I strongly believe that the type of bar a person works in greatly effects their attitude at work. When I worked in a nightclub, I had to deal with stupid, ignorant, drunk, young bastards all night long looking for freebies and fights and complaining about the prices of the drinks, the actual alcohol content within the drinks (usually whining about how they couldn't taste the alcohol and wanted more without paying for it) and having to wait to place their drink order.
Since I made the switch to restaurants, my customers don't seem to be as aggressive and cheap as the nightclub crowd was. I typically serve older, more mature crowds now. These people are somewhat knowledgeable about their booze and overall are better tippers. Don't get me wrong. Occasionally, I'll get a customer in a restaurant who makes me fight to keep "bitter bartender" buried deep, down inside. But in the big picture sense, the crowds are like night and day. So is my attitude. I am so much happier working behind the bar in a restaurant.
I work at a bar that features specialty cocktails. We use a lot of fresh ingredients to make those cocktails. The drinks are labors of love and take a bit longer to make than a vodka cran or a rum & coke. I have a lot of pride in the cocktails I make these days because they are creations and actually take some sort of skill to create them. Working as a nightclub bartender, I didn't have much pride in the drinks I made. At the end of the night, it was all about how much I had rang in my register.
I even enjoy talking to my customers nowadays. I enjoy making their labor intensive cocktails. My positive attitude is directly reflected onto my customers. I don't have as many colorful stories to write about on a nightly basis because for the most part, my customers get it.
Every now and then, I will get a customer that either makes me scratch my head or really pisses me off. It's these situations that really inspire me to keep a blog like this in the first place. Since I can't tell those customers how I really feel, I need some place to vent.
When I was an instructor at the bartending school, I would always tell my students that there was a different bar for every type of personality. The challenge was to find the right bar for them. Finding their perfect bar would result in being a happy bartender. Working in a bar that really makes me happy and knocks my socks off may not be the same bar for the next person. That's ok. Everyone is different.
I am just so happy that I have finally found the type of bar that makes me really happy. Even on my shittiest nights behind the bar, I am still happy to be a bartender and satisfied that I am in the right career for me.