I’m not used to complaining about the same topic two blogs in a row, but the city’s nightlife leaves me no choice.
I went to a club whose bartenders’ IQs must have been as high as the alcohol percentage of the drinks being served. Waiting for a drink, one of them approached me as if he wanted to fight.
I used to feel sympathy for bartenders. They develop bad attitudes from dealing with belligerent young adults on a nightly basis. But when you take into account that bartending is a job with no practical value, bartenders somehow make a substantial salary. So there’s no reason to feel sympathy for someone who gets paid well to do nothing for a living. Let’s face it, society isn’t asking much if your sole job is to pour a drink into a cup and hand it to a person. But from the expressions on these bartenders’ faces, you’d think it’s the toughest job on the planet.
Certain Bostonian drinkservers I like to call “beer-hander-outers” because I believe you have to earn the title ‘bartender.’ You can’t just stand behind a bar, pass out drinks like an asshole, and consider yourself part of the Bartending Brotherhood. I can gaurantee you that ‘Jon the bartender’ from Billy Joel’s hit song “Piano Man” was NOT a Bostonian.
In order to be considered a bartender, there are certain rules you must follow – a common etiquette that’s easy to learn, easy to understand, yet so easy to forget. Like giving up your seat for an elderly woman on the train; it’s a simple social equation – but if you don’t solve it, you look like a complete asshole.
Memory loss is a problem that some Bostonian bartenders have. They quickly forget that we, the people ordering drinks, are CUSTOMERS. We’re the reason they get $1,000 in tips on busy nights. We tip them more than strippers. Yet, they treat us like that hilarious but aggravating dog that always wants to hump someone’s leg; “Just get away from me, and go to someone else.”
The beer-hander-outer that was about to take my order was a brick-headed, grizzly bearded, slightly overweight, man-boobed filth of a skin complexion that I have no interest in recalling. He passed by me multiple times in favor of taller men and sexy women. I was eventually approached at the peak of my patience.
“Can I have a rum and Coke?” I asked. I was hoping the order wasn’t too complicated for him.
He grabbed a glass cup, scooped some ice into it, looked up and said, “We only have Pepsi. Is that alright?”
For mixed drinks, nobody cares about the difference between Coke an Pepsi, right? So I smiled and assumed it was a joke. But his facial expression was serious, which meant he wasn’t kidding. He was waiting for an answer. He literally wanted to know if I cared that the cola was Pepsi instead of Coke.
The fact that my throat muscles had to waste energy on such a question choked me up. I swallowed, held back a combination of laughter and anger, and let out my answer, “As long as it’s carbonated and black, let it flow.”
A Black man came next to me just as I said the word, “black.” I’m not sure if he knows that I was referring to the color of the drink, and not someone’s skin. You gotta be careful with words these days, even when using them harmlessly. You never know when someone might accidentally eavesdrop without knowing the context of your conversation.
The Black guy waved down another bartender. He ordered a gin and tonic, handed over his money and walked away. It took him 23 seconds to get a drink, and my egghead of a server is wasting precious time being overly concerned with my cola awareness.
I wonder if the Black guy ordered a gin and tonic from my bartender, would he be asked, “Do you mind if the tonic is Schweppes?…”
“What type of rum do you want?” my bartender asked.
He listed six different brands and I didn’t care to listen to the names of all, so I stopped him midsentence and said, “Yea. That first one.”
He reaches for the rum bottle, but it’s empty. He walks over to the other side of the bar and like a child rummaging through a box of toys, I see him sifting through empty bottles of the rum I requested – the name of which I already forgot, the least of which I care. I just want rum with cola. I don’t care what brand it is.
He comes back to tell me the obvious, “We’re all out of Mount Gay rum. If you want to wait, I can get a runner to go to the back and-.”
Before he could finish his sentence, I made it simpler on this turd and said, “No. Forget about it. Just get me a whiskey, straight up.”
“What kind of whiskey?” he asked.
“The first one you see that isn’t empty.”
I waited ten minutes to get noticed by a bartender, and now ordering this stupid drink is taking ten more. He could sense my frustration. He grabbed some bottle behind all the others, poured me a healthy shot of whiskey, and passed it my way. After a long 20 long minutes, my order of rum and coke was in the form of a whiskey. Who cares at this point? I need something burning in my throat other than this complexed Napoleon rage.
An hour later, I close out my tab. I only ordered three drinks the entire night, but I’m staring at what looks like a bill for three people. It was $55. I look at what I purchased: Two $10-dollar beers. Okay, nothing out of the ordinary there. But the third drink on the tab was a $35-whiskey?!!! THE BARTENDER SERVED ME A TOP-SHELF DRINK?!!!
I go up to the manger and tell him that I didn’t order that blasphemously priced drink. I even pointed out the “bartender” that served me.
After talking with the bartender, the manager concluded that I never told him specifically what drink I wanted, and that I should have specified that in the first place. The audacity of these places is beyond frustrating. It has become MY fault that this bar’s employees are idiots. I write a big, fat “ZERO TIP” on the bill. I circle it and add a huge smiley face.Of course, later in the week my Bank of America statement showed they charged me an additional $10 to cover the tip.
Forget bartenders. Next time I’m sneaking in nips in my cellphone-flask combo.
The Boston Jew is a humor blog. Though you may not find it funny, we thank you for wasting your time with us today.