Sunday, 25 August 2013

Give us a smile, love: lessons in how to annoy your bartender.

Image from my own Instagram
There is this generalised idea that bar staff are territorial, aggressive, and uninterested members of the hospitality industry. This is an accurate representation of your average bar worker, if you get us at the wrong time. The truth is, 11pm on a Saturday night with our arms loaded with stacks of glasses is not the ideal time to strike up a conversation about how our night is going. Also, if you act like an idiot at the bar, chances are you will be treated like one. You also need to be aware that if you're over the age of 20 and buy WKD Blue then we will mock you endlessly. Good to see you're hitting the hard stuff, amigo!

We work in an environment where the phrase "the customer is always right" is rarely reality. But we will give you the benefit of the doubt and pretend you are in the right even if it makes us look stupid. Most of us have degrees so we are actually intelligent creatures, unlike your cretin buddies you've brought along with you. You also have no idea why we're not smiling. There are two responses; this is our working face, and most probably our natural expression now that people like you have ruined our weekends for us. The truth is, we would love to be nice to you, except you make it rather difficult. Our patience is thin so we ask that you tread carefully.

The Worst Ways to Annoy the Person in Charge of How Drunk You Get: But You Do It Anyway

"I'm next." or "This person is next." 
No. You are dead to me.

"Oh, and a pint of Guinness."
At the end of a 12 drink order.

Do not touch our taps, bro.
If you put your hand on the taps or do the cash wave in our face, you will wait longer. I promise.

Stags, Hens and Pub Golf
These all result in a resounding groan from all bar staff. In actual fact, we'd rather shove cocktail stirrers in our eyeballs than have our eyesight unfairly violated by whistles and cowboy hats.

"What is your cheapest drink?"

"Can you do any tricks?"
I am not Tom Cruise in Cocktail. While we're on this subject, the fine ladies behind the bar do not work at Coyote Ugly, so don't expect us to play naughty and nice. There's only one game we play in the bar and it is one we play with each other. Its called "avoid changing barrels at any cost".

Bar Hogger
Move away from the bar once you have your drink, you are making everyone's night a lot more tricky than it needs to be.

"He'll pay for his."
Paying for all your drinks separately. What did we do to deserve this?

"There's sick on the stairs, I thought you should know."
I knew I should have avoided you.

"Five lagers and your number."
We are not paid enough to humour you and your chortling chums. We are also not paid to boost your ego, Carling Casanova. Move it along.

"Can I sit outside?"
Nope, the chairs are there for decoration.

"Do you know where the toilets are?"
Well seeing as we work here, there is a fairly good chance of that. However, we will politely point you in the right direction - just please don't ask us again in five minutes time after your next round of Jager Bombs.

"This is not what I wanted."
Yes it is and no I'm not doing it again. Bye, buddy.

Not leaving when it's the end of the night.
Come ON. I've got tables to wipe and your grubby mitts are all over them while you stare at your drink.

These are the best ways to make your server as irate and as impatient as possible. Chances are if we respond in a manner which is less than delightful, then you have done one of these things. Yet we still go to work every day and we just hope next Saturday will be better. Maybe even one day we'll laugh with you and not at you. Who are we kidding? Go home, bar minions, you're drunk.