Getting a drink at gigs can be a nightmare -- especially if the show is sold out. You're hot, you're sweaty, you're claustrophobic, and, heck, you're really thirsty. But no matter how uncomfortable you might be, try to give a thought to the bartenders and cocktail waitresses who are trying to serve you. We tracked down a local lady who's been working in some of San Francisco's most beloved music venues for more than 15 years -- bartending, bar-backing, serving, cocktailing, she's done it all. And she has kindly volunteered to give you a glimpse of life on the other side of the bar. Here are her tips on how to not be a douche to her and her co-workers (she's staying anonymous so she doesn't lose her jobs).
is exhausting every fiber of my being and I have no time for anything
else. I don't have a lot of pull -- if I did, I probably
wouldn't be serving you. Also, please do not ask me if I will 'bust' you for doing drugs or drinking while underage -- because I will. This is my job and I don't want to lose it and go to jail
because I allowed you to party hardy, idiot."
If You Want to Have Sex, Go Home
"Being behind the bar and trying to serve hundreds of people simultaneously is particularly frustrating when patrons park themselves in front of you for hours. The couple who spends the entire show practically
having intercourse directly in front of you makes us want to vomit even more than getting stuck with the consistently difficult guy who was
already angry before he came in, doesn't tip, and scares other
customers away. You're annoying. Go to the back of the venue or go home."
Don't Be a Kottonmouth Kings Fan
"Douche levels at shows vary wildly, but Kottonmouth Kings are number one
in my Top Five douchiest crowd list. Young, inexperienced groups like the Pack (who
had that hit song about having Vans on or something equally as inane) are in there too. They both
attract raucous, angry, and
disrespectful fans who damage property, staff, and each other. Why are
you people doing this to us?"
"Yes, sir and/or ma'am, when you start a tab, I do have to actually hold
on to your credit card (the shock of it all!). There are hundreds of people here and you could
easily walk out, leaving me with your tab to pay. Your verbal
promise will not pay my rent this month. You needn't worriedly inquire
whether I will attempt to go shopping or make online purchases with your
credit card. I will not. Please do not attempt to give me a gift card
to another restaurant or random coupons in lieu of payment. Do not yell at me and call me names because the prices are higher
than you think they should be. Oh, and do not try to coerce me into giving you
free drinks or, most commonly, ask me to get drinks that are 'heavy' on
the alcohol. If you want a double, just ask for it and pay for it -- that's how a
purchase works, you know."
Don't Treat Cocktail Waitresses Like Slaves
"As a cocktail waitress, it's really offensive when people refuse to
acknowledge you, yell, wave, or physically pull
you over to them. Here's a newsflash, asshole: I don't want your hands on me. It's
also uncomfortable if patrons make lewd comments or gestures, especially
loudly in an attempt to humiliate you. Special mention here should go to the affluent white Marina crowd who will trip the 'help' who's carrying a full tray, for laughs. Additionally, if you see me coming
with a large loaded tray and I am repeating the words 'Excuse me,' just please move the fuck out of the way. Chances are you're blocking my only path. You're tired of me asking you to please move? Guess what? I'm
tired of asking you too -- do us both a favor."
Keep Your Shirt On
"When cocktailing, there's nothing like trying to serve someone by, or
in, the packed-tight moshpit and having to use the crowd's body oil as a
lube to birth you through to where you need to be. This is particularly
common on death metal nights and at 'bear' events where everyone is
wearing chaps and little else. It's like being in a scene out of Ghostbusters."
thought that would be a really good idea and fancied some lawsuits to
spice things up a bit around the workplace. Get a clue, please. Also on my list of favorites are people who ask how much
everything costs before settling on a well tequila, neat. First off -- ew.
Second, you just wasted 15 minutes of my time and cost me money by making
those next in line tip less than they would have if I could
have expedited you away sooner. Finally, people who order Long Island Iced Teas
and then complain there's no liquor in them -- I have news for you. There's
booze in there, and a lot of it. I promise. Now leave me alone."