Tag Archives: assholes

From Fark to Rant and Back Again

5 Sep

Earlier this week I had a post published on Her Blueprint, the blog associated with the Global Fund for Women.  I am going to be writing monthly, and perhaps eventually twice monthly, so stay tuned!  I will try and post links here on FranklyRebekah for the few readers among you who are not my friends IRL (that shorthand makes me laugh, don’t judge me).  Anywho, I am incredibly excited and humbled by the opportunity to write in the company of so many talented women.  You should read all their blog posts. Such diversity of topic and perspective. I don’t know. It’s cool. I’m gushing.

For my first post, I wrote about a change in commenting policies recently announced by Drew Curtis, the founder of Fark.  For those of you who don’t know Fark, it’s a link-aggregator, allowing people around the Internet to post links, with funny headlines, to articles they find online.  The result is kind of hilarious.  I actually feel totally in the know about this particular site because back in the day my brother, Aaron, used to send stuff into Fark and I always thought it was really awesome when his article, with his very own title, went on the homepage.  My brother, the Internet-famous title-writer. Over the years, the comment section on Fark has sort of devolved into more of a bro-culture, with people making all sorts of disparaging comments about all sorts of individuals and groups of people, most commonly women. (My brother is not a part of these sorts of things because he is a nice and awesome guy.) As a result, Crutis announced that the mods over at Fark would start deleting comments if they belonged to one of the following three categories:

1. Rape jokes;

2. Calling women as a group sluts, whores or some other derogatory name;

3. Making jokes that say that women who were the victim of a crime were somehow deserving it.

Personally, I think this is a great move.  I know there are some people who are going to go on and on about their right to opinion and personal expression and all that other stuff and, okay, I see your point.  But I think it’s dumb.  There, I said it.  I think that going online and saying mean things about people for no reason other than your own amusement and the amusement of those you hang out with in cyberspace is dumb.  I think that intentionally, and oftentimes anonymously, going online to express thoughts, jokes and feelings that many people would never actually make if forced to do so face-to-face with someone else with the express purpose of getting a rise out of someone else is dumb.  And I think that people who believe this is an important part of the internet are, surprise surprise, dumb. I think I just insulted about half the internet.  Good thing those people don’t read my blog.

Maybe I should be a little more nuanced, and a little less childish, here.  I apologize to all the people who I just called dumb, that was not nice of me.  It also is not the way I like to carry myself as a Responsible Adult on the Internet.  So let me give this another go.  We have this attitude online that anything goes.  That is is a bastion of free speech.  That, quite literally, you can say whatever the fuck you want.  Honestly, in my mind, that is how the Amanda Todd tragedy happened.  Just a word to the wise, if you don’t want to spend the rest of the day thoroughly depressed, don’t read about Amanda Todd.  Also, definitely don’t watch the video she posted on YouTube about a year before she died.  I watched it once and cried for like an hour.  And another thing:  do not read the fucking comments under the video because I just read 3 of them and actually want to throw my computer.  Seriously, this is what I am talking about!

Cue the rant.

Amanda Todd committed suicide because of the degree to which she suffered from online bullying, which was then expanded to real life bullying as photos of her inevitably got shared by her tormenter with the student body of every school she went to.  She posted a video about her experience.  A year later she killed herself because the bullying didn’t stop.  And the people on the YouTube page, a page that could potentially be used to help avert others from following the same path, use the comment section to say she deserved it, that she is going to hell for killing herself, that obviously she was a slut.  And there is no thought about the fact that another young person who might be having a similarly terrible time of it could go on this page, watch the video in order to understand that someone else went through it, might read the comments to find some support and instead find people saying that this 15-year-old girl deserved to die and that she brought it upon herself.  I can’t even imagine how that must feel. Why would people kill themselves? Maybe partially because people online tell them that they, and people going through similar experiences, deserve what they get. It hurts my heart to think about the people, especially young people, who look online for support and help and are faced with a massive amount of just…I don’t know…hate. And anger. And victim-blaming.

So here’s the thing. I have been online bullied recently. I have the benefit of having this experience, if I have to have it at all, at 31-years-old. I also consider myself lucky in that I have a healthy dose of self-confidence. I don’t think I’m perfect, but I think I am a positive contributor to the world and most people like me. And the people that don’t like me? Fuck ’em. I don’t really care.  For that reason, when I get essentially called a loser online, it does not bother me. I laugh.  Because it reflects more on the person saying it than it does on me. But again, I am an adult. I have had life experiences. I have a supportive group of friends and a wonderful family. I have this blog, which I love writing. And I have my readers, who I appreciate immensely. For a lot of people, these things are not true. For young people, and especially young women, these unkind words can have a real and permanent impact. People are mean. Some of them do it for sport. Most of those that do are online. And the thing about it is that it is like a crowd mentality. Once one person starts, others follow. And all of a sudden everyone is spewing rape jokes, calling someone a slut, telling a young woman looking for help that the world would be better without her and once it is without her, that she is going to hell for her actions.

So, yea, back to Fark. Start moderating that shit. The Internet, as Drew Curtis said, has a real problem with women. The whole world, in my opinion, has a real problem with women. Just look at this clip from Jon Stewart about sexual harassment in the government if you don’t believe me. Oh, and also this one about catcalling. I think at this point that real life, and internet life, reinforce one another. If we are more respectful in real life, perhaps we’ll be more respectful online, and vice versa. So, thumbs up to Drew Curtis and for those of you who think this is a slippery slope into censorship? I say whatever. There are some things that simply shouldn’t be supported by web moderators and cruelty for sport is, in my mind, one of those things. It’s great that we can say (almost) whatever we want on the internet, but that doesn’t mean that we should. And until people get a fucking brain and stop being assholes and devaluing others, then someone should tell them to stop. Because, honestly, it is mean, and cruel, and inhuman, and entirely unnecessary.

Rant over.

This is Not a Tip. This is a Story About an Asshole.

26 Nov

Today I am writing my blog from my parent’s house.  Happy Franksgiving week, everyone!

Generally speaking when I write blogs about people, I either don’t know their names or else I change them to save them from embarrassment.  This is the kind of person that I am.  Following the events of this past Thursday, however, I have decided that I am not vindictive enough and that this is a character trait that I must try and develop.  If people act like assholes, after all, they should be called out and called out by (first) name!  (Clearly I am in the very early stages of vindictive-development.)  Also, this dude was such an incredible shithead that I think I would be doing the world a disservice by not calling him out.  So, here goes.  Let us all hope that he doesn’t sue me for libel* (he’s a lawyer, god help us all).

So, you guys, sometimes working behind the bar really blows.  It sucks when you have gotten dumped only days previously and you have to keep running down to the basement to cry in secret.  It sucks when you have a fever.  And it REALLY sucks when some asshole smears his own shit all over the walls of the men’s room.  Worse than all that, though (well, maybe not worse than the shit on the walls but I think that was a once in a lifetime experience), is when someone who has previously been 86’ed walks in and you can tell they are not going to leave without a fight.

As a first little piece of advice here, and I am pretty sure I have mentioned this somewhere before, if you have been asked to never return to a bar, you should probably just never return there.  I mean, why in the world would you?  Seriously, if I was ever kicked out of a bar I would make it my business to never even walk on the same block as the bar.  No, I probably wouldn’t even walk within 3 blocks!  I would be so ashamed that an entire neighborhood would be completely off-limits due to my own obnoxiousness.  But some people just don’t have that same decency or self-respect.  Some people think that they are entitled to go anywhere they damn please and if they scream loud enough then other people will understand their logic and acquiesce.  Only in most places of reason and normalcy, that doesn’t actually work.  Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes the bar in which I work is a place of reason and normalcy.  It was such a place last Thursday when this guy Mike walked in and assumed he would have his way.  He assumed wrong.

So there me and my friend were, behind the bar, when we saw him walk in.  After some talk, I decided I would break one of my rules by leaving the safety of the bar and talking to him face-to-face.  My only other option was to yell to him from behind the bar because he was standing a ways away, thereby drawing everyone into the drama and making it significantly worse.  So, I calmly walked over to him and then…

Me: Mike, you can’t be in here.  And you can’t have that drink.  If you want to come in tomorrow and speak with the owners, you are more than welcome to do that but as of now you are not allowed to be in here.

At this point, this lovely gentleman made a gun using his thumb and forefinger, held it up to my forehead and pretended to shoot me.

Me:  Okay, well, that is on camera so now any chance you ever had of being let back in here is gone.

Then the yelling began.  He asked me if I was the “enforcer.”  Admittedly, this is a funny question because I am like 5’4″, 115 pounds and he is, from my perspective, kind of huge.  At least 1.5 times my size.  But this underscores for you non-industry readers what it is like being a bartender, and a female one at that.  A lot of the times the people you get into it with could overpower you no questions asked.  Hence why it is always smarter to stay behind the damn bar (stupid Rebekah, stupid!).  Anyway, I (with a slight giggle) told him I was the enforcer.  Then he started calling me a slave.  Apparently not serving him meant that I no longer had any agency whatsoever.  And then all of a sudden I was a bitch and a whore.  Oh, and somewhere in there  I was also useless.  Can’t forget useless.  At some point after being called a bitch, after his girlfriend slapped me in the arm and before Mike threw money at me, my co-worker and I did sort of an asshole hand-off.  I walked behind the bar, she threatened to call the cops but actually just called our boss who lives upstairs, and then she went out to deal with him.  He recycled all his favorite epithets on her, “slave” being his favorite.  At some point he crumpled up a $20 bill and threw it at my face.  I really hate when people do that.  Like, REALLY.  Honestly, if he had never thrown the money at me I probably wouldn’t ever have written this blog but that is just so incredibly disrespectful and demeaning that I can hardly stand it.  I mean, who does that?  You know what?  I do work for money.  But do you know who else works for money?  You guessed it, lawyers!  But you don’t see me going into a court room and throwing money at him.  No, sir.

This went on for quite some time.  At some point I remember standing behind the bar, him yelling all kinds of insulting things and me simply saying, “well, you’re welcome to your own opinion.”  I truly believe that.  He is welcome to it.  Only, his opinion is wrong.  But whatever.  No point in splitting hairs over it. Eventually, after much yelling, he left.  I was happy he left because it meant I didn’t have to deal with him anymore but I was sad he left without handcuffs on his wrists. 

Later I found out this is like a normal thing for him.  He just gets shitcanned and picks fights with people and then his booze-induced selective memory allows him to think that none of it was his fault.  But at some point, you would think that he would realize that the amount of altercations he gets into is because of him and not because of every other person in the entire world.  I was trying to explain this to someone and in doing so I said “well, one of these days he is going to pull this shit on the wrong person” to which this guy responded, interestingly, “I think maybe he’s the wrong person.”  That got me thinking.  Maybe he IS the wrong person.  How sad would it be to wake up one day and realize that you are that theoretical ‘wrong person’ everyone is always warning people they might one day meet?  That person has no friends and eventually dies alone in a tiny apartment somewhere and has his face chewed off by his dog because no one notices for days that he’s dead and the dog is hungry.  Poor dog.

Anyway, all that happened before 10pm.  I had to work until 4.  I was not my normal, sunny self.  Good thing I didn’t learn until a few days later about the other customer who decided to call me a cunt because I didn’t want to hear her gloating about keeping Mike out of jail.  (For the record, I am sad he was not led out in handcuffs and will continue to feel that way.)  Ah, the bar business.  Good times.

(By the way, any neighborhood bartenders who want to know this guy’s full name because I know for a fact that he frequents a few of your establishments, — Kris, I’m looking at you! — I am more than happy to oblige.  Part of achieving my goal of vindictiveness is  coincidentally paralleled with my goal of warning others of inevitable volcanic eruptions at their places of employment.)

*As far as I understand it, one can only sue for libel if the the information being shared is an untruth that will do that person harm.  This story is a truth and I don’t think anyone in a position of power reads this blog so I’m pretty sure any real harm is out of the equation.  Safe?

Tip # 9 on Being a Good Bar Customer

8 Aug

And we’re back with more tips, folks!  If you missed the earlier tips and wish to catch up, look no further than the following links.  Tip #1, Tip #2, Tip #3, Tip #4, Tip #5, Tip #6, Tip #7, and Tip #8.  If you wish to share the tips with your bad bar customer friends in a not-so-subtle way, please do!  Let the missteps of others inform our future booze establishment behavior. And now, without further ado, how not to behave if you get 86ed from a bar.

If you end up getting 86ed from a bar, AKA you are never ever allowed to set foot in there ever again, probably you should just never ever set foot in there again.  Obviously, I would advise you all to never behave in such a way as to get yourself 86ed, but if you do, have some pride.  I don’t know much about other cities in the world, but New York City has a lot of bars.  A lot.  There are bars everywhere.  It is easier to get a drink in this city than it is to do a lot of other things that normal people do in their day.  Here are some examples: it is easier to get a drink than mail a letter because there are basically no mailboxes; it is easier to get a drink than to find a public restroom because there are basically no public restrooms; it is easier to get a drink than go to the grocery store, the pharmacy, or the hardware store because, at least in my neighborhood, you pass at least 8 bars en route to almost any of these other destinations.  The point of this is that if you get 86ed from one bar, there are plenty of other bars you can go to unless, of course, you have gotten 86ed from all of them which is a problem I am not prepared to deal with at this time.  If you have been 86ed from All Of The Bars Ever you should probably talk to someone.

Some people who have been 86ed from my bar get it.  This doesn’t mean that they like it, but they understand that once they are refused service for acting like an asshole, they probably should not show their faces there again.  The thing about the people that get it is that generally, in their case, acting up to such a degree as to get kicked out was such an aberration for them that they are ashamed and take a pretty severe detour around the bar whenever they are in the vicinity so as not to have to relive their embarrassment.  Then there are the people who misbehave, get 86ed, and insist on walking by the bar on the regular, peering in the window and mean-mugging.  No joke.  I can think of two solid examples of this type of person: this one guy who online stalked one of my coworkers and the woman who tried to beat me up over the bar.  It’s as if they think that if they stare at the bar often enough, they will put some sort of hex on the bar and either we will go out of business or we all will suddenly be struck by strange cases of amnesia and will forget ever having 86ed them in the first place and they can happily go back to online stalking and bartender threatening.  Finally, there are the people who have been definitively 86ed from the bar and yet continuously try to come back in.  Today I am going to talk about a few of these people but not all of them because, sadly, there are just too damn many of them for one post.

Sometimes you have a really annoying customer who you hate and you really wish that he (I am just going to go with ‘he’ here because statistics!) would do something that would allow you to kick him out for good.  But no.  He walks ever so close to the line without ever crossing it.  He comes in on drugs.  He does not understand the volume of his own voice or that he is incredibly annoying.  He seems to think that “paying for drinks” is a new phenomenon that simply does not apply to him.  He spills his drinks so much that I am forced to erect safety barriers out of coasters.  Sometimes (okay, one time but I like to think it happened over and over again because it is just so damn funny) he tries to sit on a garbage can and the lid breaks and he falls into the garbage can with his legs and arms sticking out of the top of it and everyone leaves him in there for a little while because they are laughing too hard to pull him out.  Anyway, this guy gave me such a headache but there was nothing I could do about it.  I had to serve him.  But then, one day, he got super wasted, somehow got himself buzzed into my coworker’s apartment building, and proceeded to walk up and down the stairs yelling and knocking on every available door in hopes that she would open hers up.  She didn’t.  This went on for over and hour.  He started at 4:15am.  He subsequently got 86ed from the bar.  That was at least 6 months ago.  And still, all these months later, he regularly tries to get back into the bar.  His most recent attempt came at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon.  I was behind the bar, as I generally am at that time, when he walked in.  The second I saw him I started shaking my head no.  He looked back at me with an expression of complete bewilderment. Then he said, “is she here?” referring to the victim of his late night stair climbing rampage. She was, in fact, there.  Before I got a chance to say “it doesn’t really matter if she is here or not, you are not welcome to drink here” my coworker came flying down the bar, finger wagging, sternly repeating “no!” He began to argue, realized there was no point, tried to look defiant and walked out the door.  I doubt this is the last we will see of him.  But here’s the thing.  He isn’t like, an awful guy.  He just can’t drink. He crossed the line.  He followed someone to her home.  It could just be over but no.  He has to continually make our jobs harder and also make himself look like a complete asshole by repeatedly trying to sneak one by us.  Guess what?  We are not stupid.  Also, if you really need your fix of Raspberry Stoli, I am pretty sure I can point you in the direction of a bar that has some.  Basically, in any direction because there are so many bars.

A few days later on a really weird Thursday night (I think there was probably a full moon…there had to have been a full moon) this other annoying guy walked in.  He is another one of those guys that I am just itching to get rid of but he hasn’t done anything bad enough.  Yet.  He always walks in with the worst people because shitty people, I have found, tend to either be complete loners or travel in packs.  They don’t tend to go around with people who are cool.  Anyway, one of the women he walked in with was too drunk for me to serve.  She couldn’t put her elbow on the bar without it sliding off, causing her to almost fall forward off her chair.  She also would not speak to me without having her hand over her mouth, thereby making her thickly slurred speech that much more difficult to understand.  I was so busy arguing with her about how I would not serve her another drink (why does this happen?) that I didn’t even notice that the guy next to her was someone who we kicked out about a year earlier for screaming at one of the owners when she refused to give him another drink because he had already had something like 12 Bud Lights in an hour and could not hold his head up.  And yet he could scream.  Go figure.  Anyway, in the midst of explaining to elbow lady, for the 5th time, that no, she could not have a beer, I noticed that the guy sitting next to her was Angry Bud Lite Guy.  I told him that not only could he also not have a drink, but he was actually not allowed in the bar.  He then started yelling about how he didn’t want a drink and how he hated the bar anyway and would never actually go there.  I pointed out the flaw which was that he was, at that very moment, in the bar.  This did not go over well.  Anyway, yadda, yadda, yadda, he yelled, I stared at him, he yelled, I threatened to call the police, he yelled some more, then one of our other customers who is SO BIG walked over and sat next to do the dude, causing him to immediately flee the scene. (Sometimes bigger is better, it turns out.) But that’s not all!  Angry Bud Lite Guy then pulled his favorite party trick:  call the bar over and over and over again for the rest of the night, asking for the manager every time he calls even though he is already talking to her and complain about how he never misbehaved in the bar, how he never yells (while yelling) and that we are all stupid.  Again, if you want a Bud Lite, go somewhere else.  Seriously.  Keep your drama to yourself and let me do my damn job.  Staying up until 5am sucks enough without your spit landing all over my face while you yell at me about how you never yell.

So, yea, probably don’t get 86ed but if you happen to, just stay away.  We don’t forget.  Also, as I said before, have some damn pride.

Tip #6 on Being a Good Bar Customer

15 May

This is a series!  You can read all the other tips here: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5. Or you can read about this incredibly awkward sort of love triangle-esque (only so much worse!) situation that happened this one night.  Or you can read none of those and just read this one.  Here at FranklyRebekah we like to give you all the choice.

Don’t be a dick about sports.  I don’t mean like, voicing your opinion about your favorite team, although really I could give a shit.  I mean don’t be a dick about getting your specific game on the TV, especially when the bar you are walking into is a bar that sometimes plays sports and not a sports bar.  I have examples!

About 3 weeks ago I was at work, having a relatively run-of-the-mill day when in walks this dude.  He marches into the bar, looks around at the 4 televisions and exclaims, loudly and rudely,

“What? No Nets?!  We are in Brooklyn, right?”

People do this literally all the time.  “What? No Yankees?!”  “What? No Giants?!” “What? No Rangers?!” What if I walked into a bar and was all, “What?! No women’s gymnastics championships?!”*

Anyway, all the time.  All the fucking time.  It’s like, do you see a Nets game?  No?  Well, then, clearly the Nets are not currently being played in this bar.  I didn’t say that, though. Nope, I was nice.  But see, here’s the thing about being nice to people who ask to see games in that manner: they are almost always assholes of the “give them an inch they’ll take a mile” variety.  Whatever.  I walked over to him and this happened:

Me: “Can I help you?”

Dude: “Yea, you don’t have the Nets on.”

Me: “That’s true. Is that you telling me that you would like to watch the Nets?”

Dude: “Yes. I mean, we are in Brooklyn.  I mean, how could you not have the Nets on?”

Me: “Well, I mean, the Nets were a New Jersey team that everyone ignored until Jay-Z got on board but whatever.  What channel?”

Dude: “I don’t know.”

HUGE Nets fan right there.  Really needed to watch the Nets game and had absolutely zero idea as to what channel they were playing on.  In my experience people who are adamant about specific games have at least some semblance of an idea as to the channel.  But not this guy.  He starts throwing out random channels.  And there I am, like an idiot, pointing the stupid remote control at the cable box, scrolling up and down as this dude is like


Up and down and up and down and up and down.  In the midst of the scrolling, as I am getting extremely irritated, I scrolled over a hockey game to which another customer, sitting right next to the first customer, exclaims,

“The Rangers! I want to watch that!”

At which point I got extremely frustrated, slammed the remote control down on the bar and said,

“You know what? Why don’t you guys figure it out yourselves. I want nothing to do with this television.”

And then do you know what happened?  The HUUUUUUGE Nets fan could not figure out how to work the remote control.  He was standing there, staring at it, pointing it up at the television, staring at it again.  It was almost as if he thought by the pure power of his mind he would be able to make the channel change.  He then got frustrated and said, exasperatedly,

“How do you work this damn thing?”

To which I replied,

“You have to actually press a button.  Just point it at the television and hit ‘guide.'”

The hockey fan then took the remote control out of the Nets “fan’s” hands and, quickly, got the game on.  The Nets fan then ordered a drink.  He then sat there, staring blankly at the television as if he had never actually watched a basketball game ever in his entire annoying life, and then he took out a book.  He started reading a book.  And then he left.  Before the game was over.  I bet he just moved to Brooklyn like, yesterday.  Asshole.

So just as an FYI, my bar has exactly 4 flat screen televisions.  One of those televisions is like 10 years old and is hued kind of greenish.  I have to climb up on the back bar to turn it on because the remote is so old that it no longer works.  For those 4 televisions, we have 2 cable boxes.  That means we can have a total of 2 channels on 4 televisions.   I tell people this all the time and they don’t seem to compute (again, a bar that sometimes plays sports, not actually a sports bar).

Like the other day when this guy really wanted to watch the incredibly important Rangers game which was so important that he was the only person at the bar who wanted to watch it but all the TVs had the Knicks game on which didn’t matter at all because he doesn’t care about basketball.  I wanted to be like, dude, move to Canada.**  Anyway, he got all irate that we didn’t have the Rangers game on.  My boss even went so far as to take a poll down the bar to see if there was another soul in the bar who was interested in watching hockey, there wasn’t.***  So I, again, stupidly, trying to be nice, told him we only had two boxes so we could only have two channels on.  He responded by telling me to put it on one television.  I’m like, dude! What part of I cannot put it on one television do you not understand?  You have been hit by one too many hockey pucks.  I tried to send him to a nearby bar with all the TVs in the world (some call them sports bars), but he wouldn’t have any of it.  So I ignored him.  And he left.

Anyway, if you want to watch something, all you have to do is say “Excuse me? Would you mind putting on the Strong Man contest? I like to watch dudes lift things that are so heavy that their noses bleed.” And I would say, okay, but I would be sure to put it one of the TVs that I can’t see because Strong Man contests make me want to vomit.

*I would never do this for three reasons. One, people would probably laugh me out of the place. Two, I doubt the sound would be turned on and you simply cannot watch floor without the music. And three, I think there are some pervy dudes who like to watch 14-year-old girls tumble around in leotards and that makes me feel icky.

**Actually, don’t.  I have some friends from Canada and I really like them and I think probably I would like lots of other people from there too and I would not like to punish them with your presence.  I will research islands with no inhabitants.  You can move to one of those. With a TV. To watch hockey. There are flaws here…

***I told my boss my theory about the “give an inch take a mile” variety of assholes, of which this dude definitely was an example, so he left well enough alone.