Will Work for Tips

It really is the slow season. It’s been raining so much lately, no one has any interest in our patio, which means the front of the place never looks full, which means people walking by think we aren’t doing business. Most people don’t want to sit in a bar by themselves; they want action, they want people around them laughing and having a good time. Sometimes I swear I’ve thought about hiring people to just sit at our bar during the winter season to liven things up.

I wonder what a Craigslist ad like that would look like…. “Bored, broke bartender seeks actual customers. Sit at the bar. Drink for free. Make me look good. Entertain me.” I feel like people would respond. But I never post anything like that, because, well, it’s ridiculous. Esperanza is a great place to work, don’t get me wrong, it really is. I’ve been here over four years and there’s a reason for that. It’s not that I’m stuck. I choose to be here and stay here. But the winter season SUCKS!

We’re all getting desperate for shifts. Different bartenders take the slowness differently. You can always tell who is good at saving money or has a second job because those are the ones happy to go on vacation and take the days off. The ones who suck at saving money, have no other means of income, or are perpetually broke (that’s me, in case you didn’t guess) have to hustle. I like going up to the host stand and seeing which nights have the most reservations and then if I’m not working those nights, I ask other bartenders if we can switch shifts. I make some excuse, like, I have family in town that night or concert tickets or whatever, and then get on a Saturday that’s busy solely because the dining room and lounge are full.

I don’t feel bad about it. It’s survival of the fittest out here. And in case you forgot! I gotta pay undergraduate AND graduate student loans off. I need all the money I can get.