When I'm not raking in the millions writing for music blogs, I, much like many of my fellow artsy-fartsies and anti-professionals, have to earn my dough in the service industry. Working directly with customers in any job can be a trying and frustrating experience, and especially in the bar industry where these customers are often carrying a small solar system of booze in their bellies. Even more difficult still is tending to these folks in a loud venue with a band playing 8 feet away. Every bartender wants to get you your drinks quickly and accurately -- working for tips, it's in our best interest to do so -- but the customer is not always right. Sometimes the customer is a big god damn wrong pain in the ass, in fact. Here's my top ten ways to get on our bad sides.
10. Speak quietly when talking to me or order anything overly complicated. Hey, you see those snappily dressed dudes on stage playing through that giant wall of speakers right there behind you? Well it's a tit bit louder than your little mumbly mouth is right now. I want to get you your drinks, but I can read lips about as well as I can sign language from a space ape, so you've got to work with me here.
This I can understand.
"BUUUDD.... WHYYYY.... ZZZEEERRR."
I'll have that for you in a jiffy sir!
"A friend of mine had this drink one time called Ozzy Osbourne's Balls and I want that but I want it to be purple instead of green because I'm a Virgo or some dumb shit like that and instead of a glass can you serve it in a Willie Nelson bobble head and fucking blah blah fart..."
One Stag coming right up!
9. Get mad if I get to someone else first when you think you are "next". Do you have a little ticket in your hand that says number 67, and I just helped ticket 68? No, because this isn't the fucking post office. Contrary to popular belief, bartenders are from the planet Earth we and do not have eyes in the back of our heads. Sure, I'm doing the best I can to pay attention to my peripheral vision and get to people in the order they step to the bar, but considering that I'm grabbing bottles, answering questions, mixing things, exchanging money, telling my bar back we're out all out of Three Olives DUDE again and a million other things all at once, you really should be surprised whenever I don't make a mistake.
8. Ask me my name with ill-intent. My name? It's Rick, nice to meet you! You wanna be pals? Oh... no, you wanna yell my goddamn name at me to get my attention when I'm busy because you know it will. You clever bastard. Here I am thinking someone is maybe treating me like a human being for once, but no, they just want something more effective than "hey bartender!" to yell at me to get their drinks slightly faster. It's that Carrie-covered-in-pig's-blood feeling of deceit that's insulting on such a personal level. The shitty thing that you are angrily shouting at me is my own name? That's just evil, man. Have fun waiting for that drink, chump.
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