I Gotta Be Me…and If You Don’t Like It…

Posted: March 8, 2011 by divebardiva in Daily Ramblings


Okay people, the reason I’m called the divebardiva is because in my 25 or so years of bartending, most of the jobs I’ve had have been in dives… or the dives’ lesser known cousin, the old man bar.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in my fair share of fancy places, sports bars, gay bars, dance clubs, and I’m sorry to say, corporate establishments. Drinking in one, however, is quite a bit different than working at one.

For instance, I used to work at a hotel, the very same one where I met Vodka Toxic. It was a wonderful experience where they washed my uniform, offered me more than a regular bar — $7/hr as opposed to the $2.13 that normal waitstaff made — fed me… and oh, insurance. I got fucking insurance!

However, with corporate comes name tags and kiss ass. I’ve never been a fan of either, as most who know me can surely attest. I probably would’ve been fired the night a guest was being such a douche that I told him he could either request something nicely, or feel free to go to his room and order room service. Fuck it, I thought to myself, if I’m going to work somewhere fancy then you rich fuckers better damn well have some manners.

Thankfully, Miss Toxic was the front desk complaint department, and his late night bitch session concluded with him returning to his room thinking he either got me fired or at the very least written up. My late night work session ended with V.T. and I laughing for hours at that douchebag over shots of Citron.

Once I had been bartending for a few years, I made a decision or two in what worked for me as far as establishments I should work for.

1. No uniforms. Now I have made exceptions to this rule. (I must say that I do not consider jeans and a shirt with the bar logo a uniform…unless of course the jeans HAVE to be khakis or black slacks and the shirt is a fucking polo.) After returning to Minnesota, where every dumbass that ever sat at a bar figured they should own one and then visited as many generic bars as possible to look for “great” ( “great” means dumbass) new ideas for their place, such as:


Guess what you fucking tool…it is not a new idea if some corporate jackass thought of it first. But I digress. Dive bars and old man bars never have any of this stupid crap, and most often the owner of a dive or old man bar is a hard-drinkin, hard-workin, guy or gal who has little difficulty discerning their ass from an actual hole in the ground. Can’t really say the same about the rest of them.

2. No name tags. Okay this is the deal people…you don’t give a shit what my name is…you know it, I know it, even the over-medicated crazy in the corner knows it. If people show an honest interest in what my name is, and care to give me theirs in the process, then there is an actual connection there. And I truly believe that you will only use my name when you really need something, and not indiscriminately, to either impress your friends or just be a pain in my fucking ass.

One of the corporate places I sometimes frequent — as they have a great wine selection and a plate of mussels that are to die for — always has a beautiful bartender working. Boy or girl, they are just flat out pretty and that’s how I like my bartenders, I gotta tell ya. When they start you a tab, they ask your first name and then extend a hand to introduce themselves. I like this practice and sometimes use it when starting a new workplace in an effort to remember peoples’ names rather than just what they drink. It’s called customer fucking service.

3. No ban on drinking. I have broken this rule a few times because I really liked the owner but it never lasts long. People, if your bartender is bitchy or pissed off most of the time and for seemingly no good reason…you are in a bar where they can’t drink. And bar owners, trust me on this one…in the end, if your staff is made up of professionals, let them do what they do best and try to stay out of the fucking way.

On the other hand, if your staff is not made up of professionals, fire the ones who aren’t and don’t make the rest of them suffer…the amateurs are just costing you money and customers. Because…you can have tits up to your eyeballs and an ass you can set a drink on, but if I have to wait 20 minutes for a cocktail cause you don’t know what the fuck you are doing, crazy hot only goes so far.

4. NO FUCKING FLAIR! Wait for it….that’s right NO FUCKING FLAIR! It’s fucking idiotic, and that is the end of it. I went to work for a friend of mine who stole me from the bar where I was currently employed. I liked the fact that it was an established pizza place with good business, and I had friends who worked there.

The owner was a dumbass who reveled in telling people what to do for absolutely no reason…well, I’m pretty sure it’s because his wife kept his balls in her purse and his kids were holy terrors coddled from the time they were old enough to act like spoiled little shits. So his only release was to come to the bar and make people do stupid shit to make himself feel like less of a loser.

Most of the stupid shit I can deal with, it’s part of the job. However, this day in addition to my horrible uniform, my manager, (the friend who hired me) left something by my register and then ran away like his ass was on fire. I saw that move and yelled…

Me: “Stop in your tracks, old man.”

Boss: “What? I have stuff to do in the office.”

Me: “We both know you have nothing to do. What did you put by my register?”

Boss: “Something the owner wants you to wear.”

Me: “Is it fucking flair?”

Boss: “Not really.”

At this point, I went over a picked up a button the size of my left boob (which as most of you know is a decent size) which said “We ID.”

Me: “Are you fucking kidding me? Of course we ID…it’s called part of the fucking job. Do we really need to advertise it on a fucking boob billboard? Seriously?”

Boss: “Yeah, he said everyone has to wear it…no exceptions. I told him one of our really good people will quit, but he said no one would be dumb enough to quit over a button.”

Me: “Well I’ve got two words for that dumbass…”

Boss: “I know, I quit.”

Me: “Well, I was gonna say fuck off, but I quit works too.”

Clearly #4 is the one rule that cannot EVER for ANY reason, be broken.

Well this brings us to my favorite dive…the one where I currently work, and where all my workplace rules are followed. I love a place where you can get a stiff drink for a good price, and where most of the clientele work hard and drink hard.

As I am sure you all know, I used to work at a certain bowling alley run by a Vader of the Darth variety, and that I was fired from said establishment because of a tattling fun hater who had to run to the Queen of Darkness and tell her how bad we were all being (well mostly just me, but that’s kinda the norm).

The following is the conversation that I had with my new boss during my job interview.

Bossman: “So it gets pretty busy here.” (Sidenote: Bossman is not a man of many words.)

Me: “I’m good at busy, I worked in New York for 8 years.”

Bossman: “I don’t have a ton of shifts.”

Me: “I’ll take whatever ya got.”

Bossman: “Really?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Bossman: “You drink when you work?”

Me: “If I’m allowed to.”

Bossman: “Really? Is that your answer?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Bossman: “Okay, but you’re in charge of everything, so keep it together.”

Me: “I can do that.”

Bossman: “We have a 90 day trial period to make sure you like us and we like you.”

Me: “Well I can’t see anybody not likin me, but okay.”

At this point I thought I was home-free, but Bossman had one more question as he stood up and was shakin my hand.

Bossman: “So what happened at the bowling alley?”

At this point I could hear my dad’s (also a bartender) voice in my head, “Kid, save the truth for emergencies.” However, as I had been out of work for two weeks and going stark-raving mad, I figured if anything constituted an emergency, this did.

Me: “Well, at 1 am on a busy ladies night, I showed my boobs to some hot lesbians and other pretty girls and then they all showed their boobs to me.”

He just looked at me for a sec and then sorta smiled.

Bossman: “I think you’re gonna fit in just fine.”

In May, I will have been there for a year…I am a boob showin, fire blowin, hard drinkin bartender. But I am honest and am here to make us both as much money as I can in the time alloted.

Bossman seems to be okay with it so far.   🙂

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  1. DJ SEXXX JELLAY says:

    “BOSSMAN is not a man of many word” is an understatement, to say the least! Bossman is however, very keen and in tune to what he has. He has the only TRUE bar around. I’ve told BOSSMAN on more than one occasion that he is quite possibly the most proactive owner I’ve seen in some time. This is coming from DJ SEXXX JELLAY, that has seen others with cash cows that have dried up because the owner was always reactive, not proactive. BOSSMAN is the most proactive owner that i have come across in a long time, and I sell liquor supplies for a career (besides being the best looking, middle finger waiving DJ of all time! OF ALL TIME!!). He knows money when he sees it and knows that in order to make more money, you sometimes need to spend money on what works. This bar fits DIVEBARDIVA to a “T”, you firebreathin Anti-Christ, you!


    I know, the last part of the ramble didn’t make a lot of sense, but i don’t fucking care! Now go make me a Beam ‘n Coke….please.!

  2. divebardiva says:

    Love ya Sexxx Jellay and as far as the Beam n’ Coke…I’m on it!

  3. Vodka Toxic says:


    The night at the hotel was spectacular! The douche came stumbling to the front desk, ranting and raving about the bitch bartender in the rooftop lounge. He demanded to see the supervisor on duty. I — of course, knowing that the divebardiva had pissed this guy off — immediately said, “Sir, I’m the manager.”

    I then proceeded to pretend to take “an incident report” while he gave me all the details. I apologized and said that management would address the issue.

    After he stumbled off toward the elevator, I called the DBD and said, “You didn’t really tell a guest to go to his room and order fucking room service, did you?”


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