Photo: nisimo/Shutterstock

20 Times It Sucks to Be a Bartender

by Melissa Allen Dec 11, 2017

1. When a customer steals fruit from your garnish tray.

When was the last time you washed your hands?

2. When a glass breaks near your ice bin.

3. When guests pretend to be friends with the owners in order to get free drinks.

None of Bill’s real friends call him William.

4. When you have to kick customers out for doing drugs in the bathroom.

Guys, at least be discreet.

5. When someone vomits in the corner.

And somehow all the barbacks are nowhere to be found.

6. When someone vomits in a trail to the doorway.

Okay, maybe the corner is not so bad.

7. When a guest complains that all your beers on tap are shit.

Go somewhere else.

8. When a guest tells you how much better the bar used to be when so-and-so worked here.

Great, let me get that time machine.

9. When a customer asks for your number.

Just leave yours with the bill, it’s easier for both of us.

10. When someone misorders a drink and then berates you for making it incorrectly.

In times like these you need to smile and chant to yourself, “the customer is always right, the customer is always right, the customer is… kind of a jerk.”

11. When someone asks you to “surprise them” with a drink, but won’t give you any parameters.

Long Island Iced Tea it is!

12. When guests keep waving at you to order a drink when you are already helping someone else.

13. When the computer system crashes mid-shift and you have to ask all your customers to find an ATM and pay in cash.

14. When someone challenges your pronunciation of liquor or beer names.

Yes, I know kölsch has an umlaut (it’s k’ul-sh, not coal-sh). But when bartending, you want to be understood by the majority of your patrons as quickly as possible, which usually means Americanized pronunciation.

15. When someone steals the flowers or seasonal decorations off the bar.

Hey man, I carved that pumpkin myself!

16. That point in the summer when fruit flies begin to take over the bar.

Vinegar, bleach, exterminators — nothing works!

17. When customers move all the bar stools, completely blocking the walkway.

This is not your living room.

18. When regulars complain they didn’t get hooked up enough.

A free drink is a privilege, not a right.

19. Chatty customers at the end of the night.

I love a good chat, but it’s 4 AM and I still have an hour of closing duties to do.

20. When you finally get the chance to pee and there is a line for the bathroom.

Come on, Universe!

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