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Nine things you should never say to your bartender

Nine things you should never say to your bartender
Photograph: Filip Wolak

I've been bartending for four years, and have made a countless number of acquaintances and have gotten incredibly close with my co-workers and regulars alike. But sometimes patrons say things that are, well, terribly stupid. From quasi misogynistic comments to comments that betray a clear lack of awareness of how a bar works, here are nine things that you should never, ever say to your bartender (they've all been said to me). 

'What do you like to drink?'

I like to drink Malort and whiskey. I guarantee you thought I was going to say Vegas Bombs or Patrón with training wheels. Join me, or make a decision for yourself.

'Thanks, honey.'

Honey, sweety, babe, darling, sweet pea—none of those are my name. We’ve known each other in the time that it takes you to drink your Maker’s Mark on the rocks. I could easily be your daughter’s age but yeah, carry on with your public cat-calling and I’ll talk to your college-aged son about it tomorrow.

'It’s a blue Chase card.'

Congratulations! You and half of the other people at the bar bank with the same bank, meaning that most of the cards in the tab pile are going to be blue. This might explain why I asked you what your last name was when I went to close out your tab.

Sidenote: When you ask to close your tab and say your name is “Matt,” you realize you are probably one of at least five Matts in the room at that given moment, right?

'Can I charge my phone?'

Honestly, I don’t mind charging your phone behind the bar in most cases. I get it, I want my phone all juiced up too—maybe Ryan will finally text me back. But there are better ways to ask when the bar is three rows deep on a Saturday and you’re waving your charger in my face like it’s 1999. Except it isn’t, because it’s 2016 and everyone needs their phone charged up. 

'What time are you off?'

Late! It’s always going to be very late, and at that point I will only want to hang out with my co-workers who are like family and plop straight into my bed once I finally get home. With the beer schedule you're on you probably won’t make it to 2am anyway.

'What’s your real job?'

Damn, if I could walk in to an advertising firm and go to the nearest cubicle and ask the 24-year-old recent college grad what their real job was without them looking at me like I had just punched them in the gut, I totally would! What do you actually mean, here? Last time I checked, I get paid, pay taxes, clock in and out, have meetings, get promotions, deal with bosses and get vacation time…sounds like the literal definition of a job.

'Can I get that chilled?'

How do you guys not know this yet? When you get something chilled, it’s shaken with ice. Which waters down the booze. A lot. So for the same price, you can get a watered down version of whatever tequila you chose. Why would anyone want that? Shots take approximately three seconds to go down the hatch. If you hate the taste so much, maybe you should just shoot something else (or shoot nothing).

'Can I get three limes with that?'

Okay, you ordered a gin and tonic...with three limes. For what? To hide the taste of gin? Maybe you just don’t like gin! It’s okay! I don’t like gin either. Get something else.

'You know who you look like?'

For some reason, this wooden thing in between us gives you permission to compare my looks to any person you think I even remotely look like. No, I don’t look like that one chick from Friday Night Lights, the bar back isn’t my brother and I’m not here for you to guess my age. It would be weird if the second you sat down at the bar I shot you a, “so you’re like, 36, right?”