Workers in the restaurant industry sit on the boundary of culinary arts and hospitality to the outside world. In this segment of Server Says, AY About You sits down with Chess Green, Senior Bartender at Faded Rose. Green has been bartending since 1995 and has spent the last 20 years at Faded Rose.

 

Green starts his night shift by making sure that everything is stocked and prepared for a busy evening. Then he’ll begin making drinks as customers come in. Green’s personal favorite drink is a vodka soda or a Jameson, depending on his mood and how his shift went. 

 

If an uncertain guest is unsure of what to order, Green will recommend a classic. 

 

“A lot of people like Cosmopolitans, so that’s usually my first go-to. When I worked in Manhattan, Sex in the City was on TV, so I ended up making thousands of them,” Green said. “But it really depends on what flavor profiles a customer likes. We sell more beer and wine than anything, and our clientele is more of a gin and tonic, Jack and Coke kind of crowd.” 

 

Working in the food industry can be hard on the feet, legs and back. Green shared some of his footwear secrets for alleviating pain.

 

“I’ve switched back and forth on shoe brands over the years. I’ve gone from New Balance to Sketchers Comfort Fit for non-slip environments. Sketchers is my favorite. I’ve used Dr. Schols in the past too, and they really helped,” Green said.

 

Green shared some of the skills needed to be a good member of the food industry.

 

“You’ve got to be able to multitask and keep your cool. You can show anybody how to make a drink, but can you make it fast? Do you have a certain personality? Because you’ve got to keep a pleasant disposition even when someone is being difficult,” Green said.

 

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Green shared more information about some of those not-so-nice experiences. 

 

“Sometimes, you can be doing five things at once, and someone will think that they’re the only person in the room. They can get under your skin, but you have to add them to the rotation of things that you’re doing. They don’t get special treatment,” Green said. “You’ve also got to monitor people who are starting to have too much to drink and are not getting along with other people at the bar. It can be hard to referee when you’ve got other things to do. That’s where multitasking comes into play.”

 

Fortunately, Green has had plenty of good customer experiences, too. 

 

“I’ve been at the Faded Rose for so long that I’ve got 20 years of regulars and good customers who have even been there longer than me,” Green said. “And when I came in, they accepted me and took me in. They get the same thing every time and you catch up on conversation. It can be hard, though, because sometimes a regular customer that you liked a lot passes away. That’s the downside of loving this industry and having a long career in it.”

 

Some people say that working in the food industry is not a real job. Green shared his thoughts on that. 

 

“Nobody’s said that to me in a long, long, long time because I obviously disagree. I challenge anyone to come into Faded Rose when we’re really busy and take care of multiple tables and take orders and seat people and make drinks and keep the peace and then say that’s not a real job,” Green said. “Not everybody has the same opportunities in life, to go to college and choose their own career path. This is my real job because I couldn’t sit in a cubicle. This is what keeps me grounded, because I’m doing something I love and I’ve turned it into a living. It’s a win-win.”

 

Lastly, Green shared some of the life lessons that he’s learned from a career in bartending. 

 

“Everybody’s going through something. Everybody’s got stuff they’re dealing with. And some people – not everybody – that’s why they drink. You don’t always know what a person’s going through. Sometimes, people will tell their bartender about it, and it’s your job to respect peoples’ privacy. You have to. When you’re here long enough, your customers become your friends. You start to know their kids and then their grandkids. It’s so important to help them talk through what’s going on – if they’re willing. Or, at the very least, make them an incredible drink.”

 

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