Like anything else related to service/food it sucks ass 90% of the time due to ... well frankly because the modern world is exactly what it is. No one in interested in drinking Perfect G&Ts for instance. They all want cheap beer and horrible, sugary girly drinks. Yes, you have to memorize a few recipies, but ... sadly you might have a use for them maybe twice in a month. Keep a good drink-index stuffed under the bar and be discreet and you'll have no problem. Assuming you live in the US and not inside NYC or LA, you'll probably be asked for at most a Manhattan every once in a while. People are broke and stupid, but hey, we're all broke and stupid. Having said that, I'd rather eat my own ass than bartend in Ohio or someplace like that.
Nowadays I bartend at larger parties and weddings, shit like that, and always make sure I have an asshole-clause saying that I Run Shit behind the bar. So far, I've yet to hear a single complaint.
The entire point of it, at least if you ask me, is all about seeing peoples reaction when they taste something you made. The reaction is so ... pure. If they like it, if they really do, it shows on their faces.
Like, the pleasure I get from watching someone drink a Perfect G&T that I've made are beat by only a precious few things in this life.
This is what got me into cooking, housework, flower arragement, stuff like that. I should have been a scientist damnit.