I always knew I had some power over men and I never thought I’d use it to make a living.
How I decided to be a bartender was solely on the decision of making cash just like my hubby.
She had been working in the nightlife scene for over 8 years and she had her abundance of freedom and cash money!
I was always envious of her free daytime and the ability to sleep in whenever and however long.
She always talked to me about it and I always asked about it.
I was interested in the money.
I had just broken up with an ex and I was ready to get back into acting (2008), I needed my days free for auditions and my nights were only open for
free meals dates.
I didn’t know anything about tending bar, so I took the classes and got the
I don’t know why but I have always been afraid of American companies. Every job I’ve had, it was a Korean boss.
My first instinct was to work at the Korean club. It was a catch 22. I needed experience and I didn’t have experience.
My cousin’s husband’s friend was a manager at a bar/karaoke in #KTOWN and he said he’d get me an interview.
I was nervous, anxious and excited.
Granted my first job as a bartender wasn’t really bartending.
You see, Korean bars don’t mix drinks.
If you”re decent looking, have two working hands and can speak English, Korean or both, you’re in!
I was in.
I didn’t last long at the bar. It wasn’t my personality to kiss ass and ‘worship’ the patron for measly $50-$100.
As our job, we poured the hard liquor (mostly whiskey) in a shot glass. Pour the beer (Hite) in the beer glass. Pour the shot in the beer glass, squeeze lime, add ice, mix it around and pour the drink mix into another glass draining the liquid.
The whole idea was to make the best poktanju (폭탄주) (“bomb drink”).
The manager swore hers was the best. OF course, bitch, you’ve been a
madam manager for how many years and how old are you? (She was probably nearing 40).
I didn’t care for beer nor did I care for whiskey so the hardest part of the job was to drink with the patrons.
Oh right, in Korean establishments, it’s encouraged to drink with your customers. Better tolerance = better tips.
I was at the lowest point in my life. I had just returned my 6-series lease and my mom wasn’t going to help me pay for my car payments. (I’ve never paid for car payments until this point in my life).
I ended up getting a VW Beetle Convertible because it was cute. I was okay the first day I got it. The days after that for the following two years (shortest lease), I was miserable and embarrassed.
No one knew me at the bar, but everyone loved me. When I did see someone I knew or that knew of me through a friend I wanted to go hide.
I didn’t last long at the bar. I was there no more than a month.
Parao was the name. It was the old Pointe at the basement of Aroma Center.
My next move was to Le Cercle. At first they wouldn’t hire me. It was my first interview before I went to Parao.
Then, I went back after I gained some ‘experience’. HA! What a crock of shit.
I did almost the same thing except mix hard liquor with beer. I just poured 1oz shots for $12.00 and sold bottles of the large Hite for $10.00.
But at least I didn’t have to sit and talk and listen to Korean men talk about how amazing they were and how I should go out with them.
I was over being a fucking bartender at a Korean bar. I felt like a hooker without doing the hooking.
I promised myself one thing, I will not be bartending when I turned 30.
I will say this, for the month that I worked, I had enough money to spend and play and have my days free. I was a vampire and slept most days but I enjoyed my freedom. I also enjoyed the attention because I will say that I was the most beautiful Korean girl they saw and could approach. 😛
to be continued…