DC Drinks

Reviews, rantlets and ribald on all things alcoholic.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Your Bartender Hates You ... Here's Why

I'm going to say it even if no one else will. Secretly and passionately, your bartender hates your f-ing guts. Yes, I mean you. He or she loves your money but if you're prone to commit one or more of the following bar faux pas--and be honest with your self--then you're the bane of the barman.

1.) "I'll take that with no ice, in a large glass and make it strong."
Ok. Fine. But you're still getting 1.5 ounces. You see, the company pays for all the liquor on the shelves. It's not free and you're essentially asking something for free. The mark-ups are not outrageous; we order the liquor, polish the glassware, build the bar, pay rent and more with the pennies on top. Try it at a bank. Walk up to the teller and ask them to top off your pay check with an extra $20. See what happens.

2.) "Is [so-and-so] working tonight?"
File this one under "C", along with the last one, for cheap-ass. If they're asking for someone else, who is--after all--clearly not in sight, it's because they have no intention of paying full price for drinks. Once again, for the slower set, bars are businesses. Someone giving you free drinks is essentially selling the stool upon which you sit to the debtor's house. Don't get me wrong, a comped drink is nice, but much less so if you come to expect it.

3.) Hitting on Women That Clearly Hate You More Than the Bartender
It sounds like a joke. How about the guy who, after hitting on a solitary girl at the bar that left in disgust, turned to the lady bartender and laid down the same rap. The lady bartender, of course, laughed. That is, laughed at his expense. Too bad its not a joke. I've seen somebody play the line all the way down the bar. So why not read the non-verbal cues! If the whole bar knows your striking out, why don't you?
Walk away while you still have a shred of diginity. (They never do, do they?)

4.) Ordering Tea When the Bar is Three Deep
So why do we get upset when you order tea when the bar is busy? Because tea involves multiple steps, with each step being in-depth and at some far away, remote point in the restaurant.

Step 1: There is usually a box of tea. It gets used every third night and is kept somewhere shoved over, under or by the coffee machinery. It's rarely stocked and rarely kept in an obvious place. First we find this, bring the selection to you and you stand their stammering: Morrocan Mint or Lemon Verbana?

Step 2: Get the tea pot, tea tray, tea cup, tea saucer, tea spoon, sugar packets, Equal packets, Splenda packets, milk, honey and lemon. No explanantion needed of why this sucks, right?

Step 3: Stand there like a shithead waiting for hot water while the busboy amorously foams the cappucino.

Step 4: Serve and smile, wait for the 15 to 20% tip on $2.75. (For those who are slow, that's $.41 to $.55.)

5.) "I used to be a bartender."
I love this one. A bartender, really? I've studied and memorized the profiles of hundreds of liquors; even more, I know hundreds of recipes and how to mix them by heart; I've spent nights dreaming of the components of vermouth that you jokingly (not your own joke, I might add) say I should "wave" in front of the Martini; I know the recipe for a Mai Tai from the original made in 1944 and it doesn't have a drop of grenadine; I've studied wine for years so I can describe your Chardonnay that you thought was too expensive at $8; I've polished a thousand or more glasses; I might as well have a major in chemistry and a minor in pyschology; I know the history of bartending and have read every major recipe book from "How to Mix Drinks" to "The Joy of Mixology" and you, jackass, who have spent six months in some shitty bar or club slinging beer, shots and L.I. tea say to me: "Oh yeah, I used to be a bartender." Wrong, twat muffin. You were a bar jockey. So don't bring it up again.

Now it may seem as though I'm some bitter, bitter bartender, but I'm not. I love guests who love me, who respect the profession and don't want free shit. Everyone gets treated with respect at my bar. Even me.


At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Darcy said...

So true. Whats worse though is the bald, fat, 50 year old guy hitting on a group of 20 somethings, buying them drinks for two hours and then begging them to go him with him. Of course they walk away and leave him with the $200 tab, which he promptly stiffs me on the tip. Nice.

The "I've been a bartender" is so true, faced it just the past weekend while making 4 classic Singapore Slings. Three girls gave it the big thumbs up, while the "bartender" proceeded to educate me on what a true Singapore Sling was (gin, cherry brandy float, orange juice, grenadine). She ended with an "I'm critical". No honey, you're just a bitch.

At 3:20 AM, Blogger Natalie@theliquidmuse.com said...

Amen to this post.

I know this may be a silly question to some... but I do not know... Where do you bartend?? I want to come in.

You rock.

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Love Boat.

At 5:04 AM, Anonymous Jeffrey Morgenthaler said...

Good Lord, I almost peed my pants reading this (and the comments).

How about, "Do you know how to make a..." - I find this one is almost always followed up by some drink that their friend Dave came up with a a party 2,000 miles away the night before. Am I really supposed to know that a "Screaming Dave" is a drink made with tequila, Chambord, tonic, and RealLemon, the leftover ingredients in some dude named Dave's poorly-stocked liquor cabinet?

I'd like to share my own list of annoyances with you:


Thanks for a great blog!

At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I prefer the phrase "twat monkee"

At 1:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Number 5 is the truest thing I've ever read. It's the kinda comment that at first brings you up ("oh, this person gets it, they bartend") and then drops you into a pile of rage when they don't tip, or give you a wink and say "I know how it is." Which means, they poured the pop in the kid's room at their cousin's wedding, or they thought they'd get a "bartender's discount". A true bartender doesn't yell it out like a friggin cattle-call when they walk up to the bar.

At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Patron: It's my birthday - what do I get for free?!

Bartender: How many friends did you come here with?

Patron: 10

Bartender: You get as many free drinks as those 10 friends pay for.

At 12:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comment about the birthday made me think of what I responded when a patron said "hey, it's my birthday, do you have any birthday specials you do here?!" I said "we sure do! All draft is $2.50 tonight! Happy Birthday."

I have said this time and time again...I really wish that they would enforce classes in highschool for bar etiquette like they enforce english or history classes.

The "bar-world" would be a much happier place :)

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Homer said...

We have 'Mama Mia Mondays' 'Taco Tuesday' 'Wine Wednesday' and fucking "Douchebag Thursday!" Amen to yaour post! You fucking nailed it! Shit... People! I fucking hate them, but I NEED them!
I've been doing this for 13 fucking years! Don't you DARE tell me my Bloody Mary mix looks "a little too dark."
Who the fuck are you? Cheapskate! Asking for bread instead of a $5 app. because you know we won't deny you the bread... And it's FREE?!!
Thanks for the FIVE percent. Asshole.

At 2:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

(This is more for my bretherin) You see that one guy behind the bar dressed different running at 90 mph? He's a fucking barback! At what point do you get the idea he's going to knock his bartender out og their well to make you a drink? I have 3 cases of beer in my hands, or 40 glasses sprawled up my arms, but I'll gladly just drop what I'm doing to make you a drink. This is why I never wear a nametag. If anyone is shouting my name, it should only be a bartender.

At 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were you born an asshole?
Or did you work at it your whole life?
Either way it worked out fine
Cause you're an asshole tonight.

I think yer just a narsisistic asshole workin fer tips and ramblin on about how good you are and how ya think yer entitled to more than ya get.

Ya don't want somebody to expect somethin free, don't give them somethin free. Fuckin surrender monkey.

Sure there's assholes in bars, on both sides. Yer in the buisiness of gettin people liquored up. It's a hazard of your proffession ... deal with it and stop yer bellyaching.

Bartenders tend to comp drinks for one of two reasons, they like ya or they want ya to tip them more. Either way, I'm just the guy sitting on the other side of the bar.

You sir are a very bitter bartender and do the trade a great disservice. To put it bluntly, yer a pussy with a bottle in yer hand. I rather drink swill from a bar jockey any day than scotch from yer posh ass.

P.S. Remember to tip yer bartenders appropriately.

At 3:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how it cracks me up hearing clueless comments from those that clearly have no idea what is being discussed. You, last commenter are the asshole. Trust me.

At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can answer the question, "Were you born an asshole?" No. Assholes like this are MADE by customers like you.

ALL bartenders are bitter. All of them. I assure you that while some maintain a professional facade or a false smile, they are embittered. Even the rare ones who really love the shit out of the job (I'm one of them), still have a touch of embitterment for the cheap and the rude.

Drink your swill, sir.

My profession has a SECONDARY aspect that you forget. I babysit you and other zero culpability assholes, who despite being adults, lack the responsibility to stop when they should.

So to put it bluntly for you, "the trade", is not in any way done a disservice by this tender. We're all about service. Even for "narsisistic" assholes like you, sir.

At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked as a bartender for 20 years, and even helped the guy that taught me (a veteran of 40 years) teach others when he opened a school. That said, I loved every minute of my job. Sure I had people not tip or tip really low, but I always had that guy that tipped 30+%. I had a trick that always gave me the last laugh, I would give the patron who was treating me like a servant a drink that I paid for out of my tips, and I would make sure they knew what I was doing. I did this for 20 years, and I seriously didn't change a person's attitude or get a huge tip twice. The key was to say something like: "It seems like you're having a rough day, the bar won't let me comp you a drink, but let me get that," and then I'd pull the money out of my own pocket in front of him. It was a great trick. The other thing, is that I would always tell customers that I made their drink they way they told me to. Even if it meant that I pretended to pour something in, I would. I probably sound like an "stupid old guy," but I always found my job fun and even if I had a "bad" customer, there were always 10 great customers right behind them, but then again, the bartenders are why people came to our bar, instead of the one down the street.

At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have never bartended before and like to leave comments regarding bartender attitudes, follow these steps:
1. get in front of a panel of judges, about 10% of which are absolute douchebags, and they observe you for the entire workday.
2.babysit this panel as they proceed to get drunk.
3.work under management and secret shoppers who constantly crituque you.
4.Get a job where someone at any moment can swear at you, throw something at you,call you a all types of names, and complains. Then... you must smile at them and take it up the ass sideways. Because of course the customer is always right.
5.Get a job where people think you are a looser/drunk/whore/druggie/plain dumb etc...because all bartender are like that right?... The bartenders college degree(most of us have one)can't pay the bills.
6. YELP, I love this one. Now you are at as job where upon observation, one may go to the web, and post their experience. The issue is, all the assholes asking you to "hook it up", "keep pouring more", and some skank stating "It's my birthday!, do I get my free birthday shot!", can post a negative review if you don't steal from your owner(ie..giving free shit away) to make them happy.
6. Get a job with no holidays, no sick days, no breaks.
So before the humdrum/ cubicle jockey/ 40% productivity/ judgemental/ posts a response to this saying"you should't be doing this job", "you are a bitter bartender", "you chose this", or "wow I wouldn't go to you". Work just a FEW shifts in a busy bar/club. Then post your rude comment. And oh, FUCK YOU, because you are no doubt one of the forementioned people fitting the descriptions above.
PS. I am one of the nicest bartenders you will ever meet behind a bar, if this gives you any indication of the smiles we plaster on everyday.

At 6:32 PM, Blogger bangyourhead said...

This is hilarious, and what's more hilarious is that these people don't know they're annoying.

At 4:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's hilarious that a bartender thinks he works hard. Dude you have a privileged position and you get to entertain people. Don't like it? Don't do it.

That simple.

Try working for a living, like laying bricks, mixing cement, hanging drywall, and deal with the customers.

You wouldn't last a day.

Yet at the end of the day you will have built and created something, you can be proud of. Instead it seems you stand behind your bar and judge the people you serve.

At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the last post, I tend Bar and Work for a very large underground utility company during the day... also I have spent 10 years in the trades everything from roofing to finish carpentry and now even running backhoes and excavators and I can tell you that running your ass off all night it more physically and mentally challenging then any of my "real jobs". so until you have waled a mile in a bartenders or bar backs shoes, dont make ignorant comments on a subject that you know nothing about.

At 12:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say to you mr drywall hanging, brick laying hipocrit is if you dont like your job quit. No was has sympathy who bitches about there job.I worked for a plant nursery for 8 years moving 3" caliber trees uphill, stacking mulch, digging holes, in dead heat and in the snow. Then as a pipe welder for 4 years.. I'm a female! I don't expect a pat on the back just a paycheck. Now I have worked as a bartender at a very fast paced high volume bar for 5 years. I work 13 hour shifts 4 days a week, and I'm a student.I don't bitch if I don't get a break and I'm not bitter. But this job is just as tiring, more mental, less physical.I love my job. But it's hard, hundreds of people a day come in, just "21" year olds, old perverts, hookers, military always looking to fight, cryers, pimps, and they always looking for a free drink assholes. But that's the fun of the job. It's always changing. Keeps you on your toes.

People who think bartenders have it easy are idiots. I would love to see you try it. I'm still young and don't know all the original drinks, but learning all the hundreds of shots that people come up with everyday isn't easy.

At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Captain Drywaller:
You are right I wouldn't last a day doing your work, I lasted 5 years in construction.
Of the two jobs, bartending is way harder. TRUST ME.
You could pull most any bartender out from behind the bar and tell them to build something. But I seriously doubt you could pull any construction worker out of their profession and put them behind a bar. That's because to pull off the bartending thing requires finess, tact, and unending wells of patience.

At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You said it much more politely than I could have. Shut your ignorant f@#%ing mouth if you don't know what you're talking about. Bartending is not "priveleged" work, its mentally and sometimes physically draining work.

At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And FYI fuckhead, bartending IS " working for a living". I can lay cement to, and I'm a chick...

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Suck my dink said...

Fuck off you self-important douchebag. Like you are somehow a beacon of virtue and propriety casting judgment from Mt Olympus. Some bartenders are fine. Others use it as a shilled to practice their douchebaggery with impunity.


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