Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Top 10 Things I "Love" that Customers Say to Me as Bartender

As much as I want a job using my college & law school degrees, being a bartender definitely has its moments where it just makes me shake my head and laugh.  Today I decided to compile a list of my "Top 10" things that I love (and by "love" I mean hate) that customers say to us on a fairly consistent basis.... plus of course what  I am thinking when the customer says this and of course what I actually say in response (*Note: my thoughts and responses to customers do not always go like this... depends on how I am feeling in the moment what exactly I think/say when these situations arise).  These also may not be my "Top 10", but these are the things that have been said the past few shifts that just happen to stick out to me at this point.

(In no particular order)

10. "Do you know how to make a Long Island?"

  • What I am thinking: Are you kidding me?! What kind of bartender doesn't know how to make a Long Island?! That is probably one of the first drinks they teach you.
  • What I actually say: Absolutely I can make you a Long Island.

9. "What do you mean I need to show you my I.D., don't I look over 21?!" or "What do you mean I need to show you my I.D., I'm a bartender." or "What do you mean I need to show you my I.D., I'm a server.", etc.
  • What I am thinking: It doesn't matter if you look over 21. I could lose my job if I don't card you and honestly, I would rather keep my job than worry about upsetting you because I asked you for your I.D. Also, being a bartender or a server means that you should know better and you should know that I need to see your I.D. in order to serve you.
  • What I actually say: I still need to see a valid form of I.D. if you would like to sit at the bar.

8. "Let me get a 'Strong Island'."

  • What I am thinking: You seriously sound like an idiot.  Are you really going to come in the bar and ask for a "Strong Island"?!
  • What I actually say: All of our drinks are made to recipe, so I can make you a Long Island

7. "What does it matter that my I.D. has expired?!"

  • What I am thinking: Your I.D. expired months ago, how have you been driving around with it?!
  • What I actually say: It is against the law for me to serve you without a valid government issued I.D. The fact that your I.D. has expired means that it is invalid.

6. "Can I get a margarita with extra vodka in it?"

  • What I am thinking: Who really thinks vodka comes in a margarita?! You obviously have NO clue what you are talking about if you are asking for extra vodka in your margarita.
  • What I actually say: You mean extra tequila?

5.  "I can't taste the alcohol in my {insert name of frozen drink here}."


  • What I am thinking: Of course you can't, that is the point of a blended drink.  
  • What I actually say: You aren't supposed to be able to taste the alcohol in a frozen drink.  When you think about it, you are drinking all the ice that you wouldn't normally drink if the drink hadn't been blended. 

4.  "What do you mean I need to give you a card to start a tab?!"

  • What I am thinking: You are sitting at a bar... you need to give me a card to start a tab.  What bars do you go to where they don't ask you for something to hold your tab open? I know I always have to give a card when I sit at the bar. Especially on a busy night.
  • What I actually say: If you don't want to give me a card that is fine, I just need you to cash out now.

3.  "What do you have on draft?" I list all the draft beers. "So you mean you don't have {insert beer we don't have here} on draft?"

  • What I am thinking: You just heard me go through all of our draft beers... did you hear me say X beer?! No. So if I didn't say it then obviously we don't have it on draft.
  • What I actually say: No I'm sorry we don't have that beer on draft.

2. "Can I get {insert drink name here} without {insert juice here}?" I make drink and hand it to the customer and get "Why isn't my glass full?"

  • What I am thinking: Of course it isn't full. You took half of the juices out of it.  Do you really think that getting less juice will mean that you get more alcohol? No, it just means you get less juice.
  • What I actually say: Well you asked for none of x juice and y juice so that is why the glass isn't full.

1. "You are here to serve me."

  • What I am thinking: That is probably the rudest thing I have ever heard.  
  • What I actually say: No, I am here to serve you responsibly and that is why you cannot have another drink.
For as much as I say that I hate my job at times, it definitely gives me many good stories to tell.  Stories that I will be able to tell for years to come.

As always, today I am thankful for customers who give me these stories to tell.  I am thankful that although my job drives me crazy I have those days where I can just laugh at all the idiotic excuses people give and the things that they say.  As much as my job drives me crazy there are definitely good days where I don't mind it and where I can laugh my way through a shift with a smile on my face. 




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