Picky Professionals: When Good Bartenders Are Served by Sucky Ones

Posted: March 18, 2011 by divebardiva in Daily Ramblings

Okay people, my apologies for the lack of posts during my “drowning in my own lungs” epidemic. Thank you to all who have contributed in my absence and let me say, you guys are hilarious and keep it coming. Honestly I have never seen so many “I just peed myself a little” comments in my life. Kudos.

So, you won’t see a lot of bartender bashing here at Bar Trash but sometimes what must be done must be done. When you’re a good bartender, nothing pisses you off more than a suck-ass one.

I was feeling a little stir crazy after a week without beer and had seriously considered that the reason I wasn’t getting better was because there may be too much blood in my alcohol system. Normally, nothing can live in this grain-infused environment, and that’s really the way I like it. However, I was feeling a little more violent than usual and figured I should probably just have a beer or two to quiet my homicidal tendencies.

In the town that I live in there are three bars. That may not sound like a lot to most people, but keep in mind we are a town with more cows than people, and we currently don’t even have a grocery store. Normally, the three-bar to almost no-people ratio would be great. However, the small town bar scene is not without its problems.

Problem #1

Two of the three are an American Legion and a VFW. Now, I grew up in bars like this and have absolutely nothing against them. They have good lunch specials, meat raffles and usually the coldest beer on the planet. (This is due mostly to the amount of crabby old men who would revolt otherwise.) The difficulty I run into is the fact that swearing is really frowned upon — clearly a problem for the divebardiva — and the lack of good staff.

Now my favorite bartender at the VF’s name is Karen. One of my pet peeves is when people would come into Madigan’s (the third bar in town) and say to me, “Where is Bridget?” Seriously? She is clearly not working tonight and I am, so order something or shut the hell up.

So, I asked if Karen still worked there and my drinking partner said, “Don’t you hate it when people do that to you?” Noooo…I didn’t ask where she was today, I asked if she still worked here. Basically I’m just trying to find out if one more town bar needs to be added to my “no fly zone.”

The following is my reasoning on that one…

Me: “May I have a Bud Light with a lime?”

Clueless: “I didn’t stock any Bud Light today.”

Me: “Umm okay, how about a Bud but forget the lime?”

Clueless doesn’t say anything to me but she does grab a Bud and proceeds to put a lime in it.

Drinking Cohort: “Didn’t you tell her you didn’t want a lime?”

Me: “Yeah, and it doesn’t bode well for my already violent tendencies today.”

Okay, being a professional I realize that people get busy, and sometimes and it can be hard to keep up once you get in the weeds. I usually ask my customers that if they would like another beer, and it seems like I am busy, to place their empty in the well at the edge of the bar, and I will automatically get them another.

I usually do this at bars, and other bartenders jump on the chance to not have to engage in a verbal exchange when they are a bit harried. Clearly, since there were only seven of us in the entire place (including the bartender, the bartender who just finished and the kid in the kitchen) this was not necessary, and yet I couldn’t get another beer to save my life.

I finally got her attention and asked for another round at which point she asked if I wanted Bud Light this time as she had stocked some. I said yes and was considering that maybe I was being too hard on her. She asked if I wanted a lime, I said yes please and she brought another round.

Now, I was expecting her to walk down the bar, retrieve my lime and return with it…but my steadfast rule of scurvy prevention was not to be followed. She simply walked down to the other two actual customers and resumed her conversation about the fact that vicodin turns her into a puddle.

Once the time came for beer number three, and the final beer of the afternoon, I just didn’t give a shit. It took me a good seven minutes to get her attention (again, four fucking customers in the whole place and we were two of the four) and when I did and ordered my final beer I was seriously ready to stab her. Before she brought me my second lime-free Bud Light — even after asking once again if I wanted one — she took some time to grab the jukebox remote, turning the music up and down to torture the day bartender who was currently playing music on it.

Really? Really you horrible horrible bartender. I don’t ask for much. Get me a fucking Bud Light with a fucking scurvy-preventing lime when my shit is empty. I will reward you with gracious, polite behavior and a sizable tip. This isn’t rocket science.

Honey, you work at an old-man bar with no frozen drinks and more beer and Windor/Cokes then you can shake a stick at. You can’t be any older than me so Alzheimers is no excuse. You, my friend, just SUCK, plain and simple.

This is one of the many reasons why I choose bars for their bartenders, find their schedules and stalk their asses like it’s my job. Karen is still working at the VF, and it has become painfully clear that I am going to have to stalk her in order to be a patron. Even if I haven’t seen her for months, she ALWAYS knows I want a Bud Light with a lime and you know what…she actually fucking gives me one!

Problem #2

And this sucks beyond all reason: When your favorite dive bar (coincidentally the one you happen to be working at) in town is taken over by the owners ex husband — whose mantra is nothing makes me happier than the sound of my own voice — and you and all of your favorite bartenders and waitresses walk out…never to return again.

I loved my little home town bar. Me and my neighbor (The Hippie) would meet for happy hour to see our very best bartender (B) and drink ourselves into a state of happiness. Those days are gone, and although I am supremely happy where I am, I miss a bar that I can walk to, talk smart, get great service and then stumble my ass on home.

Where they also know that I like a Bud Light with a fucking scurvy-preventing LIME!

Subscribing to this blog is so easy, that even the lame-ass VF bartender could do it! Enter your email at the bottom of the home page. The divebardiva will love ya for it!

  1. BigWillyWhiskySlinger says:

    You swear too much….and drink crappy beer!!! Keep my wife out of trouble on Saturday.
    Seriously, if you have to garnish a beer maybe you should make a different choice.

    Just kidding as always, Much Love Bro Big Willy.

    • divebardiva says:

      I know I do…I actually toned it down a little because Kelly thought it was harsh but I have been sick and beer free for a week so the bitterness is seeping out of me. And PS I save the good stuff for my wine choices 🙂

      And of course I will make sure Kell stays out of trouble…now her making sure I don’t get into any….probably not gonna happen!

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