6 Things Never To Say To A Barman

Your suspicions were justified: the guy pouring your sixteenth Guinness and half-heartedly laughing at your weak puns really does hate you. Read on and cringe...
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Since I turned 18, I have been a fan of a notoriously cheap chain of pubs, and until about three days ago, I loved it so much that I worked for them. However, in the nine months service that I racked up, my tolerance of the general public declined faster than a regular could get to the bar at 9am.

Now, I don’t like to generalise so I will just clarify that it was only the drunk ones that I couldn’t stand. However, sobriety was a vice much frowned upon amongst the clientele of my workplace. In fact the only sober customer of note that I ever served only remained so for roughly an hour, at which point she kicked the manager in the bollocks and called him a cunt, before being promptly dragged outside and arrested. In fairness, he was one, heralding the only occasion where the phrase, “the customer is always right” actually held any water.

But anyway, despite drinking too much being fairly high up on my list of priorities as a student, I gradually came to despise those who plagued our shitty little pub, with a hatred usually reserved for the dim-witted ranks of the English Defence League. Why? Well, a word to the wise - the following phrases are ones that should never be used by any customer, under any circumstances. Ever:

1/ “I just made that this morning mate.”

Do you think I’m fucking stupid? Is it not comprehendible that, as a barman, I just might have seen a £50 note before? Did you not hear the last fifty fucking shining wits use that line?

2/ “Fucking hell mate, cheer up!”

Since when did working on a Saturday night, until 5am, ever make anyone happy? Especially when you’re being paid a possibly illegally low wage, and only until 1am.

If you have that much money and you can’t find anywhere nicer to drink, in Windsor of all places, then you are either a drug dealer, or you just have exceptionally poor taste.

3/ “I’ve been waiting ages...”

What makes this one so awful is that it is never said to anyone, but it is always said loud enough so that every overworked and underpaid member of staff can hear it. But even then, on its own, it’s harmless. However, when it is followed by, “I haven’t decided what I want yet”, when you get round to serving them, it induces a rage beyond what I thought humanly possible. The only thing it is good for is ensuring that no-one will serve you for at least another fifteen minutes.

4/ “I’ll get this one, lads.”

This can roughly be translated to mean: “I’ll get this one, and the next ten, because I just fucking love getting wads of cash out of my fat wallet.” If you have that much money and you can’t find anywhere nicer to drink, in Windsor of all places, then you are either a drug dealer, or you just have exceptionally poor taste.

5/ “Blimey, bit steep that is innit...”

No, it’s fucking not. I’ve heard it is cheaper, however, over there. Outside.

6/ “Go on, let me off. It’s only a quid!”

Yeah, excellent, I’ll let every single one of you off a quid so my till works out to be £900 down and I get sacked for theft. When I get discounts off already cheap-as-shit booze as an employee, maybe I’ll think about it. Actually, no, I won’t.

I could go on. In fact, I’d love to, since I count complaining as a legitimate hobby, and sometimes even a skill.  But I fear that as a reader, you’d suddenly find yourself feeling sorry for me, and every other barperson you’ve ever made a smart-arsed comment to and stop doing it, and if I started enjoying the company of customers, I think the universe would collapse on itself. But let’s face it, we’ve all done it. Even me. For some reason, I fail to see how irritating I can also be as a customer. It’s something about drinking that convinces everyone that they are above manners, and that using the terms, “fella”, “boss”, and “pal”, is somehow fucking normal. Is it? I can’t be sure. But drunk people are certain of it, and that is why I fucking hate drunk people. Except when it’s me...

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