Confessions of a Fed-Up Bartender: 15 Things I Hate About You
Mickey Finn began his bartending career as a young man. He loved booze, he loved the ladies, and he loved the money. But the party got away from him and after thousands of drunken nights on both sides of the bar, he sobered up. Well into middle age at this point, he still works in New York City more nights than not, a veteran, a grinder, a mercenary. Mr. Finn does not hate people. Quite the opposite. And while he is usually cranky, he isn’t bitter. But darling, he is over this job.
Mickey Finn is so over you. (Photo: Thinkstock)
At the high-end restaurant where I work, I deal with a lot of people I’ve never seen before and I’ll likely never see again. As if arrogance weren’t already exploding all over the place in New York City, this creates an entirely different level of entitlement among the clientele. Rare is the evening when I don’t encounter a handful of these kinds of behaviors. On some extra-special shifts, I get to cope with all of them. Here are fifteen things I hate.
1. Waving. Why not fire off a sea flare while you’re at it? I know you’re here. I’m gonna be with you in a minute.
2. The celebrity who’s going faux low pro. That’s fake low profile, and it’s false modesty. This dude, and it’s almost always a dude, is insistently invested in making me think he’s a regular guy. With his faded Levi’s and his quite frankly too casual t-shirt, my man would love to have me believe he’s just like me. He’s got a supermodel wife, three residences, and matching Academy Awards. I’m married to a real doll, but she works overtime to support the family. I’m carrying an overpriced rental in an outer borough, and I’ve got this bar job. Bro? You and me? Nothing in common.
Hey drunk celebrity, guess what? We’re not bros. (Photo: Thinkstock)
3. Third Base Coaches, aka Traffic Cops. That’s the guy who’s sure he knows who’s next for service. He calls me over, cranes his neck at the fourth stranger deep, asks that person what they want, and then repeats the order for me. That’s okay, Coach. There’s a sequence here. I know what it is, and you don’t. I can handle this. It ain’t that hard.
4. Bum-rushing the bar and barking out an order before you’ve been acknowledged. Don’t do that. I’m not suggesting you wait until the universe provides you some mystical guidance, but do me a favor, give it a couple of beats until I have the chance to make eye contact before you tell me what you need. When I dip my chin or wink or maybe even say hello, you’re up. What’ll it be?