Saturday, March 20, 2010

File under Anecdotes, pt 15.

So as much as I'm talking up my new position at Vessel, I want to point out my view on the joys of working at a place that has been managed well enough that the same bartender staff of 3 has stayed together for 3 years. There is only 7 days a week and the 2 bartenders that have ben there since the open each take 3 days a week a piece. I get the one other day. As I've hung onto tooth and nail since I've had it. I think I've taken 3 Mondays off in 3 years.

I moved into the neighborhood about 3 and a half years ago and at the time had been a huge fan of the Dunnes, and spending a lot of time on the old Pike and Pine. One night at the Dunnes drinking, a girl came in and said she had just been mugged about 2 blocks away at her front door. At the time she felt settled and was ready to leave, the bartenders ( who are two of the best I've ever seen working together ) asked me to walk her home. She told me she barbacked at a bar down the street that just opened up and I should come by sometime. I fell in love with the juicer on the bar and even though at the time I was slinging bowling pin shaped beers and
Touchdowns I was inspired to make better drinks. I first started as " I'll grab a drink there and then head to the Dunnes." or "I'll start on Pike and Pine and grab a nightcap on the way home."

Soon enough I was starting and ending there. Usually sitting as close to the well as possible.

I was there on a Monday when the original Monday guy got a full time gig and I went in and asked the boss if they needed someone. He had already offered the job to a friend because he was qualified and was the first on his list to hire. He told me he would have hired me if he had known I would have been interested. That summer I was losing my friday barback shift at the bowling alley and lucky for me the doorguy at the time decided that between working full time administrations for the local college, and running a home remodeling passion, he didnt want to work his one day a week doorshift for his employee discount.

I was offered the doorshift and did my time, but lucky for me the bosses friend had a really bad night that he had to be fired for. I can't go into details out of respect for all parties involved. At the time I was the only staff member with previous bartending experience and was offered the shift. I said thank you and never looked back.

So in working behind the same stick for three years I have had the time to not only learn how to set up my Mize, but have spent so much time there that muscle memory takes over, where as soon as you hear the order you know which ingredients come out of the well using both hands, as well as where every single damn ingredient is located and you know exactly how many steps it takes to reach for all involved with both hands. I had to work a while at a bar that was designed by a lefty and while it was really well equipped it always felt awkward.

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