Dear Bartender: Have to tell you, I enjoy your sense of humor and advice. I stumbled upon your site in the wee hours of the morning, after awakening and worrying about my new position and career in bartending.
I am a 50 year old female that has re-entered the work force after raising three children. Over those years I did work here and there, but not as a bartender. I did go to a bartending school and then landed a perfect starting job. I have been appreciative of getting it and eager to learn all I can.
The place I work is a private club that has one bartender but needs additional help two days a week and for occasional private parties. This suits me fine. In fact, so far everything is great except for the other bartender.
Going into this field, my concern was dealing with the customers, as in mean, rude, drunk, etc. My thinking was that would be the worst aspect of the job. So far, that has not been the case. My problem is with the other bartender. The training part of the job is over. But the other bartender has control issues, for lack of another way to term it. For example, when opening and closing, instead of splitting duties down the middle she will delegate….step by step. At first, I thought, OK…I am in training. But then it carried to behind the bar and in front of customers. She will criticize me for the speed at which I make a drink and the quantity of liquor I put in a drink, right in the middle of the rush and while customers are lined up and can hear. She will give me a “command” like “get to the kitchen” when something there needs to be done. I feel this undermines any respect I might have or will earn from a customer. I feel that this is disrespectful to me, as a bartender. If she, as a training bartender, has an issue she should pull me aside and discuss this, but not in front of a customer.
I am a novice here in this field. The other bartender is in her mid-20s and a part time college student. She was taught bartending by a previous bartender and this is her first job as a bartender. Is this a case of the blind leading the blind?
Dear ChessChamp: This kid is creating an unacceptable working environment. Fuck her. Who does she think she is? Send her to me and I’ll give her a stern talking to.
I have a boss who gets like this, too, sometimes. Thankfully I’ve got a good enough relationship with his boss that I can ignore him completely. If you can get yourself into a similar arrangement, I recommend it. Meanwhile, the next time it’s mad busy and she criticizes the way you’re doing things, stop what you’re doing and ask her — sincerely, as if you were really curious — to do it herself, so you can watch and learn.
Do this every time and she’ll soon back off.