So its taken me a while to post again guys and I apologise again for that. Whilst there is a lot of daily entertainment in the pub it does not always translate readily into a blog post but there is always something.
Let me start by stating something that I have realised, with the help of my old mate Andrew, this trade is something that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy but would move heaven and earth to make it for your best friend. I have long been a proponent of establishing the licensed trade as a mental illness and this is precisely what drives us and if it is your trade then it simply has to be otherwise it is purgatory on a whole new level.
So this mornings post is inspired by young Aaron (aka shaft) and looks at the wonderful delta between what we do as publicans and what you see. This is where the real expertise lies, in showing you a serene duck on a calm lake and not the desperate paddling beneath. So you see Gav as your publican, behind (and sometimes in front) of the bar and pulling some pints, not a bad gig is it really? but what don’t you see?…
Compliance: We have to comply, and demonstrate compliance, with the licensing objectives, the gaming legislation, fire, electrical safety, chain of supply, taxation, employment law, licensing and many more. There are well in excess of a dozen folders on my shelf to cope with the level of paperwork.
Counselling: That old boy who shares a few words with you has shared his life with me, repeatedly, I can’t change any of it but I listen to it and nod sagely at the appropriate points.
Stock Control: In this endeavour I am assisted by the words ‘if you ain’t got it you can’t sell it’ but the truth is dates, cash and stock on hand make this an incredibly difficult business to predict and getting stock in can be very stressful.
Moron magnet: So when you are curled up in bed I may well still be up cleaning broken glass after some moron throws something through a window . It is a hazard of the trade of course but I am not sure why? apart from an inordinate amount of cowards in the world. Some unwritten code makes it acceptable to destroy my property and my home because I am a publican so picking up broken glass and wondering which of the idiots that says hello to you is responsible comes with the territory.
The lines: I cannot post without reflecting on the line proffered by one of my regulars whilst trying to escort somebody home the other day. When all else had failed nipper used the immortal line:
“hold on to my face, my face knows where it is going”
The line in itself is great but the explanation the following day was faultless
Tryers: When we say she has had enough it is not acceptable to share your drink with her not only is it not acceptable but it is downright rude to try. When you are backed into a corner lying will not help nor will it make you look good. You are not 14, please realise this.
Stock: The peaks and troughs in this business are unbelievable and so ordering stock is not a matter of simply replacing what has been used. Stock ordering in this trade involves checking what has moved, the weather predictions, the time of year, past trading experience and the lunar cycle before having an uneducated guess.
Cashflow: When you see a good day and think the pub is doing well what you cant see is the long line of committed spend that is keeping us awake at night. If it looks like I have a good day then I can assure you that at best it has picked up what I lost on the last day. Every penny that I could potentially earn is committed and therefore every penny that I don’t earn is a stress.
That is just a few examples but, as always, I wouldn’t do anything else this is the trade (and the pub) that I love.