17 September 2012

Things No One Really Needs to Know at 5AM

The best and worst of problem of bartending is that when all of the normal people in the world are waking up for work, or soundly sleeping, bartenders are getting home, winding down, checking e-mails, facebook and waiting for the alarm clock to sound so they can wake up their kids and get them to school and finally pass out.
At least this bartender is.

Sometime after e-mails and facebook, there is little to keep my eyelids open but television.
Why not just go sleep?
Because if I am not awake to see the kids off to the bus?
Husband dozes a bit in the chair while they dress and get ready.
Which means their socks don't match, if they wear any, they do not brush hair or teeth and they tend to go to school without breakfast and dressed like homeless children.
Trin also decides to wear her makeup to school French hooker style.
The school serves breakfast, so you wouldn't think it'd be a big deal, but really? I do not want CPS to find out my kids don't eat breakfast.
I also do not want the school calling to ask my why my 11 year-old daughter is wearing size 6X shorts with jeggings.
So... I usually watch the Animal Planet channel until they get up.
This is because they never go to paid programming in the wee hours of the morning. A fatigued brain and infomercials are a bad mix.
I learned that when I found myself perched on the edge of the couch, phone in hand, ready to commit to life long payments of ONLY $29.95 for a carpet cleaner.
I do not have any carpet in my house.
So, yeah. Animal Planet it is.

At 5am? The channel puts on some disturbing shit.
For example?
There was some documentary about wildlife in Africa or somewhere that involved a dead hippo.
The film crew sits in the dark and films the scavengers that come to feed off the carcass.
Yeah. Fucking super.
I learned this morning that hyenas are quite possibly the most disgusting animals on the planet.
Not only are they eating the rotting carcass of a hippo, they like to roll on it, because who doesn't want to smell like a dead, decomposing hippo?
Then I learned that crocodiles are scavengers, which I didn't know.
Hyenas do not like crocodiles, they will fight for the meal if there are only a few crocs, but as soon as the whole party shows up?
Hyenas are no where to be found.

I also learned that lions are mostly assholes.
They come and chase away the hyenas AND the crocs, sniff the dead hippo and then wander away.
They don't want to eat the hippo, they just don't want anyone else to eat the hippo.
So, lions are just dicks.

Also, at some point, I realized that some asshole had placed a camera INSIDE the dead hippo.
The fuck?
I mean, in the name of science and all that?
Who the fuck cares what happens to a dead hippo?
AND THEN some crazy lady suits up, because hippos carry deadly bacteria, like anthrax, which I also did not know.
She wants to examine the contents of the hippo's stomach, which contains grass. Huge fucking surprise there, huh?
Useful to know though, that should I ever come across a hippo carcass, I shouldn't touch it.
Anthrax and all that, because otherwise I would probably go over and pet it and shit.

As the alarm goes off, I get up to get the girls ready with a slightly nauseated feeling, thinking about dung beetles, stinky hyenas, vultures, crocodiles and wondering how they decided which asshole had to wade through crocodiles and hyena to shove a camera in the dead hippo's belly.
And also wondering, who the fuck cares what happens to animal carcasses in the wild and what sort of person suggests such a study.
I find myself questioning their mental status as well as the mental status of the people that choose to fund such a study...

Hmm. Let's donate money to something... 
Cancer research? Alzheimer's research? Parkinson's, MS, diabetes, any other debilitating disease research?
No, no. I want my contribution to make a difference.
Goodwill, Salvation Army, Humane Society?
Dead hippo decomposition?
YES!!! YES! That's the one I want to contribute to!

10 September 2012

More Free Advice No One Should Need Before Buying a Bar

To no one in particular...

In case you ever want to own a bar, these are examples of what not to do. They shouldn't have to be said, but apparently they do.

Your customers appreciate a free beer once in a while. It's perfectly acceptable to say, "I got that" when someone orders a beer. 

It is not okay to say "I got that" to every single order for an entire evening whenever anyone orders anything. That is how you run a seven hundred dollar tab in a single night.
Then you wonder why you aren't making any money.
You have to be fucking kidding me.

First, you are paying for your own liquor twice.
You are paying the wholesale... and then giving away what is at least $3.75 EACH SHOT, that someone already ordered and was going to pay for!
No one should have to tell you how fucking retarded that is.

Second, you aren't tipping the bartender.
The person you are buying shots for certainly isn't tipping the bartender.
So your bartender is pissed off, and you can't pay your phone bill.
Sure, you're just trying to be a nice guy... but you're a jack off.

I may have already mentioned not getting all fucked up in your own bar.
I don't mean tipsy and happy.
I mean all kinds of fucked up.

It is never, ever, ever... fucking ever okay to claim that you are going to get your gun and shoot all of these mother-fuckers. 
No one shoots people in their nightgowns, and these mother-fuckers just happen to be your customers.
Jack off.

It is also not okay to get drunk, wander around your own bar and tell anyone that will listen that your husband is cheating on you every time he leaves your sight.
The fuck is wrong with you?

If you want everyone out of the bar by 3:30?
If you're pissed off because that one guy walked out with an open bottle of beer?
If you expect your bartenders to play bouncer?
Probably you should hire bigger fucking bartenders.

It is perfectly legal for there to be drinks on THE BACK BAR after 3:30am.
One would assume you understood this concept when you stagger your drunk ass back into the bar at a quarter to five in the morning and order shots for yourself and your friend.
Plus, if you are going to follow the laws by the book, maybe you should start with following the laws for fuck's sake.
All of them.

If you can't meet your overhead?
You should probably lower it.
That doesn't mean fire all your employees and claim that they all just up and quit and then hire all new employees to take their spots at the same pay.
Want a really simply way to lower your costs?
Turn the motherfucking air conditioner down a little bit, or even off for the TEN TO TWELVE HOURS that no one is in there.

A bar without women with a fucking money pit.
No guys want to spend their time in a bar without women.
No straight guys anyway.
Women will not come into a bar where they feel uncomfortable.
A sure way to alienate women?
The "helicopter".
You are the fucking owner of this establishment!
No one wants to see you pull your dick out and wave it around.

Do not ever claim that the reason you are unable to pay for entertainment is because a bartender took a whole two days of her pay out of the register.
We make $5 an hour.

Do not stand outside the door of your competition and yell to their patrons that anyone that comes to your bar will get a free shot.
Because, they are going to come over, take a shot and go back to what they were doing at the other bar.

In case you are unaware, you are further fucking yourself when you take money out of your own cash register to take your own customers down the road to the other bar to buy them shots.
You've been around for too long for people to believe you're doing it in good faith.
You are not supporting anyone, or winning customers.
You are making an ass out of yourself.

If you feel like everyone is out to get you, you should probably analyze your concept of business.
If you are unable to accept responsibility for the fact that your business is failing?
You have no business owning a bar.
Or any business, for that matter.
You can not continue to blame other people, or yell obscenities at the competition because you are losing your asses off.

09 September 2012

So you want to be a bar owner, huh?

There are a few things one has to have in order to own and operate a successful bar.

First and foremost, testicles.
Meaning that you have to be willing to face conflict, fire people and be assertive.
If you can't?
You have no business owning a bar.

If you can not pay your employees?
You probably shouldn't be paying out $200-400 a night for your entertainment.
If the bar is in a small town and you've been fucking your employees over consistently for the last few years?
Stop denying it and trying to make excuses.

Stop for a moment and realize that you have a certain responsibility to your employees.
There's not a whole hell of a lot of job security in bartending, but wondering from day to day whether I will be able to feed my kids takes a toll on our owner/employee relationship.
You can not continue to play games with peoples' lives and not expect any repercussions. Again, with the small town thing.
People will eventually realize that you are not good people, and they certainly won't want to frequent your establishment.
Once you have lost the respect of your employees as well as your patrons? You're pretty much screwed.

Do NOT get all fucked up in your own bar.
You can't complain about an unpaid $35.00 tab when you are running a $700 tab in your own bar.
If you do get all fucked up?
Do NOT alienate your guests.
Do NOT stand in the middle of the street and yell "FUCK YOU" to the bar next door.
You look like a lunatic.

If you can't afford to buy liquor and beer and meet your payroll?
You are doing something wrong.
Continuing to do it wrong, over and over, doesn't make any fucking sense.

Maybe, just maybe, you should suck it up and admit that you are clueless.
Maybe you are in way over your head and it's no one's fault but your own.

If you want to know why business has been declining so rapidly, and you aren't seeing any profit, despite your bartender, entertainment and atmosphere changes?
The problem, quite obviously, is you.

05 September 2012

Unfit for Human Company

I'm all wound up.
Smoking like a chimney, every muscle clenched.
Hurts like hell but I can't seem to relax them.
Self medication.
Too tired to sleep.
I've been here before. 
It's not a pretty place to be.
So angry.
So fucking angry.
Anger with no direction is a bad, bad thing.
Leaves you on edge, constantly.
Leaves you waiting, praying actually, that someone will say one wrong thing to you.
The bullshit with the VA... My god I am tired of filling out forms and mailing shit.
And then having to mail more shit.
They send you letters that you don't understand and no one is ever available to explain them.
They don't even give you an option to wait on hold anymore.
They give you an appointment time, say they will call you in a week.
They never do.
Then they schedule a home visit so they can tell you something or another about retro pay.
Fiduciaries, character references, budget plans and expenses, copies of every fucking thing that you don't actually have on hand, a list of all your relatives, living and dead, all the way back to Adam and Eve. All signed in blood. With witnesses.
I'm exaggerating here slightly.
How do they not know that I am too fucking tired and overwhelmed to deal with this shit?
Or any shit?
I am needing to crawl in a hole right now, and not speak to anyone.
The caregiver's program is awesome, but it's more paperwork.
The fact that it's obviously a necessary step doesn't fucking matter at this point.
I am hating paper.
Giving the notebook dirty looks and everything.
Who the hell hates paper?
I know it's all necessary, I know it all has to be done, and it will be, but I don't have to happy about doing it.
I know it's really not their fault and they deal with overwhelmed families all the time.
I just had to bitch about it all for a minute.
Gonna go crawl under a rock now.
Which sounds bad, but isn't.
I do not even have the capacity to nice to people right now.
Any people.
Better off alone under a rock cursing at no one.