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March 2, 2008

Hoboken St. Patrick's Day Parade 2008

It seemed like a very good day yesterday, with a decent sized crowd in town, but the atmosphere was very subdued.

I got into work at 6:30pm to bartend and the bar was mobbed. There was a good crowd there and everyone seemed to be having a good time. I relieved the bartenders who were working the day shift and got ready for the hardest bartending job - dealing with very drunk patrons.

Here's my top 5 observations I ran into bartending yesterday, just based on real life incidents that happened while serving people:

1. Everyone thought the music sucked. We have Sirius radio and keep it on one station, which is usually Sirius Hits, channel 1, and it plays the Top 40 stuff. Over and over and over again. So you are going to hear the same songs ad nauseum. I had people complaining as soon as I walked it that they hated the music and it didn't stop, even when I finally got permission to change it to my favorite channel, 90's Alternative, I had a bunch of 21 year olds who said to me, "What up with the classic rock music?" The bottom line is if you have 100 people in the bar they each want to listen to 100 different kinds of music and no one is going to be happy.

2. Cutting people off from drinking is annoying. There was a really cute blonde at the end of the bar, drinking and having a good time with her friends. Like with any fun cutomer I would play around and joke with them, and we both were having fun. Her friend, who looked about 50 years old, wearing a black beanie and glasses just couldn't keep up with the amount they were drinking. He was definitely falling asleep and out of it - a classic case of someone who was past the point of drunk and completely smashed. The owners warned me on Friday that I was to NOT overserve anyone. If someone got too drunk, I would tell management.

Ok, so I told management and cut him off when I saw him closing his eyes and snoozing at the bar. Ms. Fun Girl turned into Ms. Hellcat on me. Screaming at me with things like, "DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY WE SPENT AT THIS BAR TODAY?!?!" I couldn't say anything to placate her, reasoning with a drunk girl is like, well, reasoning with a drunk girl. No matter what I said, she didn't want to hear it and it's hard to bartend when you have a upset patron making a big deal out of it. Fortunately she and her friends left and of course i'm THE BAD GUY. Another reason why it sucks working the night shift on days like this.

3. Overcapacity stinks. Like I wrote I got into the bar and it was rockin'. 30 minutes into bartending, the fire marshall walks in, says we are overcapacity (we were by about 20 people), and makes everyone leave. Everyone has to leave their drinks, go back outside, wait in line again and then we have to recount off our capacity limit. Oh, and the bar pays $2,500 in fines. That totally sucked for various reasons, but really hurt me, as a bartender, from making more money.

4. The bar is there to make money, and people didn't understand why we charged $3 for bottled water. The issue is simple - we had people at the bar, last year, who would sit at the bar and just drink alcohol all day, and then switch to just drinking water all night. There would be a line outside and people sipping on water inside. Sorry, this is America, the land of capitalism. We have to charge for bottled water and I had a few customers who didn't understand why I couldn't just give them tap water. I just follow the rules, people.

5. I think everyone at the bar, aside from Ms. Hellcat, were well behaved and great tippers. I was shocked how many responsible people were out yesterday. Sure, people were loud and crazy, but most people I saw on Saturday night from behind the bar were just having a good time and a pleasure to serve.

Posted by Furey at March 2, 2008 2:25 AM

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