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bartender’s blues

I’m a bartender. I used to do it full time when I was younger. Then I got married, had a son, and I wanted something with better hours and more benefits. So I did the corporate thing. Worked in a cube for a while. Got a bunch of promotions. Then, last year I got laid off. I put my resume out there, and in the meantime picked up a shift tending bar. I’ve only gotten a few bites on the resume for the “serious” job. Nothing too exciting. But as far as the bartending goes—I realize I still love it. And I’m good at it.

So good, I got an offer to pick up more shifts at a bar just down the street. Money-wise, it’s a better gig, and I’m not in a position to turn down extra money. My wife has a good job working full time and I don’t feel like sitting around, doing nothing while waiting for call-backs that may or may not come. Problem is, the owner of the bar I’m working at won’t give me more shifts. I’ve asked more than once. Fine. But I’ve gotta work. And I know he has problems with the bar down the street, so I don’t know how he’ll react, but I’m thinking I have to say yes to the other gig and let the chips fall.

What do you say I should do?


The Omniscient One says: Be up front about it and don’t just let your current bar owner hear about you working elsewhere from some customer. Tell the place your at now that you were offered shifts down the street. If you’re a popular bartender you’ll probably bring customers from down the street back to his place, and vice versa, which is a good thing for everyone. You will either get offered more shifts or told you can’t work at both places. If it’s the latter then the owner where you work now is controlling jerk and you shouldn’t work there anyway.

The Sales Guy says: If you’ve asked for more shifts and have been rebuffed, and you’re working part-time, it’s your right to go anywhere the grass is greener. Its up to your employer to step up to keep you, especially if you’re as good a mixologist as you claim to be. May the tips be bountiful wherever you land.

The Saltwater Tart says: No contest. Business is business and you have to take care of your own. Ease on down the road.

Smart Money says: Honesty is always the bet policy. Maybe this will help ease the problems between the two businesses. Local shops need to work together to improve neighborhoods and business. Good luck!

The Back Room Guy says: Tell your boss that you got a job offer from the bar down the street. Be honest, maybe he’ll want to keep you around and offer you more hours. Or maybe he’ll fire you and you’ll be stuck with the few hours at this new bar, but at least you’ll be at a better paying job, and maybe some more hours will open up there in the near future. Looks like you’re actually in a good position to negotiate with these bar owners and come out ahead of the game.

The Bookie says: You ain’t working at sports bars, are ya? I can tell ‘cause if you were you’d know that what you do when you’ve got skills is you take them to the team that’s gonna give you the most money. That’s what it’s all about, my friend. That’s what it’s all about.

Guy spends his whole career taking a team to the Super Bowl, whatever...the World Series...I don’t care. There’s some other team out there offering more money, that guy’s gonna go.

Why do they do it? Because they live in the real world, my friend. Some schmuck says he’s going to finish out his career with the home team, playing for the fans he loves—that man is a sucker.

Here’s what happens. That bonehead gets too comfortable. He starts looking forward to the day that he can retire as a hometown commercials for a car dealership or whatever because he’s so well-loved in town. Bullshit. That guy gets lazy. Steps out on the field, and because he’s coasting, he gets blindsided with a hit that knocks his brain clean out of his helmet and into next month. All he can talk about from then on is how much he likes ice cream. Or he gets beaned in the face with a fastball. Poof. Not so telegenic then, prettyboy.

Follow the money, my friend.

Ask Anyone is local advice for locals with problems. Send your questions for our panel of experts to

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