24 things I learned working in bars

I learned a few life lessons from working in various bars and pubs.  Depending on the venue I was either on the door, behind the bar, doing promo or glass collecting…..

  1. Drunk people are the worst.  They have no verbal filter, they take forever to pay for something and they think they can say whatever they want and you’ll just accept it.  OR they think of you as their therapist and you have to subtly cut them off mid-conversation about how their dog died, the wife left them, they’re about to lose their job…….
  2. People never order Guinness first and then complain that they’re left waiting.  IT HAS TO SETTLE.
  3. Everyone wants their phone charged, they don’t seem to understand that you don’t actually have to do it for them. Who would’ve thought?
  4. There will always be one person who dumps their change into a nice puddle of beer because god forbid they take the time to actually hand you the money.  And if you do the same back to them it’s suddenly disgusting?
  5. There will also be that one girl who keeps her money stuffed in her bra.  Fishing out warm sticky fivers to pay for her vodka red bull and expecting you not to recoil at the sight of it
  6. People actually still think that clicking will get them served quicker.  Bless their hearts, all it does is make them get pushed to the back of the queue, regardless of if someone else has only just walked to the bar, they will now be served first.  
  7. People will still try and sneak past the bouncers when they’ve been kicked out for being too drunk.  I’ve seen someone sneak in through a fire escape and wonder why they were removed again….
  8. Barrels will inevitably run out when it’s the busiest time of night and the bar is three deep
  9. There is nothing more painful than getting to the end of a long shift, mopping the floors and then kicking the bucket of dirty water all over the place.  Nothing.
  10. Acrylic nails are the devils work when it comes to opening cans of red bull or changing a barrel.  I had to ask customers to DIY their jagerbombs many times
  11. People have no shame when it comes to how early they can order a pint, you can open the doors at 10am and they’ll be casually hanging around outside until they see movement and then wander in at 3 minutes past
  12. Students will put literally anything on a card.  Even when it’s £1 a drink, they will buy two drinks and put it on a card.  £1 entry and they will still ask if you take card.  Or they’ll go to the other extreme and hand over a £20 note?
  13. The more drunk someone is, the more proud they are of their entry stamp.  And the more likely it is they’ll want you to stamp their forehead…..it becomes very hard to resist this.
  14. People will dump rubbish in their pint glasses, and it’s your job to fish it out without gagging.  Screwed up tissues, chewing gum, crisp packets, cigarette rubbish, I’ve seen a lot of things in glasses that definitely don’t belong there
  15. You learn to navigate around people and gain a ‘swerve’ meaning you can move in and out of crowds basically undetected, and it’s something that will never leave you.  Your reflexes now mean you can avoid being walked into while carrying 10 glasses at a time on a busy Friday night
  16. There will always be that girl who has bright red or pink lipstick and it is an absolute mission to remove from a glass.  If you’re lucky she’ll stick to one glass all night, but then come closing you get handed a glass caked in pink gunk.
  17. ‘’Days off’’ or ‘’weekends’’ means Monday and Tuesday.  This makes you the anti-social recluse of all your friends who have a 9-5 Monday to Friday job.  
  18. You usually end up joining nights out with friends when everyone’s already wasted and have to play catch up.  It is inevitable that you will then end up the most drunk, in the shortest space of time.
  19. It doesn’t matter how many signs you put up saying ‘’no service here’’ people will always stand there and expect to be served
  20. Accidentally smashing a glass and hearing ‘wheeeeey’’ is almost funny the first time.  Then it just gets annoying
  21. Smashing a glass in the glass washer is one of the most painstakingly long processes.  Switching the washer off, cleaning it out, turning back on, rinsing through, re-washing, filling up again, all while the glasses are piling up next to you
  22. Blue roll is priceless. As is black coffee.
  23. Using the excuse of ‘’I’m just going to bottle up’’ to escape a busy Saturday night bar and take 15 minutes to yourself sat in the coolness of the cellar is used by every member of staff.  Every man for himself.
  24. Emptying the bottle bins into the main recycling at the end of the night is practically workout in itself, followed by the loudest noise known to man.


*stock image*


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