There a lot of things we can choose to do in life. We could study hard and finish medical school. Then you could save the lives of hundreds of people; car crash victims, cancer patients, and the knife wounded mugged, you literally could bring these human being back from the edge of death.
What about becoming a lawyer? Right? That’s sounds fun. Work really hard saving the little man from the heinous crimes of large corporations, like in some Grisham novel, granting ovations to the jury and carrying the day?
What about the sweater-donning University Professor? Now that might be up our alley. Talk about existential reality and Dostoyevsky all day long to the hungry minds of the world? Giving hope and knowledge to our next generation inheriting a troubled and corrupt world. Now there is a mission I could get on board with.
My Mother (whose a big fan of this blog, although it does worry her from time to time) once said:
“Be careful what you do part-time because it could end up what you do full-time.”
And look at that. She was right. I am a bartender. I have been a bartender. I could have been a thousand things. I do have a brain that still works (sort of). But as all of you have been reading for over four years now, there is a question you may have to ask yourself:
Should you become a bartender?
It’s an honest question. Maybe you already have a stellar job, making a shit load of money, making your own hours, and running the roost.
Maybe not. Maybe you are working a mediocre job, coming home, night after night, slightly depressed, tired, only finding respite in some sort of episodic television series you watch to forget your life.
Then become a bartender. After all, one of our most loyal readers, Matthew P., became a bartender after reading these blogs. No joke people, he actually stalked me out, hung out at my bar for a couple weeks, and then finally broke the news that he, was truly, The Bartender Knows biggest fan. He could quote blogs years old, repeat back to me lines I’ve totally forgotten were mine (and really good for that matter), and told me, quite honestly, he became a bartender from the wit and wisdom found in these pages.
But there are warnings that I have to share with you guys about this illustrious profession (so listen up Matthew P.), just in case it really does get that bad and you find yourself, beer-stained, covered in tax free money, and sliding cocktails down the bar like a boss.
Tax Free Money.
No one, I mean, no one, is going to argue about this one (except maybe the IRS).
Everyone knows that bartending is where the money is. How many other jobs (other than waiting tables, another job I can handle with grace and ease) do you get paid that day? In cash. I’ll list them.
Bootleg DVD Salesman.
Do we see a pattern here? First of all, most of my friends work at least in two or more of these professions listed above. Right then, you have to ask yourself, “do I want to only associate myself with these types of people?”
If the answer is yes, and a resounding yes is, then it’s time for you to man up, don’t go to bartending school, and buy yourself a church key.
(Special Note: I dare anyone to tell me where to buy church keys. They are harder to come by than you imagine.)
It is now time for you to join the ranks.
You Hate The Sun.
Peak mornings, full of brisk air, and birds chirping. The friendly faces you pass on the street, nodding to you (even in big cities) as you pass by them. The smell of fresh bread and espresso. The morning stretch, yoga, and the obligatory jog.
Any or all of these things sound good to you? Then do not, I repeat, do not join the vampiric darkness that is the closing bartenders lifestyle. You will never see the sun again, and if you do, you will slink around the sidewalks of your town in hoodies and Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses. You probably will be pale. You will probably only wear black.
Like in any kind of Gothic Romance from the 19th Century, you and Goethe will walk, hand in hand, around the world, together. Why do you think this blog was so successful?
We are out there.
We are legion.
Do you hope to find that special person you can share you deep and personal wishes, fears, hopes, and dreams? You will not find it as a bartender.
Not that you won’t find that special someone in a bar. Don’t believe that absolutely shitty myth that good relationships never start out in bars. The only relationships that are actually working that I know personally have exactly started in bars. That’s where people go to drink. That’s where people go to unwind.
In my 13 years of bartending, 90% of relationships I have seen come to fruition (again, whatever that means) have started by some chance and star-crossed meeting in a dark bar.
My point specifically about bartenders not being able to have healthy relationships stems from one reason and one reason only:
You just meet to many people in the bar world. Everyone who walks in the door, if they want a drink, is going to have to go through you to get one. This means meetings, name exchanges, jokes told, stories unfurled, future plans made. Over and over again, people from all walks of life (especially in New York Fucking City) walk into the bar. I have gotten jobs, drugs, girlfriends, travel opportunities, sexual encounters and truly lovely and talented friends from standing behind the 3 feet of wood.
But a healthy relationship?
“You are only as single as your options,” to quote the Greek existential philosopher Chris Rock.
Look at your watch. It’s already 2:30a.m. The bars in New York City close at 4.am. I’ve been talking so much you almost forgot what time it is.
You look at your drink. It’s almost finished. I come over a place a nice pint of German beer and a Bullet Rye Whiskey neat in front of you.
“It’s almost closing time,” I say, with a bit of sadness behind my eyes.
You nod, finish your other pint, and place it down softly.
The next blog is the last one kids. As I said before: 99 entries, 4 years, over 100,000 hits, readers all over the world.
What more could a humble blogger want? I’ve made friends, created enemies, and gotten free drinks all over the world from this blog. And now it’s almost over.
But like I said. It’s not closing time left. Not last call at all. There’s still time for a couple drinks.
What’ll it be?
CASH, FUCKING, MONEY...
SAY SO LONG TO THIS BALL OF LIGHT...