Maybe it was just because I was exhausted. Maybe it was because I had other plans that I had to cancel. Maybe it was because they asked me at the last minute, after an epic day. Maybe it was the different crowd, the different situation, the different night. Regardless of what it was, it opened my eyes. Last time I saw the high, the glamour and last time I had a brilliant, brilliant time. This time, this time I saw the underbelly of working in a bar. It's hard work, and sometimes, it's shitty work.
At the time, while I was clearing tables of the empties, I thought about how you couldn't pay me to do this job. There is no amount of money that I would take to do this for a living. I find it ironic then, that there I was working for free. That I was doing it to help where I could, for the people that not only run the bar, but for the people who own it. The people who are near and dear to me. For them, I would do the shitty jobs.
Last time I was behind the main bar. And I loved it, I flirted and laughed and served drinks with ease, and put money in the till. It was easy, and fun and oh so simple.
This time? This time I poured beer in the ice sinks (twice). I couldn't recognise the people I was serving, and gave the wrong people the wrong drinks. Someone would order a Macs Gold and would end up with a Speights. I burnt my palms trying to pack away hot glasses. I couldn't figure out how to open the stupid top that keeps champagne fizzy, nor how to put it back on again. I cut myself trying to open a Corona (for serious, who cuts themselves on a bottle top?), and then again when I tried to cut lemons for said Corona. It was pretty abysmal. So I did the clever thing, and left the serving of drinks to people who do this better than I ever could.
And instead, I collected empties. I polished wine glasses, and tried to make sure there were always chilled bostons in the fridge. I cleared and wiped down tables, and picked up other peoples rubbish. I made sure the bathrooms were stocked with toilet paper, and I steralized the glasses whenever a tray was filled. I scraped down plates in the kitchen, I stacked glasses (and then got told that it was a bad, horrible thing to do, because it cracks them) and I was basically the bitch of the night.
And I did this for almost 6 hours. And that whole time I reminded myself that I was doing it for love. I was doing it for the bar. I was doing it because they needed the help, and because they asked. And think it was because of this, because of why I was doing it, that when what I really wanted to do was bitch and moan, throw a tantrum and storm out, instead I bit my tongue and got on with it. No one needs to hear my complaints. I did whatever I could to help, whenever it was needed.
And even though I snapped at the other bar staff, and even though I was exhausted, and grumpy, when I remembered I was doing it for love, it was easier to smile at the patrons. To take the empties with a grin, and a witty one liner. It was easier to stop and chat with the people looking for the bathrooms, the tipsy girls who had gotten themselves lost, and the hardened men who listend to blues.
When I remembered I was doing it for love, doing the shit stuff became easy. And I think that I'd forgotten that. I was glad to remember, and the night passed swiftly after that. Sometimes remembering why you're doing something is all you need to keep on going.