How not to be a total dick to the person serving you in a bar, by a bartender
It’s a harder job than people think
As a bartender, in all seriousness, I love my job and the people that I work with. However, it's taught me that people lose any trace of common courtesy when they're pissed – so here are some top tips of how not to severely annoy the person serving you.
Don't tell me to smile
This comes from the broader issue of men thinking that women should just be perfect, docile, smiling, happy little flowers all the time. Every shift I inevitably get that one man who won't stop telling me to smile. Have I been on my feet for eight hours? Do I stink of sweat and Tennent's? Is this overall, in any way, conducive to a happy disposition? No. Obviously not. And does telling me to smile ever actually make me smile? No. Obviously not. A little compassion will go a long way, but barking imperatives about how my face should look? Not so much.
Don't ask me how much student debt I'll be in by the end of my degree
It isn't okay to ask a stranger about their personal finances. People do this all the time, and every time, it makes me deeply uncomfortable. It's rude and weird – stop.
Don't smear your shit over the walls of a toilet cubicle
Sure, this only happened once, but once is still one time too many. You might be horrified reading this, I'm horrified writing it, but this happened at my work during the Fringe. What? Why? Why would anyone ever do that? Questions I will never be able to answer.
If I tell you you're too drunk to have any more alcohol, don't argue with me
Trust me, the person serving you is always a better judge of how drunk you are than you are. We don't want to engage in the, "you're cut off" conversation, it's awkward, and no one leaves it feeling good. If you get cut off or kicked out, it's you that's behaving like a jackass, not the person who's doing their job.
Don't go up to order at a bar if you don't know what you want
Is there a queue of people behind you? Are the people serving you run off their feet? If the answer is yes, figure out what you want before going up to order. There is nothing more thoroughly infuriating than someone standing at the bar saying, "oh, ah, I just don't know what I'm in the mood for". No one cares, go away.
When you pay, don't just tip the money onto the bar
There is nothing servers enjoy more than picking money up off the bar – it's so much fun! Prying coins off a sticky drip mat, what could be a better way to spend your evening? Please just place the money into your server's hand, or pay with contactless and make everyone's life easier.
If I tell you you can't take your drink outside, don't then try and take your drink outside
The bar I work in, like many others, doesn't have an outside licence for alcohol, so when I tell people that they can't take drinks outside, I'm not doing it to be a dick, or because of my "attitude problem" as I heard someone say about me during the Fringe – I'm doing it because it's my job. I don't make the rules, I just get paid to enforce them. If you're worried about leaving your drink unattended, ask the person behind the bar to look after it and don't blatantly disregard what they say to you.
We can hear you when you're moaning about us
"Tell the barman to fuck off", "she looks tired", "the bigger the hoop, the bigger the hoe". Every snide little comment that you make when you're being served at a bar gets heard by the person who's serving you, and trust me, it's much less endearing to the sober person, than to your pissed pal. Don't be a dick.
Don't spend ages arguing with someone over who's paying
Figure out whose round it is and shut the fuck up. There's nothing worse than watching two people debate and debate over who's paying, when there's pint glasses stacking up, someone's drink has just been spilled, and there are other people waiting to be served. You might be being polite to the person that you're with, but you're driving the person who's serving you insane.
If you're tipping five pence or less, you're just being insulting
Really? Is that all my service is worth to you, five measly pence that can't even get me a Freddo? Not ok. Luckily for me, this isn't America, and I don't need tips to support myself, but that doesn't make it any less offensive when someone spends £35 on a round of drinks, and chucks a two pence coin into the tip jar – it's not there for you to dump your loose change.
Don't complain about the price of the drinks
Do I look like I have anything to do with the pricing of drinks? No, I look like a 19-year-old in a part time job. S/o to the guy in a designer suit who asked me if I wanted the keys to his flat when I told him a pint of Peroni was £6.20. One, it was the Fringe, two, it's nothing to do with me, and three, yes please.
A rule to follow in all walks of life. At the end of the day, the person pouring your pint is still a person, and they're likely tired, a lil moody, and want to go home – so don't make their lives unnecessarily difficult. The people who say please and thank you, smile, or god forbid, ask me how I am, never fail to make my day. Be like them.