When I moved to Friday nights at a bar where there was only ever one bartender, despite a line out the door for a drink, I was nervous. Everywhere else I had ever worked there was more than one person running around, taking orders, and making drinks like a crazy person.
I passed the test with the Sunday, Monday, Tuesday shift. The regulars said I could stick around a while and the owner seemed pleased with my sales. This meant I was moving to the money shift: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Brutal. Long. Zero weekend. But oodles of cash and an opportunity I sure as hell wasn't going to pass up.
Everyone told me it was going to be kuh-razy, and that I better be ready. So ready I was. I uncorked 6 house Merlots, 3 house Cabs, and 5 house Chardonnays. I presalted half a dozen margarita glasses, made extra Bloody Mary mix, and cut enough lemons and limes to last a week. The waitress staff thought I was a freak.
But I was ready.
And good thing because you know what? Is was so busy I didn't leave the bar for six hours straight and sustained myself on salted almonds and Maraschino cherries. It was also the biggest payday I'd ever seen.
Before long I wasn't popping wine bottles before we opened and slicing through the entire lime supply. I was cruising along in a job I loved. But those first day jitters are hard to forget and sadly...hard to duplicate.