Tucked away into a seemingly perfect place, the locals of 30A are far from perfect. We are fortunate, happy, and somewhat replaced from reality. I wouldnít change a thing.

I am a bartender at a very busy spot centered directly in the middle of this awesome place. Those around me work hard, and play harder. The hospitality industry thrives here and itís somewhat a job in itself just to keep up with all the fun. Five years of this wonderful lifestyle has proved to be much more than just a bar job. Iíve made many wonderful friends, contacts, customers, and created incredible employee relationships.

Happy Hour comes here every day. Although it starts at 4, I take much pride in making sure that most are happy WAY before the clock strikes 4.

My bar is made up of an eclectic group, most of which have a severe dedication to whom they like and choose to spend their bar time with each day. At any given point, my bar will consist of the rich, the poor, the local, and the tourist. Most are happy, and some sad. But one thing is for certain, all of my regulars know that they will have a smiling face when they walk in and someone will ask about their day.

After all, isnít that for the most part why people go to a bar?

All of my comrades treat their customers the same way. This is probably the reason we are successful. I believe anyone can get a job in customer service, yet it takes a person with a true heart to be good at it. And being good at it means you donít even have to try. 

Having a good heart and a desire to make someone feel like someone is just something you have or you donít.

It is not an easy job to work in a bar or restaurant all the time. People can be very demanding.

Luckily in our area, most are understandable. There will always be that ONE. And I suppose with age come wisdom, and in my case, patience. I used to become upset easily. Maybe now, due in part to cold beer and tequila, I can shrug most of it off. Maybe seeing many lifestyles walk in and out makes one more understanding.

Whatever the case may be, I feel lucky to have the opportunity to wake up every day and work in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I get to see sport stars, rock stars, and all the other awesome stars in the sky Ö from our beach. 

So as fall break approaches, so do the yard sales, the wine festivals, the plays, the movies, the music ó the fun just keeps on rolling. I tell my customers that become exhausted at the close of their vacations, imagine living here. It is tiresome but oh so worth it.

I thank you 30A. I thank all the locals and I thank all the tourists. My bar appreciates you! And remember no matter how much your drink costs, itís always going to be a HAPPY HOUR when you see me.

Shannon Lee Davis is a Santa Rosa Beach resident and bartender at Great Southern Cafe