Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Retired (re·tired/riˈtīī(ə)rd) is defined by the dictionary as being an adjective that means having left one's job and ceased to work.

"Once a bartender, always a bartender." That's what a friend of mine had told me back in March when I broke the news to her and all of the rest of my friends that I had worked my last official shift as a bartender earlier this year. I told everyone that I had thrown in my bar towel for good this time. I had moved on to the corporate world as a licensed esthetician, working as a Beauty Advisor. No more working nights. No more working weekends. What's up steady paycheck? Hello health and dental insurance! How you doing 401K?

Her response? "Yeah right. You'll be back."

My schedule is now completely opposite of what it used to be for the past eight years. Instead of getting off work at 3 am, I'm now getting up at 3 am to get ready for work for the East Coast clients. Its extremely hard going from being a night owl to a morning person. Even though I have had my "new" schedule for the past nine months, I am still struggling to get used to the early mornings. I'm just not a morning person.

For the most part, I enjoy what I do. I learn something new everyday. I'm constantly challenged on the training and education I have received thus far in my industry. I am a closet nerd so I love researching the answers to questions clients ask me that I don't have a solid answer for. The gratis I receive working as a Beauty Advisor is a definite perk to the job. Plus, clients always manage to keep things interesting with their comments, questions, suggestions and/or vents. Even though I no longer sling drinks behind the bar, I'm still working in a customer service position. Just this time, it's mainly with sober people.

I recently came across a letter I wrote to myself on the night of my last official shift working as a bartender. Even though it's more than four months old, I thought it be appropriate to post here:

"Tonight is my last night of bartending. I'm finally retiring and getting out from behind the bar. Can I get a moment of silence?

No, seriously. I am finally leaving the world of bartending behind for good. I first started as a bartender over eight years ago as a way to pay the rent through college. I've had so many amazing (and not so amazing) experiences. I've met an incredible amount of people, both sober and not so sober, along the way. The time has finally come where I set down my bar key and take the bar rag out of my back pocket for the last time.

As many of you may know, I've been in the midst of switching over from the bar/restaurant industry into the beauty/skin care industry. I received my esthetician license last year and have been working full-time as a Beauty Advisor ever since while still managing to bartender a few nights a week. I'm tired. I'm cranky. My heart is no longer into crafting cocktails for a thirsty public well into the wee hours of the night, especially since now I have to get up at 4 am for my day job. Getting up early really takes the magic out of everything.

I leave the world of bartending with no regrets. I've worked behind the bar at a variety of places, each one teaching me a thing or two about myself and mankind in general. I cherish all of my stories, both good and bad. I loved the flexible schedule bartending gave me to pursue my dreams and hobbies. I appreciated always having cash in my hand. I enjoyed teaching people my craft during my stint as a bartending school instructor. Most importantly, I've loved sharing all of my stories, experiences and advice with my loyal blog readers.

In my true fashion of seeing things through the glass is half-full perspective, I have jotted down a few reasons why retiring from bartending is going to be so awesome:

1. More sleep means less wrinkles.
2. My manicures will last longer.
3. No more late night snacking. Something about bartending late night always made me hungry.
4. There will be more time for working out in the gym so I can work off all of those years of late night snacking.
5. My social life will start existing again.
6. There wont be so many old men trying to hit on me on a nightly basis.
7. I will have more time and energy to dive headfirst into my new career.

So join me in raising a shot glass to my eight, solid years of service working behind the bar."

I've tried this "retired" thing once before. You think I'll last? I guess time will tell.