Category Archives: Tip From A Bartender

Why I Don’t Drink

People ask me all the time why I don’t drink…Specifically because I’m a bartender and have been for six years. While I suppose it is uncommon to find someone who is 27 who doesn’t drink, or rather, has never had a drop of alcohol ever, I guess it is even more uncommon to meet a bartender who hasn’t. Usually people ask me if I’m Morman and then tell me how noble I am for never drinking, then they take their shot and walk away. Kind of funny. After bartending for a long time, growing up a little, and learning some valuable life lessons, I’ve come to new conclusions of why I don’t drink and thought I would share them. This might sound like it will be self righteous and boring, but I promise, it will be entertaining.

I grew up in a house with no alcohol. My dad never drank a beer, my mom didn’t drink wine, and family functions were never made more interesting with a drunk uncle or grandpa (if you’ve met my family, on either side, you’d know they are pretty entertaining sober). Alcohol was very bad. We went to church and no one at church drank, or drank publically, and that was just how it was. When I got to high school, I was involved in youth group and drinking and partying was a sure ticket to Hell, so I never partook then either. Then I went to private college and took way too many classes to party, and by the time I reached 21, I had never had a drink and didn’t see the need for it, so I just never started.

If you asked me why I didn’t drink at different points in my life, I would probably give you a different answer every time. My perception of alcohol has changed so much over the years, but no matter the reason, the choice was always to not partake myself. I obviously didn’t mind others drinking, as I am the person getting many of them drunk on a regular basis, but for me, I just decided against it.

I’m not saying I’ll never drink. One of those life lessons I mentioned earlier is to never say “never” because you’ll definitely eat your words, but as of now, I don’t. While I think that there are a lot of reasons for ME to not to: I’d probably drink a lot if I did, I’d definitely be a light weight, there’s a very good chance I’d start a lot of girl fights, etc., there are a few examples in the last few months that have reinforced my decision.

This last Wednesday night, as I stood behind the bar watching the very young looking 21 year olds take shots, I saw something flicker out of the corner of my eye. My head immediately whipped to the right and there, about 15 feet away was a young girl sitting on a couch and her entire head was on fire. Yep, on fire. It wasn’t a small flame, or a singe…the entire back of her hair was ignited and the flame was burning higher and higher…she didn’t even notice. Not knowing what to do, I just started screaming trying to get anyone’s attention to put this poor girl’s hair out. Finally, the guys sitting right next her must have smelled the horrific odor and frantically patted the flame out. It had to have jacked up her hair and I can’t imagine it didn’t burn her in some way. I just stood there, wide eyed, mouth open and thought, “that’s why I don’t drink!”

A little while ago, after the bar was closed and cleaned and our head of security was finishing up his sweep of the premises, he came upon a girl lying on the sidewalk down the way from the bar. No one was around, and this girl, in her itty bitty dress, was passed out on the sidewalk right in the heart of Belltown at 2:30 in the morning. Luckily, she was found by our very kind security guard who gave her his coat, hailed a cab, and gave the driver her license and $30 bucks to take her home. All her friends had abandoned her and she was in no state to even stand up, let alone get home on her own. For every story like this, where someone was kind enough to sacrifice half his night’s pay and his jacket, there’s a not so nice story out there. When he told me about this incident, I just shook my head and thought, “that’s why I don’t drink.”

Here and there, a tranny will walk into the bar. He will have huge fake boobs, insanely nice legs, and a skimpy little outfit and will always turns heads. The heads of the other men in the bar that are too drunk to realize it’s a dude. The other night a really good one came in. Even I was a bit unsure, and it was only until we turned up the lights and saw the man’s thick foundation with stubble poking through, that I had the confirmation that it was in fact a man. It was particularly hard to tell because this man was wearing a string bikini (literally) and every couple of minutes, the little strap would slide over, exposing “her” entire double d implant and nipple. Every man in the bar was staring at her, buying her shots, and trying to dance with her. I’m not a man, but the concept of “beer goggles” came from somewhere, and I can only assume that when a man is drunk and there are big fake boobies, this is all they see, and the adam’s apple, facial hair, and oversized hands become invisible. These are purely my own statistics that I made up, but I can only guess from my observations, that 1 in 10 men have had a sexual encounter with a tranny that was not realized until later, or…never. Again, this is just my own made up statistic. I can tell you a dozen more stories of men hitting on men they think is a woman and how I always want to slip them a note saying, “dude, it’s a dude.” I could even tell you of an actual encounter that was stumbled upon in the bathroom, but I won’t. All I will tell you is that for every time I don’t slip that note saying, “dude, it’s a dude,” I am thinking, “and this is why I don’t drink.”

A few months ago, while bartending, a girl came up to me and said, “just so you know, there’s a girl on the floor of the bathroom in one of the stalls.” I put my bottle of vodka down, pushed my way through the crown, plugged my nose, and entered the bathroom. The last stall door was shut and I could see that there was a purse on the floor and a shoe. I lifted the door, a safely measure in place for this exact reason, and there, in child’s pose, was girl with her pants around her ankles, head on the floor. If you’ve ever seen a club bathroom, this is not where you want your head. I had grabbed a couple of the security guards to come with me, and they were standing in the bathroom door with looks of terror as I yelled out, “her pants are down!” Not wanting to embarrass the girl more, I tried to get her to stand up and pull up her pants before the guys helped her out, but by the looks of things, she had probably been roofied, and was so delirious, and a bit over weight, I couldn’t do it on my own. I got her awake and she insisted that she was fine, and I told her that she was sleeping on the bathroom floor with her pants down, so she probably wasn’t “fine.” I eventually had to have the two security guards lift her up and I pulled up her pants, not knowing where her underwear went because she claimed she had some on, and the security guards escorted her out. I returned to my station, picked up my bottle of vodka and thought, “that’s why I don’t drink.”

 I can literally tell you a hundred killer drunk stories like the man who pooped all over the bathroom and himself at Joey’s and then sat out in the waiting area, smearing his poop all over the leather seats, or of all the girls who flash important body parts to shleazy men, or of embarrassing slips, falls, and crashes. I can tell you a hundred stories of fights that I’ve seen, men on men, girls on girls, girls on men, I can tell you about all the purses that are stolen, the Ids that are left, the credit cards that are abandoned. And I have a million entertaining puking stories, but I’ll stick with the ones where someone’s head caught on fire, a girl was found on the sidewalk at 2:30 a.m. and in the bathroom on the floor, and of the tranny who tricked a bunch of men; remember 1 out of 10. People are always asking me how I make it through life sober, and to be honest, I find myself wondering how you make it through yours drunk….

Dear Douchey Phone Guy,

I know, I know…you think you’re super cool with your navy blue blazer over an ironic tee shirt, and designer jeans. I know you think you look so good with your fake tan, and you probably think you’re fooling everyone with its authenticity…you’re not. And I’m sure Ice Man has been your hero since you first watched Top Gun 10 years after it first came out, but perhaps idolizing Hollywood’s token Doucher is not as great of an idea as you thought (do note, Val Kilmer’s career took a pretty pathetic plunge after this part). Maybe this act gets you a girl here and there (nothing lasting long as no girl wants to be with a guy that tells himself how beautiful he is rather than she), but I’m sure you’ve gotten more punches and tossed drinks to the face than lays. If you ever come up to me again, while talking on the phone, and demand a drink, and then refuse to pay till you finish your conversation, I will make sure the bluest drink I can make will accidently find you and smear your orange tan for everyone to see. If you want to be a Douchey tard, move to L.A.


Your Pleasant Bartender

Originally posted June 12, 2010

The More You Wave, The Less I Want To Serve You…

Remember when you were in class as a kid, and your teacher asked a question that you totally knew the answer to, so you leaned out of your chair and stuck your hand as high up in the air as you could, and wavedd it around yelling, “ooohh, ooohh, ooohh. Pick me”? But it never failed, she would ignore your eager attempt to answer that question and would call on little Jimmy, who would be sitting in the back, picking his nose, thinking about his mac and cheese he would be getting for hot lunch. “UNFAIR!” you moaned, as you would plop back into the hard seat, and sulk in defeat.

Ordering a drink in a club is much like trying to answer a question in a classroom.

Every night, I stand behind my bar and serve patron after patron. I pour whiskey cokes, shots of tequila, and more vodka Red Bulls than you can even begin to imagine. People bang their glasses on the counter. People holler. And people wave their hands at me. And it never fails, those people wait much longer. I will always take a quick glance through my line up of people, and immediately point at the person standing patiently. I will then go back to my well, make their drink, take their money, and then look for the next person not waving annoyingly at me. It will only be when no one else is left, that that waiver will get their drink.

I say lots of things in a night over and over again: “Vodka Red Bull?” “9 dollars!” “Yes, a vodka Red Bull is 9 dollar!” and “the more you wave, the less I want to serve you!”

Stop waving! Take a note from Jimmy. I bet he gets lots of drinks in clubs nowadays.

Originally posted June 29, 2010

A Word About Pro Athletes

I’ve had the displeasure of serving many pro athletes over the years. Because I prefer to work at high end places, these establishments always tend to attract the “famous” people in Seattle. I use famous in quotes because it’s sort of an oxymoron. Because Seattle doesn’t have real famous people, its pro athletes are the closest thing to it.

In my experience over the years, and as recently as last night, pro athletes are the biggest pains in the ass. They are entitled and demanding, and while they often “roll” with large wads of cash in their pockets, they rarely use that cash for anything other than buying drink (i.e. they don’t tip well).

The way I look at it, if you are going to demand special treatment, and be a dick-wad the whole night, the least you can do is back it up with sizable tip. If baffles me that these men who sign multi-million dollar contracts are so stingy. I’ve had homeless people tip better than some of them…seriously.

While I’m sure they think they are super important because they can catch a ball, or throw a ball, or throw a ball into a circle, or wrestle other men to the ground, I am not impressed.

On a side note though, Sean Kemp was quite pleasant. He ordered shots of Patron for everyone around him (I’m not factoring in his motives….), and gave me high-fives every time I served him. I don’t care if they call him the “Bobby Brown” of basketball, he’s so far my favorite Pro Customer. High Five.

Originally posted May 28, 2010


The Tip That Keeps On Tipping

I’ve been a bartender for a long time. For a long time, I’ve lived off those 10%, 20%, and the occasional 30%, tips that you patrons so generously, and sometimes, not so generously, leave me. But today, I have decided to give back; i’ve decided to give you a all some tips of your own…

When you are a bartender, you always have your favorite types of customers: the rich old men that leave you big tips, the liquor rep that leaves you samples, the entertaining homeless man that brings you “treasures” from the streets…we all have our favorites. But all and all, I think I can go so far to say, that the majority of bartender prefer serving other bartenders. Why is this? Because they get it. They understand how it works. They stand in our shoes and know how to act accordingly. I truly believe every person should have to work at a restaurant at one time or another, so they really understand how it all goes down.

But since I will probably not be able to get people like my grandpa to serve a night at Anthony’s so he knows leaving a 5% tips and some change, is not OK, I will write on this subject for all of you. I hope you all learn something that will help you have better dining experiences, more patience, and less spit in your food…

Originally posted May 24, 2010