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  #1  
Old 08-22-12, 12:52 AM
NoteToSelf <3 NoteToSelf <3 is offline
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To quit or not to quit?

I just started a new job bartending at the local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) serving older veterans. Granted, I was hesitant because I know I can get frazzled and scatterbrained in some situations given past experiences as a waitress. Well, I thought I'd try it out since I've always wanted to do it, and have always wanted to learn.

I've been on the job for about five days now, and have decided that perhaps it is not for me. I have quite a bit of trouble remembering some things, and when the bar is filled with people, it's hard to concentrate and not get frazzled. It is imperative at this job to know all the regulars, all their names, and even in time have their drink ready for them when they walk in the door.

Shifts are usually solo as well, and I KNOW I could not handle a shift if it was as busy as I've seen it get. My sister tells me that I should not quit and just find ways to cope. Well I've tried writing a lot of things down, even some peoples names and the drinks they drink. I just feel stupid a lot. Forgetful. Scatterbrained. So I'm thinking I should probably find something else. Unless anyone thinks I can cope somehow....
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Old 08-22-12, 06:37 AM
Verile Verile is offline
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Re: To quit or not to quit?

If you have a smartphone I'd add them to a list you can pull up with their drink right next to their name and prioritized by how well they tip and how often they come. Your working memory and short term memory might suck but over time with enough exposure to the regulars it'll worm its way into your long term.

It's doable. And it'll get easier with time. The question is can you stick with it long enough to reach that point?
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  #3  
Old 08-22-12, 11:48 AM
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Re: To quit or not to quit?

I had this exact same job when I was in college. I would bring home like $150 per night in tips and the customers were really nice. I kept a list of the drinks and people's names, which helped tremendously. Things got easier after the first week or 2 and the money was great! You may want to try it out for another week or 2!! Good luck!!
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Old 08-23-12, 03:56 PM
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Re: To quit or not to quit?

Hang in there for a little while longer.

In the meantime, just imagine the most simple (and sometimes seemingly "dumb") thing you can do to help you stay organized.

Write down orders and names and times order were taken?

Write names and shirt colors of each person ordering ....or indicate where they're sitting ... their age, etc ... so you can find them ...

Cross off names as each drink is handed out.

I'm not recommending these exact moves, but I'm recommending that you experiment with whatever will help YOU keep organized. Nothing is too weird, nothing is off limits if it can help you get it done. And techniques that might help me may not be what will help you. So YOU have to develop a system that fits YOU.

One trick: when someone is giving you an order, see if you can really slow down ... Slowing down allows your brain just a second to think ... and can get you out of panic mode. Once you go into panic mode, then all strategizing goes out the window ...

And it's OK if you find out that this type of job is just too confusing for you. That's fine. Good to find that out. Don't label yourself a failure ... Lots of people who are super successful couldn't juggle the duties you're now trying to juggle.

Good luck.

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Old 08-26-12, 01:04 PM
ChucksHighTops ChucksHighTops is offline
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Re: To quit or not to quit?

Don't quit. Don't beat yourself up. Accept that you're at a new job and this is part of the territory.

1) Don't be afraid to ask for names. If they're regulars, they'll understand that you're the new guy.

2) Repeat the name to the customer, "Great to meet you Mike."

3) Once you've acquired the name, write it three times either on paper or in your head and associate it with one or more characteristics. I would recommend a physical feature - I'd be big forehead Charlie and - the drink order is probably the best thing. It sounds like you haven't figured out how to make the name meaningful beyond an order and a the sound of syllables that make the name. Invest yourself personally in them and they'll tend to do the same in you.

4) The most important thing you can do is talk. Get to know these regulars and find out their stories from them and from your co-workers. How long have they been at this bar? Why did they choose this particular joint?

5) Check out this site.
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Old 08-27-12, 10:36 PM
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Re: To quit or not to quit?

Thank you everyone for your replies! I appreciate it.

I must say, I had quite an awful day this morning. I work at 9am, am not use to being up this early, have horrible sleeping patterns/habits that I have never been able to fix.... so I was working on four hours of sleep today, and did horribly. I forgot so much, counted money wrong, dropped a glass, forgot what people had to drink, etc..... it was so embarrassing and I just feel stupid. Granted, when I am on, I am on. At least that has proven to be the case once or twice. But I feel like my confidence has gone out the window. And some of the people who come in aren't the nicest, especially when you mess something up. They all must think I am stupid.

I am still debating what to do now... I don't know. I feel like it shouldn't take this LONG for someone to get things DOWN in a new job. The other new person seems to be doing fine. My boss seems to believe in me but he said I need to believe in myself. I know I need to do that, but it is so hard sometimes, especially since I don't know how to talk with people really.

I just find myself doing random dumb things, sometimes in a weird senseless order. I feel like the people are watching me and wondering what the heck I'm doing sometimes. And then I get really discouraged, lose confidence, and mess up more.
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Old 08-27-12, 11:38 PM
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Re: To quit or not to quit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoteToSelf <3 View Post
I feel like the people are watching me and wondering what the heck I'm doing sometimes. And then I get really discouraged, lose confidence, and mess up more.
They're not. For better or worse no one really pays attention to what other people do. Just chalk it up to being over self concious.
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Old 08-27-12, 11:41 PM
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Re: To quit or not to quit?

Give yourself a break and try your best!


I remember my first job at a coffee shop. Oh my. So many drinks, so few hands and brain capacity.

Once the process is in your long term memory, it will be a lot easier. You are using up all your working memory right now and it is exhausting and easy to make mistakes. Hang in there.
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Old 08-28-12, 12:08 AM
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Re: To quit or not to quit?

CheekyMonkey is right, I remember when I first started working in diagnostics. My first day of training I was working on a $200K piece of equipment, and I had no clue as to how it worked or what it did. I was SOOO nervous and kept thinking "why did decide to work here, I can't do this!" Then, it happened! I pulled off a hose that supplied the machine with De-ionized water and it sprayed ALL OVER the machine. Not only mine but every machine in the room! lol. Everyone laughed at me all day. I stuck with it though, and ended up becomming the top Field Service guy in my Area! One thing I found is that you need to calm down. Like CheekyMonkey said, it will all come in time and become 2nd nature. Also, do research, while off. Look up some tips on youtube that might help you out. You'll be fine and it sounds like you have a very supportive boss...which is a major plus!
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Old 08-29-12, 02:42 AM
NoteToSelf <3 NoteToSelf <3 is offline
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Re: To quit or not to quit?

Again, thank you for your replies. Tonight was a great night for working.... mostly because I'm not a morning person and am much more awake on a night shift, as well as well fed ;p

I have one other inquiry. I seem to have a hard time hearing/understanding what some people are saying. These people are mostly ones who don't talk clearly and have speech impediments. It is really embarrassing to keep having to ask, "what?" When everyone looks at me like I should know what they're saying. I'm either deaf or really can't pay close enough attention to what these people are saying, all I hear is muffle sometimes.

That was probably the only embarrassing thing that happened today. But still embarrassing nonetheless. I am thinking of asking my boss if I could have more night shifts, since I am working mostly mornings for this entire month. But he's already made out all of September's schedule...
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