There's a running theme with those of us who have worked downtown for any real length of time:
We hate our jobs.
It's true. We despise what we do. We bitch about the job all the time. We're jaded motherfuckers. We work 3-5 nights a week, deal with drunken customers for the majority of the time we're on the clock, grit our teeth when we hear a line that we've heard a million times in the past, close our eyes and take a deep breath when a customer gives us an excuse that 12 other people have given us so far for that particular night, and thank the good Lord above when 2:45am rolls around and everyone is out of the bar for the night.
Then we shut the place down, grab a few drinks, and sit around and talk about all the stupid shit that happened that night. Talk about the stupid customers and the stupid things they said and did, the guy who refused the pay his tab or stiffed the bartenders, the guy who had the fake ID and argued with us, the guy who got tossed onto the sidewalk, whatever.
But as much as we all say we hate it, that we're fed up with drunks, there's also a running theme that nobody really talks about as much but everyone thinks.
We really love our jobs.
Where else do we get paid to hang out, get cheap drinks, hit on chicks, break up a few fights, wash a few glasses, take out some trash, have late night access to a full bar, and get paid well to do all that?
I can't think of a single job in the world besides a bar job that involves all of those things.
So, as much as I can figure out this far into it, it's a balancing act. I hate my job in so many ways, but I love it in more ways than I hate it. So I keep at it. I get ready every night and before I walk out the door to head downtown I think about all the times I've gotten ready for another long night at the bar, look in the mirror and say to myself with a sigh...Here we go again.
But, the time will come when my hate outweighs my love for working in a bar, and when that time comes I'll quit. And my time is coming soon, I fear.
But then again, I've been saying that for years.