I have been fortunate enough to dodge most of the physical pitfalls associated with a career in bartending. I don’t suffer from a perpetual bad back, tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, bar rot, horrible hearing, or webbed toes…yet. However, bartending is such a physical job, I actually stretch before my shift. As corny as it sounds…I like to include about a half hour of light yoga in my pre-work ritual. This helps get my body prepared for the repetitive movements of the evening. Today…as I was helping a friend move…something popped in my lower back…I am not sure exactly what the injury is…but it’s definitely a good one. I tried to stretch it out before work, but that only made it worse. So tonight…as fate would have it…we were absolutely slammed at the bar. My back held out for the most part, but now and then, it would lock up sending an electric shock wave of pain through my body. The first time it happened, I was holding two martini glasses and I uncontrollably clenched my hand breaking them both, and putting a nice clean gash in my middle finger. Fucking awesome. I quickly wrapped my bleeding finger with duct tape and continued on. My next back spasm resulted in a similar outcome. This time I smashed a rocks glass and added a nice jagged cut to my thumb. It’s too bad nobody was ordering Bloody Mary’s. I turned my aching back to the crowd, ripped off the chunk of hanging flesh from my fresh wound, and once again utilized the duct tape. Thankfully…I survived the rest of the night free from further mishaps. In a perfect world, I would have called in sick minutes after initially hurting myself, but that was an option I couldn’t afford. Duct tape needs to get their shit together and manufacture an “Out Back” edition.
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