How bartenders change the world…

For those that don’t know, I work often times on the weekends in a Rock-N-Roll dance club in Schweinfurt. The hours are depressive, as they are from 8 PM to 6AM on Fridays and Saturdays.

But one thing I do love about the job is meeting all of the people that come in. There are so many regulars in the club, that I can actually name them all. They each have their own personalities, and backgrounds. I know what you are thinking we all do. Well, that is the key.

I do understand that we all do, however I have almost never thought about it before. I am sure I am not the only person who has never thought about the individuals we pass daily on the street. But working in the club, I have actually started.

I see the person who is suffering from a denial about girls. He knows what he wants, but is too insecure to follow through, even though they are friends. He will constantly talk with her, then come and confide in me about his wishes to become more than friends. How he has always admired her, and wanted to ask her out on a date, but she was either dating someone else, or she had just broken up.

“What can I say to her man?” he will often say, when he comes to get a drink.

I usually tell him the obvious, “Just go tell her dude, the worse that can happen is she says ‘I am not into you like that’ and then you can continue with life.”

He never will. He will bring her her drinks, and continue the evening like nothing happened, or he had not told me anything.

I know he needs to just grow a pair and tell her, but his insecurities keep him from doing so.

I love the guy, he is funny, and fun to talk to. He is not always concerned about her, he will sometimes come sit at the bar and we will just talk. He is intellectual, and speaks great English. I like the times we can just talk, without me needing to pull out the shrinks chair, and place him on the clock. Next time I should charge him by the hour.

Last weekend a really drunk guy came into the bar, right at opening time, and was only let in, when the boss asked him if he really wanted to come in… He was really that drunk already.

Well he told the boss he just wanted to come in and listen to some good music, and have a few more drinks. The boss reluctantly let him in, but only after telling him the following…

“I will let you in, but if you fall asleep in a chair, or puke anywhere within 30 minutes, then don’t be mad when we kick you out after paying the entry fee.”

He agreed, and instantly came toward my bar, where he ended up the rest of the night.

We all know bartenders are psychologists, and confident’s which he instantly decided to start pouring his guts out. He was suffering from some fight he had had with his wife. He started to drink sometime afterwords.

Well he started to pour out how he was a battered child, by the hands of his father. His father even went to the point of throwing away his only bicycle as a child, after beating it to death in front of him, because he said something to his dad he did not like.

He said that it was almost weekly he could count on his father coming home and beating him after going out drinking, even waking him up and beating him. He said it was just normal. Because of this he developed a never be beaten attitude, and some time when he was either 16 or 17, (in German it is hard to tell the difference between the two when the speaker  is totally drunk) confronted his father.

He said, he had come home drunk again, and wanted to beat him, well he decided enough was enough, and hit his father with all of his might. Well he said he had broken his fathers jaw, knocked him out, and shortly after, he left him and his mother.

Well you would think that was the end of it, well no…

Mother then blamed him for causing his father to leave them, and held a grudge that lasts to this day.

Working in a club like this, I have the chance to help people I never could have before. He was no different.

What I found out he needed the most this night was an ear to listen, and a shoulder to cry on. I offered him both, and I think he was better for it, he started understanding what was happening to him, without me having to say anything to him. He understood where the problem between him and his wife stemmed from and was better for knowing it. When he was sober I am sure he was back in her arms appopogizing to her, and asking forgiveness.

Amazingly enough, he lasted from opening to closing this night. We will see if he returns, but I think he has issues he wants to close at home prior to returning to a club open all night.

Some people on the planet will pay thousands of dollars to get counselling, some choose to drink their problems away and yet others loose themselves in the galaxy of drugs available.

But for many of them, the bartender is always there to give a listen and to put in a few cents of insight.

They thrive on their customers, and want to ensure they are all well taken care of. Many psychologists only care that the checks are constantly paid after each session. In a bar you need to pay to receive anything first.

Payment differences between the two are immense. with me, a session can be as cheap as the cost of a beer €2,50 ($3.00). With the shrinks, well their hourly rates do differ, but are quite a bit more.

So next time you come into a club or a bar, feel free to take advantage of the amazing help that can be both affordable and helpful at the same time.

But, if you have ever, are, or think you should attend an AA meeting, maybe the Psychologist is the best idea.

But remember, It is always nice to tip them well… The bartender that is.





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