Going out on the town for simple pleasure of having a few drinks and seeing old friends tends to be a rare thing in my world. Yes, I’m in bars a lot as I’m usually playing music through some of the week and the weekend nights. It’s kinda my job, if you can call playing in a band a job, but it’s really not the same thing.
When I do get a night out I’ve learned to appreciate it, I try my best to enjoy it and take in the presence of the people around me. Let’s face it, that last thing anyone wants to be doing when you get a night out is to stand in line the whole time while being treated like an asshole. More than usual I have found myself at the mercy of some cocky piece of shit bartender who is terrible at what they do. I’m beginning to think it’s becoming an epidemic. Portland nightlife used to be so cool, everyone was so chill. If I wanted to live in Boston I’d move there. What happened? Is the god complex, which is usually exclusive to the butt-chin bouncers, starting to wear off on our beloved mixologists?
Am I the only one noticing this trend for the worse?
The following is a note I wrote after a recent evening out gone bad. Feel free to print the main paragraph it onto little cards to leave at bars that are manned by inept bartending staff: Be proactive… they need to know.
Trust me, this isn’t all negative. You know a good bartender when you see them right? I’m not talking useless Tom Cruise cup flipping bullshit. These wonderful people are pouring four drinks at once, taking orders, serving beverages all the while carrying on 12 different thoughtful conversations. These people tend to be pretty easy to spot because there usually isn’t a line of 50 people deep blocking your view to them. I know so many from right here in Portland and I love them all. I consider these people artists and they should be commended and tipped well.
Here’s four basic rules to being a great bartender from what I understand:
When someone walks up to the bar…
1.) Ask them what they want.
2.) Honor request.
3.) Take their money.
4.) Repeat as many times as necessary
Seems pretty simple to me.
To be fair, I myself have never actually bartended, I did however work in a very fast paced and busy restaurant for a few years as a waiter and there was really one rule after you get by the details.
Keep the customers happy, never leave them wanting.
(Unless they are blatant assholes – then make them wait a little longer…)
Seems to me this principal could soundly be applied to the field of drink slinging.
Here’s is a basic list of rules to follow if you want to be a piece of shit bartender that everyone hates and you don’t like making tip money.
1.) Act like you are beyond awesome.
2.) Treat everyone that approaches the bar like they are bothering you.
3.) Ignore each new patron for at least 5 minutes then give them that, “What the fuck do you want?” look.
4.) Pay no attention to what order people arrive at the bar, lines are stupid.
5.) Do ONLY one thing at a time especially when very busy. Actually when it’s really busy go slower this way the amount of people at the bar builds up and they can bask in your awesomeness.
6.) If you have any friends, text them when the line gets too long and hard to deal with or just leave and go into the kitchen for awhile.
My point is that some people are just not cut out for this type of work and some are made for it. If you are one of the former or just hate working behind a bar please quit and get a desk job or something far away from us merry makers… or lobby your boss to allow alcohol vending machines because we don’t want to deal with you either.
Lastly here’s a missed connection I felt compelled to post on Craigslist. It was inspired by a little gem of a barkeep, who made my last night off so delightful…