In Boozo Veritas #12 by Teege Braune
10 Things This Bartender Loves About You
I cringe every time another article entitled “10 Things Every Bartender Absolutely Hates About You.” It is a tired, formulaic trope employed by every bartender who has ever fancied herself a writer. Snark is typically substituted for actual wit, and the same “you” this bartender/writer is fuming over encompasses all the people who literally pay her bills. I know that bartending is an often stressful and inglorious job, and we all need to blow off steam sometimes. Furthermore, I understand that men will treat female bartenders like objects simply because they are in the service industry. I can’t imagine how demoralizing this must be. It is a behavior that is never acceptable and no bar should tolerate it from its customers.
That being said, the problem I have with this kind of article is that it’s just so damn depressing. Every job has its frustrations. Most of them just don’t occur in public. Bartending can also be a lot of fun. In fact, my brief stent as a sales rep for a beer distributor proved to me that the average drunk person is kinder and more reasonable than the average bar manager. After four months of that stress, I am thrilled and grateful to be bartending once again. So instead of telling everybody everything I hate about them, I am going to offer an alternative to the never-ending flow of negativity that makes up the majority of the internet and present you with this: The 10 Things This Bartender Loves About You.
10. I really appreciate it when you leave a little something extra.
The truth is you aren’t obligated to tip. Legally you can walk out of any establishment without leaving your bartenders a single dime. Nevertheless, we do live off our tips. Most people know this and recognize that it would be unkind not to throw us a few dollars for our service. That’s why it really makes our night when someone goes beyond the call of duty and leaves a few dollars more than one would expect.
9. It is awesome when you guys give me food.
Last night a guy I didn’t even know offered me a slice of pizza. I was really hungry, hadn’t brought dinner to work, and didn’t have a clue what to eat. It was delicious pizza, and he gave a slice to every bartender without anyone asking him for one. People seem to give us pizza all the time, and the amazing Blue Bird Bakery down the street regularly drops off boxes of cupcakes. It is a very generous thing to do, and we always appreciate it.
8. Sometimes people even bring us booze.
I’m always very grateful when someone offers to buy me a drink. Once in a while, patrons have even brought us really nice bottles of liquor, wine, rare beers, or their own home-brews. It is completely unnecessary, but such a thoughtful and considerate gesture to do for your bartender.
7. I really like my regulars.
It is a great feeling when, in the middle of a busy, stressful night, someone stops to say hello and ask me how I’m doing before shouting their order at me. To be able to, in turn, know a customer’s first name and hear about their week always breaks me out of a funk. Even if the exchange only lasts a moment, it helps to make my night more fun and enjoyable.
6. I love helping people pick out a beer.
I know a little bit about beer, which is convenient because Redlight Redlight carries over three hundred varieties. This can be an intimidating selection for some people, and I genuinely enjoy helping them to navigate through our many choices. You even made my name a word on Urbandictionary.com. It always makes me feel really good when someone turns to their friend and says, “This guy knows more about beer than anyone else in the world.” This is hyperbolic to say the least. I know lots of people who know way more about beer than me, but it makes me feel good anyway.
5. I really appreciate it when you take pity on me.
Conversely, there are nights that are so stressful attempting to guess what beer might please any given stranger is just too much for me. When you have several customers behind you waiting for a drink, I really appreciate it when you know what you want and have your I.D. and credit cards handy.
4. This city has an awesome community of service industry workers.
Whenever I see my fellow servers and bartenders from the other numerous and incredible establishments around Orlando come into Redlight Redlight, I know we are going to have a good evening. This city has an amazing community of people who know how to have fun and take care of each other. Service industry people are some of the best people in the world.
3. You know how to make a guy feel appreciated.
When I made the mistake of leaving bartending for sales, everyone gave me the warmest farewell I could hope for. When I came back to the bar because sales was not something I enjoyed, you made me feel very missed and welcomed. It has been delightful to see your drunken, smiling faces again.
2. You voted me best bartender in Orlando twice!
There are a lot of bartenders in Orlando, but two years in a row you people voted me the best! If I haven’t told you what an honor that is, I’m doing so now. And I don’t even know how to make a proper cocktail. I just pull tap handles, and still you voted me the best. That is so amazing.
1. Redlight Redlight’s patrons are some of the coolest people I have ever known.
Just about any night of the week I overhear intelligent and informed conversations about all sorts of topics from music to art and politics. No bar in the world has a clientele with a better knowledge of the very thing that brings us together, that is, of course, craft beer. I have met many of my closest friends and my fiancé while bartending. It is great to be able to look forward to going work every night. I have a blast working alongside my awesome colleagues and interacting with all you wonderful people, so give yourselves a hand. You make bartending the most fun and exciting job I’ve ever had.
Teege Braune is a writer of literary fiction, horror, essays, and poetry. Recently he has discovered the joys of drinking responsibly. He may or may not be a werewolf.