You think your shift is over when you see the person working after you walk through the door. Then they bang their elbow on something and need to sit outside and ice it for two hours because their arm still feels funny.
They can’t touch lime because they have a cut on their finger. They need to take frequent breaks because they hurt their knee two days ago. They can’t work today because they have an acupuncture appointment to take care of migraines. Hey, did you ever go to a pilates class? Isn’t it fun? To them, it’s a necessity – if they miss one, their body would just dissipate into dust and fade away. Have a day off tomorrow? Don’t make any big plans, they might twist their ankle and you’ll need to take their shift.
They can’t pull their weight, so it’s up to you to carry it.
The One-Man Show
They are not here to work. Maybe they can’t even make a drink; who knows?
They are here for a show and the bar is their stage.
They pick their favorite table, usually a couple on a date, and stick to them for the rest of the evening while you’re busy doing a two-people job. Then they turn around proud, bragging about their high tip rate, which is easy to maintain when you only serve one or two tables a night.
And what if you’re their customer? Are you on a romantic date? Or meeting a friend you haven’t seen in a while and need to catch up? Too bad! Tonight you came to hear a monologue, whether you asked for it or not.
No, I don’t care what is your personal opinion about each dish on the menu. No, I don’t care where you worked before. And no, I didn’t ask for your political views.
They give the impression of having the most exciting life, but then they quit this job for a low-paying, boring-ass job with insurance benefits.
The Waiters Hater
They are in a constant war. On one side, there are the hard-working bartenders who fight fearlessly to juggle between making drinks for the entire place and giving good service to their loyal customers. On the other side, there are the dumb and lazy servers who are there only to interrupt the bartender’s gentle work of balance. The waiters’ only job is to bring food to the table and will never understand the complex art of drink-making.
If a customer asks for a complicated drink, it’s the server’s fault for not maneuvering them to choose a simpler one. If they only order beer, it’s because the server sucks at up-selling. If a drink comes back for being too sweet or too sour, it’s because the server didn’t describe it well enough to the customer. A question? Of course, they don’t know the basics.
Often can be found outside, having a smoke with the only white person who works in the kitchen.
Long hair, unkempt beard, a poor sense of fashion.
They’re too good for this job and would make sure that everybody knows this. It’s only temporary, one day they’ll be rich and famous and prove everyone wrong. They would complain about the job every day, but still feel comfortable enough to use the bar as a platform to promote their music. And please, don’t disturb them right now, they are busy flirting with a customer and granting them free shots.
Stand by them for too long and they will pull out the “Hey, we have a gig Friday, you should check it out”.
So you go check it out, at the almost empty bar, and see that only an eclectic bunch of friends showed up and maybe the drummer’s mom. The music might not even be bad, but not good enough for this city that’s full of artists.
You’re gonna want to avoid working with them after that, in case they ask for your candid opinion about their music.
There’s always this guy who says his name is Johny, which is bullshit because that’s not a name in this country. His name is Yonatan and he was a nerd in school.
He comes to work with a fucking skateboard like it’s 1993 and thinks it’s legit to show up with a tank-top, so everyone can see their hairy, sweaty armpit whenever they shake a drink.
He’s always working on a side project, maybe music editing or directing a short film. His friends often come by and they have loud, technical conversations about the production value of a minor music album.
He’s energetic and friendly, which makes him a decent bartender when he wants to. Just don’t ask him for help in lifting something heavy, unless you want to hear a lecture about feminism and “real equality between the sexes”.
Wouldn’t take no for an answer. To them, a drunk customer is a happy customer, whether they’re a bit tipsy or passed out outside. If you sit at his bar, he will stuff you with free shots until you forget your name, and will be deeply offended if you refuse. Do you prefer to sip your drink rather than dunking it whole? Not on his bar! If you didn’t want to get hammered tonight, you should have stayed at home. And if you don’t finish your drink, The Pusher will shame you into oblivion.
It’s just that somebody needs to tell them that getting stupid drunk is not cute when you’re over 23.
He’s just back from a Craft Beer Convention in Berlin, and it’s good to have him back in town. You’ve gotta give it to him; he does make the best damn drinks in the city. Just don’t touch his hair and beard! They are worth more than his rented apartment.
You’ll notice him by the steampunk no-lense glasses he’s wearing and his ironic tattoo of a random stapler. His favorite clothes refer to, how surprising, the Prohibition Era. He’ll go ahead and buy every bartending gadget there is out there, from a stainless steel jigger to a leather travel kit bag fully equipped for the bartender on the road.
Legend says, if you call “Sezerack” three times, he will be summoned out of thin air.
The One Who Speaks to God
This one is deceiving since they look normal, maybe even interesting and intelligent. Then, mid-conversation, you think you hear them say something like “Well no worries, we human beings all have one heart”, and you tell yourself you must have imagined that. And then one day they come up with a research they’ve heard about, where an old wise man in China said “fuck you” to a bowl of rice and it spoiled after a day in the sun. Before you know it, you’re knee-deep in a conversation about how water absorbs the energy in the room or about the fact that some people have a purple halo.
Every bit of pseudo-science that somebody somewhere had posted on social media will find its way into this person’s mind and settle there, rent-free, as a rock-solid fact.
They would happily share their knowledge. If you have a rash, that’s probably your poor liver getting rid of toxins through your skin. Try a lime juice cleanse. Did you wake up grumpy today? You should watch this online lecture that some so-called wellness guru uploaded to Youtube seven years ago.
It’s all good until you hear them tell a customer to not have another beer because they should consider giving up gluten.
Just don’t smoke their weed; it’s cheap and will give you an anxiety attack.
The “ This Looks Like a Fun Job”
The modern version of “maybe I’ll quit everything and become a farmer or something”.
It’s the regular customer who comes at the quiet hours, probably a freelance graphic designer who works from home and feels a little lonely. After seeing you work, they might develop a romantic idea about working at the neighborhood bar, shaking drinks without a care in the world, and chatting with fun people. So they would casually strike a conversation about your job and investigate the hours, pay, and insurance.
Before you know it, they work with you. Now they act all surprised when they find out it’s an actual job with long hours on your feet and high expectations from the boss.
So after a day, they leave without a trace, and that’s a very sad way to lose a loyal customer.