Beyond the Beers is for Men… just getting that out of the way up front, this post is for men. Not like exclusively, there’s no stonecutting tools or secret handshakes here, it’s just about blokes and something maybe a bit more serious than our usual posts.
You know when you sit down with your mates, if it’s after a shift behind the bar or just after work at a pub somewhere there’s two things that happen; beer and talking shit. Sometimes it’s real stuff, like how awesome the business is going to be when you get enough customers coming through the door, sometimes it’s surface stuff like how much you hated your last shift. How often is it serious or deep stuff?
Normally we have to go 3 or 4 beers in before we feel comfortable enough to say something that’s not just a joke or complaint. This is while we’re sitting there with our mates, the people closest to us. How guilty do you feel trying to say “My relationship is seriously broken and I don’t know what to do. Help me.” or “I’m fucking scared, my job is shit, I have loads of debt and I think I’ve finally found someone but I’m not good enough.” without at least a few pints in you?
We act like our friends don’t need to hear this stuff. We tell ourselves they have their own shit to deal with and we should just man up and deal with it. What’s worse is when there’s something seriously amazing to share – like a baby on the way or that hobby you love so much is actually good enough to start your first business with – we don’t say shit, we feel like we have to hide it and only tell one friend who then takes it on themselves to tell everyone and get them to buy a round for you.
Guys of the world, we kind of suck at one thing that makes us human. Talking to each other.
Why Are We Talking Beyond the Beers?
I know this might feel really random on this blog but the fact is hospitality is so often a lifestyle of observing people using alcohol as a crutch to start conversations so we should know better. Whats worse is instead we are so fatigued with human interaction at the end of a shift we then go out and cope with our own shit by “letting loose”.
The other week a good mate was telling me, as though it was totally normal, that to get through the day at the bar/restaurant he was doing lines of cocaine, lots of them. It’s how he dealt with the hangover from the staff knock-off drinks the night before…
This isn’t some random deal, this shit happens a lot more than we all pretend. It’s not all coke (powdered) to deal with our hangover when we knew we were going to be working, sometimes it’s as simple as coke (liquid) in excess to try and stay awake on a late night shift. We abuse our bodies and minds so hard just to let go of whatever shit we dealt with at work.
In an industry that seems to make it OK for (some) customers to treat you like dirt, bosses to not pay you, hours to randomly go from a 9 p.m. finish to 3 a.m. trying to kick the customers out while they’re trying to fight you, you’d think maybe there’d be some kind of support. There’s not. It’s not like we earn enough to go see a shrink is it?
For guys there’s this additional need to try and be strong and put up with more shit and protect other staff members. We have to pretend like it’s not an issue, or it’s what the industry expects of us and you’re weak if you can’t deal with it. No manager or boss will go easy on us just because they have a warped gendered view of the world and think girls can’t handle it but for some reason we can.
This ain’t about guys being treated worse by other people, because we aren’t, not even close, not ever. It’s about the fact that we treat ourselves so much worse and if we worry or need to talk about it then we’ll damn well toughen the fuck up and ignore it. I seriously worry about guys in our industry because the shit we deal with and the way we deal with it isn’t obvious, it isn’t talked about and we’re too shit scared to actually admit it.
For that reason I’ve just thrown a couple of hundred bucks behind my mate Mike Campbell’s awesome project Beyond the Beers. It’s not some über-male bullshit or pick-up artist crap, it’s just a video channel with guys opening up and talking about things beyond the surface level. Trying to get us all to ignore the “norms” and just open up and be real about whatever actually matters to us and not need a whole lot of beers to do it.
If any of this resonates with you or in any you way worry about a guy you know, I’d be really stoked if you could get behind it too. You don’t have to give money if you can’t, living off tips is hard, just share it and tell people about it and maybe we can make a bit of change happen.
Support Beyond the Beers Here:
Thank you just for reading this, I really appreciate it.