The last time I was in my hometown in California, we made the obligatory visit to my hometown bar. It’s a British pub located downtown, and although it’s changed a lot over the years, I always make sure I stop in every time I’m home. It’s a solid little hometown pub where everyone knows you, no matter how long it’s been since you were last in. My sister even worked there for a few years when she was in college.
So we stopped in for a beer after a three-hour drive from San Francisco, over the mountains in the rain, et cetera, et cetera. We were jittery and in desperate need of a pint. It was a Sunday, so although there were a few post-game fans in there, the bar was very manageable.
We stood at the bar and waited for the bartender to notice us. Being a bartender myself, I always wait patiently with my order ready and my money organized. So we waited. And waited. And waited. And at about minute ten, my companion leans over to me and whispers, “This guy’s taking forever. Is he drunk?”
He wasn’t drunk. He was shit-faced.
When he finally did make it around our side of the bar at minute fifteen, he glared at us and yelled, “Jesus Chrissss…. whaddya want? Fuuuuhhk…”
“A pint of Stella Artois and a pint of Bass, please.”
He came back with our beers and snarled, “Ten dollars”
I laid a twenty on the bar. “Keep the change.” And we walked off to enjoy our beers as far from our barkeep as possible. Once we were done, we left for another British pub up the street, where the bartenders were professional – and sober.
Now, I’ve been a little inebriated behind the bar once. Once. I didn’t enjoy it. I was tired and would have rather been anywhere but behind the bar. Not to mention the fact that it’s illegal for bartenders to consume any alcohol behind the bar in Oregon. But this kid looked like he’d been doing it for a while, possibly thanks to California’s relaxed server laws.
Folks, I don’t care either way if you’re going to drink behind the bar. But, for the love of all that is holy, if you can’t handle your alcohol, stay sober behind the bar. Not only did this drunken asshole miss out on some good customers and some great cash, he’s going to miss out every time I’m in town.
Come across any drunken bartenders in your town? Leave your stories in the comments below.