I am a career bartender. Bartending is the only way I know how to competently etch out my meager existence. Unless I win the lottery or become a drug dealer…I will be standing behind a bar the rest of my working life. I figure with a strong cocktail of yoga and studies in eastern religion, topped off with the regular attendance of anger management classes…I should be able to tolerate the general public for another ten years. At which point my plan is to retreat to a service bar where I will be tucked away safely somewhere in the back of the house…making cocktails for the servers…wearing an aloha shirt…listening to eighties rock…and trading the cooks shots for free food. From there I will ease into retirement hoping social security isn’t a fallacy, 401K plans actually work, and that somehow on my journey as a bartender I made enough drinks to provide for the golden years. That’s the dream. So tonight…we were agonizingly slow. I walked out of the bar with around thirty-five dollars for seven hours worth of work. Pathetic. It was such a menial shift…even a fucking caveman could have done it. Or better yet…a robot. I am confident the future of tending bar lies in the hands of computer programs and robotics. Bartenders will become a vanishing tribe as technology encroaches into our establishments. We will slowly be replaced by the machines and eventually disappear into the history books. Bartending as we understand it…will be a lost art. Fortunately, we have time on our side and this coming reality is still a very long way off. For now…tending bar will remain a job for humans and I will get to fulfill my plan of graciously retiring through a service bar. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDKv6W0a694, “And can challenge the output of your best bartender on his best day.” The beginning of the end.
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