interview 3 min. read
From behind the bar to the front end
Thursday, 25th November, 2021
Nowadays, he’s a front-end developer at MakoLab. However, like so many of us, he has his own store of student job stories. The person we’re talking about is Karol Zawisza… former “barman at this dance hall”, to quote rapper Sokół’s In the Car! Read Insights’ interview with him to find out how that happened, whether or not the job is as free and easy as it seems and what time a barman’s alarm clock goes off…
How did you happen to become a barman?
My adventure with the bartender’s art began by chance during my second year at university. Poland was hosting the Euro 2012 football championships and they’d just started when a friend who was a barman asked me if I was interested in a sideline, seeing as the pubs were bursting at the seams. I needed a job that wouldn’t collide with my studies, so the other choices I had were a restaurant with the Golden Arches symbol or a call centre headset . I had no trouble choosing! I developed a liking for the work quite quickly and after the ‘match for honour’, I knew I was sticking around. Not long after that, I found a job in a club where I could work evenings, weekends and public holidays.
What did you like most about the job?
The work was a delight… and great fun. Meeting new people and having the chance to create my own drinks and cocktails from a huge base of available ingredients… It’s amazingly appealing. I had the pleasure of working with students like me, who wanted to pay their rent and have some fun from time to time in the halls of residence.
So, bartending has its high spots. How about the dark side?
A lot of people are attracted to the profession on account of its appeal, its atmosphere and mysteriousness. But the reality’s a very different kettle of fish. It’s a serious job that requires physical stamina, mental resilience and the ability to keep your distance. Mind you, what I found the hardest was the irregular hours of sleep. Bartenders often find themselves getting up at five in the afternoon. I frequently wound up jogging after midnight and what do you know?! You can run into plenty of joggers out and about at that time…
Do you have memories of a comic situation?
There were plenty of those! All sorts of fun and games occur, they really do. More than once I saw a wife coming in with her repentant, hungover husband in search of a precise account of what her beloved had been getting up to the previous night. Or the time when a girl called the police because the DJ didn’t want to give her his phone number!
How did you become a front-end developer?
I always knew that bartending was just a job for while I was a student. I studied electrical engineering and it was while I was at university that I encountered programming for the first time. Soon after I graduated, I found a job as an automation engineer and I found programming the controls for the production line and servicing it fascinating. Then I found a job as a CAD designer for an electrical substation, but I always wanted to do programming at work and I was lucky that, after years of learning, I joined MakoLab’s front-end team.
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