Friday, April 30, 2010

Switching Gears

This week marks my first week at beauty school. I am now enrolled in a 17-week program to get my esthetician's license. So far I have learned about microorganisms, good bacteria versus bad bacteria and that bar soap manifests bacteria because bacteria loves living in warm, dark and damp environments. I have since switched to using liquid soap. We have even already shadowed other student estheticians giving treatments (facials and waxing) on real clients.

I think the hardest part of going back to school so far is adjusting to the grueling schedule: Tuesday thru Saturday, 8:30am to 4:30pm. Add in four shifts of working behind the bar a week and I've got myself a loaded schedule.

So don't be surprised if some of my upcoming entries in the blog are esthetically focused instead of bar related. I'm learning so many new things, I want to share the new knowledge. I'm also starting to really get excited about my new career. Now that I am in school, becoming an esthetician is quickly becoming a reality to me.

Friday, April 23, 2010

You Drink Em, You Bought Em.

I had a guy come into the bar once who repeatedly accused me of taking his drinks. Sure, there are times when I have thrown out someone's drink on accident. It's pretty common: you see a near empty drink on the bar, there's no one around drinking the drink and there isn't a napkin over the drink (the universal sign for "Hey Bartender, I'm coming back so don't dump my drink out.") So in an effort to keep a tidy bar, I throw the abandoned drinks out.

In this particular case, the customer would come sit down at the bar, order a drink, drink the entire drink and then leave the bar area. Naturally, I toss empty glasses by default. When the customer would return back to the bar, he would ask where his drink went and then accuse me of throwing out his drink that he hadn't yet finished. The first time this happened, I comped his drink. Even though I knew that his glass was empty, I'm still in the business of customer service. I just wanted to shut this guy up and make him happy.

The second time this same scenario happened, I had actually watched the customer leave the bar entirely. The glass was empty and I figured he was leaving the bar for the night. Of course the customer came back and demanded to know where his drink went. I became suspicious. Instead of just comping him another drink, I explained to the customer that I took the glass away because it was EMPTY. The guy had the nerve to tell me that his drink was half full. I told him that I was more than happy to make him another drink, but he would have to pay for it. He didn't like that answer. Then he told me that he was a server. Well, if he was indeed a server, he should know better to appreciate the first drink that I comped him (which he did not tip on) and if he didn't want me to touch his glass then leave a napkin over it whenever he walked away from it. I firmly stood my ground and he bought another drink.

Throughout the course of the night, he would "leave" his drink in magical places around the bar and complain that someone was taking his drinks. Each time he complained that someone took his drink and wanted another one (which he did for the next three rounds), he would be upset that I would charge him.

Sorry buddy, but if you drink the drink then you have to pay for it. Be sure to ALWAYS tip your bartenders and waitstaff. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Whenever You Have A Moment...

Why is it that whenever I am at my busiest behind the bar (server tickets printing out of control and standing room only at the bar full of thirsty customers), people will sometimes try to get my attention by uttering, "Whenever you have a moment..."

Whenever I have a moment? Why don't you hop in line behind all the people who have been waiting at the bar before you along with my servers who also need their drinks for their tables. It's not like I'm sitting back here picking my nose. Whenever I have a moment. Sheesh!

Also, screaming "Hey Bartender!" at me will only get you ignored and keep you at the end of the line. Just be patient like everyone else. Don't worry, I know who's next in line and I'm moving just as fast as I can to get to everybody because I want your money too. :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Things I've Learned Bartending in a Strip Club #7

#7: The bar is the bartender's stage.

So bartending in a strip club has its perks. The money is good. It's great for people watching. The "scenery" isn't too shabby. Working in a strip club, its obvious that the dominant clientele is going to be male. There are many reasons why men frequent strip clubs. Where else can a guy grab a beer and look at women running around in their underwear, willing to talk to them? This attention comes with a price, but that's what the men come for and they're willing to pay for it.

Believe it or not, there are strip club customers out there who come in for the bar staff and don't get lap dances. I didn't believe it until I started meeting regular customers who would come in and not once ever leave the bar area. That's right. Not everyone coming into a strip club is looking for a lap dance. I have guys who come in during my shifts every week who chat it up with me at the bar and candidly tell me that they have no interest in the ladies performing on stage.

Which brings me to the question I get asked every night:

"So when do YOU go on stage?"

I have customers all the time, at least once a night, ask me if I dance or when it will be my turn to get onstage. My reaction is always the same. I smile and laugh while pointing at the bar and say "This is my stage and I'll be performing here all night." It seems to be working because the customers always come back to saddle up at my bar, each week.

It doesn't matter what type of bar you bartend at. Having a sense of humor and a good personality will always help you build up a regular clientele base, even when you are competing with half naked girls running around all over the place.