1. Parties with an open bar.
When drinking is a part of your job, the last thing that excites you is free booze. For non-bartenders, an open bar is often reason enough to go to a party or event. For us, the party itself better be worth it, or else we’d rather spend our day off drying out.
2. Working with a raging hangover.
The fastest way to lose respect at a bar job is to call out sick because you have a hangover. Professional bartenders chug a few liters of water, pop an aspirin, and get to work. Feeling sick? Take five, throw up in the bathroom, and get back behind the bar. It’s not rocket science, it’s just cocktails!
3. Collections of unattractive, slip-proof work clogs.
Whether they’re Crocs, Safesteps, Sketchers, or the crème de la crème, Danskos, a good pair of work shoes is essential for long shifts on your feet. At first, you’ll swear you’d never be caught dead in your clogs outside of work. But be warned, once you get used to that comfortable, supportive feeling, you’ll start “forgetting” to change into your street shoes after work.
4. Standing for long periods of time.
Thanks to our unattractive work shoes, bartenders are pros at standing. Some double shifts can be 14+ hours without a break. It doesn’t seem like much, but being good at standing can be a superpower when you live in a city where waiting in lines and standing on crowded trains and buses is a part of daily life.
5. Staying in on a Saturday night.
Weekends don’t have the same meaning for us. If you find yourself off on a Saturday night, sometimes you purposefully don’t make plans. When you work nights, spending the night in is a treat.
6. Being out till 6 AM on a Tuesday.
That being said, going out after work can also be fun. Especially those nights when a beer with co-workers turns into an epic party, and you end up heading home as the morning commuters are going to work. There are some perks to living life in reverse.
7. A dinner of tequila shots and bar garnishes.
At most restaurant/bar jobs, you don’t get a dinner break. Sometimes, you can sneak away for a snack, but on busy nights, you often resort to snacking on olives and fruit from your garnish tray. If you’re really hungry, maybe you’ll sip on a beer to hold you over. Though, oddly enough, by the time you finish your shift, you are not even hungry anymore.
8. Small talk with strangers.
So, you need a plus one for a random social event? Take your bartender friend. We can politely mingle for hours. And we can hold our alcohol.
9. Telling someone what they want.
You have three seconds to size up a stranger and confidently tell them what they want to order. What impresses people isn’t so much the order as it is your conviction. Nine times out of ten they enjoy the cocktail better because you told them that’s what they wanted.
10. Liquor trends.
Beverage trends, like most trends, are cyclical. It’s a part of our job to be knowledgeable about what’s gaining or losing popularity and stay abreast of innovations in the industry. But to most of us, there is a time and place for all booze. So mezcal negronis are in and French 75’s are out. I say drink what you enjoy. Next thing you know, grasshoppers could be making a comeback.