I have a super anal-retentive manager I work with at the bar. I actually really like her. I have never met anyone that is so by the book. I mean, she doesn’t budge. For example, if she sees me pour ONE DRINK without a jigger, she gets on me. For 12 years of my bartending career, I never used a jigger. But when I got this job at a hotel bar, I HAD to start using it. It was definitely a learning curve. But now I’m used to it. I kind of understand the positive side to it. With a jigger, every drink is the same. There’s a consistency to it. Without it, it can be all over the map, depending on who you’re pouring for. Sure, back in the day, if a friend came up, who treats me right in the tip dept, I’d pour it heavy. My thought is, I’d rather someone comment that the drink is too strong, rather than too weak. However, when you are required to use a jigger, every drink is made the same. Ok, ok, I do do a little trick in front of the customer. I’ll pour the liquor into the jigger, but when I pour it into the glass, I’ll keep on pouring into the jigger as it tips, making it a little bit stronger. People watch, and appreciate it. At the end of the day, because of this kindness, the “guest” will probably drink more if they believe they’re getting a good drink, and put more money in the register.
I have had a number of meetings with my “by the book” manager, and I have to say, I always learn a little something from them. My manager is truly smart, knows the service industry, and throws at me some profound thoughts. She cares, and that’s inspiring. When you have a manager that doesn’t care, it can be a shit show. But she’ll bring up the most minute things that “I need to work on.” Sometimes they’re so ridiculously small, that I have to laugh. But I’ve grown to take her comments in stride. That’s not to say she doesn’t annoy the hell out of me. But like I said, she occasionally says profound things that make me think. And it can be the simplest of concepts.
The other day, we’re having a meeting, and we’re discussing the stringent rules of the hotel. There’s a reason why this hotel is so successful, and part of the reason is that the employees have to step up, and follow the rules. Otherwise, bye-bye. So in this meeting, she says,
Why WOULDN’T you follow the rules?
I had to say it back to her. Hmm. Why WOULD’NT you follow the rules? Brilliant with the simplicity of it. There is no rational reason why you wouldn’t follow the rules. You learn the rules, you follow the rules, and then for the most part, your job is secured. You don’t? Well, there’s going to be a problem. And as most of you know, without rules, there’s chaos.
So why wouldn’t you follow the rules?
I don’t know. You tell me, non-jigger pourers out there.