AMY GAETZ

  • Age: 23 /
  • Born: Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • OCCUPATION: HEAD BARTENDER & EDUCATION STUDENT AT MEMORIAL UNIVERSITY /
  • Hours: 10-15 PER Week /
  • Salary: $200 PER SHIFT

“A COUPLE TIMES A NIGHT, YOU MIGHT HAVE TO CUT SOMEONE OFF,” SAYS GAETZ. “I HAVE A PATIENCE WHICH I GUESS IS HELPING ME WITH MY CAREER NOW. IT IS HARD SOMETIMES AND IT FRUSTRATING, BUT YOU JUST HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT.”

Landed the job

Handing in a resume based on the recommendation of a mutual connection. Had an interview a few days later, and started the next weekend.

Responsibilities

Setting up bar, makes drinks, serves customers, scrubs down sticky counters, counts and balances cash.

Monthly expenses

Car, insurance, rent, heat and light, cable.

Best part

Meeting people.

Most challenging

The late nights. “It can get really tiresome.”

Future plans

Elementary school teacher.

Enjoys earnings

Getting around the city with a 2008 VW Golf. She says having the job has paid for her education. She says she is debt free and has no loans. “I definitely thought I would be taking out a loan out at some point, but it hasn’t come to that point and I don’t think it will,” says Gaetz.

WHAT THE BOSS SAYS

Hiring young bartenders with enough pizzazz to deal with drunk customers on George Street in St. John’s isn’t always easy. “I can honestly say I’ve had employees cry on my shoulder at one time or another,” says Peter Brushett, general manager of The Martini Bar.

He says it’s important staff know they should never put themselves in an uncomfortable situation. “Everyone is there to have each other’s back. We will always protect you. Security is here to protect customers and the staff and will be there and handle the situation.”

“Amy has a great attitude. She definitely draws customers to her. And makes them happy. Makes them enjoy their experience. Makes them want to come back again,” says Brushett adding that up to 500 people a night enter the bar on any given weekend night.

But he says the bar has a higher employee turnover rate and people like Gaetz are getting more difficult to find. “A lot of that has to do with people finishing university and moving on, people getting into the industry, and realizing that school work comes first, and moving out of the industry.”

Bartenders in a smartphone age

Brushett says the young people looking for work either come in, and they’re ready for it and they’re full of energy and they’re gung ho and they do a great job.” Or Brushett says, “They just don’t want to be there.”

He says there is a lot of opportunity to make money, but it depends on how hard the person is willing to work. “I wouldn’t go so far as to say they have a poor work ethic,” he says.

“Attention span is probably the biggest thing that I would notice with today’s generation ... I think that comes from the whole smartphone, PlayStation age.”

He says he catches employees on their phones, but usually tries to deal with the problem casually. “The funny answer is that I’ve actually threatened to be the high school teacher that's going to take them [the phones] and lock them in the desk until the end of the night,” he says.

“Generally, I am more polite than that. I’ll go up just remind them that it doesn’t look good in front of the customer, please put that away.”