Bartending is often considered a fun job, but when you're dealing with wasted customers all night, things are bound to get tense at times. These bartenders were minding their own business when someone or something came along to ruin their night.
(Content has been edited for clarity)
He Might Be Embarrassed, But He’ll Never Do That Again
“I once worked in a bar that had a customer who would snap his fingers and whistle to get the attention of the bartenders. The first time he did it to me, I ignored several attempts before ‘just happening’ to be in the area to get his drink. The second time, I realized that ignoring him was too subtle a clue for him to grasp.
I walked up to him, looked him in the eye and said, ‘Let’s make a deal: You don’t call me like a dog, and I won’t pee on your leg. Got it?’
The next time, when he politely raised a querying finger, I nodded and immediately approached. ‘See?’ I smiled, ‘You get service faster this way.’ He made a sheepish grumble into his cup and behaved himself for the rest of the night.”
The Tips Weren’t The Only Thing Taking A Dive
“Valentine’s Day is the worst for servers, no matter what. That’s when the tips percentage takes a dive.
The restaurant I worked in is gigantic. It seats around 400 people. In the middle of our dinner rush, a hammered guest hurled his pint glass at someone. He missed the person, but his glass hit the back bar’s top shelf, which was made of glass. The whole thing shattered and all of the booze and shelves collapsed on each other.
The bartenders and managers were standing and staring for about a minute or so. It was so overwhelmingly incomprehensible they were frozen with disbelief. Myself included. I couldn’t imagine what we could do to get away from the madness.
About three-quarters of all of the premium booze was gone, one of the four bartenders was injured (deep hand cut), all of the ice was filled with glass, and the bar reeked of booze. There were at least 40 broken bottles in total. The smell was incredible. This was all while around 50 guests were still trying to get drinks. In the chaos, the pint glass guy slipped out.”
He Was Determined To Get In, One Way Or Another
“I used to work in a bar/restaurant that opened at 10 a.m. on Sunday, which was also the point where liquor can be sold legally per state law. Early one Sunday morning, one of our regulars kept pulling and banging on the door while looking through the windows. We opened the door and informed him we would be open at 10.
He continued to peer into the windows and we decided we’d try to ignore him.
About five minutes later, the guy came strolling into the bar/dining area from the kitchen. He’d apparently gone around to the back of the building. The back door was open, and he took advantage of the fact that the cooks were bringing in something and figured just walking in was a good plan of action.
We were beyond ticked and told him he had to leave and wasn’t allowed in the building until we were open. He seemed baffled as to why we wouldn’t just serve him since he was already in the building. I’ve never seen anyone acting like such a self-important jerk before or after.”
She Was Fine With Their Comments, But Then They Crossed The Line
“In my final year of college, I worked at a sports bar, which was a lot of fun – great atmosphere, relaxed, easy job, decent money, and an AWESOME management team.
I was told on my first day that we were not to tolerate abusive or aggressive behavior and that if a customer touched us, we were expected to leave the table immediately and get a manager or supervisor. It was made clear that these were not suggestions, but RULES, and that management took that kind of thing seriously. I thought, OK that’s good, but I doubted they truly cared that much.
Well, I was proved wrong one shift when I had a table of men in my section that I found obnoxious and creepy, and who were drinking quite a lot. They made a few off-hand comments that I just rolled my eyes at and ignored. Then one of them intentionally dropped a fork on the floor and asked me to pick it up, so I did. When I was bent over, he groped my butt and said, ‘Yep! As firm as it looks!’
Caught off guard, I jumped up and made a little ‘yelp’ type of sound. They all laughed, and I was livid.
I immediately walked away to approach my manager, but he met me halfway, as he had seen it happen. He told me I could go out for a smoke if I wanted and he’d take care of the situation, and also promised that my tip wouldn’t be affected.
Well, to be honest, I was curious to see how he would handle it, so I stood by the bar and watched. He walked up to the table with the bill and a portable credit/debit machine in hand and told the guys it was time to pay up and leave.
They tried to put up a fight, but he was having none of it and launched into a red-faced tirade about how he had no patience for these types of jerkwads and his employees deserved to be treated with respect and that they couldn’t just run around acting like a bunch of animals and expect to get away with it. He took the guy’s credit card and swiped it, told him to put in his PIN and then took the machine back before it got to the tip screen.
The guy was like, ‘What the-? I’m not done yet!’
My manager just laughed and said, ‘Yeah, well I’m making sure my girl gets her tip.’ He ran through a 25-percent tip, handed the guy the receipt and said they had to leave immediately and were not allowed to come back.”
“Can I Get Two?”
“A customer walks in and orders two.
‘Two, what?’ I ask.
‘Pints or middies?’
‘So that’s two pints of Guinness?’ I ask, just to clarify.
As I’m letting the Guinness settle before finishing the second pour, the customer notices signs the bar had up for a lager on special. ‘I ordered Swan,’ he says, pointing to the sign.
‘No, you ordered Guinness. I repeated the order back to you, and you said yes.’
‘Well, what can we do?’
‘You can pay for what you ordered.’
Which he did.”
Despite His Creep Factor, The Restaurant Still Won’t Ban Him
“We have an older regular customer who always sits at the bar and usually has a streetwalker with him. Trust me, that is not a joke. Usually, he is polite, so I normally don’t have a problem serving him. His life choices are his business, so whatever. However, the problem I now have with him is that he has turned into a creep.
One of my fellow bartenders, who I will call Brooke, was closing down the bar one night, and the creepy guy was still hanging around and having his usual drink. No problem, she can still do her closing duties with him still there. She was the only one out there, and the rest of the servers were closing down the kitchen, and I was doing admin stuff. While Brooke was doing her closing duties, the creepy guy asked her, ‘Would you be one of ‘my girls’ for $400 a week?’ She told him no and that she was not interested. He then proceeded to ask her multiple times why she was denying him in a very creepy manner. She came back to the office, where our manager and I were going over our closing checklist, to tell us what happened and that she was uncomfortable because the customer had not left.
Our manager recognized the inappropriateness of what happened and went to kick him out but got slightly distracted so it took her a few minutes. In the meantime, Brooke had to get her stuff to leave, and I went with her to the bar. He asked her again why she kept denying him. I went behind the bar with her to act as a buffer and I asked Brooke if she was ok. The creepy guy answered before she could, and said, ‘She is fine,’ so I looked at him and asked Brooke again until she answered.
When the manager finally got to the bar, we had already been closed for an hour, and the creepy customer was still sitting there. He had long finished his drink and food. We all agreed he seemed to be waiting for Brooke to leave, probably to follow her out and harass her some more, so we made sure he left before her. The manager told him it was late and we were all waiting for him to leave before we did with the fakest smile on her face. But as the creepy guy was leaving, he touched her arm as he was saying goodbye.
I told the manager that he needed to be barred from coming back especially because this is not the only female bartender he has propositioned. Jesus, he even makes the male bartenders feel uncomfortable. But even though he has been highly inappropriate, he is still allowed service. I don’t understand why.”
This Is The Most Frustrating Game A Bartender Has To Play
“I mostly work closing shifts in a bar, and even though we stay open until at least 3 a.m., I get THOSE groups almost every time. And then the dance begins.
A group comes in, seeing that we’re cleaning up. They try to order anyway. I inform them politely that we’re closed. And then we proceed to have the same conversation as we do every other night:
Them: ‘But we only want [insert drink here]!’
Me: ‘No, we’re closed.’
Them: ‘We can chug it.’
Me: ‘No, we’re closed.”
Them: ‘There are still people drinking stuff here.’
Me: ‘They ordered when we made last call. Now we’re closed.’
Them: ‘You could give us something.’
Me: ‘No, we’re closed. Plus, if I give you something, everybody else will expect to be served again as well, so no.’
Them: ‘But we will tip you!’
Me: ‘Gosh, thanks, but we’re closed.’
Them: ‘Tip you VERY well…’
Me: ‘Your definition of ‘very well’ probably doesn’t match mine of ‘very well.’ But it doesn’t matter anyway; we’re closed now.’
Them: ‘We work at a bar, too. We know you want to finish up, but please make an exception.’
Me: ‘No. If you worked in a bar, you would have left five minutes ago when I first told you we were closed.'”
Talking To Betty Was Like Talking To A Brick Wall
“I work at a high-end pub selling expensive craft beers from all over the world. It’s a relatively new business; it’s only open for about a month. Our big selling point is that we have an absurd range of beers: over 200, which are regularly rotating in and out of stock. I’m a college student, I only work part-time, and it’s exam season, so I haven’t entirely committed this insane range to memory yet. Enter customer, who we will call Betty.
She comes over and stands next to the bar. I walk over with a smile.
Me: ‘Are you being served?’
Betty: ‘Do you have any stouts?’
Me: ‘Yes, in fact, we do! We have some bottled stouts and two on tap.’
Betty: ‘Uh…What are the ones on tap?’
Me: ‘Well, we have Stout 1 and we have Stout 2.’
Betty (unimpressed expression): ‘No, those aren’t stouts. I want a stout.’
Me: ‘These are stouts, I can give you a little taste if you like.’
Betty: ‘YES, give me a taste.’
Me: ‘Okay, I’ll get the Stout 1 first-‘
Betty: ‘NO, that’s NOT a stout!’
Me (Searching for backup): ‘Oh, erm, let me talk to Employee 2. Hi, Employee 2, any recommendations for stouts?’
Employee 2: ‘Yes, we have plenty. My personal favorites are Bottled Stout 1 and 2.’
Betty: I don’t WANT bottle, I want DRAFT STOUT!’
Employee 2: ‘Well, we have two on tap…’
Me: ‘I offered those a second ago, but she doesn’t-‘
Betty: ‘Oh, so the person behind the bar [me, standing right there] doesn’t know anything about what you sell here?’
Employee 2: ‘Well, we carry a lot of stock and it is constantly rotating so we don’t always know everything we are carrying off by heart! Let me give you a taste of Stout 1.’
AKA the stout I offered like 30 seconds ago. At this point, I just went away. Employee 2 wandered over a few minutes later. It turns out he had the same conversation, so he was fuming. Betty apparently tried two stouts, continued to not know what a stout was and promptly left without actually buying anything. I still don’t know the full beer list, but I know what a bloody stout is and I know what’s on tap! The joys of working in a bar.”
As If She Wasn’t Trouble Enough Earlier, She Just Had To Come Back A Second Time
“I work at a pretty nice bar. On the weekends, we have live music. One day, the live musician and his girlfriend showed up. He was really cool, and she was this uppity bimbo. She sat at the bar throughout the whole night while he played his set, drinking dirty martinis the entire time. She told me when it was empty that I shouldn’t hesitate to fill up the glass again. So every time I went to make another drink, I looked at her first, and she nodded her head for another round.
When the musician was all done with his set, she wanted to pay for her bill. Her bill was like $42, and once she saw how many drinks she had, she almost immediately disputed her total. She kept saying she only had two drinks rather than five. I calmly disagreed with her, and eventually, she said her boyfriend would pay the rest. I put the rest on his tab, and she paid for her two drinks then got up and walked out while her boyfriend was still packing up.
About 30 minutes later she came back, now hammered, sat down at the bar, and apologized for being rude to me earlier. I was pretty busy at that point, so I just said, ‘Okay.’ Then she said that she brought a lot of people up to the bar a few weeks back and that I should thank her for bringing me some business, which I did with verbal gratitude. Then she finally asked for a free drink, finally letting me know what she was after. I said, ‘We don’t serve free drinks here.’
She got a little upset and almost pleaded for a free drink because she brought all of her friends to the bar a few weeks prior. I stopped what I was doing and said, ‘You like vodka, right?’
Her eyes get all big and bright, and she nodded. I walked over to the drink well, put ice in a cup, put her drink in, and handed it to her. She took one sip and screamed at me, ‘THIS TASTES LIKE EFFING WATER!’
To which I calmly replied, ‘Yeah, that’s the only free drink we offer.'”
The Seating Process Was Too Confusing For These Geniuses To Figure Out
“I work as a hostess at an upscale cocktail bar in the basement of a swanky hotel in my city. It’s a cool spot, and my job involves a variety of tasks: managing coat check, occasional server support, and most of all, seating patrons. Guests get thrown by being seated at a bar, but we’re a small space, and we like to maintain some semblance of crowd control. On weekends, this can get complicated. When our seats fill up, we have standing high-top tables where guests can stand until sufficient seating opens up. Most people have no problem with this… most people.
Last Saturday night around 9:30, the height of our weekend post-dinner pre-night-out rush, a group of five comes in. It’s clear they’ve already had a couple, but hey, it’s the weekend, and they seem to have it together. Our larger tables and the bar are full. We offer them a standing high-top, and they seem to get the gist.
I grab menus and walk them down, past a long rectangular table, which is half-occupied by a party of 10 that hasn’t fully arrived yet. ‘Can we sit there?’ The leader of the group, a short young woman, asks me.
‘No, sorry, it’s reserved.’
The leader stops, slaps her hand on the table, and says, ‘No, we want to sit HERE.’
I reiterate, ‘No, sorry, it’s reserved,’ then set their menus down at the standing high-top table.
‘Are you telling me we can’t sit?’
We told them it was a standing high-top about three times before we brought them down. Forcing a smile, I say, ‘Yes, unfortunately, all our seating is occupied or reserved, but if some seats open up, we’d be happy to accommodate you.’
This little ringleader and her friends interrogate me for a solid minute, with different wordings and iterations of, ‘Why can’t we sit?’ and, ‘Why does everyone else get a table?’
I bite my tongue, resisting the urge to say, ‘Sorry, sister, it’s a Saturday night, and you should have called ahead, you’re out of luck.’
The defeated leader sighs and says, ‘But, we’re going to get, like, BOTTLES of champagne.’ Oh, excuse me, I didn’t realize. Let me shove aside the people who had a reservation and were here first to accommodate your many, many bottles of champagne. I tell them again that we’ll seat them as soon as we can, then walk away. I look back down about 20 minutes later, and the leader is sipping a single glass of champagne with the surliest, sourest look on her face.
I love my job, but sometimes I can’t with the entitlement of our patrons.”
He’s Run Into That Guy Three Times, And Each Time He Hated Him A Little More
“I worked at a car wash in high school. One day while I was wiping dust out of a guy’s rims, he swung the door open and hit me square on the top of the head, dropping me like a stone. He then proceeded to berate me for being stupid and slow for not getting the soap film off of his rocker panels. I stood up and handed my towels to the floor manager, said, ‘Let me know when you’re finished with him,’ and I walked out the back of the garage.
Fast forward six years. I was bartending at a local family establishment, and the jerk came in with his wife. From the first minute, he was whining about stuff. I was pleasant but brief. Eventually, they decided to eat in the bar and asked for menus. I handed them some menus, and after serving a few more patrons, I walked over with a pad and pen to take their order. The jerk said, ‘You’re going to take our order? I thought I’d get one of these hot, blonde waitresses.’
His wife was visibly uncomfortable, so I shot back and said, ‘Your wife called ahead and asked for a young, stud bartender.’ After their meal, she slid me $5 under her plate while he was complaining about the food.
About a month later, in the same restaurant, he unloaded on a waitress for no reason. I was bartending and kicked him out. He lost his mind, screaming about how he knew the owner and how I was done working there. I pulled out the owner’s business card, handed it to him and said, ‘Bob gets in at 9 p.m., that’s his number.’
Around 11 a.m. the next day, the owner called me and said, ‘I heard you kicked out Tyson last night.’
I said, ‘Yes I did,’ and explained the scenario.
He paused for a few seconds and said, ‘You did the right thing, he’s a jerk. When you are on that side of my bar, it’s your bar, and they’re your staff. Keep it up.'”
Getting ID’d Is Clearly A Trigger For These Ladies
“Two young girls walked into my bar today. They were both on their phones when I came to their table, so I patiently waited for them to get off their phones before I introduced myself. I didn’t want to interrupt their conversation. They finally ordered their drinks.
‘Absolutely. Do you happen to have your ID’s on you?’
One of the girls started going on about, ‘Do I look THAT young? I’m 26,’ before pulling out her ID. She was 26. The other girl, however, didn’t have her ID. It was in her car, and they had taken the 26-year-old’s car. They were going on about how they didn’t expect to get carded. We went back and forth for a minute. I asked why they would even go to a bar without their ID’s. I assured them that it was a compliment. Here’s the bombshell:
‘I understand that you’re complimenting us, but bringing our ID’s and presenting them at a bar is an inconvenience. You are inconveniencing me.’ No, not presenting your ID to me and putting up a fight when I ask is an inconvenience. I was still standing there, a bit in shock when one girl said to the other, ‘I know another place. Let’s go.’
They got up and left. I shrugged it off. About 20 minutes later, they came back and sat in the same spot. I was putting ice in a cup right as they sat and the one who found being carded an ‘inconvenience’ piped up, ‘I need a Grey Goose. No ice. NO. I SAID NO ICE.’
I looked over, said, ‘I’ll be right with you,’ poured the water and delivered it to the table. My coworker tried to serve them, but they specified that they wanted ME.
They ordered two shots each. When they cashed out their $22 tab, they wrote $22 in the tip line, but they also wrote $22 as the total. So I took it as two young women that don’t know how to act towards others or sign a receipt. It was a loss for me, but whatever. I deserved it. After all, I carded them. I don’t understand why people put up a huge fuss when they get carded.”
His Reluctance To Fight Cost Him His Job
“I was once fired from a bartending job, essentially for NOT fighting a customer.
A guy pushed my manager when he had a bunch of empty pint glasses, and he fell in a pile of broken glass and shattered pride.
I immediately escorted the man out of the premises, but I didn’t strike him.
The manager felt I should have pounded the living daylights out of him, and was angry that I didn’t. I was then shunned for almost two weeks before a trumped-up ‘no-call/no-show’ was manufactured, and they let me go.
It was a rough bar with its own rules/regulations, and I enjoyed that aspect, but I wasn’t paid to be an attack dog. Every other bar where I have worked didn’t even want you coming from behind the bar during an altercation, but that bar was a little different.”
The Manager’s New Rule Didn’t Work Out As Planned
“I used to bartend at a restaurant where one particular shift was almost always dead. I would do all my side duties and then run out of stuff to do, but I wasn’t allowed to leave the bar.
I was in school, so I used to bring my books and study behind the bar during this time.
We got a new manager, and he told me they didn’t pay me to read, so I needed to be busy. After inquiring what other things he wanted me to do which didn’t require me to leave the bar (answer: nothing), he told me to just ‘find something.’
So I started watching TV with one hand on a bar towel on top of the bar. I just stood there, watching whatever was on, and if the manager came in, I’d slowly start wiping in circles while staring at the TV.
He said I looked like a robot and I told him I felt like a robot.
The general manager found out, laughed, and told me to study for my finals.”