7 Times Working in a Pub Feels Like Groundhog Day

by Katie Sawyer, 4 minutes read
HOME blog 7 times working in a pub feels like groundhog day

After a while, anyone who works in a pub will start to feel like they’re living a twisted version of the movie “Groundhog Day.” The same things that put your patrons in that tipping mood can put you in a different mood altogether.

If you’ve heard “Wagon Wheel” one too many times, or you feel like you’ll lose your stack the next time a server asks for New Year’s Eve off, you’re not alone. Read on for seven things that make pub managers feel like they’re trapped in a cruel time loop — and the secret to making pub life less frustrating.

1. You’ve been listening to the same playlist on repeat

Using carefully designed playlists is a tried and true method to boost bar sales. It’s also a proven method for breaking enemy combatants during “enhanced interrogation.”

Creating a playlist is one of the few times as a manager that you get to express your inner artist. You might even get a high five or two from the staff when you first spin up those 50 handpicked songs on a busy weekend night.

Revel while you can in the glow of your mix-tape masterwork, because it won’t be long before you’re waking up in a cold sweat with the tune of “Sweet Caroline” echoing in your head.

It’s unknown how many service industry workers have suffered irreparable psychological damage from the torture inflicted by the stale playlist.

For the love of humanity, at least put it on shuffle.

2. Half the bar crew asks off for New Year’s Eve

No time-off requests on major holidays. It says it right in the employee manual.

Scheduling is a pain, especially when it comes to holidays. The whole team wants the night off, but someone has to work.

They’re not going to be happy and, as a manager, you know you’re going to hear about it. That’s why you get paid the big bucks, right?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to let your team swap shifts?

3. Your bartenders’ aunts keep dying on Superbowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday has become one of the biggest holidays in the U.S. It’s also a favorite day to call out sick from work.

The first time you hear the death-in-the-family excuse, it’s compelling no matter what holiday it aligns with. How could you be so callous as to make someone work when their loved one has just passed away?

By the time you hear about your barback’s fifth dead grandmother, though, things no longer seem to be adding up.

4. The sloppy scene of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

You’ve ordered green beads to hang around the bar. You’ve stocked up on Guinness and Bailey’s. You’ve loaded up your playlists. You’re opening early and it’s time to let patrons in to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

The first few hours go by normally. A few people are pounding the drinks, but overall it’s actually fun to work on St. Patrick’s Day. How can you not smile when you hear an upbeat Irish jig?

But by mid-afternoon, the mood changes. Everyone is slurring their words. Multiple people claimed to have lost their cellphones (which are in their back pocket where they left it), and you have to keep going into the toilets to clean up after the people who have thrown up.

If only the luck of the Irish could have kept you home today. Unfortunately, your patrons never learn that there’s a price for celebrating too hard.

5. The awkward first date

Here’s to all the singles getting out there. Whether they matched on the apps or locked eyes in the supermarket, they’re playing out their first date in your pub.

How many times have you heard these lines?

  • “So, when you’re not working, what do you do for fun?”
  • “Beach or mountains?”
  • “How long have you been in the city?”
  • “What are you watching on Netflix right now?”

By this point, you can pretty much tell exactly how the date is going to go. Are they meant to be? Or is the date going to be a complete fail?

The worst is when someone gets stood up. Sad to say, you’ve seen it a number of times. Good thing you have a special drink to cheer up the lonely hearts in the pub.

6. The guy who leaves his card at the bar every Saturday night

“Yes, Mr. Alexandar. You did leave your card here. Again.”

Have you ever thought about tiling your kitchen floor with forgotten credit cards from the bar? Between the cards that are actually left behind, and the phone calls you receive looking for cards that were lost outside of your pub, you could open a bank.

It doesn’t matter how many signs you have posted reminding people to close their tabs. Or how many announcements you make at closing time. It wouldn’t be the end of your shift if you didn’t turn off the lights with a handful of credit cards missing their owners.

7. “Are you still open?”

One minute after closing time, every night:

You: “The door is locked. The sign is off. No, we’re not still open.”

Them: “Can I just use the bathroom?”

When work on repeat is just what you’re looking for

When you work in a pub, it’s easy to get lost in the repetitive and monotonous rhythm of the day-to-day. And while sometimes you can’t change the events of pub life, you can make the admin work in a pub less frustrating.

Automate your mundane scheduling so you can enjoy the rest of your day. Try a free trial of Deputy to see why pub owners lift a glass to advanced workforce management.