Charge me, Man!!!

First of all a personal note…

To those of you who’ve been stopping by regularly during my brief journey into blogging, and in keeping with the Christmas spirit now upon us, your friendly bartender would like to say in true Tiny Tim fashion, “God bless you, each and every one of you.” And he’d also like to apologize for being so late in writing and posting this blog (not that you’ve been staring at your screen in waiting). But see, he was told when he first started doing this,  “Use it or lose it,” that people will quit coming around if stuff doesn’t change. And in keeping with that fair warning, YFB has tried to comply by posting his musings at least once a week, at least no later than Sunday at noon before football. Well,  sadly, and a poor excuse it is, it’s because of the Christmas spirit… the kind that comes in a bottle… that your friendly bartender has failed to meet his deadline.  This  week-end was lethal. So again, God bless and forgive me… all in one (3.4 alcohol-level) breath!

And now on with the show…

If you are among those readers just mentioned… those who’ve been visiting my site on a regular basis… you know your friendly bartender is not above taking shots at those on his side of the bar, the people who pour the stuff that makes you crazy. (See A “Real” Flaming Asshole.) Yes, we have our faults like everyone else…  and please feel free to share any gripes in Comments… but the subject of today’s misdeed I feel can only and best be described by a fellow bartender.

(A-hem!) See, there’s this thing out there in Bar-land…  more to the point, in Bartender-land… that seems to say,  “Don’t charge a fellow bartender. ” Or at least don’t charge him what he should be charged. It happened to your friendly bartender all this past week-end as too many too-friendly bartenders followed that code. And that code is wrong. A clothing salesman from Lord & Taylor’s doesn’t walk into Barney’s expecting to walk out in a free fucking suit, so a bartender shouldn’t give and expect free booze… unless of course he owns the bar and the booze.

Now I don’t want to sound like “Johnny Be Good!” or imply that your friendly bartender hasn’t extended professional courtesy when visited by a brother, but to just wink and say, “No check!”, or to hand out a tab which better reflects the price of a quart of milk than a half a bottle of fire-breathing killer Jack Daniels, makes a mockery of the courtesy and shreds any remaining vestige of ethics.

Of course you know why this is done don’t you, those of you who pay the full price? Well, it’s not done out of some sense of (forgive me) gallant noblesse oblige, or simply because we’re nuts about each other, it’s  done to secure a bigger, healthier tip. But in analyzing that assumption, in some strange way you’ve insulted your friendly bartender. Why? Because your friendly bartender will always leave a more than adequate gratuity, tab scam or not, and a lower tariff will not affect that generosity. In plain old English… you’re gonna get tipped well anyway, brother,  so why not put us in the clear and do the right thing?

Your friendly bartender especially feels guilty in one of these scenarios when the owner of said joint… this joint where the booze is flowing and the dust is starting to build up on the cash register keys… happens to walk over, shake your hand and thank you for visiting his establishment. As he does this because you’re supporting him, (or so he frigging thinks) and here you are drinking and not supporting. Yes, your friendly bartender has never liked getting eased into one of these deals, he’d almost rather go where he’s not well known. Especially now at this time of year when it’s all about spirited giving not about taking.

So… I’m sorry, fellow bartenders, don’t mean to be The Yuletide Grinch and steal your healthy bag of Christmas swag, but that’s the way your friendly bartender sees it. Charge me, Man!

PS: Is there anyone out there who can help me cheat on my taxes???

6 Responses to “Charge me, Man!!!”

  1. 1 Anonymoustache December 16, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    —PS: Is there anyone out there who can help me cheat on my taxes???—

    The solution is obvious, dude. You need to be pouring more generous drinks and handing more ‘milk’ tabs to the accountants that frequent your establishment!

  2. 2 DamnGoodTechnician December 18, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Scrib, might you have a suggestion for me of a decent place in Manhattan to get a well-crafted drink? I shall be visiting your fair city over Christmas & thought you may have a recommendation. I’m at damngoodtechnician at gmail dot com, if you’d like to suggest one (or a few…).

  3. 3 White Trash Academic December 18, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    We have a regular professor happy hour every week at the same place and the bartender (who now knows what we all drink and we never have to ask) has recently started giving me big discounts on the food and leaving off drinks on my tab.

    This, of course, does result in me leaving her a larger tip because I would have used that extra on the bill anyway…Do you think badly of me now Scrib? I do have lots of student loan debt :0)

  4. 4 Jim December 18, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Scrib – Always worth the wait my man, always worth the wait…

  5. 5 scribbler50 December 18, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    a) I could never think badly of you.
    b) You and your friends have done nothing wrong, you’re playing with the tab you’ve been dealt. It’s your bartender who’s abused the trust her employer has placed in her. Hey, I don’t mean to sound like some high and mighty moralizer, (which I guess I already have) but stealing is stealing and when you’re running a side business with someone else’s inventory, you’re stealing. There was a time when I too welcomed getting a bullshit tab… I thought it was cool and it made me feel like I was “in”… but when I got behind the stick and saw things from a different perspective all that changed. If that makes me a killjoy, so be it. Owning a bar is a big risk and the bills paid to run that risk are considerable.
    Now do I offer a free round now and then to friends of mine when appropriate? You bet! It’s good business and it keeps ’em coming back. Do I give away the store? Never.

    In the meantime, WTA, as far as YOU are concerned, eat drink and be merry and pay off that loan!

    Merry Christmas,

  6. 6 Nicole Osorio December 25, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    I have learned to give a freebie here or there only when the patron, bartender or not, is worthy. In the trendy downtown lounge I work in, i have discovered and interesting find, that some girls will casually announce they just got off work at whatever bar and still toss you the same dollar that jersey girl to the left just threw down for her jagerbomb and cosmopolitan in a plastic cup (Don’t get me started on that shit….). Come to my bar and I’ll charge you!!!

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