(Heather Furr is a bartender and personal trainer when she's not playing quarterback for the Chicago Bliss. Catch her on the premiere of Oxygen's Pretty Strong on Tue. Oct. 6 at 10/9c.)
Let me start out by saying that I really like bartending. I love most people and enjoy spending my time with friends, family, and most of the people who come into my bar. However, there are nine things that bartenders endure over and over. Listen up drinkers, do us bartenders a favor and read this list. Because we don’t want to feel like we’re living inside a bartender's version of Groundhog Day.
1. DON'T expect free stuff.
It's your birthday? Guess what... everyone has a birthday once a year, and my boss would not be thrilled with me giving you all free drinks. I love that you came in to celebrate, but to expect a shot on the house? Really?? Not to mention, how many other bars have you already tried this at tonight and how many more are on your list? Come on, man! Free things are great when they are offered to you. Just don't beg for a free shot, unless you want one that tastes like dandelions – because it’ll be made from them!
2. DON'T ask for my name.
You asking my name can ONLY mean bad things. You'll either: Obnoxiously use my name WAY too much throughout your stay at the bar; or you'll use it the next time you come in trying to look like a regular; or, since you now "know me," ask for my number and whether I have a boyfriend. No. Thank. You. DON'T BE A CREEP!
3. DON'T treat the bar like a hotel room.
Oh my gosh, you drunkenly found the love of your life. (I mean, the love of your night?) GREAT! I'm so happy for you. Now please stop making out at the bar and rubbing all over each other. Just go somewhere else! Even outside on the street corner, I don't care. A cute kiss or two or three is OK. An all out make-out session isn't what I want to see while I’m on the job, especially when your drinks are empty and it's too awkward to walk up and ask if you'd like another.
4. DON'T go night-night.
This is not your house, not your bedroom, and the bar is NOT your bed. If you can't keep your eyes open it’s time to take yourself home. Call an Uber. Hail a cab. Stumble to the train. Just don't make us wake you up.... multiple times! That's the worst!
5. DON’T ask what beers we have on tap.
Are you really asking this question while standing in front of eight clearly labeled tap handles or underneath our huge chalkboard that states, "What's On Tap.”
A too frequent conversation:
Me: Well, what kind of beer are you looking for? Something "local"... ok great... taste a couple of these.
You: "I'll just go with a Bud Light."
Wow, of course you will!
6. DON’T ask, “Where are your bathrooms?”
Did you look – or so much as glance – before asking? My first response is often "turn around." Yes, you asked while standing directly in front of the bathroom doors.
7. DON'T ask if the bar is open.
Did you walk through an open door with music playing and notice all of the other people drinking? These factors should've answered your question—and yet, still, you ask. No, we aren't open. We just unlock the door and serve alcohol while we are closed.
8. DON'T ask if we give discounts because you work at some other bar or restaurant.
Is that the reason you came in? To see if you get a discount for working at another bar or restaurant? If you actually are a server/bartender it should come out naturally in a conversation with your bartender. That's not the way to get on anyone's good side. Are you gonna order whatever food and drinks are on special too?
9. DON'T be in the way.
Listen, if you're a regular or not PLEASE do not stand where I need to walk in order to do my job. It's annoying. If you need to be touched because you are lonely or whatever, I'm sure you can awkwardly rub up against someone else. But you might want to actually try talking to her first? And maybe she should be a couple drinks in? If successful, please refer back to DON’T #3.