Tag Archives: bartender

I’m Not Polite Until I Get My Coffee.

missingmanners

Seriously. Help.

Yesterday, a man approached my bar in jeans and a blazer, phone in hand. Maybe his dress has nothing to do with it, maybe it does. Anyhow, he hadn’t yet made it to the proper stranger speaking distance (AKA close enough to not be yelling at me as if I was his daughter or wife or close friend), when he shouted out something about “coffee” and “do I ask you or get it myself”.

“Hi! How are you?” I responded with a smile. After all, isn’t that the proper way to begin a conversation with someone you’ve never laid eyes on?

“Coffee?” he said again, in question form this time, obviously confused by my politeness.

How are you?” I asked again. I’m a stubborn biotch sometimes.

“GOOD” he shouted. He was annoyed. I smiled and said I’d bring it right over.

“Thank you so much,” he said as I placed the cup in front of him. I was even nice enough to bring the creamers he hadn’t asked for! “I’m not polite until I get my coffee.”

Let us pray.

Let us pray.

For those of you who don’t know, I bartend in an airport. While these kinds of people are found everywhere, I feel like major international airports are breeding grounds for a whole other kind of crazy. If you travel often, people watch. Listen to questions asked, conversations had. Entertainment, guaranteed.

Sometimes I think it’s me. I deal with this sort of rude stupidity so often, the lines begin to blur. Am I miserable today, or did that asshole really flail his hands in the air SOS style because he wanted another side of hot peppers? Are all these premature gray hairs the result of my own anger issues or am I really being aged by moron customers?!

No, seriously. Look at this shit.

No, seriously. Look at this shit.

Manners are a dying art, people. We don’t care how others are doing anymore. You see a body behind the bar, the counter, the desk, and you bark a demand. We hear a voice on the other side of the phone and we simply tell them what we want. We don’t see each other anymore.

Oh, you’re having a shit day? Oh well, I’m thirsty.

Even worse is when we come across someone who takes the thirty seconds it requires to ask “how are you?”, we are automatically amazed at their good manners and simultaneously think they are one of the kindest human beings we have ever encountered. It’s important to acknowledge the good in others, but it shouldn’t be so uncommon that it drops our jaws in euphoric disbelief.

While I am guilty of burying my face in my cellphone during several hours of the day, I put it on silent when I step into the nail salon, or a coffee shop. Once in a while a customer will ask me for another drink. When I ask, “what were you drinking?” they’ll furrow their brow and tell me “again”, never realizing I wasn’t even their bartender. That girl with hair down to her elbows (mine is a pixie) was. I want to breathe in the world around me. I want to look someone in the eyes when they’re speaking, and I want to recognize their smile the next time I step into that bar, or coffee shop, or nail salon.

We have to slow down. Before we can expect something of others we must first expect a few things of ourselves: kind heartedness, recognition, appreciation.

xoxo,

Nicole Marie

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r-e-s-p-e-c-t

I found this fitting.

I found this fitting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As most of you know by now, I work in an airport. More specifically, I tend bar in an airport. My theory is that once the majority of passengers make it through security, they leave a few brain cells back there on the conveyor belt. We see a variety of people pass through our restaurant; some are pleasant (I’ve met some awesome people doing what I do), some are morons, some are rude, and some see that invisible line and hop, skip and jump right over it. I’m talking zero regard or respect for others. They think they can do or say whatever they please. I don’t take kindly to that. 

More specifically – and the inspiration for today’s post – I do not take kindly to grown men who act like scumbags, and/or talk disrespectfully to women. The first thing that comes to mind when I see or experience this: How would you feel if someone talked to your daughter like that? Secondly: How about your wife? Thirdly: Do you even have a wife? I sure hope not. And here, for your personal anger and entertainment, is a prime example.

Saturday night. We’re about an hour into our 8-9 hour shift, the other 2 lady bartenders and I. Things are going smoothly – thank goodness – and a man approaches my bar. I greet him with a menu and he asks for 2 more, as he has 2 friends who will be joining him. Sure thing. I drop another 2 menus on the bar. I knew his friends had arrived when I heard someone yell a greeting across the restaurant, as if they were outdoors or in their own living room. The table I’d been dropping food off to looked up, startled. I gave them an awkward smile and turned to watch the three men greet each other. I approached the bar and took their drink order. Easy enough. I grabbed 3 beers and placed them on the bar. Then things got busy.

When things pick up one of the other bartenders will usually take that little sliver of bar where the three men were sitting. This particular bartender is extremely friendly, even when people are acting like douche-bags. As I was standing at the front of the restaurant, she approached me and gave me their food order, mentioning something about not wanting to deal with them anymore.

“What happened?” I asked.

“They were talking about wanting to buy a t-shirt, then said they wanted my shirt, like, off of my back.”

I could feel my blood starting to simmer. “What?? They said they wanted your shirt?”

They implied they wanted her to take off her shirt. She told them that was inappropriate, and the ringleader replied with “Sorry if I offended you.”

Now my blood was boiling.

As calmly as I could, I approached the three men. At this point I wasn’t sure of who said what, since apparently they were all involved, so I did it like this:

“Listen, whichever one of you made an inappropriate comment to the other bartender, don’t let it happen again. She was extremely offended and we can kick you out for things like that.” Of course they scrambled to defend themselves, mumbling about just wanting to buy a shirt, blah, blah, blah. A women and her husband next to them stepped in, claiming they did nothing wrong. I then said if that is the case then I am the one who is sorry, but please be careful how you word things. I was looking out for one of my own. “I totally understand,” the woman said. Case closed, right? Of course not.

I continued to take care of the men, a few more minutes went by, then the ringleader spoke again. “Excuse me, are you the bartender?”

“No, I’m not.”

“Then why did you come over here giving us shit?

“You offended one of my bartenders, sir. Then I even made an apology to you saying if you didn’t mean anything by it, that’s fine, but to please watch how you word things.”

He then asked for my manager, complained, tried to get him to take care of the bill. No, no, and no. My manager said once he was close to the man it looked like he’d been drinking before he arrived at our bar. I hadn’t noticed anything more than his stupidity. More time passed,  blah, blah, blah, he rudely asked me if he could pay. “Sure!” I said. Good, get the hell out. Of course I wasn’t expecting a tip after his experience.

But what I really wasn’t expecting was the word “Bitch” to be sloppily scrawled where a tip would normally be. He left before I even had time to see it. Coward. His friends stayed though, and after the ringleader was gone they were all “please” and “thank you” and “yes ma’am”.

I believe in karma, scumbag. And it will come for you. I also believe in standing up for yourself, defending yourself or others you care for. And if that warrants me a bitch, then so be it.

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Daily Prompt: Chill Out

You need to make a major change in your life. Do you make it all at once, cold turkey style, or incrementally?

Well, it depends on what the change is. Some changes can be made all at once, but some take time, too. When I quit smoking a few months back, I went cold turkey. No “weaning” myself off of cigarettes, no patch or gum to help me along the way. I just did it. This isn’t as easy for everyone, and I am very lucky to say I kicked the habit on my own. Other changes, like losing weight, obviously take time. I’m hoping to tone up while I’m busy marathon training, and there’s still three more months of that ahead of me.

If I could make one major change in my life at this moment, it would be the amount of crap I let bother me on a daily basis. I’ve always been sensitive, I’ve always been fairly short-tempered, and in those moments I forget to bite my tongue on the smallest of things, it immediately bothers me after. In the business I work in, this is something that needs to be nipped in the bud ASAP. I deal with jerks on an every day basis, and that isn’t going to change. But I choose to be a bartender (at times it is very rewarding – I meet lots of interesting folks), so I have to deal with it. We can’t sweat the small stuff, right? So what if someone is angry with me because they missed their flight. I know it isn’t my fault, and it’s likely I’ll never have to see them again. So, ah well. It sounds easy, but when you’re so jaded it’s really hard not to complain sometimes. 

I’ve love to say I could make this change cold turkey style – head up, shoulders back, a smile on my face at all times – but that isn’t realistic, for me at least. So, I’ll make this change incrementally. I’m really going to try…wish me luck. Life is too short to spend any time miserable, especially over another’s stupidity. And when I find myself complaining about work outside of work, well then we  have a real problem.

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Living Arrangements

100% safe!

100% safe!

 

 

Well, it’s official. The cat is pissed. As first I thought she was scared. Maybe she is, just a little. But yeah, mostly pissed. I mean, I didn’t expect her to hug the dog as she came barreling through the back door of her new home on Wednesday, but she did react pretty damn weird. Granted I don’t know much about getting cats and dogs to live comfortably together (any animals I had growing up were taken care of by my parents, played with/tortured by me) but Jewel (cat) immediately ran upstairs and slinked across the floor, belly and shoulders low like in hunting stance…and hid in a tight spot behind some boxes we have yet to unpack. Then she was up on my desk, something she never does. No purring, no usual meowing or rubbing her head on every object she comes in contact with.

Blegh.

I was heartbroken. I felt horrible. It’d been about 20 minutes and I was already convinced they’d avoid each other forever. How would we live this way? Forcing Joe and the dog to live in the garage crossed my mind. (Kidding. Not really. Hey, our garage has a loft above it. A loft. It’s pretty epic.) So I immediately took Mr. Calahan’s advice and began treating Jewel like royalty. Of course I played with the dog, pet her, loved her (she’s the sweetest little thing…but I have yet to hear her bark or make anything other than a whimpering noise at the shelter) until she curled up on a blanket in the living room and went to sleep. But then I coaxed the cat out from under the bed and gave her the usual Queen Kitty treatment: snacks, a thorough brushing, some scratches behind the ears, a dollop (Joe’s favorite word) of her chicken flavored anti-hairball stuff. Then she started purring, and I felt a little less like a big jerk.

Jewel did sleep with me that night while Nevada (doggie) slept soundly on her little blanket…but she didn’t bother me so much for drinks from the faucet, and only once she was absolutely sure the little ball on the living room floor wasn’t making any sudden movements did she sneak into the kitchen for some food. Then she’d either hide in the basement for a while, or sneak back upstairs for some more snoozes. (We do have a little kitty hole cut out of the basement door, so she can comfortably go up and down without the door having to be open. And Nevada can’t fit through that hole. Win.)

As I was getting ready to leave for the always dreaded morning shift yesterday I was happy to see the cat in the kitchen, crunchin’ on some food. Then I left the room for a moment and when I returned she was chompin’ on the dog’s food….and before I could control myself I made some sort of disturbing flailing hand motion and told her to knock it off, instead of gently pointing her in the right direction (big jerk), so of course she darted down the basement, once again. Ugh.

So I headed down there, already running late (at 4 AM, mind you), to try and make amends, which I figured she wanted nothing to do with when I reached down to pet her and she said something like “MrrrEeooOWWWWWAaaaa!!!”, cat for “go away, you asshole!”. Sigh.

Thursday afternoon. Enter: Catnip. 

After another tiring morning shift –

Customer: (5:30 AM) Can I get a Heineken?

Me: I’m sorry, we can’t serve alcohol until 7. State law.

Customer: UuuUUuuuggHh! (He sounded much like Jewel did that morning.) ::puts head on bar::

Me: ::stone face:: Sorry.

Customer: Well, can I get an ice water?

Me: I’m sorry, but you have to buy something in order to sit in here. (We. Are. A. Restaurant.)

CustomerI’d still give you the dollar.

(Well golly gee, in that case!)

Customer: Well, can I sit there and get an ice water? ::points to a table behind him, literally 2 feet away::

Me: That’s still inside of the restaurant, sir.

Customer: Ugh. Give me a menu then. ::looks:: Let me get a milk.

– I stopped at the local Acme for some dinner ingredients (seriously, try this recipe…amazingness) – Acme is kinda expensive by the way – and decided to grab the cat a small , over-priced toy as a sort of peace offering. My choice: a little fuzzy mouse that gets stuffed to the brim with catnip. Score. 

I brought it home, filled that baby up, and watched her go absolutely nuts for a while. It was great. It worked so well that while the dog lay sleeping in a ball on that same spot, I was able to coax her downstairs with it. She’d stop every few feet, looking from her kitty drug to the dog, to the kitty drug again. Her need for a fix was much stronger than her fear of the dog so she chased that baby all the way into the kitchen! Then she ate. Then she batted it down the basement and played with it down there. Uuuuuggghhhhh.

So while they aren’t the best of friends yet, napping and plotting my demise together, they did spend a lot of time staring at each other this morning. The cat has been slowly closing the gap between herself and her not-so-little sister, sneaking up more and more basement stairs to get a better look. And I think she dog is more afraid of her than she is of the dog! Nevada’s back legs shake every time the cat stares deep into her soul. Those cat eyes are no joke. So hopefully – while Nevada is a hound – she won’t want to eat the cat. I think she’s afraid the cat might eat her, anyway.

I’m hoping to come home one day to find the cat riding the dog around like a pony. That would be awesome.

Does anyone have any advice in this area?

Regardless, our shelter rescue is healthy and happy, and I’m looking forward to many play dates and movie nights curled up in little balls together.

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Hey, just a quick reminder.

Well, three.

#1) If you want quick service, get off of your cellphone.

#2) If you need me for anything, get off of your cellphone.

#3) Then, when I don’t seem friendly enough for you and you feel the need, especially being a male, to call me a d*ck head (or rather, mumble half to yourself half to me, “Thanks for being a d*ck head for no reason”)….you should have gotten off of your cellphone.

 

Pathetic.

 

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Restaurant Blues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just another week in the life of a bartender.

A few days ago:

A woman was determined to steal the tall Blue Moon glass she was drinking out of.

First drink (22 oz.): “Do I get to keep this glass?”

Me: “I’m sorry, you don’t.”

Customer: “Is this 22 ounces?”

Me: “Yes….”

Customer: ::goes back to texting; ignores me::

About 15 minutes goes by….customer orders another drink (a 16 oz. this time).

Me: “Would you like another?”

Customer: “Yes! A small one. But I want to hold onto this glass.” ::claws wrapped around 22 oz. glass::

Me: “Okay….”

::Another 15 minutes or so; she orders another small beer::

::As I place the new beer in front of her, I take the 22 oz. glass that is now empty and off to the side::

Customer: “Are you sure I don’t get to keep that glass?!” ::wink::

Me: “I’m sorry, you really don’t get to take the glass…”

Le sigh.
And then, there’s today.

A young man comes in, orders a vodka and cranberry alongside a shot of vodka. He rejoices over the price, apparently significantly less than what he paid for the same order in another restaurant in the same terminal.

I check on him, he’s doing well, I go off to take care of other customers; when I return, his shot glass is empty, his glass is sucked down to the bare cubes, and he is gone. I peer out of the glass and see him standing in line, waiting to board his plane.

I casually walk out into the terminal, and up to said customer, check in hand.

Me: “Excuse me, were you coming back?”

Customer: “No…”

Me: “Were you going to pay this?” ::I hold up check::

Customer: “I gave you my card!”

Me: “I really don’t think you did. If you did, and I forgot, I apologize. Let me check.”

::Customer follows me back into the restaurant::

Customer: “I had two slips, and a pen, and everything. I signed something!”

::I check computer. No payment was ever received.::

Customer: “I signed something.” ::”Searches” pockets::

As he continued to protest, he handed me his credit card anyway.

If you’re so convinced you really did pay..why are you handing me your card “a second time”?

Slip signed. No tip.

I’m drained. Oy vey.

 

Happy Tuesday, friends! -_-

 

 

 

 

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