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Andy Parsons

Things you only know if you’re a bartender

Written by
Alice French

... according to Tanja Schoenberger, 31.

Bartending is like a sociology degree you don’t have to pay for

‘You are confronted with an incredible array of people and situations in this job. I’ve learned so much about different cultures as well, like the Germans  (and I can say this because I am German) will just say “beer” – no “please”, no “thank you”. You’d expect the English to be more polite, but working in the City gives some people a weird sense of self-entitlement.’

Most people aren’t cut out for bar work

‘There’s an element of skill that can be taught, if you’re open to it, but you can tell if someone’s not meant to do it.  The job chooses you, you don’t really choose the job, and there’s definitely no regularity in any sense! It also requires interaction, consistency, multi-tasking.’

Bar work turns colleagues into family

‘I never thought I’d be as maternal as I am, but  people come to you with problems in and out of work, and you just have to be there for them. In other jobs it’s not as common to have such tightness in the team, but in this job you have to. You think of the rest of the team so much more than in other jobs too: you wouldn’t call in sick for no reason, because you don’t want to leave people in the shit on a Friday night!’

Weird stuff happens when you work with alcohol

‘One time, it was about midday and a woman came into the pub, got completely undressed, walked up to the bar and ordered a glass of wine. We obviously had to refuse her service, and then she just walked out, leaving her bag and clothes at the table! It’s an incredibly funny job in its nature.’

Now discover the things you only know if you’re a hotel concierge.

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