The Bad Bartender Chronicles III

With modern technology cell phones have come a long way. Devices that used to be dedicated to just phone conversations have evolved into mini computers that allow people to avoid human contact with other people for weeks at a time. These hi-tech phones also allow people to ignore each other in a blatant manner under the guise of being busy on one’s phone. This has especially become rampant in the bar business where it seems bartenders feel like they need to constantly have their cell phone within arm’s reach.

I understand there are special circumstances. People have kids and sick loved ones and gambling problems and in the event of an emergency may need to leave the bar to take a call. However, nowadays people normally want their phone around in case they think of something witty to post on twitter or want to leave a comment on facebook every time they think of a new way to pour a cactus cooler or because they are engrossed in a new app they just downloaded that tells them what kind of panties a girl is wearing as she walks by.

There is nothing more frustrating than walking into a bar with a strong thirst for a pint and upon sitting down seeing a bartender with his back to the bar. Upon further inspection, you see that he is standing in front of the register and briefly you forgive him for breaking this golden rule of bartending. After almost a minute it becomes evident that there is no transaction being processed through the register. You peer down the bar and see that there are five people waiting all with empty glasses. The music is loud but even over it you can hear the bartender give out a chuckle. You move down a few stools for a better view and see that the bartender is too busy on his phone texting to even know that you want a drink. If you ever witness this leave whatever establishment you are at immediately.

The internet in the palm of one’s hand can be very distracting. Some people feel as if armed with this power of information they are able to answer any question or issue thrown their way. Bars have long been a place of great debate. The key to winning most debates are facts and what used to be found in dictionaries, sports almanacs and classic issues of playboy can now be found in modern day cell phones.

Of course there is always the guy who believes his fancy phone can find any piece of information no matter how obscure or asinine the fact faster than anyone else, anywhere. He wears his phone on his hip ready for any software duel. As always there is a regular game for the challenge. They draw their phones and race to find out what 1980’s movie featured the Paul Simon song that just finished playing on the jukebox.  I watch from my side of the bar as the bartender leans both elbows on the bar top as he furiously types his way through countless pages of 1980’s movie trivia. Once my glass of whiskey goes without for five minutes or more my patience wears out and I leave, never return to such a place.

A cell phone’s original purpose, once again, was to be a mobile device people could have phone conversations on. Even that most simple function of a cell phone shouldn’t be used when one is working behind the bar. Only two results can come from this, either people are going to be rudely ignored or receive shitty and absent-minded service.

For example take the girl who will continue to serve people while chatting away on the phone. You’ve seen her before. She prances around the bar mis-pouring drinks because she is only half listening to orders while the other half of her half a brain is listening to whoever is on the other side of her cell phone. It’s even worse when after fucking up she apologizes, covers the mouthpiece of the phone and mouths the words “my boss” to you. For some reason she thinks this makes it okay. If this statement is actually true then it makes me wonder why the fuck am I spending money at a bar owned by someone dumb enough to condone such behavior in their business.

The other girl will just stare at you while she talks on her phone. It is apparent whatever conversation she is holding is far more important than getting me drunk, making herself and the bar money or most simply doing her fucking job. Whether she is laughing or feigning sadness to whoever is rambling in her ear, her lack of common sense is never lost on me. Then, when I try to engage her in a last ditch effort to get my drink on, she sticks a bony smoke stained finger with a hot pink painted nail in my face signaling for me to hold on. You are supposed to put phones on hold, not people. As soon as that finger finds its way somewhere near my face I fight the urge to snap it and simply just leave.

To all the bartenders out there who are going to read this and say, “Hey bro, what’s the big deal?” I say you are in a business where making a lot of money is directly related to the happiness of the people you are serving. Talking to your boss because he or she believes they are more important than their customers means the bar they own won’t be in business much longer. Texting your friend that you can’t wait to get off work so you can get drunk is not going to put money in your tip bucket. Twittering every five minutes to keep your four followers informed on exactly what you are doing at all times is only going to leave you with an empty bar. Most importantly, to all be warned that the next time I see a bartender using their cell phone behind the bar I am going to snatch it and stuff it in a very dark place. I encourage you, the general drunken public, to do the same.

 

 

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