Wednesday 7 October 2009

Essential skills

It's a strange world we live in. Working as a banker can earn you large amounts of cash and a reputation for deep wisdom, despite oceans of evidence to the contrary, while working behind a bar produces slim pickings and is often regarded as something you do until you get a proper job.

If social utility were taken into account, it would definitely be the other way around. Bartending is an essential and venerable profession, requiring a vast array of delicate skills, that can bring happiness and comfort to a lot of people, and that's something few bankers can claim to have done lately. And when the bar staff know what they're doing, as at the excellent Harp in Covent Garden, a good pub becomes a great one.

1 comment:

  1. This is exactly right. Who are among the happiest workers in Britain today? Hairdressers. Why? Instant, tangible results; customer interaction and feedback; a sense of achievement; some degree of autonomy over their work.

    In the dot com boom we got carried away with the possibilities of new technology. We still over-estimate "knowledge workers" and under-rate skilled manual workers who keep their customers happy.

    Here's to the competent bartender. An important person doing a difficult job under pressure.