Just getting into bartending? Welcome! Prepare to bear witness to a world of enabling, depression, severe mental illness, toxic relationships, despair, rampant drug use, blown out eardrums, violence, debilitating codependence, broken promises and shattered dreams. And that's just amongst your coworkers. Below is an introductory guide, explaining what you can expect from some of your best and worst patrons. Here's hoping you survive and make a lil cash in the process.
The Old Lonely Geezer He’s got coke bottle glasses, white eyebrows bushier than a bear’s ass and gets the same strange order every time (something like red wine on ice or Kahlua and coke). It's expected to be set on the bar before he sits down. Most days, he keeps to himself and stares into his glass. You can't help but feel a pang of remorse, wondering if he's reliving a decades-dead romance or tour of combat. But on days when you're visibly stressed, he leaves you with a hefty tip and some vague metaphorical advice like, "The ship can still be righted". You never know what the fuck he's talking about, but the old corpse still makes you smile anyway.
Lady Potluck Her hairstyle has been the same since Bush Sr. was in office, she smells funny and spits when she talks, but never shows up empty-handed. Loaves of sourdough, crockpots full of pulled pork, gumbo, brats, cookies, cheesecake-- there's always enough for every regular, and a double portion set aside for you. She talks incessantly about her four ex-husbands and drinks six or seven Bacardi and sodas (with three lemon wedges) every time she stops in, but refuses a fresh glass, cause she likes her ice "seasoned".The big personality can be a bit overwhelming at times, but you can always count on her to be a real C-word to any entitled tourist who's even mildly rude to you. That feels good. It's nice to have a feisty local on your side, and even the tuna casserole is a reprieve from your typical shift meal of tater tots, cheese curds and hard seltzer.
The Overtipper We love this guy. We adore this guy. We wanna hug and kiss and hold this guy, and maybe even sing him to sleep. Forget that he wears a Bluetooth earpiece. Ignore that gold chain around his neck and the greasy comb over. Sure, he spouts off at the mouth about how he retired at 50, has a yacht called Boat Reynolds, spends his winters in the Keys and sleeps with girls who are stressing about collecting enough credits to graduate. But he’s lining your pockets. So smile, pretend to be impressed, give lots of high fives, and let him smoke inside if he’s still around after closing. The Worst Everybody's Best Friend You want this guy around like you want a rock in your shoe and a rash on your genitals. When it’s slow, he’s pestering you, asking how you got into bartending, what your family's like, and if you wanna play board games on your next day off. When it’s busy, he’ll be the one frantically waving his mom’s debit card while you’re mixing drinks for a group of 10, or screaming your name across the room (even though you never gave it to him). If you ignore him, he’ll pester the bouncer about the time he took a taekwondo class, or make a group of strangers uncomfortable when he invites himself onto their trivia team. The only good thing about him is he thinks overtipping will get him invited to your next cookout. Lil Miss DJ I guarantee you she'll be wearing something with the Burberry pattern on it and paying with American Express. She runs on Xanax, wants to know if the house red is from France or Napa, and insists the new Taylor Swift album be put on immediately. After you politely explain that the bar doesn't take requests, she'll verbally bulldoze you, and demand a Lizzo song. You'll say no (again) and she'll ask for Hootie & The Blowfish. Then Come On Eileen. Then The Dixie Chicks. Maybe even Shania Twain. Just offer her boyfriend a round on the house if he takes her home immediately. The Lingerers They're all gainfully employed and painfully lacking in personality. This crew purchased one round of espresso martinis 3 hours ago and have hardly touched their glasses. The house lights are on, the mop is out, and every other chair in the building is up on a table, but they’re still sitting there talking about the time John was crazy enough to cuss at a teacher in high school. Put on some DMX, turn up the volume to full blast, and stare til they sheepishly shuffle out the door. Lock it and drink what they left behind while you count your tips. Johnny Politics The. Absolute. Worst. No matter which end of the political spectrum they're on, these types of individuals are equally annoying. I'm talking about the kind who stays up all night watching Fox News so they can memorize Sean Hannity's every word, just to parrot it back in your face, or wear the fact that they once tweeted something mean at a Republican senator as a badge of honor. He doesn't seem to understand that nobody gives a Frenchman's fuck about his take on the Biden laptop scandal while the game is on. She can't comprehend why you wouldn't want to hear about the presentation on proper pronoun usage she gave the local school board while having a cocktail with your wife. They'll consistently drive people from their seats, to the next bar. When it comes to people like this, it's helpful to remember that someone doesn't necessarily have to be drunk and disorderly for you to physically remove them from the bar.