Have you ever done something that you wished you could undo? Ever regret making a decision you thought was better for you just to find out that you should have probably stayed where you were? Have you every had Switcher's Remorse?
In my early twenties, I worked at a restaurant famous for their drinks and bartenders. I wasn't a bartender. I was a Dub Dub. That's short for "double u double u," which is shorter still for Waiter/Waitress. We wore a lot of "flair" and our table cloths were red and white striped. I know you know what I'm talking about.
As a Dub Dub, we had to be very knowledgeable about the bar and drinks. When we took an order, we had to know which liquors were in the drink in order to upsell the customers, and when we called the drinks out to the bartenders, we had to have the right kind of glass and, if the the drink called for it, rocks. Beyond that, if the drink required a garnish, we had to make it and have it ready to put on the glass when the esteemed bartender poured the libations into said glassware. If you screwed ANY of that up, they would call your ass out right there on the floor in front of all the other Dub Dubs. Needless to say, I got really good at knowing my drinks.
Plus, I was in my twenties. I did a lot of "personal research" on the subject.
So when I found out about a job opening for a banquet bartender at a nearby hotel, I decided to apply. The drinks a banquet bartender make are your standards: vodka tonic, margarita on the rocks, martini, midori sour... you get the picture. Nothing crazy like an Adios Mother or a 57 Chevy. Every once in a while, I'd be asked to make a Long Island Iced Tea, but mostly, I was pouring wine and popping open bottles of beer. And BONUS: I only needed to work one or two shifts a week to pay my bills.
Bartending is GOOD money, y'all. Like... SWEET money. Like, dollar-bills-falling-out-yo-pants good. And when you're a cute twenty-something with a big smile and big hair and big, um (well, you get the picture) and you'd rather be working on your tan than working in an office, it's the perfect job. Plus, going to work is like going to a party, because, DUH... it IS a party! Sure, you have to haul your bar cart full of glass over to your station and set it up and then make sure you have enough ice for the night, but other than that, it's a snap. It was all going so well, except for one thing...
My mom hated that I was a bartender.
She hated telling people what I did for a living. She hated that I worked at night. She hated that I got flirted with by random strangers. She hated that I told her it helped to be cute when it came to tipping. She said my job was basically like being a hooker. I assured her that it was NOTHING like being a hooker, but that didn't really persuade her into leaving me alone about my job. Eventually, she wore me down, and I decided to get a job working in the offices at another hotel, then began as a wedding coordinator. It took a while, but I finally started working as a Sales Manager for the same hotel chain I tended bar at. My mom was so proud.
And I was so tired.
I didn't work weekends anymore, except once a month when I was Manager on Duty. Those weekends, I had to stay at the hotel and help out in any situation that might come up. During the week, my job duties were to dial for dollars and deal with Asian tour companies. In between all that, I had to sneak over to our competition's ballrooms and jot down the names of the companies that were meeting there and not at our hotel. I'd also drive around town with photocopies of Thomas Guides (remember those?) and note down all the companies moving into or out of the area to follow up with on my dialing for dollar days. While I no longer had to work weekends, I also no longer had a life.
When the holiday season came around, I joked about wishing I was a banquet bartender again. I reminisced with my colleagues, including the banquet manager, about how much I loved those days. He had a great idea... we could cut costs by having me tend bar. I was getting paid salary, so they would save on the hourly, and I would get to walk home with my sweet cash tips at the end of the night. So I got to tend bar again!
After the excitement of counting all my dollar bills wore off, I laid in my bed, tired but happy from a fun night at a party, making drinks for all the guests, telling jokes, getting laughs, smiling at strangers... and I wished I never would have made that switch. I wished I would have told my mom that she was just going to have to get used to telling her friends that I was a bartender. I wished for my days at the beach and my jars of crinkly dollar bills.
What about you? Ever had Switcher's Remorse?
Disclosure: This is a paid post for Verizon's #SwitchersRemorse campaign. If you switched away from Verizon and are regretting it, don't worry. They're making it easy for customers to come back. For more information, head over to your local Verizon store.