I can see it in your eyes… Ah old age. Quoting old songs as I do (like Lionel Richie jams) elicits endless confuzzled facial expressions and stares into space by the twenty-something year old set. I’m a relative Grandpa in the bar biz – at least in busy clubs. But I still gots it according to some of the loons who keep hiring me. And, as long as the occasional 22 year old hotness aspires to drag my ass from the bar, to the secluded VIP section from time to time, I suspect I’m not all that decrepit just yet (despite what my throbbing bunions, abysmal short-term memory, and constant narcoleptic state tell me).
I don’t know why most bartenders fuss about getting “stuck” with Sunday night shifts. Most of my colleagues continually clamor for Friday and Saturday night shifts – for reasons beyond explanation. Look… I don’t like working Sundays anymore than the next person – period. But given the fact that I do have to work, these days, I’d much rather take a relaxed Sunday night shift over a craptastic, robotic weekend shift any time. I’ll tell you why…
I live and work in New York City. That affords me the opportunity to stand on almost any street corner, close my eyes, swing my arms around, and smack maybe 3 celebrity grills. Being in the Hospitality game, that also means I’ve had many an opportunity to wait on countless celebrties. Not a big deal really – we all put on our pants one leg at a time. I’m never star-struck. I simply don’t give a crap about anyone’s celebrity status really.
I tend rail on sexism in Hospitality just a bit. But, not without significant justification. Just because something isn’t right – or you don’t like it – doesn’t mean it ain’t happenin’. At interview time, your dime-a-dozen, baseline “7″ [or greater] vixen has barely to flash a momentary grin, or timely head-bob, to have a couple dozen patiently waiting males (or not quite so fancy bitches), quickly dispatched in search employment elsewhere – resumes in hand. Never mind that she may nary be able to discern the difference between Sour Mash and typical corn Bourbon, let alone a jigger from a Julep Strainer. Recommend a full-bodied, astringent red – let’s say a “shaly,” Old World v. a New World, warmer climate-based, Napa variety? Don’t even go there. Sigh… none of that matters though to most employers though. It’s simply reality. Generally speaking however, said F.O.H. eye-candy doesn’t stand a chance in the world of sucking the limitless life out of a corporate Amex card, without a plethora of helping hands. That’s particularly true of pub life as opposed to highly-mechanized corporate Hospitality.
This is Nicole (actual lovely visage concealed to protect the
not innocent). She’s from that place across the Hudson whose very existence as inhabited, I frequently deny. You know… the land wafting of an oh-so-lovely sulfur-dioxide (rotten eggs) aroma border to border, a dead-end destination bustling on one end with soul-sucking casinos, and a place overrun with millions of Aqua Net encrusted, Bouffant loving, lobster-skinned reality show addicts – seemingly all ex-pats from Brooklyn. Some folks refer to this wasteland as New Jersey. I call it I-95 – a place whose sole useful purposes are to fill up on cheap gas and and maybe an Arby’s gourmet roast beef delicacy on my way to destinations South. I jest (not). Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, it was Nicky’s 24th birthday. Lucky for me, she, and two of her equally attractive girlfriends, chose my bar as their afternoon celebration destination. There’s only one problem – not a single bartender actually cares that it’s your birthday unless you’re a Nicky…
So look it: as I’ve mentioned before, cruising for Strange isn’t exactly a forbidden hobby at bars nor will it ever be in danger of extinction, I reckon. Little – not even an attractive chick’s hand-held, beefy date – will stop a determined person (read: every other dude in the bar) from attempting to get with some hot piece of ass. The reality is that many men in bars try really, really hard - but ultimately fail - to conceal their lack of couth and real agenda. Right, wrong, or indifferent, it’s innate unfortunately – how us Neanderthals roll. It’s hormonal, despite what modern corporate etiquette dictates, and what current Rule of Law enforces. Though some guys may be terribly crass, most of us are pretty much harmless. But there are some who are born-and-bred, habitual line steppers. As such, they routinely toe the the line between attractive confidence, and terrifying creeper. So it was the other evening when yet another recent graduate of Cleveland’s Ariel Castro Academy, seemed willing to stop at nearly nothing to either (a) assault a lovely middle-aged guest of mine or (b) become forcibly acquainted with our mammoth bouncers and have his teeth splattered on the nearest curb.
Flunitrazepam – better known as Rohipnol. Oh, can’t recall what that is you say? It’s not a cold remedy folks nor is a pharmacy ingredient for your Meth concoction. You stalkers, creepin’ in the bushes, and even some of you Frotteurs know full well what we’re talking about here. For the rest of you, those are the scientific and commercial names for Roofies folks, respectively. Yes, the date rape drug. Chicks are terrified of the stuff and for legitimate reasons. It’s why you just about never want to leave your bevie unoccupied. There’s a company out there called DrinkSavvy, that’s out to accomplish nothing less than put the kibosh on all the dudes who are lacking game, resort to chemical “persuasion,” and unauthorized ports of call.
Last night’s grand interaction:
[Me] Hey fellas. How are you? What can I get for you?
[Whiz Kid] Yo! Wassup? What do you got that’s cheap?
[Me][Slight pause and look of confusion] Well, all the drinks are kind of inexpensive here. Why don’t you give me an idea of what you normally drink and I can give you some suggestions?
[Whiz Kid] What’s less than $10?
If you’re an adult past the legal drinking age in your ‘hood, and have had the good fortune to make it back alive from an evening of even moderate imbibing more than a few times – then chances are you’ve run into a particular type of drink slinger, who with his/her less than pleasing demeanor, has left a particularly nasty scar on the memory of your otherwise stellar evening. At best, you may simply been treated like a cold number by an unexpectedly austere ingrate. On the flip side, perhaps you flashed your cash (and cleavage), while repeatedly gesturing for service at a 3-deep bar, only to have waited (from your perspective) an extraordinarily long while. Upon finally being paid some attention from the barkeep, (a) your drink tasted like murky, NYC Summer Subway Puddle (b) your round was missing a drink (b) you were overcharged (c) he/she slammed down your cold Salade au Chèvre Chaud with cold abandon and (d) the resultant argument with the manager got you escorted to the curb by two terrifying, seemingly uneducated, 375-pound, 6’7″ men. To add insult to injury, the local constables then threaten to cuff you for theft of service lest you sign the [already gratuitized voucher]. What a farse! My friend, you’ve been shat upon by the all to common Douchebag Bartender. There’s only one problem: Bitter Bartenders are made, not born.
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.