Tag Archives: manners

Tip #18 on Being a Good Bar Customer

17 Jul

Hi friends. I know that my posts — when I actually write them which I swear will be happening with more regularity — have been super bar heavy as of late but to be honest I cannot engage with the world right now. What with Brock Turner, the massacre in Orlando, the on-going shooting deaths of black men and women at the hands of those who are tasked with protecting all of us, Donald Fucking Trump, the killing of police in Dallas, that truck mowing people down in Nice, the bombings in Iraq and all the other horrors we don’t hear about because if they don’t happen in The West the media doesn’tt cover them and it’s almost as if they didn’t happen at all I’m just like, done. My brain has taken on the role of my now retired 2009 Mac Book Pro and just constantly has that pinwheel of death swirling around. My brain hamster has taken a break from its wheel and is napping under a giant pile of wood chips. It simply cannot compute where we are and what we have become. And so instead I will write about the bar. Because that I can do. So, here it is. Another tip for your ongoing amusement (and dare I say, education).

At this point I spend anywhere from 35-45 hours a week behind the bar. I know, I know, it isn’t that many hours in comparison with some other jobs like lawyering, and doctoring, and presidenting the United States or other countries (only this week maybe not Turkey because Erdogan got a little bit of a vacation thanks to the coup attempt) but it is a lot of hours to be standing and dealing with the public. My feet hurt. And the public is exhausting. They need things all the time. But it is my job and so when I am behind the bar I do it. I give people things. I might complain about it under my breath and to my coworkers. I might daydream about taking a chainsaw to the tables in my one bar that are so far away that I have to walk a mile every time I bring someone a beer or some snacks, but I still do it. I bring the far-away people their beer and snacks because that is my job and that is how I pay my rent. But here is the thing: when I am not behind the bar because I am waiting in line for the bathroom or trying to find my manager to fix the piece of shit POS system that freezes at all the wrong times or maybe just hanging out because I am taking a break or my shift is over, please don’t order a drink from me. Don’t grab my arm and say

When you get a chance I’d like a jack and coke.


Hey – can I get a pilsner?



Make me that thing you made me last time.

You know why? The answer is three fold. The first fold is that it is rude to grab someone’s arm when you aren’t friends with them or, really, even when you are depending on the circumstance. Don’t grab. No one likes a grabber. The second fold is that I am human and need to piss just like the rest of you. And the third and perhaps most important fold is that I cannot make you a drink when I am not behind the bar because I don’t have go-go gadget arms or arms that stretch really far like the mom in The Incredibles. As much as it pains me I am just a regular girl. With regular arms.

So this happened to me yesterday. I mean, this happens to me almost every Friday and Saturday night at least once but it happened again yesterday. And it happened in the way that is the most annoying and also the most predictable. Someone who a number of weeks earlier had asked me my name (red flag!) and therefore came to the conclusion that she deserved special treatment saw me walking out in the bar amongst the regular people (AKA customers). She said hi. I said hi. And then she said

Make me my drink when you get back there?

And, you guys, I think I gave her the stankest of stank faces and then I went back behind the bar and do you know what I didn’t do? I didn’t make her the drink. I didn’t make her the drink for two reasons. The first reason was that I couldn’t remember what she drinks because everyone expects me to remember what they drink and I can hardly even remember what I drink after a certain point in the weekend. And second was that she asked me for a drink when I was not behind the bar and that is a no-no. Special treatment is not really a thing unless I am friends with you In Real Life or you are the owner of the bar. And truth be told either of those people, the In Real Life friends and the owner of the bar, understand that there is an order in which people get served drinks and it is important for us tenders to follow that order to minimize any potential problems. We all know what happens when that order gets fucked up: nothing good.

This whole thing, I don’t know, it’s like going to the post office and thinking because you have gotten quick service at 2 in the afternoon on a random Tuesday and the post office window person smiled at you and asked about your week it means you should get that same warm reception and quick service at noon the day before Christmas (is the post office even open then? I don’t know.). Or like, going into the post office and seeing the long line and then seeing the post office window person walking to the bathroom (I don’t know why this would ever happen) and grabbing the post office window person’s arm and being like

Can I mail this package?

The post office window person would not give you a warm smile, would not ask you about you week and instead would tell you to wait in line like everyone else. And the thing about this happening in the post office is that unlike when this happens in a bar where it’s loud and chaotic everyone else in the line would hear you trying to sneak in front and they would all give you the stankest of stank faces. Maybe there would even be a mutiny! Oh my god I am now imaging if something like this happened at the DMV at the Atlantic Center. The world would end for sure. Anyway as I was saying. So in the post office it is quiet and so everyone hears you trying to cut the line but in the bar it isn’t quiet. There is talking and music and so when you ask for a drink when I am not behind the bar and then I come behind the bar and make you that drink do you know who looks like an asshole? Is it you? No. It is me. I look like the asshole. I get all the stankest of stank faces. Because I fucked up the order. It’s all my fault. And do you know what happens when everyone thinks I am an asshole? Everyone doesn’t tip me. And then I make no money and I am sad.

So please, please, wait your turn. Don’t put me in a weird place. I will get to you. And if you are polite and chill and patient, I will probably sneaky get to you early. I will know your drink and I will make it on the sly. And sometimes I might not charge you for it. How do you like them apples?

Tip #11 on Being a Good Bar Customer

8 Nov

Okay, so, I know I just did this but when it rains it pours, right?  If you want to check out the vintage tips, here are the links: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine and ten.  Share them if you have some badly behaving friends.  Or if you like to judge badly behaving people.  Or if you just think it’s funny.  Or not at all.  Whatever.  I’m not the boss of you.

So at this point some of you are probably all “this girl hates people and bartending and maybe she should just get a new job.”  You can feel free to think that.  Personally, I think I am doing a public service on behalf of all the other drink slingers who are annoyed by poorly mannered patrons.  I am also a firm believer that when someone is acting like an asshat, the rest of us can feel free to judge them, and even have a few laughs at their expense, without feeling bad about it.  So, without further ado, another bit of free advice from yours truly.  Unless of course you’d like to pay me.  In which case, yes please can you email me immediately?!

So I am not a person who really likes to be touched.  When everyone else is hugging and cheek-kissing and all that stuff, I have my arm outstretched in front of my body and my hand furiously moving about in an enthusiastic wave.  I find that if I approach it this way, I am able to create a friendly barrier.  It’s like, yea, I like you, I will happily interact with you, but only when you are at least 2 feet away from me.  The outstretched arm is sort of like the enforcer of my invisible force field.  And that is with people I know.  If I don’t know you, don’t touch me.  Seriously.  I will curl myself into the smallest possible version of myself in all public circumstances in order to avoid any inadvertent bodily contact.  I am not a hand holder, not a snuggler, not a fan of massages. So now that I have scared all my friends and have them all thinking

“oh my god I think I maybe gave her a hug once?  Does she hate me?!”

I will continue with the tip.  But only after I say this: it’s cool, friends, you can hug me.  You’ve passed the test.  Whatever that means.

So, the tip. I am aware that I am especially weird about touching, but I think I can speak for bartenders the world over when I say to you: do not touch your bartender.  Seriously.  Remember that lesson you learned in pre-school?  You know, use your words?  That also applies to ordering drinks.  You have a voice.  We have ears.  Let’s make this work.  So last night, when I was in the middle of a short conversation, one of my customers reached over the bar and poked me in the arm.  He had been standing at the bar waiting for me for approximately 15 seconds.  I know this because I saw him walk over, looked at him and smiled in the “I’ll be with you in a second” sort of a way. And then, because apparently waiting is so incredibly difficult especially when you have probably already had too many drinks, he poked me.  In the arm.  With his stupid index finger.  I would not wish the glare I gave him on my worst enemy.

So maybe this doesn’t seem like a big deal to some of you but it really is.  Being behind the bar is like being in a safe zone.  As bartenders, we are protected by the expansive piece of wood that separates us from the clientele.  Just imagine when you look at the bar that there is this invisible wall through which sound passes, through which drinks and currency pass, but through which your hands cannot travel.  Just because we are giving you drinks and laughing at your jokes does not make us public property.  We do not belong to you.

Okay, so, imagine that you are like, a computer tech person.  You are one of those people that answers phone calls from people like me.  People who know nothing about technology and need all the help all the time for the stupidest things.  And let’s say that I have called you and I am on hold while you are trying to help some other technologically-challenged person.  But let’s just say, for the sake of this tip, that I got impatient and I possessed the power, just like in the cartoons, to reach my hand through the phone and poke you on the arm to get your attention.  That would be shocking, right?  And not just because I had achieved a feat that previously seemed impossible. It would also be shocking because you’d be like,

“here I am, sitting at my desk doing my job and that asshole just reached through the phone and poked me on the shoulder!  With her stupid index finger!”

And you know what?  Your reaction would be absolutely justified because I should keep my hands to myself.  So just think about it this way.  The bar, it is like my desk.  You are the technologically-challenged person on the other end of the phone.  The space in between us is sort of like a phone cord.  Imagine that it is impossible for you to touch me.  Because here’s the thing.  I know that you are at the bar with your friends having fun, but that doesn’t make it any less of a job for me.  I am not your drinking buddy.  I am helping you fill a need.  The need for more alcohol.  It is, although it might not seem this way to you, a professional interaction.  I am a professional.  And you don’t touch professionals.

Tip #8 on Being a Good Bar Customer

17 Jul

And the customer education mission continues!  Be sure to check out my other tips if you haven’t already.  Mostly they’re funny.  Tip#1, Tip #2, Tip #3, Tip #4, Tip #5, Tip #6 and Tip #7.  Enjoy.  Share.

So I work in a bar that has 15 taps, which these days isn’t really anything to write home about, and a lot of brown liquor.  A lot.  There are so many choices. So many fun and interesting things to try.  So many possibilities.  So I get it, it can be sort of hard to figure out what you might want to drink.  So please, take your time and consider your options but keep this in mind:  choosing what drink to purchase is not like buying a car, it is not like picking a college, it is not like deciding on a career.  Those things will impact your life well beyond the making of the decision whereas choosing a drink really only makes a difference during the drinking of the drink itself.  It might be unpleasant to drink a beer you don’t like but you know what?  I get it.  Sometimes things are yucky.  Be cool.  I will hear your complaint, pour the offending drink out, serve you a new one and you know what?  If you’re nice during the whole interaction and don’t act as if I purposely mixed some foul tasting substance in with your beer specifically to fuck with you I won’t even charge you for it.  Isn’t that great? You know what will not get you a new drink?  Acting like an asshole like this girl did this past Saturday.  Let me explain.

So this past Saturday around 4:30 PM, give or take, a couple walked in and sat at a hightop.  They made no move towards the bar so after a few minutes I politely informed them that there was no table service and that they would have to come place their order at the bar.  Upon hearing this they did what people often do when I give them this information: they gave me nasty looks and acted as if they already knew there was no table service which I knew to be a complete lie because from the second they walked in the door and took their seats they were looking at me expectantly.  Whatever.  Some people just can’t be wrong.  No matter.  About a minute later the female half of the couple came up to the bar and ordered the champagne cocktail I had specialed for the day (I’ve been trying to use up that damn cassis for like, 4 years) and a rum and coke.  I made the drinks, she paid me and took them back to their table and we all carried on happily with our day.  Or so I thought.

About 1/2 hour later the girl comes back up to the bar with a completely untouched rum and coke and says to me, in one of the snottier tones I remember hearing recently (and this after I complimented her on her sandals!),

“Um…what did you make this with?”
Me: “The rum and coke?  Well…with rum? And coke?”
Snotface: “No, what kind of rum?  He says he can’t drink it.”
Me, upon lifting up the bottle of Rico Bay rum: “The well rum.  In any bar you go to if you order a ‘rum and coke’ that is what you will get.”
Snotface, in her best ever imitation of a small, bratty child: “Not any bar.”

I took a moment to calm myself and think about what bars she might frequent that don’t use well rums in their rum and coke. I thought maybe he had a very discerning palate and perhaps he just didn’t like our delicious Rico Bay.  Then I thought that was unlikely because he ordered a rum and coke.  Then I thought maybe they usually go to fancy bars that use call liquor like Bacardi for their well. I mean, her sandals were really nice so it was possible.  I decided it didn’t matter.  So I asked her, trying to do my best imitation of someone who thinks the person she is talking to is a complete bitch,

“Well, what kind of rum would you like, then?”

She turns to her companion to see what he would like and you know what he said? Cuervo.  I looked around the bar to see if anyone else was hearing this because it was hilarious.  She then turned back to me and, in a completely serious tone, repeated,

“He wants Cuervo.”
Me: “Um…tequila?  He wants tequila and coke?”
Snotface: “No, he wants rum and coke.”
Me: “That’s great except that Jose Cuervo is a tequila so I don’t really know what you want me to do here.”

Her companion then started hysterically laughing.  I guess he wasn’t such a bad guy.  Wish he would have ordered the drinks in the first place.  She looked terribly upset that she was not in on the joke.  He then, through fits of giggles, said to me,

“I want Captain Morgan!”

So you guys.  Spiced rum and regular rum taste really different.  This is mostly because spiced rum has spices in it.  Spices like vanilla maybe and some cinnamon.  A spiced rum and coke probably is going to taste different than a rum and coke.  Also, I don’t know of a bar worth its weight in salt that uses spiced rum as their well because you know what would happen? Someone would order a rum and coke and end up with a spiced rum and coke and it would taste weird and they would send it back because that is not, in fact, what they ordered.  Anyway, since she was such a fucking snot I made her pay for her new drink.  So anyway, the moral is if you screw up your order, don’t blame it on the person who made it for you.  Blame it on yourself.  Because it was, in fact, your fault.

Oh and then sort of on the same topic.  Here are three other drink ordering related things that drive most bartenders up the wall. You know, jut for your own edification.

(1) The people who come in when the bar is packed, wave you down (HUGE no-no), and then when you arrive to take their order they turn around to ask their friends what they want.  If you are going to commit the faux pa of waving, snapping, or hollering at your bartender then at least have your order down.  Otherwise you will drop down to the end of the drink line.

(2)  The people who walk in and then stare at the beer board, or taps, or drink menu for fucking ever and when you walk over to see if they are ready they’re all, “um? I need a minute?” as if part of your job is reading minds.  So you make an effort to pass them by every minute or so, looking at them as you slow down to see if they are ready and they either ignore you while staring blankly at the beer boards, taps or drink menu or they give you nasty looks.  Then, all of a sudden, they are ready!  They know what they want!  And they are incredibly agitated if you are not standing right in front of them at that very second for their order.  They act as though the amount of time it took them to get a beer is your fault as opposed to the absolute inability they have in figuring out what they want to drink as if it is the hardest and most important decision they have made ever in their entire lives.

(3)  The people who walk into a non-cocktail bar and when you ask them what they want they say “you tell me.”*  No, I’m sorry, that is not how it works.  You actually tell me. I do not want a description that’s like “I want something pink with some berry notes and a finish of bandaid.”  I want you to tell me the beer you want or the vodka you want or ask me my advice on what sort of whiskey or bourbon might be fun to try.  I will then pour that into the appropriate glass and give it to you.  And then you will like it and give me money.  And then maybe we’ll make some jokes and I’ll listen to you talk about your job and everything will be right with the world.

So yea, ordering.  It is one of the easiest things to do and yet people, regularly, get it oh so wrong.

*And, actually, in my experience cocktail bartenders don’t really like this either.  Generally they like you to at least give them a liquor and a general idea of sweet or savoryness.

Tip #3 on Being a Good Bar Customer

31 Dec

Click to read Tip #1 and Tip #2 for all your bar-going needs.

So, Tip #3.  Never flag down the bartender unless you are choking on the free wings provided by your favorite local on Monday nights.  Here’s the thing about good bartenders:  we see you.  When we are bartending, it’s like we have extra special powers.  So in my normal life, I consider myself to be a pretty observant person.  I generally notice things.  I don’t tend to walk into trees or get tripped by errant dogs or kids on scooters.  But, there has been the rare occasion when, walking down an avenue, I have bumped directly into someone who strays into my path off a side street.  Or, I am directly across the street from someone I know and I just don’t see them there.  My area of awareness basically extends directly in front of me, mostly on the ground, in an effort to avoid stepping in bubble gum and dog shit.  When I am behind the bar, however, it’s a whole other ball of wax.  I am like, Super Periphery Girl!  I just, see things.  Mostly, I see you.  You and your empty glass.  There is no need to wave your arm around like a crazy person, snap your fingers, or say “excuse me, ma’am?”  Because you know what?  I have already seen your empty glass, registered it, and am likely on my way to rectify the problem.

In case I was not clear at the offset of this blog post, I am going to provide you with a few examples, just so you get the gist, of when (read: always) it is inappropriate to flag me down.

1.  If you see me walking towards you down the extraordinarily long length of my current bar.  Here’s an example from the other day.  There I was, at work.  It was really slow.  There was a couple, with their friend, sitting at the far end of the bar where they always sit.  I did a walk by and noticed all the glasses had a sufficient amount of beer, about 1/3 full, and I know the drinking habits of these people (because I remember things) and none of them are end-of-drink chuggers.  About 5 minutes later I consciously looked over again and noticed one of the beers was dangerously low. I started down the bar towards them, making eye contact with the male half of the couple.  There is no one, not a soul, sitting in the middle of the bar.  Only these three at the end, and a group of regulars near the back.  There was no reason whatsoever for me to be walking down the bar if it wasn’t to address the status of their drinks. And yet, while making eye contact, the dude waves at me and points frantically at his friend’s glass which still had beer in it.  And not just like, the spit at the bottom.  Actual beer.  Beer she could drink.  Why?  Why would he wave?  I really don’t know.  Inappropriate.  Always.  But especially right then.

2.  When you walk into a busy bar and there are lots of people all clambering for drinks.  Here’s another thing about a lot of bartenders:  we are judicious.  When I am working a busy bar, I tend to notice, and note, the order by which people enter and belly up.  I try to address people in the order in which they arrived, keeping in mind location and the speediest way for me to get their drink from a bottle or keg into their glass and in front of them.  There’s nothing worse than having a newcomer walk up to the bar and start waving their hands around.  I see you.  I will greet you, let you know it will be a minute, and then put you on the list.  You won’t get forgotten.  Patience is a virtue.  I know some bartenders don’t do this.  They get caught up and respond to whoever is closest to them.  If this is the case and you feel as though you are being ignored, don’t wave.  Simply place a 20 on the bar.  I guarantee it will get their attention and you will be served.

3.  When you don’t know what you want.  Don’t flag a bartender down, already annoying, and then, while holding one hand out in front of you to keep her attention, turn around to your friends and ask for their order.  If you are going to be so rude as to wave at us, at least have your order set.  Because guess what?  If you don’t, I will walk away and help other people and then take my sweet ass time getting back to you.  We hold grudges, us bartenders.

4.  When you want your bill but you’re not actually ready to pay.  Back to this past Saturday and that super awesome and fun couple (sarcasm – they are not actually awesome or fun at all).  Again, half-full drinks.  All of a sudden I see the female half of the couple leaning forward making those little check-signing hand motions in the air.  Only it was more a full-body thing than simply a flicker of the hand.  I breathed deeply and headed in their direction.  I gave them their tab and then I stood there, waiting, because I figured with such a panicked hand motion, they must surely be in a rush.  Catching a movie, perhaps?  I stood there and stood there.  They made no move for their wallet.  I walked away.  Fifteen minutes went by.  I returned to find the woman standing, looking up at the board clearly calculating the bill to make sure I haven’t overcharged them.  I hadn’t.  I had bought them a drink back.  (Assholes.)  Twenty minutes later they finally hand me some cash.  So, really, was it necessary to flag?  I had done a walk by their area every 5-6 minutes, and a visual check every 3ish, so if they planned on sitting there for that long, couldn’t they have just waited for me to come down and say to them “you guys doing okay?”  But no.  They flagged me.

So, yea, just don’t flag me.  Don’t clap at me or snap at me.  Don’t yell “barkeep” or “sweetie.”  I see you.  Just as well as you see me.  But the thing is, there are a lot more of you than there are me and so sometimes you’ll just have to wait. And, if for some reason I don’t see you, there are plenty of ways for you to get my attention without pissing me off or giving me the impression that you don’t think I can do my job.  I’ve been doing this for awhile.  And there is a good chance that the reason I have not given you your drink is that you flagged me and I therefore think you are an asshole.

In other news, here are some things I heard recently while at work that I wish were never said.  Or at least I wish I never heard.  Because on top of seeing you, I also can hear you.  So maybe keep your voice down?  Maybe be a little less disgusting/racist/bigoted/ignorant/all those other bad things while out in public or, at least, while in front of me?  Except for the last one.  That was funny.

1.  “This morning my wife gave me a blowjob in the shower.  Best way to start the day.  Best blowjob.  Man.  Who needs breakfast?”

2.  Said by, who else, a super old white dude:  “If I were black, I would be the blackest Republican out there because of Lincoln.  If it weren’t for him I would still be a slave.”

3.  Said by a younger white dude upon learning that I had once gone to a Barrington Levy show at BB King’s:  “What were you doing at a dance hall show?  I would never bring my girlfriend to a dance hall show.  Ever.  I bet there was security all over that thing…And anyway, how did you see over all the ‘fros?”

4.  Said by the same idiot:  “So have you noticed that they (lesbians) stay single as long (as gay men)?”

5.  “After I turned into a turtle he didn’t really want to talk to me anymore.”

And that’s all.  Have a very happy new year, everyone.  And remember:  be nice and tip your bartender.

Tip #2 on Being a Good Bar Customer

18 Dec

(You can read Tip #1 here.)

Never argue with your bartender about the price of your drink.  Especially when your bartender is not actually in charge of setting the prices, the management is, with a fair amount of input from the cost of the bottle or the keg itself.  Bars, the good, fair ones at least, do not just pull prices out of their asses.  They are calculated considering the number of shots, neat pours, or pints expected to come out of the given bottle or keg, taking a certain amount of waste into account.  Bars are businesses, after all.  Some bars have to charge more because of their location and the subsequent higher inputs to keep the bar running.  We do not have to do that which means you, the customer, are getting a completely fair price for whatever it is you ordered.  If you want to drink cheaper, drink at home.  Here’s a story.

I just arrived at work and the bar was a little busy following an office Christmas party earlier in the day for a big group of our regulars.  (Read:  everyone was trashed and being super loud.  But that’s okay because it’s a bar and that’s what people do there.)  I had come straight from the library and had a little bit of a headache but was trying my best — not sure how successful I was at this — to come across as a relatively pleasant person.  One of the veins in my right eye was super red and pulsating.  Transitioning into the bar was going to take a little bit of an adjustment period during which time I planned on smiling at people and getting them their drinks, saving all meaningful conversation for a little later.  One of my customers was being, as usual, extremely loud.  Like, crazy loud.  Like yelling to someone who was literally 2 feet away from him loud.  So I made a joke to one of his friends, in good fun, that went a little something like this:

He is talking to someone right in front of him, right?  He’s like one of those guys from those old 90’s commercials for hip-hop compilation CDs where the dude explaining the product is like SCREAMING and you’re all like, “why are you yelling?  I’m right here!”

It was a joke.  I made it obvious that it was a joke.  But I think it pissed off one of his other friends, who had had WAY too much to drink, who was not even the person I was telling the joke to.  Anyway, this guy, we’ll call him Steve, ordered a whisky.  The same whisky he has been drinking for like 3 years.  I poured him his drink, took his twenty, put 8 of it in the register because that is what this particular drink costs, and gave him his $12 change.  He gave me the stink eye.  Even before he looked at his correct change he gave me the stink eye.  Whatever.  He felt like picking a fight.  So then this interaction happened:

Steve:  Um.  A Bulleit Rye is $8 now?

Me:  A Bulleit Rye has always been 8.  It’s 7 during happy hour, which ends at 8 o’clock, so now it’s 8:30 and so the Bulleit is $8.

Steve:  That’s too expensive.

Me:  Well, I don’t see how it’s too expensive today but it was fine a week ago but, you know, I don’t set the prices.  So, if you have a problem with the price, you have to talk to the boss.  I have nothing to do with it.  I just charge what I am told to charge.

Steve:  I hope you know that I just paid barely twice as much as what you just charged me for 4 drinks.

Me:  I highly doubt that’s the truth.  But maybe you got one for free.  Also, it was happy hour so they were a buck cheaper.

At this point I am getting more than slightly irritated but trying hard to hold my temper.  Trying to give him a little drunk wiggle room to fix the way he was coming across.  He ignored the wiggle room.

Steve:  (In the rudest most condescending voice ever) Well, you need to learn how to take care of your regulars.

Okay.  I’m sorry.  What?  So, again, I refer you to Tip #1 during which I explained how it is not okay ever, under any circumstance, to ask for a buyback.  You know what that does?  It means that the bartender never wants to give you a buyback again.  And you know what?  That’s her prerogative (totally never knew there were two ‘r’s in that).  The buyback, as I believe I have mentioned before, is a privilege, not a rule.  It is me as a bartender, and my establishment as a bar, telling you we think you are awesome and want you to keep coming back all the time.  And you know what this interaction was?  Decidedly not awesome.

Me:  (Hands shaking with anger.  Also, at this point I have slid his $2 tip back towards him and told him I am not interested in his money)  So let me get this straight.  I just got here. I have now served you 1 drink and you want me to give it to you for free?

He wouldn’t look at me.  So I turned on my heal and huffed down the bar.  And then I decided I couldn’t let it go because, really, when can I?  So I got the price book, took out a red pen, highlighted the cost of the drink he was arguing with me over and shoved it under his nose.  (This, I admit, was overkill.  Sue me.)

Me:  See?  Eight dollars.  Deal with it.

I then restormed off down the bar and seethed.  But, as a bartender, I obviously couldn’t seethe for too long so, after a few choice comments to a friend of mine, I went about my business, deciding not to let Steve ruin my night or the night of any of my other customers. I would venture to say I was more smiley than usual, to prove a point.  Then Steve called me down to the end of the bar.  I didn’t expect an apology but I expected something along the lines of “blah blah blah, that got out of hand, are we cool?” which we wouldn’t have been but I’m about keeping the peace for the most part so I probably would have lied and said we were.  But no.  In his hand he had another 20 which he then shoved toward me and said, in a snide tone,

Take this.  It isn’t about the money.

Clearly it is about him, the righteous one, teaching me how to do my job.  It is him teaching me how to treat people. It is him informing me about the way that service industry people should treat their customers, without for a second giving thought to the obligation the one being served has to treat their bartender, waiter, barista, as a human being.  I, obviously, didn’t take it.  Not when he tried to give it to me, and not when he gave it to his friends to give to me.  That money was rude, condescending, asshole money.  Not interested in that kind of money.  I only like sparkling, happy, money.  I’m picky.  Also, it made me feel dirty.  Maybe I am analyzing something through a gendered lens inappropriately, but there is something about being a woman and having someone prove their point by shoving money at you that just feels…icky.  Maybe it’s the case for everyone.  Who knows.

So we’ll see what happens next time I see him.  But, for now, I leave you, friends, with this tasty nugget:  a few years ago this same Steve was arrested for pissing on the outside of a bar after he and his friend, who were behaving badly (surprise!) got kicked out of said bar.  So, there’s that.