have we forgot the ability to converse. is it just the location or city. what is it that has allowed people to forget the very aspect of socialization. the ability to speak to one another and share personal stories about our journey’s in life. sitting among the local folks having a conversation on your smart phone. the new art of conversation.
years ago i took a course at the ‘fine art of bartending school’. i wanted a job just like in the movies and television. dean martin and frank sinatra hanging out with the bartender sharing stories. i would even try to wear the typical garments of the trade. apron with the bartenders tool close at hand. always kept a few extra bucks in the pocket for some quick change. i visited the local smoke shop to buy a nice zippo lighter with the extra wicks and fuel. i was ready to hit the stage where ever they would hire me.
i started as a porter and slowly worked towards the bartending duties at another establishment. it was during the bar porter days that i learned the most. at the end of shifts the more experienced staff would tell us great stories and show us young folks the tricks of the trade. my best memories came from those veteran tenders and servers talking about the ‘art of conversation’. i always thought i’d never be old enough to have any stories to tell a patron. a story that would make a customer feel comfortable enough to perhaps share a story of their own.
after several years working full-time and part-time i slowly started to gather a few stories to tell. i also had a lot of great stories tellers over the years. most days i would always look forward to those certain patrons that could brighten my day with a story. some days that person or those people just wouldn’t show up. that was my time to practice starting a conversation. i would have to chat up the new folks enough so that i had new customers for my shift. you make money by winning over customers. you make friends with some customers. i liked my friendly story times.
there just doesn’t seem to be a lot of great story tellers anymore. the ‘art of conversation’ has gone to the keyboard. customers walking into an establishment to have a conversation with someone in another establishment via smart phone – [shhh] i’m talking to someone. we have staff and customers texting their friends while the rest of us sit and stare at the flat panels. evidently, social media and electronics are the new bartender and server. the art of conversation is being served electronically.