Posts Tagged ‘bar business’

The Bad Bartender Chronicles III

May 12, 2012

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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I’m a Bartender

April 21, 2012

A guy approaches the bar. I finish helping my current customer and then move on to him.

“How are you doing? What can I get for you?” I ask.

“Yeah good. I just got off work. I’m a bartender down at …”

He continues to talk but as soon as I hear “I’m a bartender” not only do I stop listening but my internal douchebag alert sounds off at a frequency too loud to ignore. This may seem like an innocent statement to you but I know better. He didn’t name drop his occupation because he wanted to talk shop and discuss different ways to pour a vodka cranberry. This dick toast is trying to get the hook up, but I am not going to fall for it.

It is clear this guy is new to the business. Young bartenders always feel really cool when they first start out and for some reason assume that bartending is some secret order that allows them to drink for free wherever they go. Some of my best customers are bartenders who I hook up on occasion but this is due to them being cool or having proved over time to be a good tipper not because of what they do.

Then there is the guy who within five minutes of meeting you starts promising free shit at his bar.

“Hey bro, I bartend down at D Street. You should come check it out. If I’m working I’ll hook you up fat.”

Obviously this guy believes he will in turn get hooked up at my bar. This is not the case. Just the opposite because anyone willing to give away the bar to a complete stranger isn’t going to have a job for very long. I learned a long time ago that giving away free booze is a great way to get fired.

A lot of times people who have a complaint will claim to be a bartender. That is their attempt at establishing what they call in the crack business “street cred.” How could they be wrong if they do this for a living, allegedly, and why shouldn’t they be showered with free booze as a result?

Like the girl who slams her half drank glass on my bar interrupting my interaction with another customer. I ignore her and try to focus on the transaction at hand.

“Excuse me,” she says.

I ignore her.

“Excuse me,” she says, this time louder.

I finish helping my customer and upon seeing no one else at the bar I approach the girl with the half drank drink.

“What can I do for you?” I ask.

“Um, yeah, my margarita doesn’t have any orange juice in it.”

“I’m sorry I thought you wanted it plain.”

“I did that’s why I was expecting it to have orange juice.”

We stare at each and I quickly realize I am dealing with an inferior species of human.

“There’s no orange juice in a plain margarita but I can…”

“Uh actually I’m a bartender and I have never heard of a margarita that didn’t have orange juice in it,” she says.

I find myself at a crossroads. I can either enter into a debate with an idiot or I can just pour some orange juice in her glass and save my brain cells for more important purposes.

“How about I just pour some orange juice in that drink for you miss?”

“Well I was thinking for my inconvenience my girlfriends and I should get a round of shots on the house. It’s pretty standard to take care of your customers. Every bar I’ve ever worked at would do the same without being asked to.”

This girl is a fraud and so are people like her. Not only was she wrong about what went in her drink but since she is freshly twenty-one I doubt how extensive her experience in the bar business could be.

Former bartenders might be the worst. They can’t wait to tell you how to do your job which according to them they are qualified to do based on the fact that they bartended at the busiest bar in bumfuck Minnesota over a fifteen year span that covered the eighties and early nineties. Believe me that wealth of ancient experience is not going to make statements like, “Why did you do that?” or “I’ve never seen that before,” or  “You want to know how I used to do that?” are not going to get your drink filled faster.

Bartenders beware any person who claims to be in the business within the first five minutes of you talking to them should be double charged for everything they order. If you come across an issue with a so-called “bartender” making unintelligible complaints just pour orange juice in whatever glass they have in front of them. More importantly, if you come across a mouthy veteran of the bar game report them to the Home For Lost Barekeeps so that they may find someone who cares about what a mean mint julep they used to pour.

The Bad Bartender Chronicles II

March 24, 2012

A major problem with the bar industry today is that a lot of male bar owners/managers make hiring decisions based off approval by their dick instead of their brain. As a result, instead of ending up with a quality bartender they hire some super hot bimbo with boobs bigger than their heads who can barely pour an ice water. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of really good female bartenders, some of which are really hot. That’s not the point. This isn’t a beauty contest and the bottom line is if I wanted to stare at a hot chick who can’t keep my drink filled with booze because she is too busy flirting with her nineteen year old barback I would go to a strip club. When I am out drinking, I want my drinks strong and fast and it doesn’t matter if a gremlin is serving me as long as my glass stays full.

Usually, the idea behind hiring a hot female bartender who cares more about her makeup than the customers is based on the fact that most of the people frequenting a bar on a regular basis are men. It is then assumed that when drinking men must have a half dressed hottie serving them alcohol. In that sense men are seen as animals who constantly crave the sight of the opposite sex and when this craving is mixed with booze it gets worse. If that is the case then we as men are very simple creatures and are at best one step above a coyote with our snarling teeth and saliva covered chins.

There is some truth to the idea that all most men need to be satisfied with a bar is to have a glorified stripper with pouring privileges serving drinks slowly. I would estimate that seventy percent of men really are that simple. I know a lot of guys who frequent bars based strictly on what the bar staff looks like. What’s funny is that what all of these guys have in common is their belief that one day they will take that sexy bartender home with them.

That notion is foolish and quite frankly laughable. Hot female bartenders make a living off saps who swear they are one step away from getting laid. News flash jack ass all that flirting you and her just shared was monetarily motivated on her part and ten seconds after you walked away she started flirting with someone else.

This false confidence grows when men are fed booze and by the end of the night a good female bartender will have a bar full of men truly believing that they have a shot. Even after the door guy has cleared these drunken lechers out from the bar as they head home they do so with the confidence that next time they truly will get lucky with their favorite bartender. Although this sounds pretty pathetic it happens at bars all over the world and evidently as much as we as a species adapt and improve ourselves, drunken men believing hot girls half their age are down to bone is a mentality even evolution can’t overcome.

In our modern world which favors gender equality there are few jobs females are at a disadvantage of obtaining other than being president. Men on the other hand find hardships when trying to enter many a job field, especially so in the bar business. Despite the fact that this double standard has been set due in large to ogling men who care more about their spank bank than good service it is still unfair.

It is a fact that finding a job as a male bartender is exponentially more difficult than it is for a woman. I am the proof. When I moved out to California I had four years of bar tending experience along with a year of bar management experience and I couldn’t even get a job at Chili’s. One bar manager looked me dead in the eye and said that he didn’t think he’d ever seen a male apply for a position. I felt the urge to smack him across the face for even sliding me an application and then watching me fill it out before sharing this information with me. Luckily after some lean times a wise man took a chance on my overqualified ass as a busboy and the rest is bar history.

Once men get a leg in behind the bar they have to work twice as hard as a woman to earn a decent wage. I have seen a good looking girl get a hundred dollar tip from a creepy and greasy looking businessman even though it took her ten minutes to acknowledge him and another twenty to figure out how to open his Bud Light. Trust me; no one is ever going to tip me a hundred bucks just to stand there with a confused look on my face no matter how pretty my beard is that day.

I urge you the drunken masses to demand competence over big tits. Don’t stand for shitty service just because some bar owner thinks his office is the casting couch of a cheap porn website. Let’s take our bars back and move forward into a world where bartenders aren’t judged on their jugs but their ability. Let’s forgo fantasies of nymphomaniac female bartenders who will fuck you just for tipping well and move into a reality where every bartender around knows that there is no cranberry juice in a vodka tonic.


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