Friday, January 12, 2007

Who do I have to F%$K to get a drink...

It's funny how things happen.

In the few final days of 2006 I was sitting with my Grandmother discussing work, money, aspirations, cigarettes and life in general. I told her that I'd love to get a small, part-time job to break-up the week a bit (and to make some extra spending money.) There wasn't really anything that I wouldn't do but there were some things that I definitely was looking the event that I did, indeed, take on a second job:

  • Part time - less than 20 hours per week.
  • Close to my house - less than 5 miles away.
  • Flexible - I couldn't disrupt my full time schedule.
  • Fun - I didn't want to be behind another desk.
  • Different - something I could look forward to.
  • Lucrative - if I was going to be taking on an additional 20 hours, I wanted to make sure I was making more than minimum wage.
We were discussing all sorts of part time jobs: waiting on tables, hosting and bartending being on the top of my list. I have some bartending experience and I thought that I would focus my energy on finding a bartending job. I first thought I wanted to work in a bar-bar (a place that doesn't serve food) but I realized that those sorts of jobs were more difficult to come by. Then I entertained the idea of working in a high-end place. Then, while I was thinking of the few high-end restaurants in Hamburg, my Grandmother said, "How about the Water Valley?" I totally hadn't thought about them but it totally peaked my interest.

I came to work the next day, called the restaurant and asked if they had any bartending openings. The woman I spoke with said, "We might. We just had somebody go on vacation and we might be hiring someone to fill in for him before he returns. Why don't you stop in and pick up an application today." Well, if you know me, you know that I don't fill out applications unless I'm forced to. I'd much rather take the higher road and send a cover letter and a resume...which is what I did. I wrote my letter, found their fax number, and sent it to them within an hour or two. After work I drove over to the Water Valley Inn and the rest, as they say, is history...but I'll fill you in anyway:

I sat at the bar, ordered a drink, and asked the woman lighting candles if the manager/owner was working. She told me that she was the manager/owner and we started chatting. Her name is Debbie and she is very nice. Within minutes, she told me that she would call me the following Tuesday and set something looked like I would be their Tuesday Guy. (I know that this is getting long-winded...I'm just in the mood to elaborate.)

She ended up calling me and asking me to come in that Thursday (Jan. 4th) to "train". I told her I'd be happy to. I got there about 30 minutes early and she saw me and said, "OK, the bar's all yours...if you have any questions, just ask!" I kinda chuckled. Then, with anticipation and trepidation, I got behind the bar and made myself familiar with my new surroundings. Elaine, one of the nicest women I've ever met, showed me a few things (how to work the register; where the wine was; where the ice machine, etc. was; credit card machine...). I was then ready. It was a relatively slow night which was fine for me. After about an hour Mickey, Debbie's husband, showed up and judged me. Apparently I did a good job because he actually sat down and ate dinner with his daughter. I was really proud of myself: Day One, well done. Mickey asked me if I wanted to work on Saturday...I said yes.

Well, I won't go into too many more details but to say that my Tuesday Guy job is now a Tuesday-Sometimes-Thursday-and-Sunday-Guy job...and I love it.

I'll elaborate more eventually. All I have to say is that if you find yourself in Hamburg and you want some REALLY good food at a REALLY neat restaurant (they're the oldest operating restaurant in Hamburg...built in 1890), please come in and say HI. The prices are very reasonable, the food is phenomenal, and the bartender is really nice.


Anonymous said...

Very sweet sweet story love! Jess said she is probably going to be hanging out there with you a lot! Remember she was a full time bartender, so maybe she can give you some tips :0) Do you know how to make a mohito? If not, I'll tell you, Ben made them over christmas and they are delish!

Love you- kc

Chris said...

Hi Joe
Cograts on your new job, bartending is fun! What's nice about the WV is that it is not a late night place, you should be out of there by 10pm.Great food there too! My Fav the Seafood Bisque. I'll stop by to see you soon, Love Aunt Chris