Jan 9, 2007

What You May Not Know About Your Female Bartender

Or, How Not to Piss Off the Chick Pouring Your Drinks

It may be stating the obvious that a woman gains instant popularity points the moment she steps behind the bar. Is it the way we wrap our fingers around the tap handle, or the view when we turn around and lean down to pick up a bottle off the lower shelf? Given that the bulk of any bar's patrons are men—drinking men—it comes as no surprise that bartending women tend to get extra attention while on the job.

While I could—and have, and probably will again sometime—wax philosophical about the role of women behind the bar, this post is merely a tipsheet. It's in honor of Jeffrey Morgenthaler's #4 entry in his Ten Myths You've Probably Heard in Bars post (I seem to be piggy-backing off of his entries lately; hope he doesn't mind): "Women That Go to Bars Alone are Looking for Sex." Untrue, of course, but for some reason us ladies often get the shaft—so to speak—when it comes to the bar scene. So...

Five Things to Consider When Hitting on Your Female Bartender:
  1. I probably have a boyfriend.
    Hey, I'm a catch and chances are I've already been caught. By someone else.

  2. If I do let you know I'm single, it's not an open invitation.
    Men like to fish and I can't count the number of times I've heard, "So does your boyfriend mind you working such late nights?" It's quite transparent and not charming at all. But worse is when I reply "I don't have a boyfriend" and they take it as a hint. I shouldn't need to pretend I'm taken just to keep you at bay. I am perfectly comfortable telling you that I ain't interested, single or not. No excuses necessary.

  3. I am not a stripper.
    Just because I show a little cleavage now and then does not—ever—give you any right whatsoever to demand things of me. I am a woman, with boobs and ass, and I happen to work in a very visible job that sometimes feels like I'm on stage. But I'm not performing for you, I'm here to mix really good drinks, serve my guests in a timely manner, and create an atmosphere of fun and comfort. That doesn't mean I need to twirl for you, get up on the bar for you, flirt with you, buy you a drink or let you buy me one, or otherwise do tricks for tips. You may request a drink, you may request that I turn up the jukebox, but you may not request that give you a hug just so you can rub up against me. Wierdo.

  4. If I ask you to leave, you must do it.
    I am 5'3" and weigh conderably less than most of my customers. Behind a wall of taps I look even smaller. But guess what? I look huge when I have a pool cue in my hand. I shoot a mean game of stick, so don't fuck with me, period. If I tell you to stop doing something, stop. If I tell you to get out, get the hell out. Men seem to think that they can a) scare me, b) cajole me into allowing them to get away with murder, or c) ignore me. Wrong on all counts, boys.

    And just so this list isn't all negative:

  5. It's very attractive when you come in on my shifts by yourself, read at the bar or make small talk, tip well and are always respectful.

Hopefully, these tips will help you keep the drinks flowing and your bartender smiling. The vast majority of patrons, male or female, are simply looking for good drinks and good conversation. Those who inevitably act like jackasses can be spotted from a mile away, and often go home bitter and alone. Don't be that guy.

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