1. Waving. Why not fire off a sea flare while you’re at it? I know you’re here. I’m gonna be with you in a minute.
2. The celebrity who’s going faux low pro. That’s fake low profile, and it’s
false modesty. This dude, and it’s almost always a dude, is insistently invested in making me think he’s a regular
guy. With his faded Levi’s and his quite frankly too casual t-shirt, my man would love to have me believe he’s just
like me. He’s got a supermodel wife, three residences, and matching Academy Awards. I’m married to a real doll,
but she works overtime to support the family. I’m carrying an overpriced rental in an outer borough, and I’ve got
this bad job. Bro? You and me? Nothing in common.
3. Third Base Coaches, aka Traffic Cops. That’s the guy who’s sure he knows who’s next for service. He calls me over, cranes his neck at the fourth stranger deep, asks that person what they want, and then repeats the order for me. That’s okay, Coach. There’s a sequence here. I know what it is, and you don’t. I can handle this. It ain’t that hard.
4. Bum-rushing the bar and barking out an order before you’ve been acknowledged. Don’t do that. I’m not suggesting you wait until the universe provides you some mystical guidance, but do me a favor, give it a couple of beats until I have the chance to make eye contact before you tell me what you need. When I dip my chin or wink or maybe even say hello, you’re up. What’ll it be?
5. Getting orders when my back is turned. If I’m faced the other way, I’m dealing with something else, recording a sale, making change, searching for some obscure bottle we probably don’t have. Don’t talk to the back of my head. What is this, Ford’s Theatre? Who are you, John Wilkes Booth?
6. Being asked my name Why? So you can holler it out over the next two hours?
7. Answering personal questions. Yes, I’m married. See that wedding ring? That means I’m married. Uh-huh, I’m a father, too. I’m extremely close to my family, and I’d rather not discuss them with a stranger. I’d like to have the option of acting offended, but I don’t. I know, I know, you’re just being friendly, and not being able to get angry is infuriating. I’d rather talk about the weather. Scorcher today, huh?
8. The wasted celebrity who papers over his obnoxiousness with oily charm. Not unlike the dog who kicks dirt on his morning business. Trust me, at this stage of the game I know what trashed looks like, it looks like you, and you’re lingering. You think you’re being nice, and maybe you are, but holding the staff hostage while you dazzle your crew with tales of Hollywood
daring-do is passive aggression. The manager is making me stay until you’re finished, should you be in need of an ice cube, or your 16th shot of Don Julio. I could’ve been home an hour ago. You’re killing me, man. Text your driver.
9. S.C.L. (Stupid Cocktail Lists). Virtually every dive has one of these irritating menus now, and since this is a bartender’s confessions, I’ll let you in on a secret: the house makes a huge profit on them. The lion’s share of the ingredients has negligible cost, and the finished product comes with an eye-popping price tag. Thus, the ubiquity of the Stupid Cocktail List. Bad enough I’ve got to make time-consuming classics all night, like the Old-Fashioned (thanks, Don Draper), but the bar manager has also been perusing antique recipe books, and he wants me to manufacture these long forgotten delectables. When I get several orders for a handful of six ingredient-cocktails, I’m in the weeds. When I’m in the weeds, I can’t make money. I hate that.
10. Making a drink from somebody else’s S.C.L. Bad enough I’m responsible for my own batch of lame libations, but don’t roll up on me and ask for a Hairy Puritan. There’s no such thing. The cocktologist (I’m sorry, I mean the mixologist) down the street concocted that beauty, and we don’t make it here. Thanks.