You can take the woman out of the bar, but you can’t take the bartender out of the woman
|Photo by Jasmine Fitzwilliam, Let’s Frolic Together|
Over the 14 years that I’ve worked in the restaurant industry, I have had A LOT of work nightmares.
I’ve had ones where I’m serving tables at my restaurant, as well as tables half a mile down the street. Dreams where someone has constructed a maze of plexiglass walls between tables that were so clean I kept crashing into them. Nightmares (that hit a little too close to home) where people yelled at me for hours on end for not bringing them 50 sides of ranch.
I even had nightmares that were so bad that I woke up in a panicked, crying sweat and dreaded heading in for my shift.
But as I’ve slowly crept out of the bar and restaurant industry, and into a full-time career as a journalist, those nightmares have become increasingly rare occurrences.
One dream that seemed like it was always just out of reach was the one where I’d finally get to leave the industry and regain control of my weekends.
When I started working as a hostess at Oggi’s in December 2005, I figured I’d only stay in the restaurant industry for a few months. I was super shy, and the thought of being promoted to waiting tables scared me to no end.
I couldn’t have imagined that I’d end up spending most of my adult life serving, bartending, working in a private club and slinging drinks as a craft cocktail bartender.
My years behind the bar have been enjoyable and allowed me to pay for college along the way, but it has also been a bit of a clutch over the years. I knew I could always pick up shifts to make extra money if I needed it.
Almost a decade and a half after starting my first job at a brewery and pizzeria, I’ve now officially resigned from my bartending side hustle.
As much as I still love mixing drinks, what I really need is time for myself, my fiancé, my friends, this neglected blog and (if I’m going to be perfectly honest) Lindy Hop. I’ll still always enjoy creating new cocktails and serving my concoctions to my friend, but now I will finally be able to do it for fun, not for hours on my feet.