Thursday, May 15, 2014

20 Sure Swift Ways To Piss Off Your Local Friendly Bartender

It's a tricky concept to work with people instead of product.

There are a lot of personalities out there and unfortunately not all of them are smart nor socially in tune. As a bartender, I see occasional looks from 9-to-5ers who think this sort of people pleasing job is just so easy. I deal with people who see anyone in the service industry as sad drink slingers here to accommodate their buzz. Lets make no mistake here: deep down, I live for this. There is nothing I would personally like to do for a living more than have a social life which also happens to pay my bills. I feel very blessed. I love the freedom my ass feels whenever I stand up and it hasn't physically gown into the square shape of a cubicle chair. However, I have also found my niche far far away from novice shot takers and now prefer to be the barrel monkey at a more seasoned cabana where I take care of practiced pros who rarely make amateur faux paus.

But with that being said, there are always those few...

My husband and I went out for beers last night to visit a friend of ours who works security at a tavern downtown. As fun as it is to get out of the house and stretch our livers a bit, it absolutely reminded me how happy I am that I don't mix drinks for a gaggle of drunken college kids anymore. Sure, the money is fantastic, but the toll it takes on the temper and the irritation gauge is enough to hang up my shaker for a while.
While my husband sat and watched all the handlebar mustaches come and go, my eyes were fixed on the interaction between the 3 guys lobbing bottles and the unforgiving line which wrapped around the entire bar. I could see, time and time again, the universal pet peeves which were unfolding right in front of my eyes.

It's a world wide formula which bartenders around the globe have had to deal with since the dawn of time:

Unaware and overly saturated patrons
+ Busy bartender in overly populated tavern
 = The perfect cocktail of broken bar etiquette.

Now, I feel it's my civic duty to post these bete noirs to help clear the air and put an end to any confusion as to what is acceptable pub behavior and what isn't. So in no particular order, let's commence the lesson.

1. Being indecisive (also known as "just make me whatever you want!" or "mix me something fruity, your choice!") I have a bar which the fire department would shut down for being hundreds of people over capacity, and you've been waiting in line for 20 minutes for your turn to secure a delicious cold beverage but you seriously don't know what you want to drink? Get out of here.

What should I have to drink? The indecisive orderer

2. Trying to throw stuff into the trash can and missing. I don't know if you think you're Michael Jordan, but I have news for you, you aren't Michael Jordan. You're especially not Michael Jordan after 5 Washington Apples and 3 IPA's. As you try and then fail over and over in an attempt to convince yourself otherwise, I am collecting a small army of crinkled up cocktail napkins which I will have to clean up at 2AM after an already exhausting shift. Please just get up and place your trash in the can like everyone else. Thanks.

#2 (21 Ways To Piss Off Your Bartender) Trying to throw stuff into the trash can and missing

3. On the heals of this; Frisbee tossing coasters. When you launch a coaster across the bar room, and you come inches away from hitting me in the forehead, sometimes even succeeding, you aren't being funny or flirty or anything other than an asshole asking for weak drinks and an irritated bartender. 

4. Tipping in me in a pile of dimes, pennies, and nickles? Are you a homeless person who really doesn't even have the money to be at a bar in the first place? Take that shit to Coin Star. Come on. 

#4. (21 Ways To Piss Off Your Bartender) Tipping in a pile of change

5. Making a mess (ie; ripping off beer labels, tearing up coasters) I understand that you're nervous or sexually frustrated or bored or whatever but my job is not to be your personal janitor. Knock it off. Are you building a nest?

#5. (21 Ways To Piss Off Your Bartender) Making a mess ie; ripping beer labels and tearing up coasters

6. Opening and closing a tab. This is also along the lines of being indecisive. If there is any chance at all that you may stay and have another round, leave your tab open. It is a pain in the ass to wait for my dial-up credit card machine to close you out 3 separate times at $4.50 a pop.  And while we're on the subject, quit ordering your drinks one at a time. Please place your entire order for everyone at your table all at the same time. If you think that by the time I'm back with a tray full of shots you'll be ready for another beer, just order it prior. Don't make me come back 4 times for 4 drinks. I hate you.

7. Asking for free or stronger drinks. I know more about liquor portions than you do and my job is more important than you getting your buzz on. "Don't be shy" or "more whiskey than coke" or "light on the ice" isn't a sneaky way of getting more alcohol in your cocktail. All that does is make you sound cheap and get you weaker drinks. If you want a double, just ask for a double. Chances are, if you're a regular that I'm fond of, I would have probably hooked it up anyway had you not said anything but now, not so much.

8. Complaining about your tab being higher than you think it is. Listen to me, you're drunk and I'm sober. While admittedly there have been occasional flub ups, generally speaking I can recall what you've had to drink much better than you can. I remember that the baker's dozen Fireball shots which you bought for the table of hot chicks behind you did in fact really happen. I'm not trying to pad your tab, ok? Just pay your damn bill and quit arguing with me. Aint nobody got time for that.

9. Can you turn this song up? No I can't. Your decibel sensitivity is broken. I already turned it up for Phil Collin's drum solo in In The Air Tonight per your request. I turned it up again when your girlfriend played Brittney Spears' Work Bitch on the jukebox. So when I see a line of barstools filled with customers who are having to scream over each other just so that you can play a cranked up air guitar to Freebird, I'm drawing the line. (And just because you've discovered the button in the back of the box where you can manually do it yourself doesn't mean you have that privilege. I will cut you.)

#9 (21 Ways To Piss Off Your Bartender) Keep asking to turn this song up

10. Interrupting when I'm talking to another customer. Whatever you're going to say isn't as important as you think it is. Don't be a dick.

11. Using hand signals or yelling at me to get a drink, especially when I'm crazy busy, isn't going to get you a drink any faster. I'm taking inventory of everyone standing at the bar whether you think I see you or not, I know you're there. I have a certain order in my head of which drink orders to take while I go to the other end of the bar to get beer for a different group across the room. When you yell at me, snap at me, clap at me or wave your arms around like a kindergartner who knows the answer in class, you're not only messing up my order of operation, but you're making yourself look like an impatient and arrogant patron. Also, holding your empty beer bottle in the air until I come over with a new one is the grown up equivalent of a toddler holding their breath. Calm yourself. Seriously. I'll get to you, I promise. I'm moving as fast as you assholes will let me go.

12. Don't try to ask me an alcohol related question just to one-up me on your knowledge of alcohol. While a good bartender welcomes the knowledge of learning a new mixed drink or shooter, you also don't need to try and make me look stupid in order to make yourself look more alcoholically educated. Doing so is just going to make you look like a pretentious douche. No, I've never heard of a drink called Underwater Orangutan Piss and that doesn't make you better than me. So shut it.

Oh, you're a bartender too? Fascinating.

13. Overstaying your welcome. The bar is closing. You and the two shit-tanked guys at the end of the bar talking about your high school prom memories are the only 3 people left. If you're thinking to yourself "Oh, she won't mind if we hang out for one more beer because we're buddies!" You're wrong. Being nice to you is our job and we'll tell you it's cool but really we want to get the hell out of there and go home just as much (if not more) than everyone else who is approaching the end of their work day. If I'm turning lights on, pulling the bar mats and sticking the garnish tray into the walk-in cooler, it's time to go home. Don't make me stand there continuously checking my watch, yawning and flipping off the TVs while you go on and on. Just go home already and let e do the same. I'm begging you.

#13 (21 Ways To Piss Off Your Bartender) Overstaying your welcome when it's time to close the bar

14. Drinking and driving. It's 2014. We all know how much of a bad idea it is to drink and drive. Don't get wasted and then wave your keys in front of me so that I know you're going to drive home. I am way too busy to tackle you to the ground and talk you out of a bad decision. I'm not your mom. Drink responsibly.

#14 (21 Ways To Piss Off Your Bartender) Drinking and Driving

15. Walking out with a drink. You know as well as I do it's against the law to take a glass filled with alcohol beyond the doors of a tavern. Yes, you're welcome to go sit on the patio and smoke your cigarettes or whatever, but if you cross that rope, you're not only jeopardizing my position but also the liquor license of the actual business itself. This isn't a liquor store. We don't have to-go cups for your Sex On The Beach. Sorry.

#15 (21 Ways To Piss Off Your Bartender) Walking out with a drink

16. Trying to have a long conversation when I'm busy. I would love to watch your home video of the hilarious thing your cat did this afternoon or have a long chit chat about your brother who just got put in jail for the 7th time, but right now it's the middle of happy hour and I have to make 16 blended margaritas and muddle 8 different flavors of mojito. Please stop talking.

17. Taking fruit out of the garnish tray. Your hands are dirty. Even if they aren't, I don't know that. My hands, on the other hand, have been clean and sanitized over 10 times in the last 5 minutes from washing a million bar glasses so because I'm the one with the bartending job, I'll be the only one to stick my fingers in the olives. I don't care if garlic stuffed ones are your favorite. Hands off buddy. That's gross.

(21 ways to piss off your bartender) #17, taking fruit out of the garnish tray

18. Complaining about being carded. It's my job to card you. Be happy you still look young and not a million years old. Take it as a compliment and shut the hell up about being carded. I'm 33 years old and look like I'm about 16 so every goddamn day I hear "are you even old enough to be serving me" at least once and even though it's like nails on a chalkboard, I don't bitch about it. Get over it and just have it already out and waiting to hand to me already. You should know the routine already at this point and by arguing with me it just makes you seem younger.

19. Throwing up!!! It's one thing to go out and have a good time, but know when to say enough is enough. This is the ultimate no-no. There is nothing worse than cleaning up someone else's used Jagermeister. Please, please, please just don't. 

Now, to put a halt to any backlash before it has the chance to ensue, of course I'm not talking about any of my regulars. You guys are my friends and most of you are competent and well rounded patrons who know better. I'm talking about the Chad's and Christy's who stop in on a Friday night on their way to Old Town.

I have no idea who made this video but whoever it is, they're a genius.
Ladies and gentlemen, I leave you with a typical day at my office:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Be Our Guest

So, our third bedroom (also known as the Monkey Room)(also also known as Grant's Tomb) sits on the opposite side of the loft and is very very small.
It's hard to capture the room's exact shade of avocado green because it changes depending on where the sun hits, but trust me when I say that it was very green.

Like, an Al Gore-ish hue.

It's the only room in the whole house which wasn't the same Eeyore's-Ass-Grey like all the rest. You could see it coming as you turned the corner...

10 Guest Room Essentials

Prior to our buying the property, this room must have been a child's jungle themed bedroom or something. There were monkeys and crayon doodles spangled all over the walls and the closet organizer could only hold the outfits of a munchkin.  

10 Guest Room Essentials

Note the banana light switch...

10 Guest Room Essentials

There is a tiny alcove in the corner but it's sort of a strange shape and not big enough to put a normal sized dresser.

10 Guest Room Essentials

My goal for this guest room was to provide someplace welcoming and comfortable without feeling cramped and dungeon-like. When we finished with the living room, it astounded me how a single coat of paint brightened the entire space. We knew that the dark green was the first thing to go and down stairs there happened to be a full can of Cumberland Fog from Behr Premium Plus paint line. When I popped off the lid, I knew we had a winner. 

10 Guest Room Essentials

Everything about the shade was exactly what I was looking for. Friendly, breezy, light and mellow. It took two coats, even with primer mixed in, but we eventually conquered the jungle. 

Better Homes and Gardens makes a great little blue and tan patterned bedspread which matched perfectly and tied the whole thing together.  

10 Guest Room Essentials

The only thing really left to do was to create the final cozy ingredients and find some people to come visit!

Top 10 Guest Room Essentials for a cozy welcome

You guys, I've traveled a lot. 

A. Lot.

I've stayed in countless hotels, motels, hostels, and guest rooms. I've crashed on numerous couches, floors and even a couple recliners. I've slept in cars, tents, airplanes and trains. 

I've gathered some great ideas on things I wish I had (and a few copy cat ideas which I found absolutely genius) over the years and I have finally acquired a spot to put them all in use.
 So in no particular order: here is a list of my top 10 guest room essentials. 
(I use the term essentials very loosely)

1.  An alarm clock. This is sort of a no-brainer. I'm aware that everyone has one on their cell phones, but it never hurts to have a back up. It's important for people to not miss their flights and/or shuttles. Plus, you know, people like to know the time from time to time. 

2. Post your Wi-Fi password. Save your guests some cash off their data plan. It's the polite thing to do. 

3. A guest journal. Every hostel and bed/breakfast I've stayed in has had one of these things for travelers to jot down their vacation experiences and I think it's super interesting to read other people's thoughts. Yes, I'm aware it will be my mom and maybe a couple of friends here and there who mainly use this space, but regardless, it'll be a great keepsake years down the road to go back and remember different trips from different people. 

Top 10 Guest Room Essentials for a cozy welcome

4. A map of the area. Let your visitors get familiar with where you/they are. 

5. Reading materials. Don't have a library stacked with novels, I mean, people aren't going to be spending copious amounts of time here. Keep it light with magazines or novelty books. Because I'm just vain enough to think people want to look at me on vacation all over the world and because my guest room is travel themed, this is where I display all my Shutterfly vacation and scrap books. I also have the best of Calvin and Hobbs, Where's Waldo, The Good Citizen Handbook, The History of Rock and Roll, and The Book Of Strange Trivia. Everyone likes something fun to flip through as they're falling asleep. 

Top 10 Guest Room Essentials for a cozy welcome

6. Spare blankets. We took out the closet organizer and moved it to Kalynn's bedroom which gave us plenty of space for a dresser. We keep our spare blankets in the bottom two drawers. There is nothing worse than waking up cold in the middle of the night to ruin a good night's sleep. The key here is to keep your guests comfortable and everyone's level of warmth is different. 

7. Coffee, tea and snacks. Here's the deal: my mom wakes up at like 4am and I don't. If she wants coffee at 4am, she should be able to have some without having to leave the privacy of her own room (or waking up everyone else in the house). Personally, I don't like to see or speak to anyone until I've had at least one cup of Joe. I wake up, I go downstairs, I pour my coffee, I turn around and go right back upstairs. My husband and my daughter know it's best for everyone's safety to just leave me alone until my veins have been tapped and I get my fix. 
I'm also an awful insomniac and a little chamomile tea before bed is nice for relaxation. For both of these reasons, I want the option readily available for my guests without them having to ask. 
As for the snacks, it's just nice to munch sometimes. 

Top 10 Guest Room Essentials for a cozy welcome

8. A sample jar. People forget things all the time like toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion and face soap. Sometimes I have people decide to spend the night unexpectedly and they didn't come prepared.  For this reason, I've thrown all my hotel shampoos, airplane bottles, left over dentist visit samples, and cosmetic counter giveaways into one functional jar. There's a little something for everyone.

Top 10 Guest Room Essentials for a cozy welcome

9. A luggage rack. That funny little alcove was a perfect spot for a luggage rack. These are inexpensive to pick up and always come in handy for the person who is living out of their suitcase. 

Top 10 Guest Room Essentials for a cozy welcome

10. Spare keys. "You are now free to roam around the cabin... without getting locked out." If they want to go for a walk while I'm at work or use the car, go for it.

Top 10 Guest Room Essentials for a cozy welcome 

So that's it! I'm a firm believer that house plants can change the identity of a room and once all the painting and remodeling is finished they are top of my list. But for now, our quaint little room will serve its purpose and house whoever needs a place to crash. So, if you're ever in the neighborhood...!

Top 10 Guest Room Essentials for a cozy welcome

Before and afters of the loft, the master bedroom, the princess room and the kitchen coming soon!