Sh*t Only Bartenders Will Understand

Working in a bar comes with its many perks. You operate in a thriving, fun and social environment and may have the opportunity to take home quite a substantial amount of money in one busy night if you're working for tips. When it's good it's REALLY good, but when it's bad your job seems like a gargantuan task - you struggle through your shift doing everything in your power NOT to kill someone! These are the things that every bartender has had to endure in their time.

30. People sneaking drink into the bar.

It happens everywhere. People know that this isn't an acceptable thing to do, yet they get surprised when we ask them to leave because they've brought in a six-pack of beer, a litre of vodka and a bottle of absinthe. Are you really that determined to save money? I've even witnessed one guy sneak in alcohol in his bag, then try to sell it to to regular patrons of the bar.

29. Intensely making out at the bar.

A little making out is fine. Of course, no problem. But maybe do it away from everyone else and don't get too hot and heavy. Get a room. The amount of people who head for the bathrooms in bars to get a release in the middle of the night would frighten you. Please, just 2 bodily outputs in the bathrooms - we don't like to be cleaning up the third at the end of the night.


28. People doing hard drugs in your bar.

Yes this happens. We understand that alcohol may not be enough for some of you, but that does not give you the right to not-so-stealthily, sprinkle out a heap of cocaine on the bar and snort a line in clear view of us. It's ten times worse when people do this in your bar in the middle of the day. And yes, it happens.

27. "Make it strong."

What makes you so special from everyone else? If you want less mixer, just say so. However bartenders don't make "weak" drinks. Unless you're paying for a double, we're going to pour you the exact same amount as everyone else. Oh, and less ice NEVER means more alcohol, so don't bother. You don't order no vegetables in your burger and get more meat, do you?


26. Customers asking you to smile.

There is nothing more infuriating then when you're run off your feet, sweating profusely, serving 10 customers at a time and then one obnoxious moron utters those words: "Why don't you smile?!" It takes every inch of your self-control not to lash out at this person.

25. Customers whispering their orders in a loud bar!

Believe it or not, bartenders don't actually like having to ask you to repeat your order 5 times. Speak up for God's sake!


24. Being on your feet for your ENTIRE shift!

Rushing around a hectic bar on your feet for 1o hours is no easy feat. It takes a while to ease into. When you first start working a bar job your legs will be sore for DAYS afterwards. Think about doing an intense leg day at the gym - now multiply that by 5 and you've got you're real level of pain...

23. Customers paying for one drink on their card.

Are you REALLY paying for one  bottle of beer on your credit card? These people are the worst of the worst.


22. People asking you how much they should tip.

Bartenders don't want to have to tell you how much you should tip them. If you enjoyed their service, tip them! Just don't leave a pocket full of copper coins splashed on top of the bill. We'd much rather you just take your bus change with you, rather than insult us with your useless shrapnel.

21. "Woooooooooo!!"

The noise that spreads from one drunk girl's mouth and echoes around the bar in a Mexican Wave of drunken idiots "Woooing"... We'd rather listen to a bag of cats being chucked around in a washing machine...


20. "Will you take our picture?"

Please don't ask your bartender to take a picture of you and your boyfriend on your 8-week-iversary. You're at a bar, not holidaying in Paris. Chill out.

19. Getting stuck working a slow day.

You're scheduled to work Monday evening. Time drags in slower than the second coming of Christ. You serve two old men sitting at the bar a handful of pints all night and come home with some bus money in tips. These are the nights where it all just doesn't seem worth it. FML...


18. Your female coworkers being let out early while you count kegs and restock the bar.

The worst thing about being a male bartender is when your female counterparts cut out early after you both busted your ass after a long shift. She skips home and sleeps happily in bed, resting her tired legs, while you're lugging hefty Guinness, Heineken and Budweiser kegs around the back room and restocking the entire bar. It pays to have boobs...

17. People paying for their drinks by tossing their money in the spilled beer on the counter.

The most ignorant and obnoxious of all annoying patrons, anyone who constantly engages in this gesture deserves to rot in hell. You SEE my outstretched hand in front of you, waiting to take your money but you throw it in the sticky swamp of beer resting on the counter and stroll off, expecting me to pick each coin out of the horrible mess myself.


16. The self-proclaimed "lovers of craft beer."

The guys who ask you for the most clandestine and niche craft beer brand which they probably heard from their dad and his friends. If you're into your craft beers, order a great-tasting more popular one like Hoppy Poppy, Chuckanut Dunkel, Galway Hooker or a tasty Allagash Sasison. Nobody likes pretentiousness!

15. Rude and condescending customers.

Hey... "Bro, bud, pal, hun, sweetheart..." These condescending terms will attract your bartender's attention but not in a good way. They may pretend to not hear your abrupt calls and serve others ahead of you.


14. Customers question your knowledge of the bar.

If a bartender tells you that they don't stock Macallan 1946 whiskey or are simply out of limes, don't argue with them and make things worse for both of you. They work there, you don't. They're not going to lie to you just so you don't get the drink that you want... Well, maybe if you're a total a**hole they might.

13. Customers not having their cash ready.

When operating in a hectic environment with customers shrouded around every inch of the bar, please be ready to pay when we come back to you with your drinks. We don't want to see you rifling through your purse or waiting for you to pluck the change from the pit of your wallet so we can continue on with our jobs.


12. "What's the cheapest thing in here?"

Every bartender automatically thinks this one line when you ask this terrible question. "YOU!" Of course they don't say that, and kindly issue you towards their urine-like beer on tap which only the lowest of the low ever drink. "Here you are my friend. Enjoy," they say through clenched teeth.

11. People splitting tiny bills.

There is ABSOLUTELY no need to split a 20  quid bill into 4 quarters among your friends. It just makes our job unnecessarily difficult. Just owe your friend and pay them back later!


10. Cutting off the excessively drunk and aggressive guy.

There's always one. That idiot guy who can't handle his drink and gets increasingly loud, annoying and aggressive as the night wears on. You know he's going to be more of a problem later on but try postpone the dilemma and hope it goes away, but it never does! Finally, you'll arrive to overcoming his outlandish threats and dodging his swinging punches, while tossing him outside, ONLY to see him come in next week, apologise, and begin the same routine all over again! You sir, have a drinking problem!

9. People complaining about being asked for ID.

"Are you serious?" ... "Why yes, I am serious." If you're older, take it as a compliment. If someone puts up an argument about being asked for ID, they're usually underage. Sorry sunshine, come back again next year.


8. Serving someone a HUGE round and not getting any tip!

Stingy cheapskates and scrouge-like customers are a bartender's worst enemy, and they can spot you coming a mile away! It's the really friendly and polite people who don't tip that surprise us the most. You don't see them coming and feel both shocked and cheated when they spend 50 quid on a round and leave no tip in sight.

7. Customers who don't know what they want.

"Ummmmm..." Do NOT have the audacity to wave, shout, moan and cry to get a bartender's attention, only to stand there only NOW contemplating what you want to order! And PLEASE, for the love of God, don't order every drink of your round one at a time! Bartenders have a job to do and other customers to serve, so don't get pissy with them when they politely tell you that they'll come back when you've finally made up your mind.


6. People repeatedly asking for water.

Asking for water is no big deal when you're a paying customer, or when you're with a group of paying customers. Don't take up a bar stool watching the latest football game and sipping on your water free of charge and then wander out afterwards without a moment's appreciation or even a measly tip.

5. Hand-waving.

Ignorant customers trying to flag you down through hand-waving, banging on the bar, shouting or even worse, whistling! The bar is obviously busy and you're NOT higher on our list of priorities just because you're obnoxious and rude. There are other people ahead of you in the line so wait your turn and we'll get to you soon.


4. Customers vomiting in your workplace.

Somebody has to clean it up. You'd be surprised just how frequently this event actually occurs. The very LEAST you can do is try and make it to the bathroom or outside of the bar. A little common courtesy is always nice.

3. We don't care that it's your birthday.

No, you may not have free drinks for you and your friends! Just because it is the anniversary of the awful day that you were brought into existence, that does not give you the licence to act like a brat, hound the bar staff for free drinks and act like you own the establishment. Get a grip...


2. People buying 3 drinks to themselves right before closing time.

Last orders are here and Little Miss Sunshine and her friends decide to buy 3 drinks each and nurse them slowly while we have made it vehemently clear that we are closing! We actually do have lives outside of work and would like to get home before 5am if that's okay with you?

1. Trying to shift the last group of people out the door way past closing time.

People refusing to leave the bar AFTER closing time because they still have drinks in front of them. This might surprise you but JUST because you have a drink in front of you, does not give you the right to somehow stay here after hours or qualify you for a one-man lock in. Get out!

Alan Condon

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