Category Archives: The Job

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 85. On Caffeine.

You know you’re a caffeine junkie when:

a) You’ve gone to the bother of making the nicest cup of coffee you can, given your circumstances, and you don’t even remember drinking it.

b) Being jittery is your default setting.

c) You can tell your Java from your Colombian.

d) You drain a pot of coffee quicker than a toilet can flush.

e) Your concern for your kidneys is at odds with your serenity.

f) Your response to a customer query is WHAT NOW? CAN’T YOU SEE I’M STRESSED OUT?

g) Going cold turkey fills you with a sense of dread.


All-Ireland Mayhem: God Help Us All.

For all but a few of you reading this post, the All-Ireland series means very little. But if you’re Irish, like your GAA, and your county winning the Sam Maguire Cup means more to you than life itself, then the All-Ireland is where it’s at this weekend.

It’s the Battle Royale: The Dubs versus the Kingdom; Dublin against Kerry. The Blues are searching for their first title since 1995, while Kerry are the reigning champions. (Stay awake at the back there, I’ll be asking questions later.) If the Capital City triumph this Sunday, then 16 years of hurt will disappear like cider down a football supporter’s gullet. If they lose, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

You're not a Dub if you don't drink cider.

For me – and for the rest of my workmates – it will be a day that will go down in infamy. Throngs of supporters will convene at Croke Park and its surroundings like Muslims at Mecca. They will be excited, nervous, full of hopes and anticipation, and they will have throats drier than a camel’s arse in a sandstorm. Which is where we bartenders come in. For most of the morning, afternoon and evening (all bloody day actually) we will pump out enough booze to fill the Grand Canyon ten times over: these Dubs are a thirsty lot, let me tell you.

We will be busier than St. Peter on Judgement Day. We’ll be working flat out to ensure that no thirst goes unquenched because this is what we bartenders do. We will listen to the crap that drunks come out with when one too many has been consumed; we will mop up vomit that’s had the indecency to spew out at importune times; we will smile when we’re abused – because that’s what we bartenders do. We will take money and give out correct change, as well as making sure there’s plenty of ice and bandages, because accidents may happen.

We will open early and close late. We don’t expect to be thanked for our endeavours because we know the boss will look after us after he’s lodged the day’s takings with Brinks Allied.

The Girls in Blue

We will listen patiently to the hundred-and-first rendition of “Come On Ye Boys In Blue” and not complain when another glass is smashed against the wall. We will not laugh when security escort an unruly supporter off the premises (usually head first) and into a waiting police car. We will hope the judge goes easy on him the next morning. We will say prayers when we go to bed that night.

If we make it to bed, that is.

We look forward to doing an honest day’s trade when Dublin win the All-Ireland (which we hope they do). But we hope the supporters make life easy for us and not start any fights. Because we bartenders don’t like fights. We like the simple life. Here’s your pint, there’s your change, now fuck off and leave us alone.

Dublin for Sam!

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 39. On Customer Service.

Being a jack-of-all-trades (and to some, a master of none), when a customer was having problems with predictive text on her mobile phone, she passed it on to me to remove it. I happily obliged, then handed it back to her.

“Would you send a text to my husband?” she asked.

“Okay,” I replied. (She’s a bit dotty, if truth be told.) “What would you like me to say?”

“I love you, pet.”

I smiled, punched in the text and added a smiley face for good measure. All in a day’s work, wouldn’t you agree?

Sometimes the job doesn’t suck.

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 38. On Perception.

I got the 123 bus from James’s Street last night, coming home from a meeting. I headed upstairs and went eye to eye with one of my regular customers. Now S is not a rude man and I’ve never had any issue with him; but he looked straight through me as if I wasn’t there. I think I have a reason for this.

It’s happened to me before that I meet people I know from work on the street on my day off. But because I’m not wearing my uniform, I’m just another person passing by.

It’s either that or he’s blind.

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 33. On Heaven and Hell.

To some (and you know who you are), Heaven is a place where eternal happiness awaits; where your friends and family are forever by your side; where there is constant laughter and music; where your favourite sports team never loses; where refereeing decisions are never questioned; where respect for your elders is a given; where your drink of choice is available and never served anything less than perfectly. Heaven, therefore, is the bar that never closes.

If this sounds like Heaven to you, go knock yourself out. For me, this is what Hell would be like. I’ll find somewhere else.



Drink Talk: Conversations with a Bartender.

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Bartender: How are you doing? What can I get you?

Clueless Customer: Hey, you haven’t got Kopparberg Berry?

YFNB: Yes.

CC: Great. Can I have two please?

YFNB: We don’t have any, sorry.

CC: But you just told me you did?

We don't have it.

YFNB: No I didn’t.

CC: Yes, you did.

YFNB: You asked me if I didn’t sell it. I said yes, we don’t sell it.

CC: I don’t get you.

YFNB: Ever hear of the song “Yes, We Have No Bananas”?

CC: Years ago.

YFNB: Well then, it’s a case of “Yes, We Have No Kopparberg.”

CC: *ponders* Two Corona, then.

YFNB: Right you be. *serves CC two Corona*

CC: I still don’t get you.

YFNB: *sigh* And sadly you never will.

What Jimbo Didn’t Do…

…since he last blogged.

1. Grow a beard.

2. Learn Mandarin Chinese.

3. Eat snails.

4. Read War and Peace. (Come on, life is waaay too short.)

5. Vote in the UK General Election.

6. Take up badminton.

7. Shake hands with Sarah Palin.

8. Have lunch with Queen Elizabeth.

9. Organise a revolution against the muppets that run this country.

10. Start a fan page for tuna sandwiches.

11. Help an old lady cross the road. (Shame on me!)

12. Feel sympathy for the banking institutions. (Shame on you!)

13. Take myself too seriously.

14. Take my job too seriously.

15. Win the lottery.

James the Listmaker.


Warning: This post contains language of an adult nature

This has been coming for a while, for a long, long while. It’s time for me to move on. I’ve had it up to here with selling booze to people who would be better of without it. These people are fucking assholes, wankers of the highest order. I am not the ideal representative for the licensed trade. I’d get more satisfaction from making and selling cappuccinos and frappes to those who know what a real drink is.

I’m fed up with my job – not just in a general ‘pissed off’ way, but also at a deep philosophical level. Every time I head into work on a weekend evening, I feel a little bit of my soul die. I’ve mentioned elsewhere that there are certain aspects of my job that I do like: the food service end of things, that’s my forte. If I could condense my part-time situation to just lunch service, that would suit me. But I don’t know if that would suit my employers (who, don’t get me wrong, I like – regardless of my differences with them).

It’s the drunks I’m beginning to despise: the Nancies (not you, nrhatch), the Daves, the Christies, the Johns. For God’s sake, people, can’t you see what you’re doing to yourselves? Do you even give a shit? No? Then why the fuck should I? I’ve better things to be doing.

I’m beginning to believe that my current physical malaise has much to do with my emotional and spiritual well-being. When I’m in a ‘bad place’, I can’t write. And when I can’t write, part of my reason for living is put on the back-burner. That, for me, is not good enough.

Bob, you sing it so well, my friend.

What else would I do? I don’t know – but I will find something. I can investigate ways to make money from writing. Any tips?