I ate dinner tonight in a restaurant I used to bartend and manage. I’d worked there for three and a half years and left under terms that were less than ideal. I was in the neighborhood and a friend of mine was working, so I felt compelled (probably too strong a word, but it works) to stop in and at least say hi. Once inside any weirdness I feared I would feel never materialized and I had a pleasant enough dinner (though the food wasn’t as good as I had remembered).
I have more ex-jobs than ex-girlfriends (six of the latter and who-knows-how-many of the former). I don’t have any idea if this is normal, but it makes for a interesting trail of bars, restaurants, lounges and night clubs stretching literally from coast (L.A.) to coast (NYC) with more than a few stops in between (mostly Chicago).
The thing about bartending for me (and restaurant work in general) is that it sometimes doesn’t feel like I’ve had dozens of jobs, but rather that I’ve had one long job and I’ve just been transferred a bunch of times. I can’t say the same for personal relationships in that each one has felt so different and I feel that I’ve learned something at every stop along the way to wedded bliss (seriously) and fatherhood.
Bartending is not unlike the movie Groundhog Day; each day seems eerily like the last. Though the faces may change, the income fluctuate and the decorations get occasional alterations, it’s basically the same shit day after day after mind-numbing, soul-sucking, spirit-crushing day.
If I was religious I would think I was in purgatory (assuming they hadn’t canceled it).