This piece is republished with permission from BroBible.com.
I remember the first day I stepped foot in my bar. I had just gotten laid off from the job that made me pray for a subway crash every morning, and was drinking free on the dime of a family friend who was a bartender there. It was Halloween. I was dressed like a Victoria Secret Angel. I was 22. I had never so much as made a martini or poured a beer from a tap. When I was offered a job hostessing one day a week that day, I didn’t think I would ever parlay it into a four-year stint that has given me more opportunities and money than I could have ever imagined.
But here I am, four years later, possibly on the verge of leaving and finally putting my English degree to use writing TV shows in L.A. And the bar/restaurant that I call second home in New York City has taught me a lot of life lessons. I’d like to pass those lessons on to others because I genuinely feel like I owe it to all my other bartender friends to try to educate the masses as I go.
10. I am a bartender, not an escort.
Funny how a lot of guys in suits seem to mistake the two, but just because I get you a beer and have a vagina while doing so, it does not give you the right to grab my ass or say inappropriate shit to me. That’s assault, brotha. If you think grabbing a girl you don’t know’s ass is a good icebreaker, maybe you should reevaluate your life. I am not being paid to flirt with you or your friends. I do not get paid nearly enough to pretend I am remotely interested in 98 percent of the bankers, traders, stock brokers and other finance guys who roll through my little bar during the week. And for the guys in my bar who already crossed that line, if you think I haven’t thought about messaging your wife on LinkedIn about how I had to have her husband thrown out because he put his hand up my skirt, you’re greatly mistaken. It’s always on the backburner as an option. Treat me with respect, and you will not be forcibly evicted from my bar. Or ratted out to your wife for being a groper.
9. Anything less than 20 percent is blasphemy.
Sorry, kids. This isn’t an ego thing; this is a New York thing. Most service industry workers make about $2.13 an hour, far below minimum wage. My livelihood is my tip. And I know without a doubt, I never give service that is worth less than 20 percent. I always find it funny to hear these guys who work for Morgan Stanley or Barclays or UBS or Bank of America talk about throwing money around, but when a $153 bill is dropped, everyone gets real quiet. I was an English major who was terrible at math, and somehow even I know that $20 on anything more than $120 is an insult. It’s ironic that those who deal with money on a daily basis are the ones who seem the most confused when it comes to adding a tip. You aren’t curing cancer or solving the debt crisis here, bro. You’re leaving a 20 percent tip on a check, and I’m pretty sure your phone even has a calculator. Maybe that explains the financial crisis of the last four years. If you can’t figure out 20 percent of 173, you probably shouldn’t be handling millions of dollars a day for other people. Or if you’re just too cheap to leave an adequate tip, maybe you should just stay home. Do you work for free? No? Okay cool because neither do I.
8. Don’t ever tell me to buy you a drink. I am all about buybacks.
I love rewarding loyal patrons who are courteous, respectful and patient with a round. What I don’t love is having someone demand I buy them a round, or worse, demand I buy MORE rounds for them. Even if you have a regular presence at a bar, it doesn’t always justify a buyback, let alone multiple buybacks. When people say, “Well, I’ve spent $300 here, you aren’t going to buy me anything?” I usually respond by saying, “When you go to CVS and buy a hundred bucks worth of stuff in toiletries, do you demand free bottles of shampoo or Tylenol?” If you are asking for free drinks, more than likely you’re a jerk in the general scheme of life and I don’t do buybacks for them. Seriously, who ASKS for free drinks? How poor are you?
7. Don’t ask me for something “fun.”
Dude, I’m going to be 27. I’ve been drinking for 10 years. I know what I like; I know what I don’t. When I go to a bar, I have four staples – Hoegaarden, Chardonnay, Jack and coke, Bud Light. If the bar offers crazy concoctions, I’ll browse the list. But to the women who think they’re in an episode of “Sex and the City,” no, I don’t want to make you something “fun.” All alcohol is fun. You get drunk. Whether it’s pink or brown or blue or clear, it’s fun. Pick a drink, and stop expecting the bartender to have a secret bottle of hot pink glittery awesome fun that’s just going to take your drinking experience to the next level behind the bar. It’s cranberry juice for Christ’s sake. My grandma used to drink it when she was constipated.
6. I am not stupid.