1. Don’t be a dick.
If you know the bartender, don’t be a dick and expect to be served first and get free drinks, etc. If you’re a real mate and
don’t pressure me I’ll give you all the shit I can get away with if you ask I’ll say no (probably because I have to because asking
outright is just a dumb way to get caught anyway).
2. Don’t complain about how your nonalcoholic drink tastes.
When you insist on having a mocktail/virgin/non-alcohol version of something like a caipirinha, mojito, Long Island and
then complain it does not taste like the real thing.
3. Don’t be exasperatingly vague.
The worst thing people can do is vaguely try to describe a drink they want, with no knowledge of what the ingredients
are, and get upset when you don’t know it/can’t make it. I had a very irate lady send two drinks back as we played “Guess
what I drank once?”
4. Don’t haggle.
Don’t haggle. Seriously, I don’t own the bar and I’m not in any position to give you discounts without taking it from my tips.
5. Don’t be a pain in my ass.
“I want two vodka sodas and we are gonna split it on two cards, run the cards because I don’t wanna forget the cards, and charge my phone for me because the other bartender did it last time for me and I come here ALL the time how do you not know me, are you new? Ugh. It’s my friend’s birthday, can we have some strong but sweet, cheap shots for her? Wait, I have to PAY for them?! This place has changed.”
6. Don’t order brand-name beers at a brewery.
“I’ll have a Bud light.”
“Sorry, but we’re a brewery. We only serve our own beer.”
“Oh, okay. I guess a regular Bud is fine, then.”
7. Don’t flirt with me.
Me: “Hi, what would you like?” Customer: “You.”
8. Don’t expect me to be your wingman.
When you expect me to be in on you hitting on that girl. We are not a team. You creep me out—imagine how she feels.
9. Don’t snap your fingers at me.
Snap your fingers at me, yeah…you’re not getting that drink anytime soon.
10. Don’t shit on the floor.
I’ve had to deal with someone who shit on the floor when the power went out. Don’t know why their first move when it
got dark was to stand up while shitting. Also some girl shit in the tampon box on new years. Kind of impressive but yeah, don’t do that.
11. Don’t get too drunk.
Getting too drunk. Don’t get me wrong—I’m a bartender, I love drinking, getting drunk, and getting other people drunk.
But recognize your limits; having to deal with drunk adults is tantamount to dealing with children, and if you could only see
yourselves, it’s not pretty.
12. Don’t stand in my way.
Set up shop at the glass collection point. Dude, I’ve like squeezed past you 5 times in the last minute with arms full of
glasses, fucking move.
13. Don’t wear “never comes off” lipstick.
Ladies, your never-comes-off lipstick looks fantastic. It never comes off my glassware, either.
14. Don’t fucking eat out of the fucking fruit tray.
Don’t fucking eat out of the fucking fruit tray. That fruit is meant for drinks, not for your grubby fingers.
15. Don’t yell my name from across the bar.
Good for you, you know my name, please stop yelling it out from across the bar as I am serving other guests!! This
includes my best friends—my hugest pet peeve!
16. Don’t introduce yourself and immediately pretend we’re friends.
I have been bartending for many years and have noticed some social phenomena:
1) When someone sits at the bar and immediately introduces themselves and reaches to shake my hand, I know that they
are going to be trouble. These people tend to think that by introducing themselves to the bartender that they are on a
first-name basis and they are therefore exempt from getting into trouble. This is most often observed in patrons who have
been drinking too much before they even got to the bar. If you want to get to know the bartender, then you have to put
in your time and earn their trust and respect. We are used to dealing with lowlifes and derelicts, so you need to prove that
you are someone who is genuinely interested in building a bartender-patron relationship.
2) “I don’t know what I want. Make me something good. You decide.” These are the things that I dread hearing.
I don’t mind being creative and coming up with a drink for you, but you have to point me in the right direction: “Give me
something good with GIN in it.” All right, now we’re talking! “I don’t know what I want, but maybe I will start with a light
beer.” Okay, good. I guess the point is that you need to have your shit together. You were not magically teleported to the
bar; have an idea of what you want to drink before you get the bartender’s attention.
3) “We’ll have six shots on his tab/her tab.” Oh, really? Six shots on that guy’s tab, eh? I’ve fallen for that one before.
Being a bartender means that you learn all about the dark side of humanity. The desperate senseless pettiness and
ignorance of the depraved and the pathetic. I will believe that she/he is going to buy you six shots as soon as they tell me so.
I am not taking your word for it.
Anyways, I just wanted to get that off of my chest. I make really good money as a bartender and I usually have a fun time at
work, but a bar is not the happy joyful place that people make it out to be. People always ask me: “What is the coolest thing
that you have seen happen in this bar?” I usually tell them that I have seen far more sad, lonely, mean and unseemly people
than anything else. The good times happen, but alcohol is a depressant. All in all, bartenders have a job that involves
human intervention in very awkward and dark way that overshadows the goodness. So be kind to your bartender;
they put up with a lot of depressing shit so that you can have a good time.
17. Don’t make your order too freaking complicated.
If you order 13 drinks, I’ve got to pour you 13 drinks. I’m only human. Screaming “Where’s my order already?” doesn’t
increase productivity. What’s even worse is if you order 3 Jagerbombs, 2 double vodkas and Coke, one single vodka and Coke, one single vodka and lemonade, three pints, a gin and tonic, a lime and soda and a packet of nuts then, lo and behold, I have to get
you 3 Jagerbombs, 2 double vodkas and Coke, one single vodka and Coke, one single vodka and lemonade, three pints,
a gin and tonic, a lime and soda and a packet of nuts. I might have some unworked-out feelings about drunk people.
18. Don’t brag about how much you already drank.
Never…ever….ever…..brag to the bartender about how much you have drank tonight. Now we have to shut you off. Then
our tips dive because it’s a buzzkill for everyone around you. Also, your buddies leave, so that’s an additional 100 in sales
out the door. I wish you hadn’t told me how much you are drinking because I honestly don’t care and you are even
being responsible and walking home but that doesn’t matter because you don’t ever ever ever tell the bartender how much
you have had to drink. We WILL HAVE TO shut you off, unless the bar is a super dive with some sort of impunity to the Liquor
Commission. Number one rule. DON’T tell me how much you have had to drink. Don’t do it.
19. Don’t make noise to try and get my attention.
When I’m facing the other way or in the glass wash area and people are tapping coins on the bar to get my attention. Or
sometimes if they feel that they have a very important thing to ask me, they’ll shake the charity bucket full of coins and
slam it down.
When people put their money—either coins or notes—in the puddle of beer on the bar, even though I have my hand held
out to them. I always make sure to put their change back in the puddle even if they hold their hand out, too. When people don’t want their drink in that certain drink’s branded glass. “I’m not drinking out a vase like some fucking puff” is usually the line when I begin pouring a Stella. How insecure are you, really?
20. Don’t act like I’m your psychiatrist.
I’ve been a bartender for 10 years. I’ll sum it up with: being stuck behind the bar for hours at a time with no escape from
gut-wrenchingly horrid conversation with people who think you are their friend.
Also the slow days suck when you the only male employee and a fight breaks out and you have to deal with it, better
known as every Tuesday.