Credit where credit’s not due!

If you think it’s a royal pain standing in a freaking check-out line watching the person in front of you… that person with the bag of Cheetos and Star magazine… pay for his or her sins with a goddam credit card, try standing in Bar-land as part of a throng of thirty, dying for that very first drink, only to be forced to hold that thirst while Bradley Fucking-Shire the Third, or Buffy-Von-Debutante-Country-Club-Breath, pay for their bottle of Stella and Grey Goose and soda (two limes), each with a shiny new credit card for your inconvenience. Now that, my thirsty friend, is a real piss-off. And a credit card not to run a tab, mind you, but to pay for a drink and say, “Just run the card through, Sir.”

But then, (to really bring home the point of frustration), try being your friendly bartender in all this as he tries to get out that first wave of drinks only to have to interrupt his task… stop what the fuck he’s doing… so he can walk over and work with the credit card machine and carry out Brad-Buff’s transaction, pitifully falling behind as he does so, sensing a tacit chorus behind him pulsating throughout the room, “We want whiskey! We want whiskey!” and you’ve got yourself a taste of serial card abuse. And I use the word “serial” because with rich kids under thirty it’s now more the rule.

Hello, nice to see you, dear reader, and how is your day going? Geez it feels good to get that out!

But seriously, this shit is getting out of hand it seems (and a lot more now with this subset) and it has to be pointed out as fucking ludicrous. For if you’re going to pay for your series of drinks with a credit card not cash (and who hasn’t done this on more than one occasion?), simply relinquish your sacred card when you get your first drink, and ask the bartender to open you up a tab. Capish? Don’t keep opening and closing the thing every time you re-order, you not only look naive but you piss people off.

For wasn’t the original purpose of the “card” to be able to purchase a high-ticket item which exceeds in cost what one carries around in cash? An item like a fucking stove or a nice dinette set? Or items like ten or more drinks and dinner for four? Well if six measly bucks for a beer somehow exceeds what you carry in cash, or if parting with same actually fucks up your walking around total… then I suggest you stay at home, young drinker, and read up on this brand new thingie called ATM. It works wonders. It’ll spit out twenties faster than you can drink them.

The above scene recently happened to me… this credit card abuse to the fifth power… when a group of thirty twenty-somethings, of the financial background just described, poured en masse into the bar one night waving their plastic overhead, like semaphore experts guiding a plane onto a ship deck. For it followed that every third person (it seemed) wanted to pay with a card… a transaction per round without running a tab. In fact even after your friendly bartender tried to convey the obvious with several mini conversations akin to the following… “Let’s do this just once at the end, okay? It’ll save us a lot of time.” “Nahh, that’s okay, I’m probably just having the one.” “Then if you’re having just one, can’t we do this in cash?”… all he got for his troubles was a blush and a self-conscious chuckle, and the refusal to cough up the cash that would make life easier. And of course the negative result to all concerned was that what normally takes about five good minutes to get out those first thirty drinks, because of this nonsense took a good fifteen or twenty. Just a lose-lose situation all the way ’round. Not to mention the extra bookwork involved in processing two hundred checks that should have been thirty.

And hey, while your friendly bartender is being so wonderfully un-friendly this fine Saturday morning, let him now add this extra twist of lemon. And that twist is this… if your bill is under fifty dollars and you’re a party of four or five, put the whole damn shebang on one freaking card. Okay? And if the card owner doesn’t want to treat the crew (which is perfectly understandable) throw that person some cash and keep things simple. For nothing appears more ridiculous to your friendly bartender’s eyes than to watch his friendly waitress (busy as hell with silly things like serving drinks and delivering food to her tables) have to split up a check onto four or five  cards. It’s yet another ridiculous phenomenon these days, as prevalent as pollution and smog, which is, again, just totally fucking unnecessary.

So in summation, all you young students of booze and New York nightlife, if you’re going out on the town (or into YFB’s bar into which you’re most welcome), and you’re doing so as a movable party of thirty, bring enough swag to pay for your drinks or use your damn card as the gods of “pay later” intended… as a one fell swoop, single, grown-up transaction!

That’s it… end of rant, and given what’s just been written, end of my using the handle Your Friendly Bartender!

Over and out from Bar-land… I’ll try and be a bit nicer when I see you next week-end. Ta-ta!

14 Responses to “Credit where credit’s not due!”

  1. 1 Lost in The City March 14, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    What a rant Scribbler…it illustrates the problem that easy credit put this country in…credit card companies handing out credit cards like candy on college campuses leads to over-extended post-college grads.

    Keep the rants going!!!

  2. 2 scribbler50 March 14, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks, Lost in the City, and a very good point you make… having long been away from the college life and it not being the case in my day, I never thought about that campus credit card give-away stuff. Ah, the land of the free (except when you have to pay for it!)

  3. 3 Donna B. March 14, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    “…Bradley Fucking-Shire the Third or Buffy-Von-Debutante-Country-Club-Breath…”

    hee hee.

    I’ve never wanted to visit NYC before, but now I do just to have a drink (or 10) in your bar. On a tab, of course.

  4. 4 D March 14, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Agree with Lost in the City – These kids are either shit deep in debt and have no cash, which is also why they aren’t running a tab, OR using plastic in such a piss-ass, piecemeal way is less frightening to them than the thought of actual cold cash leaving their fingertips.
    I’ll bet they tip on the card as well!

  5. 5 scribbler50 March 14, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    Donna B.: Thanks, glad you got a “hee hee”, and you can run a tab as big and as long as you like.

    D.: Good observation, and OF COURSE they tip on the card… they’d try to put their coat check on a card if we’d let them.

  6. 6 Anonymoustache March 14, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Great post, Scrib50. And I don’t think you were being anything but nice. If someone doesn’t know this you’re doing them a fucking favor by clueing them in.
    While handing out CCs like candy is bad enough, the whole CC problem is enhanced by the points-incentive programs many of these bloodsuckers have whereby they include people to charge everything on it.
    I remember being incredibly upset when I first saw the VISA commercial wherein people are checking stuff out by swiping their cards all to the tune of the blue danube waltz or something like that and then one guy pulls out cash and the music stops, everyone stares, and the guy with the cash is ‘Mr. SpoilEveryone’sPartyRythm’. This is the society these asshole are promoting to our young—that cash is uncool. Fucking ridiculous.

  7. 7 scribbler50 March 15, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Thanks for checking in, Sir Stache, with a valid point as always. I know those commercials you’re talking about… treating the schlub with cash like some kind of pariah. Meanwhile, and contrary to what they’re saying, transactions handled with cash are faster. believe me!

  8. 8 chezjake March 15, 2009 at 12:47 am

    There are a number of drinking establishments (as well as numerous retailers) up here in the Albany area who have set up minimum amounts for credit card transactions. Considering the card companies are collecting a certain minimum on every transaction, which comes out of the emporium’s take, it should be understood that it just doesn’t make economic sense to accept credit purchases for less than a given amount. Maybe you should have a little chat with your management about setting up a minimum; it would improve their bottom line and also help make you a more productive bartender.

  9. 9 Comrade PhysioProf March 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    The problem with minimums is that the agreements that credit card companies have with establishments forbid them from instituting them. This doesn’t prevent it completely, but strictly speaking minimums violate the agreements.

  10. 10 Isis the Scientist March 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    {sigh} I am totally that girl who never carries cash, Scribbly. I mean, I do have the courteshy to run a tab, but Isis never has cash. These posts are hard looks in the mirror, dear friend. 😉

  11. 11 scribbler50 March 15, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Isis: Not to worry, cash for you not required. In fact not even a credit card, my dear, dear blog friend… but if you pronounce the word “courtesy” the way you spelled it in your comment, I’ll have to give you a sobriety test first.


  12. 12 Isis the Scientist March 15, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Mama had her coffee with a little Baileys today, sweet Scibbler. The weekly pointing out of my faults is driving me to drink before I come by. And to think our love began with your mocking of the dirty martini…


  13. 13 d-a-p March 16, 2009 at 9:19 am


  14. 14 scribbler50 March 16, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Thanks,D-A-P, gotta try to do something with all those short stories. To be honest, I’ve almost forgotten about them since I’ve been doing this (a-hem) blogging.

    And as far as the college textbook goes, (very funny), I’d have to set up a credit card station in order to peddle those babies ’cause you know they wouldn’t be payin’ for the book in cash! I’ll let you handle that.

    Thanks, D-A-P, as always, for dropping by.

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