RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.
*Written in 2014.
You’re a bartender, dude – a bartender. You’re not a god, you’re not something special and you certainly aren’t Ryan Gosling with Ron Jeremy’s cock. On the flipside, hey female. You’re also just a bartender. You’re not some hardcore porn star, you’re not a badass like Ronda Rousey and we’re not all crowded around you because of your dynamite personality; it just so happens that we’re drunk and your tits are in our face. They’re nice tits, by the way.
Bars are a great place; they are where we go to unwind, have a good time, chill with our friends, meet new people and often times get inebriated. It’s not a place we go to, to have some smarmy fuck of a douchenugget look down upon us because he/she holds the bottle and is god over his/her asinine little kingdom. There’s a whole street full of other kingdoms and they go on for blocks and cities and states and countries. You’re worth significantly less than a dime a dozen, my lord.
You know the bartender I’m talking about. They think they’re cooler than a dead penguin’s dick, they judge you by everything you order, they ignore you for twenty minutes even though they’ve made eye contact with you multiple times, they turn their back from a busy bar because they got a text, they act pissed off when you’re handing them money, they blow Pall Mall smoke in your face while dropping ashes into your shots, they act like they’re some sort of highly desired sex god/goddess, they parade around like the kings and queens of high fashion yet many of them are wearing a generic uniform, they react to a drink order like a Rottweiler getting a steak torn away and usually they are fucking around with their co-workers when money is being waved around at the bar from all angles.
Sorry, I just like money. It is a necessary and awesome evil that the world revolves around. Apparently, many bartenders are allergic to it or something. How dare they be inconvenienced by you trying to help them pay for their kids’ care, their rent and their car. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard some chick bartender bitching about being broke to some guy staring at her tits that she has no intention of fucking, only to have her roll her eyes when I ask for a drink – handing her money and usually, even if the service is bad, a pretty decent tip. Yeah, I’m that kind of nice guy that usually tips more than I should, even if the person I’m tipping is a total asshole. I get it, people have bad days but a customer doesn’t pay for you to add your shit on top of their shit of a day. We go to bars to forget about the bullshit, not get shitted on by some self-absorbed dickhead that looks at us as some sort of cancer.
Also, I don’t care how hot you are. Yes, you may be more than pleasant to look at but your hotness doesn’t excuse shitty service. The fact of the matter is, if I just wanted hotness in my face, I’d go to a strip club and stare at girls who are actually naked and get drinks from bartenders who are actually more competent and have a much better attitude. At least strippers, for the most part fake sincerity and act like they want your money, even if they’ve had a bad day or are pissed about something. Comparatively, shitty, bitchy, scantily clad bartenders are pretty much prude strippers with a bad attitude. No thanks, I’ll go elsewhere.
The dudes that think they’re Jesus Christ Superbartender are usually just grumpy fucks who can’t do anything else for a living. They may make decent money but as time goes on, those cute college chicks flirting with you for free shots and discounts are going to stop hitting on you and either move to another bartender or another bar. Your game of bringing drunk sluts home for a game of the old “in-out in-out” will be thwarted by the oppressive hands of time. You’ll be left aged and tired, a dude who never really settled down, figuring out that it is most likely too late to change that. I’ve seen it happen.
To those self-important motherfuckers calling themselves “mixologists”, you are the bar industry’s version of the Subway “sandwich artist”. No one takes you or your bullshit title seriously. You are a bartender. So what, you know how to make a few signature cocktails. That shit isn’t hard, I’ve invented about six dozen just making mistakes while mixing shit throughout the years. Do I call myself a “mixologist”? Fuck no, I call myself “Rob” because that’s my fucking name. I’m not even a bartender anymore but even when I had that title, it wasn’t something I pronounced to others like I’m some sort of miraculous motherfucker. “I’m a bartender!” Cool, go wash those glasses.
There are some fantastic bartenders out there with amazing personalities, many of whom are good friends of mine. There is a lot of money and I mean a lot of money to be made for those who ply their craft the right way. A friend of mine, who was an awesome bartender, with awesome personality, made over $80,000 in a year. Who’s going to argue that that isn’t a pretty fucking lucrative position to be in. If one were to save and manage their money at that level, they could retire at a decent age and potentially even leave the bar industry behind to start their own business, which is what she is working towards.
Unfortunately, most of these entitled “world owes me something” ass clowns will never turn their shit into anything close to lucrative or respectable. They’ll continue scraping by their entire lives like they’re still 20 year-olds trying to earn their way through community college. They’re in a pit that there is no way out of because they don’t even seem to care. Some of them are expecting someone to walk into their bar one day and pull them out. Well, for the most part, no one just hands you shit in life, you’ve got to earn it.
If those of you who are struggling – that have worked in the bar industry for a long time – would just get your shit together and be more focused on your job, you’d make more money, probably get some recognition from better bars in the area and in turn, get a better paying gig. There is nothing wrong with having fun at work but many bartenders see their job as a constant party and not a job. You don’t get paid to party, you get paid to pour liquor. If you can party while you do it, fine. Just know why you’re supposed to be there. And if this “paid to party” bartender is you, don’t bitch and complain about how you can’t pay your rent. The world belongs to those who hustle.