I'm Your Bartender, Not Your Friend: 9 Ways To Piss Off Anyone Serving You Drinks

by John Haltiwanger

Over the past five years or so, I've worked on and off as a bartender in various establishments, in both the United States and Europe.

I've served in cocktail bars and dive bars, in classy neighborhoods and in the middle of nowhere.

Regardless of where I've been, I've continuously had customers who say and do things that lead me to imagine smashing their faces into the bar... And I'm someone who believes in nonviolent solutions to confrontations.

So on behalf of all bartenders, I'd like to highlight some of the more rage-inducing things that customers do, and what we are thinking during those tense moments.

We might be smiling at you, but that's because it's the service industry... If only you knew what we were actually thinking.

We do not know you, we are not your friend, and we are just trying to make a living. Please take to heart what I'm saying below.

And, for the love of everything decent in this world, tip your bartenders or NEVER EVER GO OUT.

With that said, to all the good, fun-loving customers who come in and actually treat their bartenders with respect and dignity: Thank you kindly, you deserve free shots until the end of time.

When customers try to tell bartenders how to make their drinks.

What the bartender is thinking: Have you ever bartended? No? Then SHUT THE F*CK UP.

I am behind the bar because I know what I'm doing. So chill out, Turd Ferguson.

Don't EVER tell me what proportions to use in your drink, I've got this down to a science. This is a laboratory and I am a chemist, making delicious concoctions to dull your obviously already stupid brain.

Let me do my job. Would you like me to come into your work and tell you what to do? Didn't think so. Treat others the same way you would like to be treated. It's the golden rule.

When customers shout their orders at the bartender while they are taking another order.

What the bartender is thinking: Do you think I'm blind and deaf? Do you really feel the need to flail your arms around like a penguin that's simultaneously on meth and having a seizure?

I will get to you when I get to you. The bar is packed, so chill Winston! I've got it under control. The more you yell at me, the less likely I am to serve you.

This is especially true when it's busy and I am going to make bank regardless of whether or not you order 10 shots of Fireball for you and your already sh*t-faced friends.

So I don't need to serve you, I am happy to ignore you all night, simply because your existence annoys me.

If you want a drink, calmly step up to the bar and wait until I make eye contact with you. Don't wave dollar bills in my face. This is not a strip club and my face is not a g-string.

When customers ask for free shots on their birthdays.

What the bartender is thinking: I don't know you, and I don't care that it's your birthday.

Don't EVER ask a bartender for free sh*t. Do you think I own this bar? Do you really think that this is my alcohol and I can freely give it to whomever I please?

If I did own the bar, I'd be in the office counting my money and laughing about the fact that some 20-something kid has to deal with asshats asking for free shots.

For all I know, it's not your birthday at all, and you're just a freeloading-mooch. You obviously live a very sad life if your friends aren't classy/loyal enough to buy all of your drinks for you on your birthday.

Become a better person, get better friends or kindly get the hell out.

When customers say, "Sorry, I'm broke, I wish I could tip you."

What the bartender is thinking: Jesus, Mary and Joseph! You're obviously not too broke to buy a drink, you pathetic excuse for a human being.

Do you know anything ABOUT ANYTHING?!

In the United States, God bless it, people in the service industry do not make an actual salary. We get a check at the end of the month that is around 20 bucks if we are lucky. Tips are literally how we survive.

So if you don't tip me, you are absolute scum in my eyes because it signals to me that you don't care if I survive in this world.

I don't give a sh*t how broke you are. I'm broke too, why the hell do you think I'm wasting my time serving drinks to the likes of you? Do you actually think I enjoy your company?

In the immortal words of the character Jeremy Grey from the movie "Wedding Crashers," "I hope you flip your bike over and knock your two front teeth out! You selfish son of a b*tch! You leave me in the trenches taking grenades!"

When customers tell their bartender that their drink isn't strong enough.

What the bartender is thinking: It's not strong enough? Seriously? I can't believe you actually just said that.

First of all, you ordered a vodka and sprite. So, obviously, you are a classless disgrace who doesn't know your ass-from-your-elbow when it comes to booze.

Do you think this is free? Do you think my manager doesn't check how much liquor we've used every single night?

I pour out exactly how much I am supposed to pour, unless I like you... And you're not winning any points with me by telling me that your drink is too weak. I hate your face.

When customers ask the bartender to call them a cab when the bar is absolutely packed.

What the bartender is thinking: First of all, I'm getting slammed, and you have the audacity to think that you are important enough for me to stop what I am doing and get you a ride home because you are an inebriated slob who didn't plan out your night well.

You're an adult, you can call your own damn taxi. Or go out on the street and flag one down. It's 2014, I probably don't have a landline behind the bar, and I'm definitely not pulling out my cell phone in the middle of a busy shift to call you a cab.

Download Uber or Lyft, go home, sleep it off, rehydrate and never ever come into this bar again...

And while we are on the subject of phones, I do not have an iPhone charger behind the bar, and even if I did, I'd probably use it to strangle you. Just kidding... but seriously.

If it's really an emergency, I'm happy to make a phone call for you, otherwise, you can live without your phone for a night.

People got hammered for thousands of years without cell phones, and they had the very best of times. So embrace the night, and rid yourself of technological distractions.

When customers order a really expensive liquor and then shoot it, rather than sip on it.

What the bartender is thinking: DID YOU SERIOUSLY JUST DRINK THAT AS A SHOT?! Do you know anything?! Mother of God, have mercy on me! That was $60-a-shot whiskey.

Would you put a $60 steak in the blender and then chug it? No! You have to enjoy the finer things in life. And after a night of listening to complete morons whine about their oh-so-difficult lives in the developed world where we have everything at our fingertips, watching you shoot something so delicious and nutritious shatters everything that I hold true and dear to my heart.

Please, PLEASE, don't take shots of good liquor. You can't taste it that way. Order rail if you are going to shoot it, otherwise, take your time. All of the finer things in life should never be rushed. That goes for food, sex and alcohol. It's a rule to live by.

When customers complain about how expensive their bill is.

What the bartender is thinking: Do you think I make the prices?

No. I don't. I simply pour the drinks and listen to your bullsh*t. That's what I'm here for. Don't get mad at me because you wanted to act classier than you actually are and order expensive cocktails all night.

Look at the prices on the menu next time and learn some basic arithmetic. Or don't come out. Plain and simple.

When customers act like the bartender is their friend.

What the bartender is thinking: I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND.

I exist only to serve you alcohol, and to laugh at your terrible jokes and to listen to your problems that aren't really problems (yes, your life isn't that hard). I don't know you outside of this bar, and I don't want to.

Stop talking about me like I am going to give you free drinks, or as if we went to each other's birthday parties as toddlers. I literally just met you! You sound absolutely insane.

I am your bartender, not your friend. You are paying for my company, don't get it twisted. Go out into the world and make some real friends, life's too short to be spent alone.

And I'm sure you're actually kind of cool when you're not making a drunken fool of yourself, so sober up and get back on that horse. Life is good, so be good to yourself and to others, including bartenders... aka TIP ME! What goes around comes around.

Photo Courtesy: Deviant Art