improve on these “points”. I have walked away from my consults with these ‘mentors’ I was assigned at the Pub with this: “don’t move so fast you rush and wind up screwing yourself in the end, be it with money, booze or extra unnecessary stress” and “don’t talk to customers so much”.
I have walked away from consults with respect for Gary, a fossil if there was one, some encouraging wisdom to Dean to make sure he doesn’t get the yank like me, and kindness for Emerald, the server who is now bartending on Friday nights, essentially she is my switch. I don’t suspect her of playing games and I wished her genuine well as this is a step up for her. I lowered my trust and opinion of those I think are two-faced, but instead made the best of it and raved about how excited I was to be on the floor on Fridays, that it’s wrong for me to seem that it’s “below me” and that I was happy for the break.
I loved it.
I zoomed through the pool hall and cocktail tables, dressed to my usual 9’s with an apron slung around my waist and a Jaeger hat cocked slightly to the side, an ironic jab at the hipsters and the gangstas. I chit-chatted the ghetto latecomers and schmoozed a bachelorette party, hand-and-footed some bartenders from our competitor who came to the Pub for great service. I made sure to lean into that group of guys whose eyes followed my ass when I walked away and flatter the mom who knew how to party with her daughter.
I was like a fish tossed back into the water. Every moment of eggshell treading and breathing down my neck, every remark and threat over our liquor costs rapidly dissolved into sheer joy to be back in my element. No matter how good or bad I think I am at bartending, I am a damned good server and I and every one of my managers knows it.
My section actually fits 75 heads and can overflow into the “catch”, four community tables where easy money is made plying people for drink orders and “catching” a few dollars to save them a trip to the bar. Every person got great attention, I am just that good.
I made just as much as the bartenders and the sidework to leave was ridiculously easy, and I actually was done before them. I walked away joyful at the reminder that when the stress and pressure of bartending at the Pub get under my skin, it was nice being reminded at what I am good at.
I am Lord of Section Three.