Goof Troop

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Turkey of a night. Little to report. Crowd was lame, drank like first timers. Glad it was over.

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A Hot Mess of Glasses

Quick post.

There is a popular trend in drinkers who want a rum and Coke or a vodka and Sprite but not as a drink but rather as a shot. They order a vodka with a Sprite chaser and proceed to pound shots this way for the better part of an evening. It’s funny to me that when I think of shots, I honestly think of straight shots of whiskey or tequila. Mixed sweet shots are fine but not for this bartender. I make a living pouring those drinks but I would rather go without than put it down my neck.

With that said, straight shots with chasers are in vogue but I am surprised that people aren’t ordering gin with a tonic chaser. Gin having the highest proof of booze makes it the best straight booze to drink but I guess this isn’t catching on.

The wake of folks ordering this shots is that I am left without a single glass behind the bar and twice the amount of dishes to wash at the end of the evening. Literally a hot mess of glasses.

The Golden Toilet

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It’s been 18 hours since I left work and I have barely recovered. I went home and drank horse choker rum and cokes. Erin called them chick drinks–she’d be right if it was most a mug of Black Seal Rum and a drop of coke. Nah, she’s right, it was pretty chickish. The dogs joined me out back as I listen to a podcast. The air was cool, the lawn wet and the dogs lazy. Such a difference from the night that I experienced.

Type A personalities. Tough, strong and unfamiliar with waiting. They clothes were expensive but cheap. Too much cologne and trinkets  hung from their necks and wrists and they drank like pussies. Too many mojitos, pina coladas and the power drink of the douche-bag,  Grey Goose and water. Worst of all, everyone of them had a black belt in string ordering.

def. String Order: While placing a multiple drink order, a customer orders each drink individually instead as a group.

I can count past one and I have decent short term memory. Want two Coronas, three vodka and Red Bulls, a mojito and a Long Island? Then order it. Instead of normal drinkers, I got 16 years old drinking in a busy bar with their dad’s credit card for the first time. They would have been manageable if I didn’t have a full bar in front of me. Keeping my head above water meant working at speeds I don’t like operating.

I am a firm believer that you need to work at optimum speed. If you can pour $1,400 a night make sure you can hit that number. I think my number is around $3,400. That’s a big number and there are somethings that need to happen to make sure I can go that fast. Big rounds of shots going out, bottle beer over draft beer, people starting tabs or paying with cash and the avoidance of string orderers. Unfortunately, no one decided to play nice.

The customer that got under my skin more than any other was a guy string ordering blended pina coladas and having the nerve to report my “sluggish” performance to my boss. Turkey. Because he had to wait up to 2 minutes to get his drink, he decides to rat me out. Makes me wonder how big his golden toilet is.

 

The VIP Drank Fireball

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Good night. Got to work with Rebecca (Becky). She’s a tough, smart hipster with bartending chops and cool tattoos. I’ve worked with Rebecca for two and a half years and been friends with her for over 24 months. She worked service while I ran blocker for the rest of the bar. Probably the best set-up for driving a money train and swinging a wrecking ball.

My VIP section was purchased by a conglomeration of douche bags and over-prepped women. My perfect grouping. I poured Fireball whiskey (can it really be called whiskey when it taste like candy? Whiskey is suppose to make your toes curl and fortify your evening where Fireball makes you want to dance to dueling piano music.) and Bud Lights for four hours. Not the perfect scenario to make a living but I have been doing okay for the last decade.

I am a bartender not a mixologist. I am certainly capable of making unique and original drinks with the various liquors behind me but my strength at pouring drinks is that I can do it with loud music pumping through the club and customers that are less than ideal. Mixologists are akin to master chefs–talented but usually pretentious and boring. Bartenders speak freely, entertain widely and treat every customer on a meritocracy. Spend money and tip well, you are the king of the castle. Act like a tool bag, you get the high hat with me probably crushing my fedora over your frosted tips.

The show was …. well, there was a dueling piano show. Not the best one I’ve seen but there were some highlights. Those highlights tended to be when they focused on popular songs that didn’t need a lot of explanation. For the most part, it was a turd.

Nonetheless, it didn’t stop them from drinking shots and playing the fool. After a couple of shifts that wanted me to hang up my cocktail spoon and learn to coach 4th grade PE, I needed a shift that reminded me why bartending is the pinnacle of blue collar labor. Well, tonight, I got that opportunity. I upsold drink, pushed shots, teased money out of people’s hands and even called my biggest tab “ugly” and still got a 30% gratuity.

Not bad for a guy who hasn’t slept more than 8 hours in three days.

The Lonely Hearted with the Long Haul Trucker

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It started with desperate, lonesome souls looking for love or a taste of affection and ended with a group of competitive truckers regaling me with stories on how they won the top title from their home state.

Tonight it was a mixed bag of people participating in a Match.com mixer and participants in the nation’s top trucker’s title joining for an evening of dueling pianos. Sounds exciting but regrettably, it was the furthest thing from the truth. Instead of a large group of singles trying to find love, the bar was filled with aces trying to find a pair. The first customer through the door was a bling man with a cochlear implant and guide dog waiting patiently an hour before we opened the doors. He was from Clearfield and had taken the bus for the mixer. He was a decent looking guy and unlike most blind guys, a pretty friendly fellow.

His guide dog named Hank led the fellow to a chair where he waited patiently for me and my cocktail waitress/bartender-in-training to get the club set up. Wednesdays are my busiest nights of the week even if they are my top sale nights. I have to organize the liquor room and start the slow process of prepping the club for the busier nights of the week. With Hank and his handler camped out waiting for us to get ready, I started getting things put in place quickly.

The Match.com function was a bust. The organizer was some creepy guy who wore a backpack but had a really nice pressed dressed shirt and tie. He was distributing the game Banana-grams to all of the guests but they were all guys. Most of the customers that I greeted when asked what I could get for them was a response for a date or a girl. It’s not like they were all losers but they were painfully shy and awkward. Nervous and shifty, I wasn’t surprised that they had a tough time meeting women.

When girls finally showed up, I noticed that they came in pairs with one of the ladies acting as a support partner. They were nice but clearly disappointed with the turnout and the threat of being asked to play Banana-grams. I guess I never think about meeting women because I am in a relationship and I bartend for a living. This simple equation means that I don’t worry about talking to people and being myself. It would be nice if some of the guys from Match.com would follow suit.

The second group of guys that couldn’t close a rusty chain link fence were guys that won state trucking championships coming to Utah to compete to be the best in the nation. They were a mixed bag of …well, truckers. Imagine what a long haul trucker looks like dressed up for the night and guarantee you wouldn’t have been disappointed. T-shirts stretched to the limits of tinsel strength, bad baseball caps and a love (and I mean a love) of Coors Light.

They drank hard, tipped lightly and complained like I was trying to take their 2-gallon jug of Mountain Dew.

Because of a leaky faucet at home, I left right at 1am to a bar that was in disrepair to find a house not as bad as I thought.