My first reaction was joy. Here was the message I’ve been trying to share for ages, being spread by people I respect and getting amazing responses. (The Healthy Pour Beyond the Bar seminar at Tales was one of the things I was most bummed to miss when my trip got cancelled.)
My second reaction was deflation. Their words are so similar to what I keep saying I want to write, but actually polished and posted. The internet tends to makes us feel like if you’re not first to a trend, then you’re last. For years I’ve had these thoughts swirling in my head, but when I sit down and try to type them out, anxiety, self-doubt, and imposter syndrome get in the way. Given that a week ago I was still wallowing in pity over Covid cancelling my trip to Tales of the Cocktail, it’s probably not surprising that “oh poor me” was one of my reactions.
Thankfully, I eventually landed on validation. At the end of the day, it’s the message that matters and the message that will make lives better on both sides of the bar (or table). Customers need to share in the ownership of and responsibility for their experiences and having more people saying so can only be a good thing. My work with the local chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild has allowed me the opportunity to straddle the line between customer and insider – giving me a unique opportunity to both amplify the voices of the people on the line and also add my unique perspective and experience as a “professional customer” (as one local bartender recently called me).
Follow @Healthy.Pour on Instagram, and check out the resources on their website, because they are doing important work for people who work in the hospitality industry. And if you want advice on how *you* can be a better participant in this industry, on either side of the line, submit a question here.