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In order to better understand this article, I’ll give you a brief accounting of my employment background. Six years of bar management, bartending award winner, professionally trained, 2 million dollars of alcohol sales to span a 14 year career.
I am one of those bartenders, that once I find a venue, which I’m comfortable in, I stay. My length of employment, throughout my career averages at least 5 years. The last bar I worked, I stayed for 7 years. (There are periods, in which I’ll take a temporary or on call job, while still staying with my primary employer.) Then one day, the owner tells me, he’s decided to close the bar. His reasoning was partially a conflict of interest with his religious beliefs, and partially due to burnout. (I don’t understand how someone can suffer from burnout, and only work, 3 hours a day. ) But 2 months later, I found my self unemployed.
I needed a break anyways, and my wife is doing well in her career, so I wasn’t concerned. I took a conscious decision, to take my time finding a new employer. A venue that would be fitting of an award winning bartender. What surprised me, was how long this job search would take. I sent out over 160 resumes. I was called for less than 10 interviews, and then finally found my new venue. This was a period of over 3 months. My resume is impressive; I had several prospective employers tell me personally. So what’s the deal?? I’ve narrowed it to a number of possibilities, which I wish to share
1. Age: I’m 49, and I understand that in some venues, that would be too old. But not in the ones I was applying.
2. Gender: Male. I remember when I was going through BartendingSchool. This was in the aftermath of the movie “Cocktail.” The one with Tom Cruise, this made bar owners everywhere, want flair bartenders. In this day of age, we are in the aftermath of “Coyote Ugly” and now everyone wants cute young girls. Note to bar owners and managers of the world: If you are hiring based on gender, you will never find long-term business success. The success, you find will be short term, until the competition, takes you out. Either that or the cute little blonde bartender steals you blind. Hiring should be based on a combination of experience and drink mixing ability. Not bra size.
3. Personality assessment tests. My wife is a manager in a corporate restaurant. She is a strong supporter of this testing. She says excuses like, “The test accurately judge how a person acts in a situation.” Maybe in a corporation, maybe in a retail environment, but not bartending. I have yet to see a personality test question which reads……Female customers, who show their breasts should be immediately cut off…….True or False or
Serving double jager and red-bulls, as a drink special, will increase the possibilities of bar fights…..Strongly disagree/disagree/neither/agree/Strongly agree. Let’s be honest, like everything else in the world, personality assessment tests are all about money. It’s a cheaper way to trim the hiring pool. Managers have to spend less time, evaluating prospective employees. Which gives them more time to flirt with the cute little blonde, they hired last week.
Eventually, I found the new job. A venue worthy of my talents, I’m now in a fancy hotel. More about that to come later.