Back in the 90s, I endured a brief stint working 9 to 5 at my father’s company, where he successfully sold underground utility products and I unsuccessfully pretended to work.
Each day, I dreamed of life beyond the sad, beige walls. He eventually caught on, and like the understanding and wonderful dad he was, he set me free with a big hug and a final paycheck.
I drove to the nearest bar and got a job slinging drinks. I don’t miss the beige walls, but these days I wouldn’t mind a cushy set schedule. It’s a rarity as a bartender.
After 18 years in The Villages®, Mathew Sultan has hit the scheduling jackpot. He works Monday through Friday at Cane Garden Country Club.
“This schedule is perfect for me,” says the 38-year-old. “I can have dinner with my family, take my daughter to school, and, even better, take her fishing on the weekends.”
Mathew met his wife Jessica while they were bartending together. She eventually graduated from nursing school with his support and the help of the community of regulars. They had daughter Joslyn 10 years ago and call her “JoJo.”
Prior to coming on board with Cane Garden Country Club, Mathew worked at Friday’s, The Angler’s Club, and, most recently, Katie Belle’s. He says his schedules were often random, and while he enjoyed the experience, he had to conform to certain rules which he felt didn’t allow him to show his authentic personality.
“Now I get to work in a place where I can really be myself, which I enjoy,” he says. “Plus, having people know me makes me happy.”
The steady schedule also allows him to see his favorite locals every day.
“Pat and Sandy Brady come in at least five days a week right at 2:40,” he says. “At 2:30, I fill up a carafe of Chardonnay and put it in the cooler so it’s chilled and waiting the minute they walk in.”
Mathew says he has no plans to leave anytime soon. And after getting to know him, I’m convinced he would work the graveyard shift at a dumpy casino if it meant he could always go fishing with JoJo.