Working as a bartender opens you up to all sorts of people who just need someone to listen to them talk. Sometimes, they have something positive to share, but a lot of the time people come to bars alone because they have something heavy on their mind.
These bartenders shared the most bizarre claims and confessions that people ever shared with them while having a
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The Awful Cycle
“Regular, quiet fellow. Usually stayed for one or two pints and then headed out. It was several weeks before he opened up.
He wasn’t hammered when he told me, it was really just conversation. Buddy had killed a guy while driving under the influence. He started coming to my bar after he finished his prison sentence.
He seemed pretty choked up about it, I always wonder how he’s doing.”
The Worst Part Is Where She Disposed Of Her Bundle
“We had a function hall upstairs, a huge room with its separate bar. The toilets were on the ground floor, one level down. This cute, very drunk girl in her late twenties/early thirties came to the bar and said that the room was a bit smelly and that we should check the toilets downstairs. The loos didn’t smell, but there was a strong miasma of crap in the air, so I had the joyous task of investigating.
It turns out, a guest (who we think must have done a LOT of blow) had struggled to find the toilet (despite the signs) and had tried to use the small lift instead–but had run out of time and just crapped herself. So she had taken off her tights, wrapped up her crap and put them in someone else’s handbag.
We never found out who did it, so we could only assume she had left straight after that (by taking the stairs, past the loos) early.”
He Gladly Accepted That Deal
“I was a paid designated driver, and I have a ton of stories.
I used to drive to people to the big city and take them to clubs and such way before Uber was a thing. On one trip, this guy is flashing a fistful of hundred dollar bills. We are at the club, and he’s flashing hundreds to the waitresses and tipping the dancers with singles. I watch him give a dancer one of the hundreds, trying to get her to give him special favors, but he all of a sudden lost interest after she was off-stage and came round to him at the table.
Meanwhile, I’m the designated driver, so basically, I get free soda and in a few places, free wings and such. At the end of the night, the guy is supposed to pay me ten bucks, since it’s ten bucks a head and there are twelve people in the van. He’s like, ‘well I’m outta singles, here’s one of the hundred dollar bills, but you can’t tell anyone that you saw me here tonight.’ I gladly accept.
The next morning, he shows up asks me if he gave me one of the hundreds. Apparently, he always brings a thousand dollars in hundreds to the club as a ‘look at me I’m so loaded’ stunt. I look at him and say, ‘you told me that was my payment so I wouldn’t say anything about last night.’ He looks at me and asks why. I explain to him that I didn’t know exactly, but I had seen him have an awkward encounter with a dancer. He asks me if she had red hair and such, and I said yeah, I think so. He got sheepish and admitted she was the dancer he had cheated on his wife with and knocked up and some other stuff. Then he laughed and said, ‘I guess she got a child support payment after all.’ The guy was a total skeeze.
Another time, I took a bachelorette party to a male dancer club, and that was pretty insane. They were hooting and hollering the whole time like a bunch of lunatics. One of them got so drunk she came outta the bathroom stark-naked and tried to run up onto the stage. It was messed up, but they paid me twice $10 a head fee, so I endured.”
There Was A Reason Why He Didn’t Want To Leave
“Back in the ’90s, I bartended in a club called the Zone Cafe in Hong Kong. Massive Triad gang hangout, tons of fights. Closing time was about 4 am. One night, this bloke wouldn’t leave. In the end, he was hauled out by the bouncers. After close, all the staff sit down and have a couple of beers, then we lock up and walk towards the MTR (underground station). As we walk, we notice all along the pavement there are splashes of blood (for a good 30 yards). We eventually found the guy’s body between two parked cars – he’d been chopped probably 20 odd times. Rumour has it he’d slept with the girlfriend of a ‘big brother’ in the 14k Triad. Poor guy.”
He Got Better
“There’s a regular at my job, Jerry, who is also our locksmith. He’s a mess. He’s known to come in around noon and not leave until midnight or later. He’s also prone to lying and forgetting what lies he’s told us. We all swap Jerry stories about the ridiculous things he insists are true. Some of my favorites are:
-He’s had rabies (but he got better)
-He’s got 8 kids
-He’s a gay man (it changes from day to day so our best guess is bi)
-He impulsively bought 4 horses
-He sold all 4 horses less than a week later
-He saw the play Hamilton in high school
-He had AIDS (but he got better)
-He’s installed locks on the White House.”
“‘Hey [hiccup], you didn’t see me take this bottle of wine that was sitting on the bar and put it in my purse.’ -said while very obviously taking the bottle of wine that was sitting on the bar and putting it in her purse.”
It’s The Sad People Who Really Get To You
“People think it might be funny or entertaining to be behind a bar chatting with guests. To some extent it is. That said, It’s not the late nights that get to you, not the college student who throws up all over your establishment, not the drunk jerk who won’t leave the female bartenders alone.
It’s when you first open the doors and see the old man with shaking hands waiting to come inside. It’s the widow who comes in each night looking for company because she lost the love of her life and can’t bear to spend another night alone with her thoughts. It’s the father who breaks his back working some crappy labor job all day in the sun so he can feed his kids, and knocking down half a bottle of whiskey each night is the only thing keeping him from blowing his brains out.
I don’t drink anymore. I won’t. Alcohol is the perfect answer to your problems until it’s not.”
She Expected Better From Him
“When I was a bartender, I learned very quickly that people, good and bad, have their moments. I had some regulars who would come in and drink, including a nice couple who always seemed to be getting along. One night, the husband comes back to the bar while I’m closing up. We did some casual chatting when suddenly he looked at me deadpan and said he would get us the hotel right down the street. I politely declined and called him a cab. It shook me up. I never told his wife.
Another time, a regular got messed up and invited me to have a threesome with him and his wife. Apparently, judging by the look on his wife’s face, she had no idea that her hubby wanted a threeway. I never saw them again.
Another time, I ordered a regular some oysters from a nearby restaurant. He offered me some when they arrived, and I declined. I said I didn’t like the texture. He said it’s just like swallowing… you know. Then he asked if I would be the mouth to his oyster that night after my shift.
And this is what it’s like being a woman bartender. Men get thirsty in more than one way, and they are shameless about it.”
You Never Know What Someone Is Going Through
“This guy comes in and he’s probably late 40’s, normal looking guy. I told him about the special and that it actually comes out cheaper to buy the beer tower at half price than drink 3 of the large beers. He wasn’t overly grumpy or snarky, just very short with his answers – just seemed like he didn’t want to talk much. If you want to listen I’ll talk that’s for sure. So I talk him into the tower, he watched whatever sports games were on the TVs, drinks some beer, eats some food. Eventually, he loosens up and gets to talking about how he just moved back in the area in the last few months after living in New Orleans for 25 years. He mentions he lived right outside of some fairgrounds in New Orleans and he, his wife and daughter would walk down the street to concerts that would come through.
Throughout our conversation he would sort of randomly mention, ‘Well yeah my daughter’s normally with me during this time, but she’s in college now and down in Florida on spring break, ‘ which I mistook for a dad missing his daughter, who is now growing up, and the beers sort of bringing that emotional side out. Finish our conversation, he pays out after he’s been at the bar for about 3 hours. He gets up and asks which way to the restroom. As he comes back from the other room and by my bar, I’ll never forget it as long as I live (I’m not just saying that but the events of our seemingly normal encounter got burned in my brain), he stops and sort of leans up to the bar and looks me in the eye and says, ‘Hey man, I’m sorry if I was a prick when I came in earlier.’ I told him he didn’t come across that way and he said, ‘Well thank you for still talking to me, it’s been a rough day because this is the first year my daughter hasn’t been with me today, and it’s the 4 year anniversary of my wife of 30 years passing away, so thank you for not just dismissing me.’ He reached his hand out to shake mine, and told me to have a good night and walked out the door.
I had recently lost my grandmother with whom I was very close, so I get teary-eyed, had someone watch my bar, and go outside to settle down. It’s still an encounter I think of almost every day. Every person you meet, or that sits at your bar is living a full life that’s just as complex and chaotic as yours, you don’t know someone else’s pain. So if you treat every person you encounter with kindness, even when they aren’t showing you that same love, you never know the impact you’re going to make. I could’ve been that bartender that I’ve grown to hate working with and told the other bartender, ‘screw that guy, he’s sort of a prick’ and only talked to the other guests at the bar, but instead I incidentally helped a guy to have a less lonely night, and helped ease the crappy time he was going through.”
These People Need To Learn How To Keep Their Mouths Shut
“One time, this woman was talking to me and started to complain about her boyfriend’s Johnson. He came up from their table and was sitting next to her, but she didn’t notice.
Another time, some drunk guy gave me an ID that was obviously fake. I denied him, and he said, ‘No it’s fake, it’s fine.’
But my favorite happened when I was a cocktail waiter at age 19. This smashed woman grabbed my shirt and pulled me into to try and whisper but was yelling while pointing at the guy next to her at the bar. She said, ‘I’m going to get with this guy!’ He looked confused and replied, ‘I don’t know you.’ What made it so funny was the guy’s girlfriend was on the other side of him, staring daggers at this woman.
An extra story: when I was a cocktail waiter, I got knocked out by a drunk guy who tried to punch another guy but was so drunk he missed and made contact with me. When I came to, he had been pinned to the ground by the bouncer and was apologizing to me. I felt bad for that guy.”
If You Tell Someone About A Nightmare, Don’t Forget You Told Them!
“I once had a regular who was drunk and recounted a dream he had about Freddy Krueger.
Several years later, I was having a conversation with someone about dreams in that same bar. He just happened to be sitting next to the customer I was chatting with, fairly drunk and idly listening to our conversation, so I decided to try it.
‘This one time I had a dream that I was being chased down the street by Freddy Krueger, then while he was chasing me, he became massive and would cup his hands over the sun. He would do it fast, and there was this crazy strobe effect.’
This was nearly exactly how he had initially told it to me. About halfway through the story, I noticed him look up. By the end of it, he was standing, tears in his eyes, scared to death that we had the same Freddy dream, yelling, ‘No way dude! No freaking way! Are you serious? Are you messing with me right now?’
‘Yeah dude, I’m messing with you. You told me that story a few years ago and forgot.’
I had him going, though.”
One Day, She’ll Ask Her Parents Who She Was Named After
“I used to work in a bar across from a large hospital. I had one guy spend a lot of time in the bar while his wife was in the hospital across the street having a difficult childbirth. He told me my martinis were the best and promised to name his child after me. I, of course, dismissed this as the drunken ramblings of a madman.
He came in a couple of weeks later and showed me the birth certificate of his daughter. She had four middle names, one of which was a feminized version of mine.
To this day I’m kicking myself for not asking who the other three were named after. I wonder if any of them were other bartenders…”
Does That Make Me Leonardo DiCaprio?
“My favorite was a regular who came up to the bar for a glass of red wine. At this point he was not yet a regular, it was his first time here. I poured the elderly man a nice glass of pinot noir, told him a little about the wine and the history of the building the bar is in (built in 1604) because he seemed interested in it. He was.
We chatted a little, and he was overall a pleasant but quirky old man. At one point, he looked at me and said, ‘You must know, I have a gift. I can read people’s past. Not their current past, but previous life. I can’t do it with everyone, but I am getting strong signals from your past. Would you like to know yours?’ At this point, we were joined by another regular of mine, a girl I was trying to get with at the time (but that sadly never happened).
I poured the man another glass and poured myself one too because this is about to get good. He told me what he saw and felt in my past lives. There was one life he could see very clearly, but it was a bit shocking, he said. I told him to go on. He told me I was an Irish boy (I have a big red beard, go figure!) and that my family and I fled Ireland during the famine. We got on a boat to New York, my mom died on the boat, and I joined a gang in New York. I eventually died in a gang fight with a rival gang. Sounds familiar, right? Well, when the man went to the bathroom, I checked and indeed, ‘Gangs of New York’ was on cable the night before.
The man came back, and the girl and I played along. He told me some more details about the movie, I mean, my previous life. I went along with his story until he stopped talking about it. Then the girl turned to him and asked, ‘And me? Can you see my previous life?’ He looked at her, took a sip of his wine and said, ‘Yes. Yes, you were a monkey.'”
The Dark Side Of The Barstool
“My least favorite thing was helping ladies of the night get so drunk that they didn’t care who their johns were, nor how unattractive or skeezy, or whatever awful crap they had to endure. It made me sad, but I knew that they probably had kids to feed or some other story that, in their minds, legitimized their occupations and their other life choices.
Too many people tell you their sad stories when they’re drunk. I had a guy come in and tell me he was being subpoenaed to testify against one of his lifelong friends, who was a crooked politician. One of my regulars was a restaurant manager who was saving up for gender reassignment surgery; (s)he tipped extremely well. And when you’re working behind a bar counter, you overhear every stupid get-rich-quick scheme, every terrible pick-up line. Everyone is convinced they have the world figured out. Not much is worth less than bar wisdom, but if you sit in one spot long enough, you’ll eventually convince yourself you’ve been everywhere.”
Oh, He Saw The Wedding Ring Alright
“I have two favorite stories.
One time while I was working, my husband stopped by to visit me, and he was flirting big time. The guy next to him who was plastered leaned over and attempted to whisper but ended up shouting, ‘She wants to go home with you, but I don’t know if you noticed she is wearing a wedding ring. Tread lightly.’ My husband started laughing and said, ‘Well, she’s my wife, so I hope she wants to come home with me.’
My second favorite story was when this girl came in with this guy, and the whole time he was this sleazy jerk to her, constantly putting her down and touching her inappropriately even though she constantly told him to stop. Later, when he went to the restroom, she admitted this was their first date and she didn’t know what to do. She was really scared. Then she went to the bathroom just to get away for awhile. When the guy came back, he poured something into her drink thinking no one saw. Right as she was coming back, I picked up her drink and dumped it on his head and told the bouncer what happened.
I had never seen the bouncer happier than when he picked this guy up and threw him out. The girl and I are now best friends.”
His Question Made Me Break Down And Cry
“I’m a bartender and waiter at a restaurant in Puerto Rico. After Hurricane Irma, the owner bought a huge power generator so we wouldn’t go out of business. We were fine for a few days before we got our butts kicked by Hurricane María. I was able to get back to work five days after the María hit, and holy crap I have never had such an emotional day at work. I worked for 12 hours straight selling bottled water and sodas due to the dry law.
After about maybe the 8th straight hour working, the place started to empty due to the curfew. There was military personnel enforcing people to go home before nightfall. I was cleaning up the place when an older gentleman, Vietnam vet and coincidentally a die-hard Steelers fan (just like me) came over for a whiskey sour. At first, I told him I couldn’t sell it to him because of the dry law, and I could get in serious trouble. It turns out he’s friends with all the military surrounding the area, and he had permission for one drink.
I served him the drink and he just straight up asks me, ‘How are you, man? How’s your family?’
That destroyed me. I hadn’t seen my parents in days. I had no cell signal so I couldn’t call them. I had just moved in with my girlfriend, and after the storm, she had to stay with her mom because she lived closer to her job. I was incredibly alone and felt hopeless. I just started crying and talking to the guy and eventually calmed down, but wow, I needed a good cry.”
She Wore Her Libido On Her Sleeve That Night
“I was sitting at the bar in a casino with my sister, having a few drinks too many. The bartender and I were talking about me being blind without my glasses and him being mostly deaf. I told him we’d be perfect for each other. Then he goes on to tell me that he has glasses that make him look like a nerd, and he sports them with suspenders…
I shouted, ‘I’d do you!’
My sister had been watching a basketball game, heard me, and got red in the face from laughter. The bartender is thanking me enthusiastically while blushing.
I had no intentions of saying that out loud. That was supposed to be in my head, guys. Drunk me is a very open and honest person.”
He Needed Someone To Know His Secret
“I once had a military guy, probably about 26, who was a regular at my bar. He would come in alone to chat with my coworker and me, and seemed pretty lonely; this bar was in a smaller town with not a great scene or much military presence.
Anyway, one slow night he came in right before I am about to close and asked me for a whiskey sour. I made it for him, but before I could even give it to him, he looked up at me with the saddest face and said, ‘I have something to confess. I take roids.’ I was pretty speechless, so I said, ‘uh, at least it isn’t something worse?’ And on the next breath, he said, ‘I take them up my butt. I’ve never told anyone that,’ and slumped down in his chair.
I have no idea if he had a bad encounter with someone or if the weight of his use was just too much to keep private anymore, but I honestly felt bad for the guy. I wonder where he ended up.”
If You Feel So Guilty About These Things, Why Don’t You People Change?
“I have had many bizarre people walk into my bar. It’s a small place where people enjoy drinking quietly. Over the years I’ve had a range of odd conversation topics, from a restaurant owner admitting he never sold fresh food to people unless they knew them, to a person admitting to stalking and eventually punching a woman, which made him move to a new city.
Lots of people end up talking about how they have no one to talk to about their problems, so I guess they find comfort telling a stranger who doesn’t have an obligation to care.”