Handout photo issued by Maxwell's of US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama enjoying a Guinness in Hayes Bar in Moneygall, County Offaly, during their visit to Ireland.

Life Behind Bars

The 5 kinds of people you meet as a bartender…


For those of you who have never worked behind a bar, it’s a bit like being the only sober one on a night out, except you get paid. For minimum wage you get the pleasure of facilitating everyone else’s good night, or clearing up the fallout from a bad one. Either way, you get to feel smug watching drunk people do stupid things, with the added bonus that you’ll remember everything the next morning.

Here’s a round-up of some of the characters you get to spend your night with…

1) The Sleaze

Like the devil, the sleaze manifests itself in many forms. If he’s a student, you’re lucky. If not, he’s probably old enough to be your father. Neither understands that you’re only being nice to them because your customer service training says you have to. So much so that they’re shocked when their advances are rejected. I mean who doesn’t love a bit of sexual objectification followed by a boozy-breath chat up line? My favourite: “I’ll take you out for dinner, somewhere classy, where you actually have to use a knife and fork.” What a catch.

2) The Snob

Makes you go through the whole wine list then says, “I’ll just have a G&T”. Lets out an exasperated sigh when you don’t have any cucumber for her Hendricks. Leaves her money sitting on the bar, but places a protective hand over her Mulberry purse when you’re collecting empty glasses. Knocks her drink all over you and doesn’t apologise. Has clearly never had a job in the service industry, and thinks you’re a lesser human being because you do.

3) The Affronted 18-Year-Old

Despite the bumfluff on the chin, he can’t believe you had the audacity to ID him. He scoffs, saying “I haven’t been asked for ID in ages”, opens his wallet and pulls out a provisional driving licence, laughing to hide his embarrassment. I mean he’s been 18 for like 4 months now? Surely that means he can order a drink without being carded.  This is followed by the hesitation as he realises he doesn’t have a “usual”, and lets his inexperience slip again by asking for a beer. Or even worse, a blue WKD.

4) The Golfers

A more civilised version of lads on tour, they’ll have a “scotch on the rocks” (don’t you mean a peaty Islay single malt with a drop of water?) and a pint of Guinness (because that comes from Scotland, right?). But despite their dodgy drinks of choice, they’re usually up for good conversation, generous tips and leaving when they’re told to (to go to a huge house party on Queens Gardens).

5) The All-Round Good Guy

For every one of the above there are several of these. They’re always polite, they don’t order their drinks one at a time (a bartender’s pet hate), don’t harass you when it’s busy, they ask you how you’re doing and buy you a drink when they see you off-duty. What goes around comes around: be like this and you’re guaranteed the best service and a cheeky discount.

You know who you are…

Images courtesy of Maxwells/PA Wire/Press Association Images



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