I've worked as a barmaid for 12 years.
Mostly, it's ok, even a bit of a laugh at times, but sometimes, like any job, I want to scream and shout and swear.
Overall, I enjoy it as jobs go. I have done a lot worse. It is very different to what I thought it would be. I stupidly thought that people would come to the bar, request their drinks, pay and go sit down. If only!
There are many people who make the job fun, and interesting, but the ones that stick in my mind are generally the ones I have wanted to strangle for various reasons. On the plus side, those customers make the best stories.
Aside from how to pick my battles, here are five things I have learned working in this industry:
1. The customer is very rarely right, yet they always think they are.
This also includes customers who outright lie in an attempt to get something free. We have heard it all before!
2. Even the nicest person turns into a whiney brat when they don't get their own way.
3. There IS such a thing as a stupid question!
* "Do you have a toilet?" Bear in mind this wasn't someone walking off the street just to use it, it was someone drinking in the pub!
* "Why is this round dearer than the last one?" Because last round, you get 2 pints, this round you got 3. He wasn't convinced it should be more, even though he accepted he had gotten an extra drink!
* "Is the bar still open?" This is not a stupid question in itself, but in this context it was. It was around 8pm on a Saturday night, we were heaving and were quite obviously serving people.
And it's not just customers. Here's two I have been asked by staff:
* "What's in a gin and tonic?"
* And my personal favourite, while standing in front of a sink, "Where do I get water from?"
4. That anything that can go wrong will wait until the busiest/least convenient moment possible.
Nothing ever breaks on a Monday morning, it's always a Saturday night! Whether it's the till, the ice machine or anything else that can make your life hell, it will happen at your busiest time.
This is likely due to the fact you are using it more at those times, but in the moment that logic doesn't help.
5. That it's really not that bad.
Have you ever worked in a bar (or retail)? Anything you would add? Let me know in the comments :)