Saturday, June 15, 2013

RE: Birthday Celebration

Posted on Sat, Jun 15, 2013 at 8:24 AM

As a former long time bartender I thought I'd share a few thoughts on your
recent jeers. Now I wasn't there and your bartender may indeed have been an
ass, but based on your letter I'm not yet convinced that this is the case.
First off, a lime comes with drinks containing tonic. That's about as close
to a garnish absolute as you're going to find in the bar business. And
while it's true that many like lime and salt with their shots of tequila,
the percentage of those who do drops drastically as the quality of the
tequila rises. The attitude that good tequila doesnt need the extras is out
there and it's growing. I've actually had customers give me grief for even
asking. The bottom line is, if you want lime and salt, ask for it. That
being said, I have to wonder, did your friend leave him a tip? Im not
saying that stiffing him justifies his ignoring you, but keep in mind that
a server's wages are often taxed based on a percentage of their sales
because the state just assumes they're getting tipped. Under such a system,
a poor tip isn't just disappointing, it's costly. Throw into this mix the
drinkers who expect a big pour, the boss who insist on a measured one, and
the requirement to smile and be polite to even the rudest and most
obnoxious customers and it's understandable how a busy bartender will
prioritize the demands on his attention in a way that best suits his own
interest. Of course screaming at a customer is never acceptable, but I
understand and even appreciate his reluctance to let anyone into his
garnish tray. If you find this odd, just read back through a few months of
old jeers. There are guys out there who not only don't wash up after using
the restroom, they're so proud of their questionable hygiene they feel
compelled to write letters about it. (I just wish they'd wear button or
something to identify themselves so I'd know whose hand to avoid shaking).
Again, I wasn't there so what do I know? My guess is both parties could
have been more open minded and understanding of each other. Cut a working
stiff some slack and you might not need to write Jeers. That would leave
more room for karmic threats aimed at car thieves and inconsiderate pet
owners. Win/win?


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