A night spent in a bar conversing about philosophy with three others in not the usual topic, but never the less, one of the most intriguing ones. As I exchanged words with friends over a few cocktails I could not help but to realize the philosophical side of bartending. Most people think bartending is all fun and games. Everyone has been a bartender once in their life, or at least they think they have been. Pouring drinks and collecting money does not even come close to covering what bartending entails.
As in any industry a bartender deals with that Kantian ethics and utilitarianism of politics, the ethical egoism and feminist ethics used in controlling the environment, and most importantly the customers, without them there will be no bar to tend to. Hopefully this will give upcoming bartender some insight. Kantian ethics are relevant to this position verbally and non-verbally. The rules and regulations of the government are set in stone and it is our duty to follow their laws no matter the outcome.
For instance, I have a friend that is only 20, his birthday is in two days, and legally I cannot serve him even though I do not agree with this law. That fact is the legal age of consumption is 21. I made a commitment to the company and the government to abide by their laws, there fore, it is my moral obligation to honor that contract. It is my absolute duty to not serve people under age, which is outlined by the law, and not to serve a person who is visibly intoxicated, it is a bartender’s duty to abide by their rules even if we do not agree with them.
This topic seems to resemble the Kantian ethics approach; it is my moral duty executes their laws because of the position one holds and the contract I signed. On the other side of bar politics the nonverbal rules are usually left up to the bartender on duty. These touch basis on one’s subjective ethical relativisms, mine include not talking about government or religion; these are extreme conversations that may cause conflict. One more side rule is to never date customers, it can affect the company, one’s income, and the environment what is right or wrong is solely my opinion while in control of the bar.
Some bartenders may run their establishment to one’s individual taste or opinion. Controlling the environment is solely up to the bartender on duty. I consider myself to be a bit of a universal ethical egoist. The universal ethical egoist says “Every person ought to do only what will further his or her own interests” I create an environment that benefits me in more than one way. I play a specific type of music that caters to a particular crowd that I believe spends more money and tip better. Then I set an ambiance that creates a fun, but a relaxing environment.
Finally, I find entertainment that will keep customers interest so they desire to come back, which will build me a set cliental. This is creating a guarantee income; the more people that come to see me the more money I make. This also is a guarantee for me to be in high demand in my industry; if the customers are happy, the owners are happy, there fore I am happy. I believe a person’s moral duties are ultimately to their own self. Everyone should do what is in their own best interest, perhaps with that and some feminist ethics we can come to utilitarianism industry being the right action for the greatest number of people.
Customers are the basis of my job, without them I would not have one. The ethical egoist in me builds relationships with each one of my customers to insure they come back. Educating myself to their desires and needs, whether it is listening to them in a time of need, flattering them to build their self-esteem, offering advice when wanted, knowledge of their family life, or giving them a sense of comfortably and security. This is solely to benefit me, how you ask, by giving a person what they need, kind of like putting a person in a cave just utilizing ones level of self-awareness their reality is now created by my shadows.
By giving them that freedom I create a need or desire for me, benefitting my income. Yes this is an egoist thing to do, but while doing all of these things my feminist ethics plays a role. I do have concerns and within the relationships I build between customers and myself as a bartender, I am not completely one-sided I use compassion and sympathy, see things in the grey area vs the black and white. I examine the situation with empathy and understanding there are always three sides to every story.
In this industry I quote “feminists want to replace the male-biased approach with new perspective. ” I am that feminist. Even though I build relationships with my customers I still need to be able stay professional in order to handle confrontations accordingly. I have educated myself on the character of whom and how I need to handle a patron. Knowing how much an individual can consume and keying in on their personality in order to control any outburst from them. It is extremely important to know how to minimize an escalating situation.
I have to think about the happiness of the greater number of people and the impact it will have on me. In creating and maintaining a specific atmosphere I utilize my philosophical learning’s. It is my moral duty to abide by the regulations of the government; also it is my moral duty to do what is in the best interest for me. With the combination of an ethical egoist, feminist ethics and still abiding by the Kantian ethics I feel as I have created a utilitarianism environment, not only will I benefit from this, but so will the greater amount of people.