In order to be fair and supply a yin to the yang of “6 Ways to Piss Off Your Bartender,” we felt the need to flip the coin and come back with a view from the other side. And yes, sometimes the bartender is the one supplying the “pissed offedness” to the customers.
1) Watching television instead of tending bar.
Most casual, non-clubbish bars have a television tuned to something sporty to entertain the drinking and dining public. When the bar crowd is dwindling and the bartender is distracted by said television, it can and may lead to slower service, weaker or fowl tasting libations, sluggish food service and a glazed over eye contact from the service provider. A thirsty sojourner may find themselves playing second fiddle to the bartender’s obsession with American Idol, and that is reason to be pissed.
2) Talking too much.
Sometimes you go into a bar wanting nothing more than a newspaper, ESPN, and a cold beverage. It’s as if your solo presence is reason enough for the Chatty Cathy behind the bar to unload their life’s woes upon your empathetic ears. You get stuck listening to a story fit for a Tammy Wynette song and missing out on the double overtime game of the year. This is usually more likely in a barren bar during the week. Business travelers, consider yourself warned.
3) Being pretentious.
The sinking feeling some of us experience when faced with an intricate wine list is only bolstered when the pompous ass of a bartender we order it from seems to thumb their nose at us. Just because we can’t afford a $300 bottle of wine does not mean we do not appreciate a finely tuned vintage, so we shouldn’t be treated as idiots. This isn’t a problem at sports bars and strip clubs for obvious reasons.
When the phrase, “no, thank you,” turns into, “seriously, I just want to order a well drink, please…” you’ve probably been oversold by an unrelenting zealot. The restaurant and bar world teaches personnel to upsell, upsell, upsell, so the “employee of the month” bartenders tend to lean toward the used car salesman approach. We know it sounds tempting to order the super premium ultra fantastic margarita instead of the house one, but at a certain point, all tequila tastes the same when mixed with the sugary lime concoction.
5) Using pet names.
Calling us sweetie, baby, honey or any other term of endearment may be great when you’re married or dating someone, but not when you’re out to get a drink. Really, how do they know if we’re truly a nice person worthy of such praise? We could be a serial killer in for a drink before our next stalking session, of whom we’d definitely not bestow the term of “sweetheart.” This is more common in the south and with female bartenders.
6) Closing up shop while you’re still enjoying your drink.
We know you have a hot date waiting at the club next door, or you have an exam to study for, but we’re paying customers. As long as we’re not singing drunken sea shanties and staying 2 hours over closing time, please respect that we might want to finish our drinks without having the vacuum as background music. Picking up our drink to wipe down the counter underneath is a big no-no as well. Perhaps we’ll even leave a larger tip if we realize that we’re holding you later than closing time if you respect our space and let us finish up on our own. You can start the shut down process while we’re there, but don’t make us feel uncomfortable for not wanting to chug a lug.
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