Bartending during the holidays is similar to serving during summer – people are laid back and ready to party. The cooler air and the overwhelming spirit of giving makes them more cheerful, generous and carefree.
It's also a unique time, because the bars are usually filled to capacity with holiday office party after-parties. If you thought people watching was good on a normal night, you should make a special trip downtown before New Year’s Eve to see this spectacle.
Whether you like your job or not, spending time with co-workers at your company's holiday party is pretty much mandatory. The downtown after party, though, that's another story.
You can always tell when a group of people are out with the boss. They typically arrive in their Sunday bests, three sheets to the wind and eyeing an older gentleman for approval. The shy ones inch to the bar and wait patiently to see if Mr. CEO is picking up the tab. The more outgoing employees always approach with gusto, ordering a collection of drinks to take off the edge. “This is going to get weird, Man!”
It's at this point when things really get interesting. You start to notice co-workers flirting, and standing awkwardly close to one another. People who normally don't communicate in the office throw back shots. Girls who should probably hide their sexual escapades are dancing on the structural poles holding the building in place. “Work friends” are grinding all over each other on the dance floor, and before you know it, someone's teaching the boss how to Dougie.
I'm not sure if it's the prospect of extended vacation time to come or a night of free booze that makes people get so inappropriately wild, but company after-parties are a breeding ground for blackouts and regret. A week after a good party, at least one regular usually returns with an apology for me: “Sorry if I got crazy last weekend. My boss called me out on Monday because I wouldn't stop poppin' & lockin' it,” one guy told me recently.
You're a great dancer. I'm sure he was really impressed. But the person I really want to hear from is the girl who was pole-dancing – how did she survive her Monday morning meeting?
It’s that time of year again, when we look back on the good, bad, the ugly of 2012 and resolve to do better in 2013. Here’s what’s on my list this year:
The good stuff I want to remember:
Having a great group of friends who always visit me at the bar for a drink
Watching countless girls pole dance on a 4x4 wooden post (splinters, ouch!)
Serving shots of Jack Daniels to a horse head (see photo)
The bad stuff I’d like to forget:
Customers who throw drinks at their bartenders
Redbull cans that spray in your face when you open them
Flaming body shots (seriously)
Things I regret:
Accidentally shattering the one and only delicious bottle of chocolate vodka our bar has ever seen in the floor
Not pouring enough shots of warm gin for indecisive customers
I resolve to wean people off of Jåger. Fireball is stronger, tastes better and doesn't cause bubble guts. I also resolve to come up with new fruity drinks and shots for the ladies.
Now it's your turn. What do you regret? What are your resolutions? Comment below!
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