I’ve been stumbling across some pretty awesome stuff online lately, as far as bartending goes. The following are little nuggets of wisdom for you to read, cherish & share with your friends. The more you know… Or something… whatever that quote from Reading Rainbow was, I think the point of it was to make it your job to a) find stuff out & b) share that stuff with your pals.
#1 The Bartender Hates You – Series 1 Playlist – Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 5 years, you’ve seen this amazing series, brought to you from the people over at Official Generation Awesome. It’s amazing, inspiring & therapeutic all in one. If you don’t find these funny, congrats – you’re officially “that guy,” (in other words, bartenders – worldwide – hate you, but then again, you probably already knew that.)
The Bartender Hates You – Series 2 Playlist – If you order ANY mojitos or muddled anything drinks when a bar is packed & the bartenders are running around like lunatics, you sir, are an asshole. I hope your bartender re-enacts #15 for you from this series.
The Bartender Hates You – Series 3 Playlist – “Do I look like a fucking coinstar?” Yes, people actually do the things in these videos to bartenders. I once had a guy come in with his own little ziplock baggie full of pennies, nickels and dimes. Awesome. The bar I was working at, only took quarters. I had to change those fuckers in & take them home as part of my tips.
#2 Shit People Say to Bartenders- DON’T be these people!!! This video was 100% spot on & hilarious. Having a bad day? If you feel the need to vent some long-pent-up frustration, there are a few people who wrote comments (below the video) along the lines of ‘bartenders don’t deserve to be tipped at all.’ Feel free to unleash that frustration & rain cyber hellfire, brimstone & sriracha-scathing sarcasm on these miscreants, while dramatically throwing your head back as you laugh maniacally like Jack Nicholson. Or… you can leave the author & video people a neat comment letting them know how awesome they are & how incredibly dope their video is
#3 How to Become Your Bartender’s Favorite Customer – I love it! The last paragraph is amazing! The only bones I have to pick with it are as follows:
a) “remember that bartenders dip a straw for a taste before serving,” – sometimes I do this, but late at night – ain’t nobody got time for that!
b) “Perfect the Casual Half-Raise This open-palm, one-raised-finger, half-mast gesture says in the most undemanding way possible, “I’m here when you’re ready” - I see people doing this. 90% of the time they do this, they turn their head in the opposite direction and talk to their friends. I’ve literally stood DIRECTLY in front of people doing this, asked what I can get for them & have had them ignore me. If you’re going to do the casual half raise, make sure you face forward, look at the bartender & tell the bartender what you want. Otherwise, this move makes you the biggest dick at the bar & consequently the person who is going to be served last.
#4 Local Bartender Shares Bar Etiquette – This is a great, succinct article. I especially enjoyed the bit about Indiana Jones & the shot glasses.
#5 How to Tip a Bartender Properly - Pretty great article from wikihow. But don’t take my word for it
I love you guys. Really, I do. And most bartenders love their customers. You put money in our pockets, you put a smile on our face & you give us something to do! However, sometimes ya’ll mess up. We’re all human. Here’s a list of what not to do in a bar, or to your bartender. The list has a range – the higher the number, the worse the offense. Is that even proper English? I don’t know, but fuck it. DON’T DO THESE THINGS:
1) Crumple your money in a ball or hand it to us all folded up: Especially if we’re busy. This is not a cool thing. It’s not a clever way of hiding the fact that you tipped $1 on a $30 round either. This means that we’ve got to spend the extra time to uncrumple or unfold it, flatten it out and then put it in the register. If you want quicker service, do the bartender (and the rest of the patrons – who are also waiting – around you) a favor and have your money out like a normal person & not balled up.
2) Rip down posters in the bar: They cost a ton of money (the bar’s $, the band’s $, the sponsor’s $), it wastes paper & some poor bastard (most likely the bartender) is going to either replace it or dig the staples out of the wall later. Save a tree, ok?
3) Help yourself to the garnishes in the fruit tray: It’s not the fucking Golden Corral or an all-you-can-eat salad bar. I don’t want to see your grubby little fingers in there, k? If you’d like something, ask for it.
4) Stand directly in front of the taps & ask us what beer we have on tap: They’re right in front of you, jackass. Don’t ask me to read them to you. And don’t ask me to read the chalkboard list to you or tell you every bottle of liquor we keep behind the bar. Open your eyes and READ. If English is your primary language & you can’t read the taps or the board when you’re directly in front of them, one of 3 things is true: a) you need glasses, b) you’re too drunk & should probably be cut off or c) you’re lazy and or didn’t pass first grade.
5) Ignore your bartender: If we ask you what you’d like, it’s rude to stare off into space or stare at us like we just started speaking in tongues. If you need a minute, please say so. But please reply when you’re spoken to. It’s just rude otherwise. We’re trying to serve you & do our job. It’s not like we’re asking for your social security number or for you to recite a Robert Frost poem in Latin. Likewise, if we take your order & make it, don’t stand with your back facing us while you chat with your friends. Either leave your money on the bar so you can pay us and not hold us up from serving the other 20 people who are waiting, or face forward until the transaction is complete.
6) Ask for free drinks, or expect them: If it’s your birthday, if you’re VIP, if you’re a regular, if you’re friends with the owner, if you’re friends with the bartender, if you’re not friends with the bartender but promise to leave a “big tip if she hooks it up with a free drink…”
a) If you’re friends with the owner, you should want their business to succeed and should want to spend money in their establishment. No one is entitled to anything.
b) If you’re really good looking – you may think you’re hot shit, and all the guys/girls at my bar want you, but in my eyes you’re exactly the same as Quasimodo who’s sittin’ right next to ya. I’m not going to give you a free drink because you’re batting your eyes at me and you’re hot.
c) …even if you’re a good tipper. I like my job. Giving away “free drinks,” equals STEALING from the bar. I don’t own the liquor or the beer. I’m not going to steal & risk losing my job for you, no matter who you are.
d) If you’re my friend and you expect free drinks when you come to visit me, you should rethink our friendship. Plus you’re putting me in an awkward position. I don’t ask for you to steal stuff for me at your job. Why are you asking me to do the same? “But no one will know!” I’ve got cameras on me, plus 30+ people at the bar watching me. And personally, I have enough trouble sleeping without the threat of losing my job hanging over my head. Like Mark Twain said: “always tell the truth; then you never have to remember anything.”
e) Birthdays: At some bars, including mine, it’s policy to give out a free shot to people on their birthday. That doesn’t mean you act entitled to it. Mention it’s your bday casually. If the bartender’s nice and their boss has given them the go-ahead, be happy when they give you a shot or free drink. Say thank you. But also know that some owners do not believe in that policy and would fire a bartender for doing so. So understand if you don’t get one as well & don’t act like a brat.
7) Disrespect the bar: Don’t smash the toilet, punch holes in the walls, write stupid things in sharpie everywhere or piss on the wall. A lot of people work in a bar. This is their second home. I don’t come to your living room, put my fist through your wall, stick gum under your coffee table & write “GC wuz here 3/1/11 LOLZ!!!111!!” in your bathroom. You’re hanging out there. Why do you want to make it a shithole? In addition, every time something is damaged, someone has to pay for it. Usually the owners of the bar. And guess what? If they’ve got a ton of bills due to damage, liquor and beer prices go up to cover it. And also, if you fuck up one of the toilets and the bar’s a frequent hangout of yours, guess who’s going to be waiting in line at some point 5 minutes longer because ::ahem:: “some asshole fucked up one of the toilets!” Karma’s a bitch. Also, if you puke somewhere, make a mess or draw on the walls, know that the cleaning lady will be cleaning up YOUR mess. Usually she’s a sweetheart of a woman in her forties with a couple of kids and a bad back.
PS – side note here but I totally LOVE the above piece of graffiti. It’s so fucking clever. I hate Samuel Beckett & I love this. What I hate is bad artwork, stupid tags of “so and so were here hahahaha date here,” and sayings that are meant to be clever but are written by morons who can’t even spell, let alone think. I see things like “size dose mater!!!!” written on the wall and seriously wonder how the individual who wrote it can walk without tripping over their own fatuity.
8 ) Not have your drink order ready when we get to you: Especially if the bartender’s busy, this will piss us off a LOT. If you’ve been waiting a few minutes and staring us down, know what you want & be able to tell us your drink order. Don’t stand there, staring us down, only so we can walk up to you, ask for your order & have you reply “wait,” after which you turn around & ask “hey, Mike what do you want, because I don’t know what I want? Wanna get a pitcher? Of what? Magic Hat? Well…” This will cause us to ignore you, go to someone else & make you wait 5 minutes MORE (we’re hoping that by the time we get back to you, you know what you want). While you’re standing at the bar waiting, figure out what you want. If you’re ordering for your friends, figure out what they want as well. THEN try and get our attention. And for God’s sake – don’t wave your arms like an air-traffic-controller-meets-Hermione-Granger-type if you have no idea what you want. It’s the equivalent of getting onstage with a microphone, doing four sound checks, telling everyone to quiet down and pay attention– and then staring blankly at the audience and saying “uh….. I got nothin’.”
9) Touch or grab your bartender or cocktail waitress: It’s one of the rudest things you can possibly do. Plus it’s creepy. Don’t be surprised if you get kicked out of the bar or sworn at. You don’t walk up to strangers and grab them on the street. Not cool. Don’t do it.
10) Walk Behind the Bar: I don’t want to see so much as your pinky toe cross that line. I don’t care if you know the bartender or who the hell you know. The only people allowed behind a bar are: bartenders, barbacks, owners & sometimes security, if they have a good reason for being back there. This is one of those things that very well might get you kicked out of a bar. Me seeing someone walk behind the bar I’m working at is like you seeing a stranger sitting in your car, playing with the steering wheel. Exactly. Wtf are they doing there?
11) Start a fight: Very, very bad idea. One, our bouncers have enough shit to deal with; checking IDs sweeping up broken glass, making sure people don’t sneak alcohol into or out of the bar, etc. If you start a fight, chances are that you’re gonna wind up in the back of a cop car. I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall thinking the last time I went out drinking “man, I’m planning on going out drinking & hopefully, if all goes well, I’ll wind up in jail at the end of the night with sweet assault charges to boot!” No one wants that. Your bartender doesn’t want that. Your bouncers don’t want that. You and your friends don’t want that. And let’s be honest here, not even the cops want that. So go out, have fun & don’t start shit. If shit goes down, please back away & remember why you’re out in the first place: to have a good time. Don’t get involved in fights. Wanna play hero? Do it this way – when a fight’s going down, get your friends (especially female friends wearing heels) against a wall/as far away as possible. You don’t want them getting knocked into by accident or have them get a bottle or a punch thrown at them by mistake.
12) Mouth off to your bartender: I will have security escort you out. Do not swear at me, do not make fun of me, do not belittle me, threaten me or harass me. I’m working. I don’t come to your cubicle and act like an asshole. I’m trying to do my job & make a buck, just like everyone else. Just because I’m behind a bar doesn’t mean you can say/do whatever you want. Harassment is harassment & will be dealt with accordingly. Also, according to the level of harassment, know that a) you may be escorted out by security b) you may be escorted out by the police c) you may be permanently banned from the establishment. As well, you should know that the service industry is quite closely knit. Chances are that your bartender is friends with other bartenders, bouncers and club owners. Piss one of us off enough & you may just find yourself banned from every joint in town. Be careful. I’ve seen it happen before. Don’t be an asshole to your bartenders, bouncers or waitstaff. This includes barbacks. I once had someone escorted out because they were swearing at my barback. Don’t disrespect the staff.
What TO DO @ a bar:
BE NICE. Tip well ($1/drink). We all want to have a good night, share some laughs, see a good band. No one wants drama. My ideal night is this: every customer in the bar has fun, everyone likes their drink, no one fights with anyone, the one chick that was crying in the bathroom because her bf dumped her now has a smile on her face and is bopping her head to the music, people are meeting each other and making friends, the bar’s making money, I can pay my bills & after everyone leaves, all they can think about is “when can I come back and do this again? That was awesome!” <— That’s the killer part about my job. I’ve had those nights.
originally published Mar 2, 2011 @ 10:48, edited 12/8/13
I <3 fall. I love the colors, the smells, the tastes & the drinks! Today I played around with some hot mulled apple cider. I took a gallon of the good stuff (actual cider) and added a gallon of cheap apple juice, threw in some cinnamon sticks & cloves and let it simmer in the hot pot. It made the bar smell amazing!!! Then came the experimentation: adding liquor to the cider. I took 10 rocks glasses and added about a half to a quarter of a shot of booze to each and then filled the rocks glass about halfway up with hot mulled cider. I tried them, another local bartender tried em and even some customers took a sip or two. Here are the verdicts:
#1: t the top of the pack, we’ve got FIREBALL! IMHO, one of the best inventions ever: the fusion of cinnamon & whiskey. Fan-fucking-tastic! It’s like cozy-in-front-of-the-fireplace-wonderful in your mouth. Your tastebuds haven’t been this impressed since you discovered poprocks.
#2: Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top & BAM! It’s a caramel apple in a glass! Also it’s way easier to consume, because you don’t have to worry about getting sticky, getting caramel all over your face & looking like Augustus Gloop. Plus this version gets you drunk. You just don’t get *that* kind of fun from something at a carnival on a stick.
#3: Orange Vodka. Tastes like Christmas. Kind of wonderful, also cheap if you use a well orange vodka. For this experiment, I used Roxx Orange Vodka. I also recommend Burnett’s.
#4: Jim Beam Red Stag: Fantastic! It felt warm & cozy, like I was sitting in front of a fireplace, slopeside. The bourbon and the black cherry combination work surprisingly well with the cider.
#5: Captain Morgan: The tried & true – if you want some extra spice and some oomph and grit in your cider, this one’s for you.
#6: Similar to #2, good ol’ Buttershots (or Butterscotch Schnapps) is pretty damn great. Yup, butterscotch schnapps + apple cider is delicious! Smooth, sweet & just plain delightful! Plus, it’s cheap! Woo!
#7: Pear Vodka: Pretty damn good! A great blending of fall flavors. I used Absolut Pears.
#8: Razzmatazz: Like raspberry apple juice. Sweet, really easy to drink quickly & also cheap to make!
#9: Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka: The tea flavor isn’t dominant, but it lends some really cool sweet, almost vanilla notes to the cider.
#10: Malibu: Honestly, I was kind of disappointed. I love working with Malibu, but Malibu & cider just didn’t make the cut for me.
#11: Vanilla Vodka: Seemed like a great idea in theory. Not recommended.
Next up to try: Tuaca & Goldschlager.
Alas, my computer is dying & it’s time for bed.
Ever feel like crap & have to work??? Keep reading. So, as some of you might know, I take Tae Kwon Do. This week, I was horribly sick. We had a HUGE, very successful two nights at the bar & then I got hit with a stomach bug. After having spoken to a few people about it, I found that it is a 72-fml-omg-kill-me (Wait I have to run to the bathroom) -now hour bug. Awesome. And I had to work Mon & Tues. If you know anything about my work ethic, you know that I refuse to call in. Unless I’m in the hospital, have broken a limb or am unconscious, I will be at work when I am scheduled.
So, what did I do? I plastered a smile on my face (thank you acting classes), was chipper & upbeat — & my customers had no clue that I felt like my insides were going through a meat grinder. (Seriously, normal people would be at home, in bed, crying — and I was, both days before & after my shifts.) So, what’s my secret? It’s something my Master R. told us one day in class. It seems very basic, but it’s amazing how well it works. Here’s the secret:
DON’T FALL DOWN.
What? No. Refuse to fall down. If something pushes you, make the choice to beat it & stand your ground, no matter how difficult. It’s a mind over matter thing. Our Master told us the following story in class:
When he was training for his black belt, his Master (Master Chun) had the class line up, two lines, parallel to one another. One line was the attack line & one was the defense line. The attack line lunged at the defense line & pushed two fingers at the bottom of the defender’s throat, with force. The line of defenders gagged & some even fell down. Master Chun asked “why did you fall down?” The defending line said “because it hurt,” “it’s a natural reaction.” Master Chun then told them that they were going to repeat the exercise, but that the defending line would tighten their throat and prepare for the attack this time. They repeated the exercise & not one defender gagged or fell. Quite the opposite – some of the attackers were thrown back a foot or two. Master Chun explained to them “don’t fall down because you THINK you should fall down.” Instead, steel yourself & use everything you have to withstand anything that is thrown at you – you will be surprised at what you accomplish.
Another exercise Master Chun made their class do was the following: he had Master R. wrestle with him. He gave Master R. the following instructions: “I’m going to put you in a choke hold. Try your best to get out of it. If you feel like you are about to pass out, tap the floor 3 times.” Master Chun then put Master R. into the choke hold. Master R. tried and tried to get out of it & gave up. He tapped the floor 3 times, but nothing happened! Master Chun was not letting go! Master R. tapped the floor frantically. Still, Master Chun did not let go. Master R. fought four times as fiercely as he had before. Finally, after 12 seconds (after he had first tapped 3x), he passed out & Master Chun released his hold.
There is always more fight in you. When you “think,” you are done, think again.
Make this decision: Don’t Fall Down.
On the flip side, if you are sick to the point of spewing biochemical warfare, gross! Go to CVS & fix yourself. No one wants their drinks with a side of phlegm. Also, if the reason you’re sick is because you were out drinking the night before: been there, done that, I’ve got zero sympathy for ya pal & the same goes for your coworkers. Suck it up & deal with it – you did it to yourself.
My cousin was killed by a drunk driver. I watched my cousin Sarah bawl her eyes out at her own Sweet Sixteen party because her older brother couldn’t be there, because some douchebag had too many Long Islands and got behind the wheel instead of calling a cab.
I WILL cut you off. I WILL give you a water – because chances are that you’re dehydrated, and *if I know you I WILL take your keys.* If you’ve had too much, the ignition key is going behind the bar. You can get anything from your car, you will be able to get in your house, but you will not be driving. You can scream, you can yell, throw stuff at me, threaten to call the cops or try to hit me, but you’re not getting your keys. ESPECIALLY if I know you and care about you. I’ll try my best to make sure you get home ok, I might even drive you home myself at the end of my shift, but you’re not driving if you’re intoxicated.
Also, if you call the cops – GREAT! Yes, technically, taking your keys is theft. They belong to you, as does your car. But here’s how the conversation’s going to go:
Officer: “Did you take his keys?”
Bartender: “Yes, they were planning on driving intoxicated, which they clearly are. I was trying to prevent them from killing themselves/others/getting a DUI.”
Intoxicated Individual: “Gimmmme my keys, bitch!”
Bartender: “By law, I have to. Have fun with that dui.”
Intoxicated Indivial: ::goes anywhere near car, even just to unlock it to get something inside, even if they’re not planning on driving::
[INSERT SIRENS HERE. Fast forward to Drunky McDrunk in the drunk tank at the PD, with a nice shiny DUI & a court date]
So, please, DO call the cops. That way I can rest easy, knowing you can’t hurt yourself or anyone else while you’re in the drunk tank.
Also, be aware that there are consequences of either driving drunk or someone taking your keys:
1) You kill yourself
2) You kill someone else
3) You have the lifelong guilt of someone else’s death hanging over your head
4) You seriously injure yourself – i.e. become a paraplegic
5) You total your car
6) You get a DUI
7) You lose your license
8 ) You lose your job because you lost your license & can no longer drive to and from work
9) ALL OF THE ABOVE, or a combination
Consequences of letting someone take your keys
1) You wake up. That’s it. You WAKE UP. You might have a headache, but you’re not 6 feet under & neither is anyone else that you might have hurt.
2) You spend $20 bucks on a cab (instead of $3,000 in lawyer fees to get out of a DUI)
3) You wake someone up by calling & asking them to give you a ride (instead of them getting a call from the police station or hospital, announcing that you’re dead or in critical condition; pretty sure your friends would prefer to come get you than attend your funeral)
4) You admit that you had too much to drink (instead of insisting that you’re right and totally sober & fine to drive). Admitting you’re wrong is probably the most difficult thing to do. It’s hard. But it’s going to be a million times harder to look a mother or father in the eye and explain why their child is dead (because you hit them when you drove drunk.)
I’ll say it again: You can yell at me. You can scream bloody murder, try to hit me, call the cops on me and or vow never to speak to me ever again. I will take all of it & THEN some. Because of me being “a stubborn asshole,” you’re going to wake up tomorrow. And, on the flip side, you MAY be irresponsible when it comes to your own life – that’s your choice – but once you get behind the wheel intoxicated, you’re a danger to others. It is NOT ok if you decide to play Russian roulette with the other cars and people on the road. That’s not your choice. By getting behind the wheel when you’re intoxicated, you’re basically saying that driving home is more important than possibly killing another human being. You don’t have the right to just snatch away anyone’s life like that.
And if you see someone who is attempting to drive a car when they’re intoxicated, TAKE THEIR KEYS. If they won’t surrender them, threaten to call the cops on them. Tell them why it’s a really BAD idea. Then, if they STILL won’t give up their keys, call the cops. I’d rather have a friend in the drunk tank with a DUI that hates me and won’t speak to me, than have a funeral to go to. Or several.
Unless you work there, you’re dating the bartender or have dated the bartender DON’T FUCKING TOUCH ME! It’s called personal space!!!!!! I understand if you’re a coworker and I’m in your way. If you’re my coworker, you can physically pick me up & move me somewhere else and I won’t care. If I’m dating you or we’ve dated in the past, again, it’s fine. If you don’t work with me & and think it’s ok to a) throw things at me, b) hit me, c) grab me, or d) kiss me (all of which has been done & NOT welcomed), I swear I’m going to break your arm. I’ve had it! Let me do my job & keep your paws off!!!!!
Also, I’m not your goddamn babysitter. Don’t sit at the end of the bar, slurring your words, too drunk to stand (especially bc you probably drank somewhere else, bc I would have cut your drunk ass off) & beg me to take you home & make me feel sorry for you. I’m not your mother & I’m not your girlfriend. You are NOT my responsibility. Don’t get wasted and plan on the bartender taking care of you just because you know them. I’ve had a long night. The last thing I’m doing is moping up YOUR puke. It’s irresponsible. Also, guilting someone into making them take you home is not cool on so many levels. Being that wasted is not attractive & putting me in a position where you basically say it’s my couch or you driving drunk is NOT ok. If we’re close friends and I offer it, of course. You have friends, you have a phone. You’re capable of making other arrangements.
On the flip side, if I do like you & want to hang out, you should probably ask me what I’m doing when I get done with work or better yet, ask me out on a date. Note that this is totally different from “I’m wasteddddd can I stay on your couch?” Also, side note – everyone who has slept on my couch is an absolute peach & I <3 you & this does NOT apply to you guys, because when I say “of course, you’re more than welcome, I mean it.” Likewise, if I say “no,” I mean “no.”
Anddddd now I’m going to bed.
Hopefully I won’t hate everyone when I wake up :o)