Service Bar: Cocktail Waitress Hell


Hell hath no fury like that of a service bar printer gone wild. Dupes down to the floor and another stack of “chads” hanging by one’s lips. Round after round of 20 lemon drops (all with sugared rims), followed by 20 B52s (all layered – I kid you not), all evening long for bachelorettes. Getting yelled at by waitstaff for “slow” drink service, spilled sticky liquors all over your arms, bleeding fingers and running out of various key spirits at the most inopportune times. All the while, one guest to whom you’ve just handed a check presenter, insists he didn’t have half the drinks on his tab and demands a refund. A manager is nowhere in sight and conveniently neglected to offer you a walkie-talkie that evening. Another guest, simultaneously demands 4 Mojitos and and 3 Lychee Martinis of you. a Welcome to hell, otherwise known as the Service Bar.

With that, let’s look at some of the cocktail waitress heiresses you’ll often run into. Our buddy Caveman first tackled this list last year in The Top Ten Most Annoying Cocktail Waitresses.

1. The Napkin Stuffer – She’s an efficient waitress. She always follows The Steps of Service with an eagle’s eye on her tables. Nary will she let a 1/3 full glass lie unguarded without either (a) offering [trying to sell] another drink or (b) snagging the empties, wiping down the table and generally – trying to turn the table over. There’s only one problem. The Napkin Stuffer has no concept of the garbage can or bus bin. Stuffing trash in empty glasses, then stacking them on the bar (or dishroom) for someone else to deal with is her modus operandi. She loves to stack the bartop with glasses full of chicken wing bones, used gum, and crusty bev-naps, in an attempt to “enhance” the ambiance for your bar guests. As you might expect, she wants nothing less than to make it really easy for barbacks and bartenders to process dirty glasses. What a lovely sight to behold.

2. Nicole Tesla (a.k.a., “The Inventor”) - The Inventor, by definition, doesn’t have to ring in pre-defined drinks nor use defined modifiers on the P.O.S. No. She blazes her own ground, manually typing in all sorts of indecipherable psychobabble using the onscreen keyboard. A typical service bar dupe might read “PATRON” followed on the next line by “mgrta dbl tll no sour xtra lime 2 waters 3 salt on half rim.” Lovely, aye? The Inventor can’t be bothered with ringing in drinks that even somewhat accurately account for inventory. She might get an obscure custom drink order like – I dunno – a “Left Scooby Wing Nut” that a visitor from the Wrong Coast, once ordered at an obscure restaurant. If the guest has told her it consists of House Vodka (eeww…), Chambord, Blue Curacao and Sprite – in her mind – she in the right by ringing in regular “STOLI ELIT MARTINI- SEE SERVER.”  I mean, it’s a great opportunity for an upsell, is it not?

3. No Needs Nancy – This up and coming starlet simply stares at you doing your thing from the service bar. Rather than walk the floor, scanning her tables, or attempting to help other waitstaff in need, she “keeps the service bar from falling down” when no other opportunities present themselves. Each time she does, you rush over in an attempt to see what she (and her guests) might need. “Whaddya need girlfriend? Shit – maybe my printer’s out of paper” Her: “I’m good.” Then why the hell are you leaned over the service bar staring at me woman?

4. The Dupe Police – The Dupe Police is an Obsessive Compulsive freak. You may have laid out 10 dupes and are going through your system of perhaps (1) making all the Sangrias, from all dupes simultaneously or (2) noting all the bottled beers from said dupes so that you can grab them all from the cooler at the same time. Both pretty typical veteran, time-saving tricks. But no, The Dupe Police has to pool her tickets together, explain to you that dupe “x” that she just rung in is a V.I.P. and needs their hooch like yesterday despite the fact that the first chronological ticket has been waiting 6 minutes themselves. The Dupe Police is also strangely fascinated with organizing your condiment tray, lining up bev-naps, and constantly cleaning your bar mats just because – you know, we’re a team. Right…

5. Suzy the Celibate - Look: most of the spots of worked in over the course of my career know full well the value of “eye candy.” Somehow, one or two – shall we say “ducklings” – occasionally sneak past the goalie, and at least from a superficial perspective, don’t generally toe the Front of House line. I suspect it’s sometimes a result of Owner’s Nephew Syndrome, or the hiring manager being badly hungover on a particular day and not giving a shit. In case you were unaware, there is almost always a looming cloud of sexual tension at the service bar. Only, Suzy the Celibate ups her game to a whole new (undesired from your perspective) level. You can only presume, but you suspect Suzy hasn’t had some good loovin’ in a very, very long time as evidenced by her desperation. She insists on kissing and hugging up on you both at the beginning, and at the end of every shift. She’ll hover at the service bar at every opportunity, inquiring nightly “so, what are you doing after work? Wanna go get a drink?” Never-ending googly-eyes, crooked-teeth smiles, and leaning over to give you an intentional glimpse of her whopping boobage (attached to an equally terrestrial jelly roll and ass) are her weapons of choice.

6. The Former Bartender – Perhaps no cocktail waitress gets bartenders irate more than The Former Bartender. As you might suspect, her favorite phrase is “you’re doing it wrong.” No Martini, Margarita, Old Fashioned, or French 75 is ever made “the way it’s supposed to be” in her eyes. She’ll walk you through every detail of every order she rings in and rush over to the service bar the moment after hitting Send, to ensure her numerous instructions are unmistakably. If somewhere, in some remote country, a justified beat-down for talking smack becomes lawful, this ass-wipe needs to be the first in line.

7. Sneaky Pete: Sneaky Pete is a lifer. As such, he’s a chain smoker who simply can’t go 30 minutes without “taking a smoke break.” Nor can he go a single shift without a drinky-drink. Sneaky Pete sometimes has a thumb on the scale of a large corporate tab in order to score his poison of choice without admonishment from the service bar. He’ll duck into a dark corner, where he knows full well the bar’s cameras have their blind spot, and shoot his liquor. If he can’t sneak a drink onto someone’s check, Pete will frequently whisper to you, head-nod, or pinch his fingers along with a sly grin. All call-signs for you to “hook him up” when the next dupe prints out. He’s also known for making other servers’ cocktails mysteriously disappear from the service bar, when you’re not feeling like violating the rules. Pete masks his penchant for shots by picking up legitimately ordered cocktails along with his. In other words, he practices “Security by Obfuscation.”

8. No-Ring Rita – Rita is practicing Bohemian. Worse, she reeks of Patchouli. There’s no odor more foul, no worse assault on the sinuses, than that of no-antiperspirant using Dirty Hippie. As you might imagine, Rita is also anti-establishment. “Live free or die” is her creed and at a ripe 23 years old, she’s yet to give up on free love. As such, she has a severe disdain for The Man’s P.O.S. and prefers to call out her orders. As you can imagine, this doesn’t jive well with an organized, busy service bar, nor the inventory control system. Nevertheless, she’s determined to tell you which drinks you need to make. Her typical scam is to call out an order, and follow it with “I’m gonna ring that in just  a second.” Uh huh… Bitch, please!

9. I Got Your Back Beverly – Bev, is essentially The Former Bartender on acid. You’re in the weeds, and Bev – with her years of drink-slinging experience – can see it. She’s all about “go team!” You need backup and she’s your girl. While you’re wildly making half-a-dozen drinks at once, she creeps up behind you to rip off a few dupes from the service bar printer. She’s gonna help you pump out a few cocktails to get you “back on track.” Oh noes! Now your whole groove is off. Your flow is gone. Dupes have gotten soaked in spilled booze and have become illegible. Fun, eh?


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