My job has gotten a handful of transfers in the past few months and, thank the high heavens, they are all strong workers (and pleasant too.) One of them, whom I will call Chester Copperpot, is a very nice guy and happens to be trained as a bartender, which has been coming in handy since a couple of our ‘tenders had babies and are on leaves-of-absences.
Because of the past holiday, I didn’t get my regular shift, which wasn’t a big deal because I wouldn’t have made as much money and I got to sleep in. Chester was the morning bartender and I was scheduled early afternoon at two.
I came on right when Chester was getting slammed. The drink ticket machine already had five tickets out and was vomiting more. I told Chester I would handle the drink well so he could get caught up with the bar. And then things started happening.
First off: Chester, like me, is a veteran at our job (Sidenote: majority of the staff is. We refer to my work as the mafia) and also like me, he can do and has done all FOH positions for years. So, as a bartender, I expected him to know certain things because it should be like breathing at this point.
Took a look at these:
They’re called store-n-pours and it’s what we keep mixes in. Notice how they are color-coded? That’s for a fucking reason. Our store-n-pours don’t quite look like this, but they do have big, color-coded stretchy bands with bold, black letters that say “pineapple juice”, “orange” “strawberry”, etc. The spouts have smaller, stretchy bands that go on top so when we’re making a bazillion drinks, all we have to do look at the top color and know what it is.
SO. That’s what I was doing on Sunday and as I reached down for my mixes, what was pouring out of the containers was not what the color bands said. In fact, I had to remake four (horribly complicated) drinks because Chester is either colorblind or a dumbfuck.
I’m afraid that I went off on him about it, especially since I had to remake some shit and the servers had started to congregate at the drink well because, by this time, they can’t go back to their tables without drinks.
Chester: “Oh, did I do something wrong?”
Me (slightly losing it): “Yeah, the wrong lids are on the wrong containers.”
Chester: “Well this is my first time opening so I was guessing.”
Me (moderately losing it.): “Yeah but it’s obvious that yellow goes with yellow and pink goes with pink. Just putting any lid on any container is fine only when it doesn’t have a matching color.”
Chester: “Well I didn’t know so I just tried to do it the best way I knew how.”
Me (completely losing it): “OH MY GOD THIS IS SHIT WE LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN! MATCH COLOR WITH THE SAME COLOR! THIS CLEARLY SAYS PINEAPPLE AND YOU JUST WROTE ‘SANGRIA’ OVER IT. HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THIS?!”
I mean, COME THE FUCK ON. Put yourself in this scenerio: if you had no idea how to open a bar, and had never done so in your life, but see a big bin full of color-coded containers, wouldn’t you think “Hmm, um, geez, I bet these match for a reason.”
Also, he’s full of shit. This doesn’t change store-to-store because, since the beginning of time, that’s how it’s always been. He’s never opened as a bartender at our store but he has at other stores AND he got “trained” opening and closing bar at my job (to show how we do things.)
Anyhow, he stayed out of my way while I busted out the drinks and spent almost an hour re-organizing. It seriously took me that long and it wasn’t just the mixes; there was barely any fruit and hardly any glassware. I was seething and when Chester disappeared into the kitchen, another bartender, (actually the unspoken head bartender) came up to ask if I was ok. When I told him what was happening he said “Wow. I didn’t think I had to explain that when I was training him. So I didn’t.”
Feel free to share co-worker stories.