A Tale From The Frontlines

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Credit to Will M for the picture

I was a server at the Portland Craft Beer Fest on Sunday-I’ll have a writeup of beers I tried later this week-and for the most part, it was a very good experience. The staff was on top of everything, the volunteer servers remained in pretty good cheer despite many kegs pouring foamy and for the most part, attendees were understanding and good humored.

Now, when I pour at a festival I try my best to hit the pour line. Getting under is bad-people will rightfully complain. Getting a little over, no one has said anything bad to me yet. But when I hit the line? That feels pretty good. A rare moment when I just nail it.

It isn’t my goal to hit the line and ONLY the line. A little generosity goes a long way, especially when you’ve been standing in line for a beer. But sometimes, I just hit the line and that feels good.

So when this older fellow holds up his mug critically and then gives me the eye, I tell him:  “It’s to the line,” and he wordlessly sneers and walks away, he’s not doing himself any favors.

His ladyfriend in an orange top snipes at me, “They don’t pay you enough.”

“You’re right!” I say. She is confused. As though she does not know what the word “volunteer” means.

“And the marketing sucks.”

So I smile my biggest, beamingest smile and stare back at her. The beer is poured and this conversation is over. She haughtily turns her shoulders and walks away. And I thumb the fuck outta my nose at her.

But you know what? I could’ve just raised my hand and told the staff that “These people have had to much to drink: they shouldn’t be served further.” Because I’ve been told by the staff that if, for any reason I don’t think I should serve someone, they will have my back. And a shitty attitude is a prime example of drunken behavior. Don’t you think?

Be nice. We are here to help you. Do not fuck with us.

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