Let me tell you a story about a bar…
Three months ago, I was getting married at the Wos*. I did so with the blessings of the generous owner, under the amused eyes of my former colleagues and now friends. I, former employee and barmaid, was marrying the former manager.
I can say without a doubt that this bar holds a special place in my heart and memories. Aside from being where I celebrated my wedding day, it has been the main character of some of the most memorable months of my life. And so far it has kept being a part of my life, even and perhaps most obviously during this American road trip.
Everything started a little more than a year ago, at the beginning of last summer…
A friend of mine had told me about a position opening in a bar, that I dismissed at first. I was supposed to have a job : teaching English in a fun way to a bunch of kids for a few weeks. With that, and provided I could crash for the rest of my summer at my dad’s new house in Bretagne, I was sure to get the physical rest I had been needing for the past two years, and the emotional one I had been needing for… too long to count.
Of course, I got none of that. This job went awry, I was left with nothing but a rent and bills to pay, and a fridge as empty as my bank account.
So I did what I needed to do :
I practically ran to that bar, even though I had literally no bar skills (I had never even made myself a proper drink unless dropping some coke into a ridiculously high amount of rum when I was at the worst point of my life counts, and I could not open a bottle of wine gracefully if my life depended on it).
I was greeted by some of the chillest and nicest bartenders I have ever encountered who told me to come back later to meet Simone, the manager. I did that, we had a chat, he told me he would talk to the owner about me and to send my CV by email. I got an interview and it’s definitely not my chill attitude that got me a try-out (I was shaking like a leaf, so anxious to get myself out of bankruptcy and eating rice three times a day everyday), but as it happens and most surprisingly, my extensive academic resume that interested the boss.
I was rubbish at try-out, but the bartenders and the manager were encouraging, teaching, and I was honestly giving it all I had (I smiled like I never smiled working for hours standing up and moving and trying to understand things I knew nothing about, trying to remember names, cocktails, recipes, bottles, prices, procedures…) and also probably they didn’t have better prospect (or they liked me, or both) so I got the job for real.
It was hard, it was tiring, it was draining but also, it was…fun.
I met incredible people, including all the staff, the owner, the staff of bars and pubs around, and customers. We were going out after service, to party some more or to chill a little because we were too agitated or tired (or both) to go to sleep right away.
Tremendously fun, tremendously draining and an incredible experience : that’s exactly what it was. There were weeks when I would wake up, do stuff I had to do, get ready, go to work for long hours, go out after that, go to bed, wake up 6 to 8 hours later when it was time to get ready to go back to work. Sometimes it was even just waking up, getting ready, getting to work, going back home, sleeping, and repeat, with no time or energy to even go grocery shopping.
Then school started in mid-september.
The then-manager and I got somehow engaged a couple of days before he stopped working there, and I resigned in the end of February to do an important internship in my field of studies.