Being a bartender is the best job in the world. If you believe that, it's very likely you've never worked behind a bar before. Just like most jobs, there are highs and lows to working as a bartender, but most of these bartender problems are only exclusive to bar staff. Unless you've worked behind a bar, you won't realise how much stress and harassment bar staff have to suffer on a daily basis. Here are the 15 bartender problems only bar staff will understand.
The Ultimate List of Bartender Problems
1) The Chat Up Lines
It's a problem which faces all bartenders, men AND women. Although some of them are admittedly quite smart, most of them are just cringy.
Me: *pours pint of Guinness*— LOZ (@goddard_lauren) January 29, 2016
Customer: "what a perfect pint, almost as perfect and as good looking as you" #barmaidproblems
Just because we serve drinks doesn't mean it's acceptable to be harrassed. Take your drink and move along.
Might attach 'has a boyfriend' to my name tag at work #BarmaidProblems— Jess (@Jessslant) November 16, 2015
2) The minefield that is known as 'glass collecting'
Collecting glasses can be a troublesome trial at times, especially when it's a busy Friday or Saturday night. People treat bar staff like they're invisible and won't try to make your job any easier. Whilst you're trying to balance a tower of pint glasses, you're also trying to dodge drunk folk.
Oops sorry hi sorry yeah hi can I sorry I just need to can I just squeeze sorry hi yeah I just need to squeeze past there sorry thanks sorry— British Logic (@BritishLogic) January 16, 2016
3) People who disappear before paying
When you're working behind a bar and you've got a big queue of customers, it's almost impossible to leave your post. So it's rather irritating when people order their drinks and then disappear without paying. You want to hunt them down but you have to serve the next customer.
People who order a drink then go to the loo before paying are the reason I have the urge to stab things #barmaidproblems— GhostofLorelle (@Tuna_sammich_) September 22, 2015
4) Customers who wave
It's understandable how annoying it is when you're stuck at a bar for ages waiting to be served. But consider how annoying it is for the bartender, whose trying to work quickly whilst having customers wave and yell drink orders.
5) When customers order 'a beer'
It happens so often when a customer just orders "3 beers". Okay, you have no problem with how many beers he/she wants but what kind of beer? You're making it more difficult then it has to be.
6) Wet feet *squelch*
I hate when my socks are soggy after a long night at work #bartenderproblems— Kate Riesett (@Katee_R) January 29, 2016
Having wet feet for your entire late shift can feel like you're walking through a puddle for about 7 hours. It doesn't happen often but when you spill a drink or your colleague makes a spill, that single spill can make your feet feel crinkly cold and smelling of vodka for hours. [This is why you need water resistant shoes for work!]
7) Work becomes your life
What's great about most jobs is as soon as you've finished work, you can go home and not think about it until the next day. However, when you work on a bar, it's difficult to avoid going to another bar or pub, especially when your friends want to go out. You might be able to persuade your mates to avoid going to your work but as soon as you enter any pub or bar, your bartender instincts will instantly kick in!
8) The curious customers
There's nothing wrong with customers who want to ask questions about drinks (when it's a quiet time) however it's unacceptable when they decide to reach over and play with things behind the bar. "This isn't your play area, this is where I work, respect my space."
9) Standing up for your entire shift
If you've got a busy shift, it's a very good distraction from the aches and pains of standing for long hours at a time. Although we wish we could wear slippers to work, it's not ideal when you work behind a bar. Slippy surfaces and the chance of being a victim of broken glass means you need to wear the right work shoes for a bartender.
Walked holes in my shoes tonight #BarmaidProblems— Jess (@Jessslant) October 22, 2015
10) When it's almost closing time and the entire town comes to your bar
This happens so often, it makes you feel like it's done on purpose.
You just wish you can say, "No, you're too late, I want to go home."
11) Customers who don't understand what 'closing time' means
This is usually just a minority, but there are the annoying few who always like to hang around and slowly make their way to the exit. You end up feeling like a sheepherder as you direct them out.
How do people not know what a closed bar looks like by now? #bartenderproblems— Your Bartender (@TipJarNYC) February 4, 2016
12) The Job
If you've never worked as a bartender, it's likely you think working behind a bar is amazing. It's like going on a night out with free drinks.
Well, for a start, you can't drink because you're working. So from 7pm to 4am you're sober, completely sober. And whilst everyone is drinking drinks, you're serving them and getting covered by spillages.
Feel drunk from just inhaling alcohol fumes #barmaidproblems— Jo Fitzjohn (@JoClaireFitz) December 31, 2015
13) Customers who buy one drink on their card
It only seems to happen when it's busy and you've got a queue of customers who are waving or shouting their orders at you. One customer orders their drink and when you come back, they've got their bank card ready. "One drink? On your card? You just want to make my life more difficult, don't you?"
Whilst the majority of the world hates Mondays, anyone who works on a bar hates Fridays. Working on a Friday is one of the worst things you can do, especially when you're serving all the people celebrating the beginning of the weekend.
Am I the only one who never looks forward to a Friday? #barmaidproblems— Rhi (@_rhiannonsian) January 15, 2016
When you've lived most of your life loving Fridays, this plays a terrible toll on your mind. Whilst everyone else says "I can't wait for Friday," you're thinking, "Nooooo!"
15) Alcohol is no longer your best friend
With some jobs you can sneakily go to work with a slight hangover, but as a bartender, it's the worst form of punishment. If you're in the hangover stage where the sight or smell of alcohol makes your stomach do back flips, then working as a bartender is the worst job to do when you're hungover.
Being a barman means getting up close and personal with alcohol when you've got a hangover #barmanproblems— Louis Kashoulis (@LouisKashoulis) January 28, 2016
How to make your job easier
Working as a bartender isn't just doom and gloom. You can get plenty of good customers as well as bad, it just depends on who comes through the door. Whilst you might not have control over your customers, you do have control of your comfort at work.
Bartenders are expected to be on their feet for long hours at a time, this can make your feet feel sore and when your feet are sore, it's hard to concentrate on your job. As a bartender you should wear the right uniform and the right shoes. Your shoes need to offer strong arch support, be water resistant and be slip-resistant.
At Shoes For Crews, our shoes are worn by bar staff, chefs and waiters: they are the best work shoes for employees who work in busy environments and need their feet to be supported.
Check out our shop:
Not sure which type of shoe is the best for you? Use our FREE decision tree to help you find the shoe that best suits your job role:
Do you think there are some bartender problems that we've missed? Tell us in the comments below and we can add them.