Saturday, 7 January 2017

Blog Challenge: Day 3: How to make bar staff hate you

*disclaimer... this is all tongue in cheek, I really do enjoy my job, and love most people I meet. Most. 

Today's challenge was to discuss my "top five pet peeves."

I seem to have fewer pet peeves as I get older, I think just because I have less time to be annoyed by things other people say or do, or things that are simply part of the world as it is. I spent a while coming up with some and conclude the main two are talking in the library (the place I go to focus on work and not have to deal with people), and being told to calm down (as if I hadn't thought of that).

Then I remembered my job. I work as a barmaid part-time, and like many of my fellow hospitality workers I enter into a furious rage about seemingly insignificant things (or significantly rude people) and then t forget about them as soon as I go home, if not as soon as I serve the next customer. So here are a few of my work pet peeves, and a sure-fire way to become despised as a patron of any pub. If only for a moment.

Of course the main "peeve" any of us have, women especially but by no means exclusively, every day, is the risk of being sexually harrassed. But as that's more than just a lighthearted peeve, and would require more than a few lines, I won't address it here. Moving on...

What not to do when you walk into a pub:

Order your Guinness last.

Now, sometimes this is inevitable because you might not know what you want, or your friend mightn't have decided what they want... and we sypmathise with that. The annoying part usually comes when you've ordered five drinks beforehand, one at a time because you assume my tiny brain can't remember more than one item (or even write it on a till), got confused over your group's kitty or whip while the entire pub waits with bated breath, checked with much prompting that you've ordered the same amount of drinks as people... and then you remember that John at the back hasn't had his Guinness - and he always has a Guinness. You then proceed to tap your foot impatiently, unaware that a proper Guinness should actually take two minutes to pour, and behind a busy bar two minutes feels like ten, and complain a little bit to those behind you in the queue. Don't bother: they hate you and so do we.

Mention the fact that you used to work in a pub.

Literally nobody cares about this. If you do currently work in a pub, that is slightly more relevant but still pretty common - believe it or not, we have met many people who work in pubs. They're usually our colleagues. Mentioning this can be a conversation starter, but eighty per cent of the time will end up with you saying that "this is actually the wrong glass" (it isn't), and that "it works better if you just tilt it a bit more..." (it doesn't). Members of staff have either been there long enough so they know what they are doing, or are still in training - which is not your responsibility, so don't worry about it. Really, don't.

Tell the barmaid to smile.

I've said "barmaid" here because this seems to be an issue women battle with, not exclusively, but a lot more commonly than men. I've had "SMILE" shouted at me in the street as I go about my busines, and I have it shouted at me by customers in my place of work. I definitely get that when you work in hispitality, smiling is a huge part of the job. Nearly every custoner I serve i greeted with a smile as I ask isf I can help them, and I always smile when I hand them their drink or change, too. I think it's important and even when you're tried, a smile costs nothing and customers all deserve to be treated pleasantly and with respect.
HOWEVER. People shout "smile" at me a if they expect me to be doing it all the time, to never stop smiling, to be wnadering around with a big grin on my face, which is frnally quite a frightening thought. Why should i be smiling at the pump as I pour beer, or smiling at the mop as I clean up beer or vomit? I smile at people because I like people - but shouting at me won't help that either.
Next time you see a woman and she has the audacity not to be grinning like an idiot, here is a suggestion: instead of shouting at her to smile, why not make her smile instead? Say something nice, or maybe even smile at her!

Complain to the staff about the prices

As an adult, you should know (especially if you are one of the adults above who "used to work in a pub, actually") that a member of staff on minimum wage probably doesn't have control over the prices of anything on sale at the establishment. Complaining to them about the price is like complaining to them that your train was late - what exactly are we supposed to do about it, and how does it affect us? "It shouldn't be that much," a man once stared at me blankly as he took his three drinks. "What do you mean?" I asked . "It shouldn't be that much," he repeated, helpfully. "It's quite en expensive pub isn't it," I commented, equally helpfully. "It shouldn't be be that much," he said. I was beginning to wonder if he needed his batteries changing. "Well... I could print of the receipt for you." I did so and showed it to him, confirming that - shockingly - he had paid for the exact drinks he'd bought. "But it shouldn't." He repeated. "Oh," I realised as he walked away with the drinks, "you mean morally." Again, I could write to the bigwigs at the gigantic company I am a tiny little part time employee of, telling them that whatever that man's name was believes they are immoral and should charge less... but I probably won't. If you as a customer want to make complaints about that, please do... but to someone a little more senior than me.

Putting your rubbish in your glass

I am actually including this as a public service announcement. It makes sense. I've done it. We all have. On the surface, it is an act of kindness. You'll put all your crisp packets, napkins and other rubbish into one or two glasses which will, in theory, make it easier to tidy the table. It does, until we get to the glass washer and have to reach into a glass and peel out some beer-sodden napkins which may or may not contain chewing gum and cigarette butts. Our hands might even get stuck in the glass. Don't do it. Promise? I used to as well, but it's something that since working in a pub I've vowed never to do again.

If you do want to be helpful, why not wipe off any lipstick instead?

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