My husband drags me around (kicking and screaming, lol) to a bunch of tiny neighborhood dives for happy hour, and there is a trend that I have been noticing for the past few years that has been getting worse and worse: Blob Girl Bartenders. They look blobby, have zero personality, have their noses stuck in their phones 24/7, their bars are always sticky and filthy, and it is impossible to get a beer from them.
When you do finally get their attention you notice the vacant look in their eyes; there’s no working brain back there. The rare male bartender doesn’t have this problem, isn’t constantly checking his phone and will actually get you a beer. I’m not sure where all of the male bartenders went, but all of our bars are now almost completely staffed by blob girls for happy hour; maybe the male bartenders work the higher paying night shifts (we aren’t out at night).
Back in the day, before smart phones, the bartender would be forced to engage the public out of sheer boredom. Since they weren’t able to check their facebook status constantly, they would talk to their customers and might even notice that their customer’s drinks were low. Shocking, I know!
Bartenders were part of the bar-going entertainment and the more entertaining the bartender, the fuller the bar, the more drinks sold, and the more money the bartender makes. There used to be this concept of cultivating a clientele so that when you went to work you stayed busy and made money, but these girls are just putting in their time behind the bar. They are bored and boring.
I want to shake them and tell them to engage their customers and make money! If I have to be somewhere I don’t want to be, I want to make as much money there as humanly possible. I don’t understand working somewhere where you rely on sales for income and not making those sales or income. Why bother showing up in the first place?
The sad thing about this trend is that I’m pretty sure that these girls are incapable of engaging a customer. Some of them we have known for years and have never had a conversation. They were raised on social media and communicating online and may not even be able to carry on a conversation in person. I wouldn’t know; I’ve never seen them even try.
Some of the blob girls will advance to bar manager, and then they hire even blobbier girls to bartend. It is like they barely scraped together enough gumption to make it to manager, and they don’t want competition, yet they need a consistent warm body behind the bar. But they don’t want that warm body to outshine them in any way, so they hire women who are even more bovine and cud-chewing than themselves.
There are woman bartenders with a work ethic and pleasing personality, but they are very rare around here. There is also a bar staffed purely by males, and they are entertaining, clean, and efficient. When a bartender stops to refill a drink, wipe down a part of the bar or empty an ashtray, those are all excellent opportunities to engage their customers and compel those customers to return.
When a bartender has her nose in her phone, she doesn’t notice the empty drink, the mess on the bar, and the full ashtray. She misses a chance to get to know her customers and to cultivate a working relationship with them. She misses the chance to ply her trade and make more money. I don’t think that Blob Girls are exclusive to the bar industry either; I think that they are everywhere, in every sort of job, watching the clock and doing the least work possible until they can finally leave. Please don’t be a Blob!