By Matty Clark, bartender at Lost Lake Lounge (3602 East Colfax Avenue) in Denver.
The bartender doesn't actually hate you. Bartending is a stressful, complicated job that requires dealing with human beings at their absolute worst (when they're drunk.)
In fact, most people shouldn't drink, as a sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde scenario plays out when 90 percent of the population takes their first sip. So if you think the bartender hates you, take a little personal responsibility. That said, here are the three most common things guaranteed to catch the ire of your drink jockey:
1. You don't have your order ready. Almost everyone who waves their hand at or whistles/calls out to a bartender inevitably is unprepared for the upcoming transaction. Take the time you spend waiting to order to deduce what the bar has to offer. Sight, sound and common sense work best. What's my cheapest beer? You see the Pabst sign, yeah? Do I have Stoli Oranhj? Take a look at the wall behind me. And if you are ordering for a group, make sure to collect everyone's order prior to first contact. This speeds up the process immensely.
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2: You don't have your money in-hand. The funniest thing about most patrons is the inexplicable realization that they have to pay for the drinks they have ordered. Most people appear to have no plan for payment, and during the rush, it is always frustrating and time-consuming to tell someone the total and have them give you a blank stare for several seconds before even getting their wallet out. I, like most bartenders, take several orders at a time -- the longer a transaction stays open in my head, the less time I have to take new ones.
And the final reason is on the next page...
3. You're impatient. There are some truly awful bartenders out there, but next time you are frustrated because it is taking a long time to get a drink, pay attention. Most people aren't following rules 1 and 2, which adds to your wait time. So let's share some blame here: The more drinks I serve, the more money the bar makes, i.e. the more money I make. Serving you as timely as possible is in both our best interests, I promise.