A Bartender's Guide to Measuring Up in your Relationships

Archive for January, 2014

The Not-So-Common Sense


     During the holidays, I created a cinnamon and sugar martini, rimmed with crushed peppermints and a tiny candy cane garnish that was remarkable both visually and palatably. I wanted it to sell but describing the drink didn’t do it any justice (plus it was a mouthful to say), so I made one to use as a display. My plan worked; people were intrigued. The drink smelled like a cookie and the glass was decorated festively. It enticed curiosity. To peak interest, I encourage guests to lean in and take a whiff.
I did not, however, anticipate that by putting the drink on the counter, a customer would ask, “Can I try it,” and before I could answer, pick up my display and drink from it. She then decided to purchase one (after all, it was that good), but she didn’t want the one she drank off of; she wanted a fresh one. The nerve! A few guests later, another woman had the same idea, only this one helped herself to a straw to use for her sample.
     I didn’t see that coming. It’s common sense to me that you don’t sample a display. These ladies must’ve been under a different understanding. Perhaps they were more familiar with the Costco way of life. Whatever the case, I wasn’t prepared for that kind of response.
     Though it seemed uncouth to me, I’ll take the responsibility for not being more clear. I shouldn’t have assumed my intention was common sense. See, common sense is no longer common. Be careful of expectations–thinking someone should know better because you think or know a certain way. Expectations kill relationships. Everyone is raised differently. That, coupled with personality and experience shapes the way people behave. If you think your way is the only way, or always right, you’ll always be criticizing your significant other or disappointed by their actions. Instead, hope that through your differences there’s a common ground that can help create a better understanding and a foundation for shared values.
     I sold several more of my martini before that night was over, however, I made sure to move my display to the back bar, out of reach of customers, so as not to give the misimpression that it was a sample.


To Insure Proper Service


     I’m one of those rare bartenders that doesn’t expect customers to tip for everything. I gauge the appropriateness of a tip based on my effort.
     My barometer is, if I have to use the blender, shaker, or create a mixed drink, the skill in crafting that cocktail should be rewarded accordingly. If a guest comes back to me for the same drink, that means I did it well the first time, so I expect to be tipped. But if all I did was pour a shot straight into a glass or pop the top off of a bottle of beer,–unless it’s a super hectic night and I took care of that guest swiftly–I’m not surprised nor am I bothered when I don’t receive a tip.
     Likewise, you shouldn’t await gratitude for every little thing u do in your relationship. A lot of situations are twist-off bottle caps and straight shots; small efforts that build a good repoire, and keep things running smoothly.
     Things like phone calls to check in, making the bed, being on time, compliments, are for the betterment of the relationship. But if your best efforts–creating an awesome meal, back or foot massages, gifts just because–go unnoticed or unappreciated, that’s when there’s a problem.
     If you aren’t being rewarded with love and reciprocity in your relationship–your “tip,” or thank u for “a job well done“–, maybe it’s time to show the guest in your life less attention.
What’s your barometer?