It’s that time of year again when we bartenders optimistically set ourselves up for disappointment. Outlandish New Year’s resolutions seem like a great idea after a few too many on New Year’s Eve, but come February, they’re all out the window. From cutting back on unhealthy snacks behind the bar to finally writing a cocktail book, here are the seven resolutions that we bartenders make but never keep.
1. This is the year we quit drinking.
Whether it’s a dry January or an indefinite alcohol ban, a new year signals a fresh opportunity to rehab our livers. When most people try to stop drinking, they can avoid their triggers by not going to bars. But for bartenders, avoidance is not an option. Access coupled with post-holiday staff parties and postponed holiday getaways makes January a hard month for self-control. This year, we’ll give moderation a go instead.
2. This is the year we leave the service industry.
Bartending is a great day job, but it can be a hard career. As the years go by and our white-collar friends get promotions and 401(k) plans, many bartenders start to question their trajectory. We start the year by plotting career changes, but once the reality of pay cuts, educational debt, and the morning commute sets in, bartending starts looking a little more promising.
3. This is the year we write that cocktail book.
We often wish we had more to show from our hours behind the bar and writing a cocktail book is definitely something we would be able to do. It’s a great idea, but realistically, unless you’re a celebrity bartender or very connected, it’s not going to happen.
4. This is the year we stay on top of all of our side work.
In addition to making drinks, setting up the bar, and stocking the booze, bartenders have a list of weekly projects to complete, ranging from easy, like wiping down liquor bottles, to nasty, like cleaning out the frozen margarita machine. Every year, we re-commit ourselves to preventative deep cleaning. And every year, we’ve gone off the rails by February.
5. This is the year we’re nice, even when guests don’t deserve it.
It’s the single, most challenging aspect of our jobs, but the most essential. The new year is a reminder that kindness is in our job description. And when guests are rude, it often has nothing to do with us. Unless someone is being legitimately out of line, nothing good can come from us being rude back. So, every year, we remind ourselves “kill them with kindness” and hope it takes.
6. This is the year we get on a proper sleep schedule.
When people talk about their nightly rituals and set bedtimes, we just laugh. Depending on our work shifts and our social lives, bedtime for a bartender can be anywhere from 8:00 PM to 8:00 AM. This does a number on the body and it feels like we’re tired all the time. While we may resolve to get eight hours a night or always go to bed at the same time, it’s just too unrealistic with our work schedules.
7. This is the year we bring healthy snacks to work.
When you work late, healthy food options are limited. Every New Year’s Day, we stock up on almonds, granola bars, and hard-boiled eggs to sustain us through our shifts. But come January 7, we’re back to candy and tequila shots to fuel our bodies until 4:00 AM.