Glass collecting in a bar- how long before I move up??? Watch

rodgers666
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Right. Although I do not consider myself a true 'whinger' when it comes to work, I have to draw the line a little here- at least, as far as I can see.

I've found a job now, and it's a pound or two over minimum wage for my age so I can't really complain on that front, as I have little prior experience to offer in the field.. I flit between bars in a couple of nearby towns as they are all owned by the same overseeing landlord. My job title? Glass collector. And I have absolutely nothing against the title itself; every work slot has to be filled by someone, I get that, and I would never look at someone with something I considered a highly 'menial' job in a derogatory way because I appreciate it all HAS to be done.

The thing that's just not sitting right with me is that I've been at the flippin glasses for close to 4 months now. When I first started the job, I was told I'd be given training to work on the bar within the first MONTH. And in all honesty, even that surprised me when I first started out. Before the job I had no idea that glass collecting was even a 'thing'. My CV, which they read and accepted, was tailored to suggest an express interest in work as a BARTENDER. But, as aforementioned, it's getting close to Christmas now and I began the job mid-august. The work I do at the moment is de-meaning, tiring, often completely unnecessary (during dry spells in the pub)... and the thing that's bugging me most of all is that I KNOW I HAVE A LOT MORE TO GIVE. All I get is disgruntled looks, and at times outright aggression from the mostly moronic clientele (who seem to consider me some kind of strange simpleton, who creeps around the pub, seeking and stashing everyone's backwashy glasses for some unknown reason), barked orders from the 'higher-up' bar staff, snidey remarks from the bouncers and a prolonged- and progressively more distinct- suspicion that life is getting more futile by the day.

Even weirder is the fact that I already crossed the bartending threshold a few weeks ago. It went absolutely fine, and I made what I, and some of the other bartenders, considered a 'strong start' at the game. Sure, I fluffed a couple of orders as I'm a complete rookie, but I was measured and interactive (and, most of all, smiley) with the customers. I just don't know what more you could want from a new recruit. This continued for a few more shifts, until one night recently, mid-shift, my regional manager suddenly turned on me. 'Just stick to glassing for now, mate'. No further explanation than that was given. I did as he said for that shift, but assumed things would go back 'to normal' next time, so on the next shift I tried my luck on the bar again. (BEARING IN MIND there was already another collector about bringing the glasses in, and we were by NO stretch of the imagination 'swamped' on that particular night). The manager saw, and repeated what he said last time, with a slightly darker, threatening undertone to his voice this time. So I stopped.

And since then, I've just had to go back to square one. All the progress I was making doing what I'd actually went in to do forgotten, and most likely wasted. The staff actually seem to be getting more and more hostile with me as well, for some reason. Almost as though they look down on the fact that I'm still 'below them' and haven't progressed yet- although I've been nothing but pro-active in trying to assist them, and even came in off my own steam a couple nights, unpaid, to try and snag some more experience on the bar. I sense a very negative presence, as though people are constantly taking the mickey behind my back, and the 'banter' from the staff towards my lowly rank occasionally just downright hurts my feelings.

It's a family run business, so I expect substantially more unprofessional from the off than a chain towards this sort of circumstance. Rambling aside, my underlying question, to anyone with any form of experience in a bar, is this- is there actually something very wrong here, or am I just whinging??? I seriously can't help but feel I'm being taken for a mug- but I need to keep the job as I've got some serious bills to pay now, and would like some closure before taking it to the 'top' as I don't want to risk upsetting my employers- who could probably replace me in the blink of an eye.

I really do have a desire to progress with the pub- as ****tily as they've treated me so far- as it's a good music venue, and I'm a musician myself. Plus, I think serving and talking with the customers is something I'd genuinely be good at, and WANT to do. Not only that, but I now kinda just wanna give them all a middle finger, and prove I am capable of carrying out their precious little position- most likely, a lot better than them, given time and experience. And let's face it, serving drinks, and welcoming customers - albeit, professionally- isn't exactly flaming rocket science is it.
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ThrashMetal
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I'm guessing your manager already has enough bartenders and glass collectors and everything is going smoothly for him. That's atleast how it works where I work, I am a bartender in a hotel and my job title is Bartender / Banqueting staff. I haven't done any banqueting yet but I've worked in the kitchen a few times if the kitchen staff are ill and thought the same as you, it's degrading. But in reality if you can show your flexible you should get more shifts etc.

Have you spoken to your boss or colleagues about this?
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nic-nac
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I worked in a café. It was made clear that to begin with I would only be doing cover work for people ill/on holiday. Although the manager gave people plenty of time off for exam revision and my exams finished before most others, so I was in a lot. However, I never actually took/served an order myself. I was trained and went round with the most experienced person, but the closest I got was taking the food/drink out to my boyfriend and his mum as my supervisor had realised that I knew them so trusted me to do it on my own. I was there for a couple of months, but mainly cleared tables and washed dishes.
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rodgers666
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Spoke to my Dad a bit about it; he agrees I'm being treated poorly and unprofessionally by my overseers, but suggests the sad fact is there probably just isn't an opening for another bartender at the moment. Which, now I think about it, is true- although if I was in charge of the pub, I'd probably implement a simple rotation system to keep staff from getting de-motivated and reduce unnecessary staff turnover for the business. One week, I'm on glasses. Next, the bar etc. and same for everyone else . Aside from the manager, obvs. May suggest that to them, but doubt they'll give a ****


The things I'd do... *shaking fist @ no one*
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SillyEddy
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From my experience it's usually down to age when people go from glass collecting to bartending. 1-3 months is usually more than enough to start training. Even in high end cocktail bars they would want you to be independent and able to run the place in under 6 months.

Perhaps speak to your boss about it and discuss it. Is there a particular day of the week which is really quiet? If so, ask if you can try out some bar duties then and train up. Use the excuse of Christmas as a positive one - Christmas is busy and sometimes you need extra staff to hop on for an hour or two just when demand reaches its peak, so being trained now would let you help out when they need it.


If it doesn't improve after Christmas then consider finding a different job if that's the type of work you would rather do. Christmas temp work will be available now if you feel like looking and trying to get another job, but expect positions to close soon after the new year. Jobs typically open up around the summer when students are going to university or getting back.
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rodgers666
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But this is the strange thing about it - at least to a competent extent, I can already work/ serve drinks at the bar. Not only that but I'm fully able to close it all down again, replace all stock, change barrels, clean everywhere up etc... They've seen that I can already do what's required to be a barman and they've chosen to ignore it and stick me on glasses, seemingly permanently, without any explanation or timescale as to when I can expect to be promoted.

You are right, my next step, I suppose, must be taking it to the manager. This was only my first port of call as I didn't want to structure an argument, get all piped up for the battle only to be told I'd missed something really obvious and important out and look like an ungrateful ******* ("how can you expect to become a barman before you've passed your BTEC National Glass Collecting exam on November 4th??? We've already told you this but you obviously weren't listening. Ur fired")
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Tbh I think I might already be getting a part time thing on at Maccy Ds now as well for supps. I'm awaiting a reply but the OJE went well and he said it was likely they'd call back yaaaay

Thanks for the input anyway guys; as well as anything else I think this has been a pretty vital de-stressing exercise for me ! Take it eeeeaassaaaaayy
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