In my decade of bartending, I have managed to come across some fascinating people and some incredibly shady people, the most shady being bar owners and managers. Their thought process is troubling and you will get a splitting headache if you try to reason with these people. This does not include all bar owners and managers. Some of these people that I have had the pleasure of working with remain good friends of mine and I have also managed bars so who knows, maybe I came across as shady a few times.
- The managers of strip clubs turn their heads when customers are touching the girls inappropriately and they actually make the girls apologize afterwards because she's scantly clad so you have every right to grab her ass and/or tits without a slap to the face, right? This logic is outrageous.
- Speaking of managers at a strip club, I requested the weekend of Passover off to spend with my family. One of the managers drew a Swastika on my request. It took everything in me not to walk out and I was already growing tired of that environment. I put in my two weeks notice as courtesy then got terminated the next day. Corporate contacted me and apologized profusely then asked if I needed anything. Just a good recommendation would do.
The hardest part about bartending (for me) is setting the boundaries that will keep you safe from losing your job. You could get fired for cutting a customer off or you could get fired for over-serving. At the end of the day, your job may depend on this decision making but losing your license and getting a ticket is far worse. Sure, that bar owner may smear your name in the dirt when you try to get another job but life isn't fair and you have to roll with the punches. You could always kiss as much ass as possible to keep yourself employed but that's just something I am not willing to do.
Do bartenders drink on their shift? It depends. Some establishments do not allow drinking (It's also illegal in particular zones) but the bartenders and bar managers still bring in their own concoction in a bottle disguised as Gatorade or fruity water because it helps them relax and get into the groove. Numerous establishments will allow you to drink with limits. A bar in Port Arthur, Tx actually requires that their bartenders have a few shots to keep them level headed. Have I ever been drunk behind the bar? There were a couple of instances where I managed to have a strong buzz. This is not something I am proud of but let's just be honest here, it happens. Never had a DUI and I do not do drugs. I have also been falsely accused of being drunk behind the bar. One of the times was due to me forgetting my medication and I got light headed from low blood sugar. I'm sure it probably did look like I was drunk on camera but being falsely accused of something I didn't do is one of my biggest pet peeves. Just know your limits and watch yourself. You still want to make sure you can do paper work correctly.
- What I find odd from some superior figures is that customers attempt to buy the bartender drinks all the time and some managers will say no but if a big spender is in the house or a friend of said owner/manager..... It's totally okay! I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this because you're basically saying the other customer's money is no good to you.
- The video below "If Bartenders Were Honest" actually portrays drinking behind the bar on point. On Reddit, several bartenders replied to the video stating that they also drink behind the bar, knowing their limits.
- At the Pub, our manager would call me almost daily, begging me to come in at 2pm because she was too drunk to finish her shift. Now THIS is inexcusable and it still baffles me that she was never fired over this. She also viciously attacked her co-workers and customers. How does one get so angry?
DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA! Did I mention drama? Have I been the source for some of this drama? Probably. I am a very emotional girl. However, this brings me back to being blamed for shit I didn't do which is a sure way to become enemy #1 in my book. Example: My adventures of being a bartender at a strip club included becoming really good friends with one of the floor guys. He was sleeping with 5 girls involved with that club, two were very good friends of mine. On my night off, my phone explodes with screen caps of this guy. He told two girls that he wanted to get them pregnant (Wicked gross) and told the other girls that he loved them. After several grueling phone calls and text messages, I already knew something very bad was going to happen at work the following evening. Sure enough, the girls attacked each other in a fashion that's best suited for Wild Kingdom. I told my friend he needed to get his shit together which hurt his feelings. All of this somehow landed on me and became my fault, just for being in the middle of it.
- Never date your customers nor your co-workers. Never become friends with co-workers. Don't think for a minute that they won't throw you under the bus when you are feeling most vulnerable and outraged. Unfortunately, I break my own rules. It creates conflict and drama at your job and that could lead to you getting fired. What you really need to watch out for is becoming 'friends' with the wrong people. Everyone wants to be friends with the bartender. Know the difference between friends and acquaintances.
- Random reminder that a friend wanted me to share on here - Once your business is booming, do not forget the staff that got you there. You can dispose of them and pretend as if they mean nothing but that makes you a douche. You will lose business after firing your bartender that brings in a crowd. One sure way to piss your regulars off is hiring and firing at the drop of a hat. I have read several reviews from pissed off customers that complain about the inability to keep bartenders around. Maybe this is something managers and bar owners should keep in mind. If you're having a problem with an employee, work with them! Stop firing bartenders left and right.
- Do NOT depend on hearsay. 80% of the things you hear in bars are maliciously twisted around. I cannot tell you how many lies I have heard about myself and some of them are down right insulting. If you ever want to know anything, just ask me!
You're not allowed to protest racism and homophobia. I have this problem with word vomit where I say everything I am thinking and it doesn't always work out in my favor because who cares if he's a fascist pig, the customer is always right! You're encourage to respond with, "Yea! I don't like dem queers neither! Hang em' with the niggers or throw them in an oven with the kikes!" Oh how I love the awkwardness of an anti-Semitic customer who just learned that I am Jewish.
- Random shout out to these customers - Men like to shit their drawers and flush them down the toilet and the Omega Moo's like to make fools of themselves on the dance floor to terrible hip hop music while their period stains are showing but that's none of my business....
Every once in a while you'll feel as if you're stuck in a Twin Peaks episode. There are several stories I could tell but I'm going to have to go with the most recent when Dan and I were working together on a Saturday night. There was a moment where I had to pull Dan to the side and tell him, "Dude, scroll your eyes across the room and see how completely trashed everyone is." I am not a fan of over serving but some of these customers tried to get me into trouble when I cut them off so I decided to go with the flow and show just how horrifying the outcome could be. We had several groups of crying girls and one of the girls had lipstick smeared all over her face. This is putting it lightly. As soon as we locked the doors, all we could do was scream, "WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT????" I don't understand the criers. Some are doing it every week and one group of girls in particular likes to play this wrist slitting country song while they cry about their uncle that died 10 years ago.
- Random nod to all my stalkers! Ladies, I know you feel me on this one. You have a good time with a guy then suddenly you're dating. NO! We are not dating. Go away, you're freaking me out. Then they will insist on waiting for you to leave the bar and they follow you home. Hooray for sanity! I would advise keeping pepper spray, a baseball bat, switchblade, or a gun in your vehicle. This is Texas, go with the gun! My friends seem to think this is hilarious.
In closing, one of the biggest problems I seem to run into is jealousy. Every girl thinks I want to sleep with their man. I usually respond with, "He's not attractive enough for me, sorry." Same goes with lesbian couples. Then I have the co-workers that are intimidated by me. Any time a local magazine writes about me or I do a photoshoot, I suddenly become their worst enemy when I didn't even do anything wrong. Maybe I do come across as intimidating. The disgusting behavior I have endured has molded me into a cynical human being. By no means do I think I am better than anyone, chill out. We're all sick. Have a nice day.