Saturday, September 02, 2006

Ohhhh, the green eyed monster...

Yes, that title is an old school reference to one of the seven deadly sins. Envy.

Apparently there is still something about me that is ENVIABLE.

Back story: When I learned to bartend, one of the things we had to do was called the "speed drill" which consisted of making 24 specific drinks perfectly in under 7 minutes. I'm not trying to boast here, but we all know that I am something of a prodigy behind a bar. So when it came time for the people in my class to practice doing the speed drill I slacked off. I stood around, talked to Anthony. I read a magazine. You know, typical slacker behavior when you're supposed to be under the gun. And Anthony, functioning as the instructor at the time asked me, "Umm, aren't you going to practice the speed drill?"


"You're not going to practice at all?"

"I've been making these drinks all week. I know what I'm doing back there."

(Clearly thinking that this was stupidity and hubris talking, and not skill,)
"You know what you're doing back there? I know that the speed drill isn't scheduled until tomorrow, but you want to go ahead and run through it now? If you get it under 7 minutes I'll count it... And if you don't, we'll just call it a practice run. OK?"

"Yeah. Sure. Why not."

(It should be noted that for most people the first run-through of the speed drill usually takes somewhere between 10 and 12 minutes and they progressively get better.)

My first try. Five minutes, twelve seconds. (And like I said I had 7 minutes to do it.)

Fast forward to this past Wednesday. I was pissed off about that cancelled interview, so I went to see Anthony at the school. It happens to be speed drill practice day. Anthony demonstrates the speed drill for the students. They see what goes into the drill and are totally intimidated. Anthony mentions that on the first run through most people are in the 10-12 minute range, but that they get better and usually have it under 7 minutes by the third try or so. One student asks if anyone has ever gotten it on the first try. Anthony thinks for a second... And while he's thinking, I quietly piped in, "Yep."

Anthony remembers what transpired back when I was a student. He tells them the story. The students gaze at me with a certain new-found awe and respect. The students went home shortly thereafter. They had most of the day Thursday to practice. At the end of the day they had a few chances to do it for real. After the first timed "for real" run through, one student is particularly perturbed.

Anthony asks, "It's ok, you can try it again. You'll get it!"

Student replies, "NO! I'm just so mad. I can't believe it took me 10 minutes."

Anthony reminds her, "Don't worry about it, like I told you, most people DO take that long their first time doing it when it's timed. That's why we allow you guys to run through it a few times on the clock, because you get better."

Upset student says, "No, I know that you said that's typical, I just REALLY wanted to get it on the first try ... LIKE LIZ DID!"

Anthony, despite thinking it, didn't mention that I had done the drill in time without any practice... that I'd gone in cold because I jacked around while my fellow students were doing their practice runs. (That makes Anthony a good teacher and a good person.)

(It took the upset girl 6 tries.)

So in spite of all my faults, there are still things that make me the envy of others... And that's a nice thing to know sometimes!

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