Tag Archives: rules

Rules for Life

22 Jan

The other day I looked in the mirror and discovered that I have a weird red, scaly, dry patch just above my right eye.  It doesn’t hurt or itch or anything, it just looks a little weird.  Also, two days ago I accidentally scratched it and it was terrible.  I don’t really know what it is but I am pretty much convinced that it is going to take over my entire face, slowly at first and then more aggressively as it builds confidence.  I will go to sleep Rebekah and wake up the next morning in a new form:  LizardRebekah.  I was informed by my friend Beth that if I in fact turn into a lizard my cats will cease to recognize me and will probably eat me because cats eat lizards.  She knows this because she lives in Arizona.

Okay, okay, okay, so maybe I am overreacting.  But seriously, where did this thing come from?  I woke up one day and there it was!  So I did what I always do when something creepy happens, I broke one of my “Rules for Life.” There are, up until this point, only three Rules for Life although a new one can be added at any time.  I have actually been working on a rule concerning the consumption of airplane food (it should never be eaten!) but I haven’t managed to get the wording exactly how I want.  Anyway, the existing Rules are as follows:

1.  No fighting in the car or other places from which you cannot make a speedy escape.
2.  The nose is an out hole.  The only exception is for the use of Neti Pots and Nasonex.
3.  Never diagnose yourself using the internet because you pretty much always get diagnosed with some form of cancer.

Obviously, I broke the third Rule for Life.  I always, always, always break that rule.  It’s like, I simply can’t help myself.  One time* I ate beets and was convinced the next morning that the fact that my shit was a weird color was due to the fact that I was obviously dying from some sort of stomach cancer.  The internet agreed.  I wasn’t, obviously, but I really scared myself.  I was about halfway through dialing my parents’ house to tell them about my life-ending illness when I remembered dinner.  Come to think of it, I should probably make a rule about setting some sort of reminder following the consumption of beets.

Anyway, so I broke the rule and I started looking through WebMd and it doesn’t say anything about a dry skin patch slowly taking over my entire face, maybe even body, and morphing me into a lizard.  It mentions psoriasis which is scary but that doesn’t come on the face. It mostly impacts elbows and knees and hands and stuff.  Also, eczema.  Same thing.  So I have come to the conclusion that either I have a new, fatal skin disease that has never before been diagnosed or else it is just a dry skin patch caused by exposure to the elements.  I will put lotion on it and see what happens.  In the mean time, my cats will be locked in the closet.**

*I am being really generous saying this happened one time.  I think that this panic happens about 50% of the time that I eat beets.  Embarrassing, but true.

** I am totally kidding about that.  I love my cats, even if they do want to eat me.

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 #7 on Being a Good Bar Customer

18 Jun

And here it is, Tip #7.  You know what that means:  if there is a #7, then there must also exist #s 1-6 and guess what?  You’re in luck!  And you can read them all by following these links!  It’s like magic (or hyperlinks…).  Tip #1, tip #2, tip #3, tip #4, tip #5 and, finally, tip#6.

So in this blog I am going to tackle a topic that seems to be slightly divisive: kids in bars.  This divisiveness can be easily proven by referring to a comment I made on my Facebook page a few weeks back that simply read “No, I do not have milk for your child.”  The responses were diverse, to say the least, ranging from “bar life is slowly being destroyed in NYC by entitled parents” to “You’re right, people with kids should just stop trying to enjoy themselves.”  I am not here trying to start an all out war, but I have some opinions.  So, here goes.

I am not going to put myself strictly on one side of the argument or the other, but I think those who know me, and those who have gotten to know me through my writing here, can probably guess which way I tend to lean.  That being said, there are people who come in with their kids who I actually like having in there.  One couple specifically comes to mind.  They have been my once-a-month customers for years now and recently, about 2 months or so ago, they adopted two little girls who I lovingly call “the ladies.”  The ladies are very cute.  They are also very well behaved, always snoring away in their little baby bjorns, one on the front of one daddy, one on the front of the other.  The second one of them starts fussing, one of the parents takes her outside and bounces her around until she quiets down and goes back to sleep.  If that doesn’t work, they close the tab and head home.

I have noticed over the years that people who were customers of the bar before they reproduced or adopted were the best customers if they chose to bring their children in, although many of them do not.  Many of them will pop in with the baby every now and again to say hi and then be on their way.  But if they do decide to stay, they are incredibly attuned to their child, or children.  They respect the bar, they respect the other customers, and they respect me and understand that a crying baby will drive customers away, thereby lowering my income and making me angry.  And they don’t want to make me angry.  I am told I can be scary.

It’s the people that weren’t customers before that are the problem.  So a few weeks ago there I was at work when this guy came in.  He ordered a beer, drank about half of it, and then said he would be back in a few minutes.  Like a good bartender, I placed a napkin over his beer so no dust or little flying friends would go in it (also so I wouldn’t forget he was coming back and dump it out) and went about my business.  About ten minutes later he walked in…with his 6-year-old daughter.  Apparently she was at a birthday party across the street at the Little Gym.  He took his seat back up at the bar and she sat down next to him.  Just as an aside, I hate it when people let their little kids sit at the bar (to the person who follows my blog who brings his kids in, you are an exception because your kids are awesome and also they write stories about me and also neither of them is 6).  I actually think it is illegal and normally I would have said something about it but I wasn’t feeling up to the conversation and also he had been there before and I felt weird about it.  So, whatever, I just ignored it.  The dad was super distracted watching a monster truck rally on TV and was not paying any attention to his daughter at all.  When they got up to leave about 10 minutes later I noticed that she had scribbled all over the bar!  There was marker everywhere!  Why did he give her a marker?  Also, being in a bar is not an excuse to stop watching your kid.  I am a bartender, not a babysitter, I will not pick up the slack unless you pay me at least $30 an hour and even then I would probably tell you to go fuck yourself, I serve booze.

And here’s another example.  Just this past weekend these 3 adults came in with 2 toddlers.  That means there were 6 eyeballs to watch 2 little dudes running around.  They went out to the back, which immediately prompted all my backyard customers to move back into the bar.  About 1/2 hour later, I hear the mother screaming “Marky! Marky! No! Put that down!!”  And she runs over to where her son was standing with a rat trap in his hands.  He had dumped poison all over himself.  She didn’t realize what it was at first and said something along the lines of “ew, I don’t know what that was.”  I happened to be standing by the back door and, putting it all together, leaned my head out and said, “yea, that was a rat trap.  You might want to take him into the bathroom and wash his hands, arms, legs, and shoes with soapy water before he puts something in his mouth.”  The parents were actually cool about it, blaming their lack of attention for the oversight rather than the fact that we had a poisonous rodent trap on the ground.

Here’s the thing.  It actually doesn’t even matter what I personally think about you having kids in the bar because the reality of the situation is that bars, and my bar more specifically, tend to not be child friendly.  This does not mean I will cast you dark glances and spit in your drinks if you come in toting a toddler, it means that there are accessible outlets, furniture with sharp edges, there might be broken glass on the floor, and, as Marky found out the hard way, occasionally there is poison.  So I might talk a good game about how they cry and it gives me a headache or people change the diapers in the bathroom and then the whole bar smells like poo (this has totally happened before!) but really, I worry enough about my adult customers maiming themselves without adding two-foot-tall curiosity machines into the mix.

So, in summation, in the words of my brother (about something completely unrelated but whatever), “just because you can does not mean you should.”  And in the words of me, if you do anyway then watch your damn kid.  Going out to a bar to blow off some steam is only a vacation from parenting when you leave your kids at home.  Don’t make me parent for you because, guess what? I won’t.