September 24, 2020 3:00:20 PM
It’s hard being the sober one while everyone around you hits the sauce, let alone when you’re the one serving them.
Here’s a few things you’ll only understand if you’ve worked in a pub or bar…
1. You do not get a weekend
You’re the sacrificial lamb of the working week, who toils Friday and Saturday so ordinary punters don’t have to. On the plus side, saving the cost of a night out helps supplement your dismal pay.
2. People are really weird about the beer to head ratio
Show a drunk person a newly pulled pint, and suddenly their slack-jawed word-slurring transforms into Sherlock Holmes-like attention to detail. If your foam ratio is a percentile off, or your finished pint a fraction too shallow, then it will be sent back for seconds.
3. You have no idea what’s in most of the bottles
There was a lock-in once where the bar manager mixed a few of the dustiest bottles with a token splash of soda water. The hangover lasted three days.
4. A crowded bar is an absolute bear pit
Pubs seem to make man de-evolve. In non-Covid times, a full bar of punters will jostle for your attention like animals at a watering hole, waving banknotes and leaning far too far over the counter. It seems like pure anarchy, but each punter will have a distinct idea of where they fall in the queue, and if yours doesn’t tally, by God they’ll make sure you know it.
There are entire countries easier to run than a downtown boozer on a Friday night, and you have no idea why your skill set isn’t CV gold.
5. The regulars can be brilliant or terrible
There’s the regular that orders quickly, knows where not to stand, and can usually get home unaided. Then there’s the regular that starts every evening with whiskey, and thinks you’re the right person to talk to about their divorce.
The worst part is bumping into them when you’re not working. It’s like seeing a teacher out of school.
6. Putting your rubbish in your glass is not helpful
We realise you’re trying to be tidy, but it should be pretty obvious that fishing your sodden crisp packet from a not-quite-empty pint isn’t going to improve our evening. We’re fine to pick up two things – it’s not hard.
7. Changing barrels is your kryptonite
The average pub cellar is more medieval castle than modern high street, and barrel changing is among the most technical tasks in your repertoire. Unreasonably cold, unnecessarily dark, and unquestionably creepy, it might be even more intimidating than the inebriated lunatics at the bar.
8. Everything gets sticky
You know that icky sensation of realising your sleeve is stuck to the bar? By the end of the shift, it’s on your hands, your clothes, and even your hair. We don’t know how, and we’re not sure we want to.
9. Branded pint glasses are usually awful
To set themselves apart, branded pint glasses are either so wide their contents spill down your front, or so tall they’re knocked over by light gusts of wind. These misshapen monstrosities are proof that pint glasses have been workshopped to perfection, and all further tampering should be banned.
10. No, you don’t want their number
You wouldn’t ask out a ticket inspector or a shop assistant while they were on the clock. If you’re one of the few that would… stop.