Upon recently ordering an “Old Fashioned” (a popular cocktail in the 1960s), I was delighted to notice that my bartender was not looking at me as though I had two heads. Indeed, under the Obama administration, the overall intelligence level of the bar service industry has increased dramatically. In fact, regarding the hardworking employees within this service sector, I’ve found the range of their college degrees and fields of study to be absolutely remarkable.
Nevertheless, as I leisurely sipped my “Old Fashioned” at the crowded bar just the other night, I felt something was lacking. Consequently, I promptly asked the busboy, who had just graduated with his associate’s degree in philosophy, to direct a waitress to my table. The waitress, a brand new recipient of a bachelor’s degree in psychology, seemed very confused as I declared, “I don’t think this drink was muddled properly.” Noting the obvious confusion on the face of the waitress, the maître d’, who holds a master’s degree in Roman and Greek language studies, quickly interjected in order to define the word “muddled” for the waitress and assured me the problem would be solved momentarily. As I waited patiently for my “Old Fashioned” to be remade, I detected a slight disturbance behind the bar. After a brief interlude, two bartenders eagerly approached my table, accompanied by the maître d’. At that point, I was informed that a difference of opinion had occurred between the two mixologists. The disagreement didn’t involve the lack of a proper muddle technique with an orange wedge since both blamed each other for that. Rather, the conflict involved the addition of bitters — one dash or two? I boldly responded, “Two, it’s the correct and proper way.” Both bartenders then walked away from my table, one smiling and the other shaking his head. Subsequently, I queried the busboy, “Why all the fuss?” He responded with absolute astonishment, describing the bartending disagreement as if it was a monumental moment in history. The busboy went on to say that for the first time ever, the bartender who had just received his PhD in economics had been corrected by the other bartender who had recently earned his PhD in ancient history.
Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that we have categorically achieved substantial improvements in the labor markets. However, regarding this recent cocktail dispute, I think the bartender with the PhD in ancient history definitely had a distinct advantage because, after all, the “Old (ancient) Fashioned” was certainly right up his alley.