I approached six Dallas bartenders with the intention of finding out what makes them tick, learning more about who they are when we're not bellied up to their bars, basically getting them to spill the tea, in our world, a martini. The criteria was not complicated. They needed to have a real life (some were not certain they did), bartend at their current location at least one year, make me a martini, give up the recipe, and allow me to take two photos of them - one as they work in their current establishment, and one as they do anything but work in their current establishment.
The questions are simple, painfully simple, and even redundant. But, if you've ever worked a day behind the bar, you know that the questions of patrons are painfully simple and redundant. That's why these interviews give us such a cool insight into the hearts and souls of some of Dallas' best bartenders.
So what happens if we ignore their words, and start listening to their face, their gestures, their words in between their words? We can all agree that the majority of communication is non-verbal, with some experts attributing as much as 93% of communication to body language and tone of voice, leaving only 7% to actual words. And this makes a lot of sense if you think about the success of a bartender in an often loud and fast paced environment.
The results are fantastic. As I re-read each interview, I smile, thinking about the interaction with each bartender. And I know that guests at their bar will get that same kind of interaction. It's why these bartenders have been at their current location for over a year, some of them close to a decade!
My challenge to you: look for the meta-communication!
And I didn't think about it this way in the beginning. But, as I look over these words and these exchanges, I suddenly realize something! Each of these bartenders is a Betty! A Betty (by a broad definition) is honest and brave, loyal and nurturing, witty and fun. She's balanced, quirky, open-minded, complex, and flawed. She's soulful and driven. And I think there's a little Betty in all of us.
Stay tuned for the conclusion where I'll include out-takes and feedback from blog-readers, bar patrons, and fellow bartenders!
A Betty (by a broad definition) is honest and brave, loyal and nurturing, witty and fun. She's balanced, quirky, open-minded, complex, and flawed. She's soulful and driven. And I think there's a little Betty in all of us.