Hospo hates: bodily fluids, the small things…. and fricken cardboard.

So hospo ain’t all fun and games.

Anyone who has worked for a decent amount of time in a busy bar knows that there is some parts that just get right up in your grill….and not really in a good way. Let’s name a couple shall we?

Firstly we have the bodily fluids.

The 3 P’s come first of course. Piss, Poo and Puke…. Then there’s blood, and then…well, the other stuff.

Now I realise that a night on the booze can affect the good ol hand-eye-coordination a bit, but quite often there’s just no excuse for the crap (literally) we have to clean up sometimes. It’s like all manners, personal hygiene and human decency is somehow forgotten once people are 5 drinks in… I mean hey, why piss in the toilet when you can write your name on the wall right? And when you’ve finished, be sure to remember to wash your hands, before ripping the dispenser off the wall and standing on it…cheers buddy.


Seriously the amount of damage I have seen inflicted on various innocent bar toilets is beyond belief. What the hell are people up to? You mange to use the bathroom at home without kicking it to smithereens or writing “Jenny loves cock” on the mirror don’t you? Who comes to a bar carrying a vivid anyway? Just because you weren’t hugged enough as a child doesn’t mean you can turn animal on entry. Some basic rules of common decency still apply!

Ok so I’m a little worked up about the toilet situation…. But in my defence, I have had to clean poo out of a urinal….twice. And as for puke….well in my hospo career I have scraped it off vinyl, carpet, wooden floors, stairs, out of sinks, bins, pot plants, wheelie bins, the ice bucket, and off my mate Dave.

I guess one positive outcome is I’ll be well prepared for fatherhood in that nothing a baby produces will compare to the “I drank 4 vodka cruisers of different colours before having a meat kebab and 4 black sambucca shots” chunder…. One look at that and a little bit of your soul quietly heads to the nearest cliff to jump off it.

So bodily fluids are definitely up there on the bartender hate list. But there’s plenty of other gripes that are universal.

Mainly it’s the little things… Emptying the ashtrays…. Removing gum from tables…wiping the walls or roof…. Emptying the rubbish…again…and again….and again…. Cutting the lemons and limes…. Refilling the juices… Moving the kegs…. Cleaning the dishwasher….

But I think for me it’s the cardboard. So. Much. Cardboard.


Big boxes, small boxes, medium sized, weirdly shaped boxes, those divider thingees, craft beer boxes that are all “crafty” and small with tucked in bits you have to unravel. Those fruit boxes that are made of the really hard, jagged cardboard, cardboard fricken cardboard…

Or that joyous moment when you get a box of beer, you open it, and inside the box, is little 4pk boxes…geez…let’s just individually wrap them next time shall we?

Anger rising.

Maybe it’s the job associated with the cardboard that brings the negative feeling rather than the cardboard itself. I mean, shoving endless beers into a fridge when it’s sunny outside isn’t exactly life changing stimulus. Oh great now I just got one of those cardboard cuts….you know the one that doesn’t really bleed at all, but still stings when you squeeze a lime…

Anger rising.

Right I’ve almost finished stocking, just one more box to deal with…oh shit, it’s damp on the bottom because one of the beers inside has broken… Must awkwardly attempt to carry the box to the fridge while holding bottom of box as beers start to fall out and avoiding broken glass. Dammit now we’re one beer short of a full row because of that broken one. I shouldn’t care, but I really do…

Anger still rising.

Ok stock done, apart from that one fricken bottle. Cardboard phase 2 begins…the tidying up of the cardboard. Firstly find one big box, then fold and insert all smaller boxes into it. Be sure to not be too cheeky and put too many smaller boxes into the bigger one, as the sides may split and spill the cardboard everywhere… Seriously that shit will really ruin your day, so easy does it soldier.

Anger rising.

Commencing phase 3… Carry cardboard to its home away from home next to or on top of the bins…which are out back or course, so get to door…transfer cardboard to one arm, awkwardly balance while trying to use swipe card and open door handle… Wait I should probably just put it down and do this.. Na, I got this… Shit, no I don’t… Fuck, cardboard is falling.. Door now open, cardboard all over the floor…prop door open with stool, tidy up cardboard….contemplate suicide.

Anger has risen. Hulk mode imminent.

Piss, poo and puke can be dealt with. Flush, mop, wipe and you’re good. It ain’t pleasant but after a few years in hospo you’re pretty much acclimatised to that stuff. But cardboard…. That never leaves you. So you’ve stocked the fridge and tidied up? Great work! Guess what’s up for tomorrow? More cardboard.

Cardboard always comes back. Luckily so do your workmates to give you a shot and tell you the story of last night when they almost got arrested after that party.

Anger subsiding….


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