Like anyone in the world who looks at their PayPal receipts and thinks that it would be just great if they had more money, I sometimes think back to the time I spent bartending and wonder if it wouldn’t be so bad to get back into it again. It wasn’t a terrible job; I was good at it, and the constant presence of cash in my wallet meant that my regular job’s paycheck went partially to bills and then got socked away in savings. While I wasn’t exactly flush when bartending, I at least had some financial freedom and the good sense to go home after a shift instead of heading out to a 3 o’clock to blow all my tips. It’s not just about the money, though. It’s been more than a year since I stopped bartending, which is about the right amount of time for me to look back and occasionally miss it.
But then I remember things like dead shifts, asshole customers, swollen feet, dishwater hands, coked out bosses, backed up drains, broken glass, spilled ashtrays, bad tippers, dumb conversation, and, essentially, what a pain in the ass it was to work service. Especially on weekends like this, where you’d expect everyone to stay at home and barbecue or something, but instead people act like it’s their patriotic duty to get as shitfaced as possible and make a bartender’s life a sweltering hell.
Graham and I were talking the other day about how everyone should be required to work in the service industry for 1 year (my opinion) and ride a bike for 1 year (his opinion). Although things like asthma and looking like a purple-faced sweaty mess mean that I don’t particularly enjoy riding a bike, I see the merits of Graham’s opinion. I myself have gotten into Facebook arguments with fatassed shit-for-brains who claim that people on bikes take up the whole road and generally make life terrible for those of us in cars. Obviously this is retarded, and someone like Graham (who was recently clipped by a bus that kept fucking driving) knows just how dumb and dangerous this attitude can be, and how much safer it could be for everyone if people could experience what it’s like to be the subject of vehicular assault for no legitimate reason whatsoever.
As far as working in the service industry is concerned, we both agree that people could stand to learn (or at least be periodically reminded) that they are not the only ones with wants and needs on the planet, that sometimes there are multiple factors beyond one person’s control in any given situation, and that 20% is the standard rate for tipping these days.
Overall, the service industry/biking for 1 year idea is just an effort to get people to be decent, a quality that, if you’ve worked in the service industry or ridden a bike, you know is in short supply. While people who have worked service are by no means the most decent people in the world – in fact, I believe there to be a special corner of Hell reserved for service industry employees who tip poorly – it’s my wish that they be treated less like the help and more like actual people, especially on weekends like these when we get to party and they get to deal with us.
Thinking of You With My A/C On
People, David Bazan
Wooden Heart, The Features
Take Off Your Sunglasses, Ezra and the Harpoons
I Want You To Know, Dinosaur Jr.
Bad Vibrations, The Black Angels
The Great Pan is Dead, Cold Cave
Something Else, Diamond Rings
In Disguise, Born Anchors
Aniborne, Echo Tongues
Before I Die, Roma di Luna
Rivers and Roads, The Head and the Heart
Beautiful Thing, Slaid Cleaves
Delia, Rhubarb Whiskey
Onward and Over, Rogue Valley
Ewa on the Beach, Frankie and the Pool Boys
Bloody Thirsty Bastards, Dirty Pretty Things
Drop-Out, Times New Viking
Roads? Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads, Marnie Stern
Go Away, The Coathangers
Twenty Cell Revolt, Menomena
She’s So Bendable, The Bravery
Without You, Junip
Scarlet Town, Gillian Welch
Broadripple Is Burning, Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s