I had an older guy come in, and he said, “you must be drained when you get home.”
I said, “it’s work, we all are.”
He said, “No, you more than others. You are giving us your energy, and we are just taking it.”
I’ve had people say I am a great listener. Or, I’m an empath. We, as bartenders can set a mood, but some of us, can also be effected by other people’s moods. And it’s hard to shake that off. We do, but it’s draining.
I’ve come home from work on slow nights and I am emotionally exhausted from talking and putting on a show, or listening and being empathetic. But people need one or the other some times.
We all talk about how we need our down time, alone time, or re-charge time. And even if we aren’t working, we are always on stage.
I went out the other night, and a semi-friend who works in the customer service industry, made a comment that even though I wasn’t at work, I was “working.”
My friends were all hammered, and I was “babysitting”, people were telling me their problems, screaming that it was good to see me out, asking advice… Everything that happens at work. I was ordering rounds, dumping ashtrays, and cleaning up. I hadn’t even noticed until he mentioned it. The physical stuff, like cleaning up has been pointed out before, but it was all the other things that caught me off guard.
He’s right. I was pulled aside by a guy who was arguing with his girl. I happened to notice a girl who looked sad and asked how she was doing. All the while, keeping an eye on my drunk friends and getting them a bottle of water. Seriously, keeping an eye on them. When someone asked, where is so and so, I knew she went to the bathroom, and that she should be back soon and I was right.
He pointed out that I seemed to know the bartender was having a tough day, and that I had tipped even more than normal and gave a heart felt thank you.
It’s draining, even on a night off. But, all that multitasking, and empathy has made me a good person. It can be a huge weight to bear, and it can bring us down some nights, but we can also make someone’s day. And the fact that even one person noticed it, was crazy.