28 Things that happen when you work in a Bar – Especially in the Square Mile

1. Lots of men will ask you out. They will misconstrue you talking to them because you work in the bar and are being paid to be nice and serve them, with flirting. This means they will assume you definitely want to go on a date at the end of your shift.

2. A patron will get so pissed that he falls asleep in the bar. You and your colleagues will then balance on him, as many items as you possibly can, without waking him. When you finally get back to work (laughing your heads off) you realise other customers have now taken over your game.

3. A group of city boys bankers will play heads and tails with FIFTY. POUND. NOTES. Wankers bankers eh!

4. So you’ll charge them for doubles and serve them singles – or in the case of Jagerbombs, replace the Jager with Coca Cola and receive not so much as a whisper of realisation.

5. The only plus point to the aforementioned city boys is when they give you one of those crisp fiddies as a tip. At which point you’ll really resent the tip-sharing pot you and your workmates have going.

6. A company card behind the bar = open season. You invite all your mates down to the bar and then charge all their drinks to that company’s tab. The employee signing for the final amount at the end of the night is SO hammered that they fail to notice the twelve pints of Peroni you’ve added on, despite the fact they’ve only been drinking wine themselves.

7. Similarly when totalling their bill at the end of the night you add an insane amount of ‘service charge’ before handing over the card machine. And then exclaim what “A good month for tips” it’s been to all your colleagues.

8. When it’s really busy and people are trying to catch your attention, desperate to be served, you avoid eye contact with them at all costs, instead running up and down the bar acting like you’re SOOOOOOO busy before disappearing out the back to hide in the stock room where you eat chips and do shots with some of the other bartenders.

9. During one of your shifts there will be a bomb scare. A police man will rush into the bar and say with a deadly serious voice “THIS IS NOT A DRILL!” You’ll try not to laugh before realising this really isn’t a drill and then all hell will break loose.

10. During the bomb scare a fellow colleague will inform you of her previous training in terrorist attacks where; ‘they’ (the terrorists) put a pretend bomb at one end to flush everyone out another way where the real bomb is waiting and about to go off – she says this as you are leaving the bar through the designated evacuation exit. You 100% shit your pants.

11. The bomb scare will turn out to be a parked car.

12. You will have clockwork customers that come in at 11.15 for half a pint, 1pm for 2-3 pints, 3.15pm for another half and then 5pm for an absolute skin-full. You wonder how they manage it 5 days a week before remembering that the city is rife with cocaine abuse. You’re also vaguely aware that the company they work for is in fact a boiler room.

13. The boss of this company will be the sleaziest creep you’ve ever met in your life. His long swooshing hair will make you feel sick on a daily basis and he’ll refer to you and the other barmaids as baby (I AM NOT YOUR BABY!!!). You also  hear vile stories about him, Emma the receptionist at a HUGE Scottish bank and his boardroom table and rumours that his personalised number plate reads C4LL M3. You’ll refuse to serve him and beg your manager to bar him.

14. Years later you will read the showbiz section of a tabloid newspaper opened mouthed when you see the same sleaze has bagged himself a billionairess girlfriend. Then you’ll chuckle at the realisation that money does not buy sense.

15. Two drunk customers will try to have sex either in the loo or outside the bar. They’ll both be married and work in accounts and/or IT for some boring corporation. You’ll have to intervene and push them out the door in order to close for the night.

16. Someone will try to tip you with cocaine. They’ll attempt to slip it into your hand when they’re leaving the bar at which point you’ll tell them, you’d really prefer the money and also hand them the number for a Narcotics Anonymous.

17. At Christmas you’ll work insane hours, finishing at 1-2am in the morning and returning to work for 6am the next day. You’ll hate office Christmas parties by the end and vow to change jobs so you never have to witness another drunkard with a tie round his head bellowing Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas ever again.

18. You’ll play groups of city boys off each other – inciting them to spend more of their easily earned and un-deserved cash. One group will send another a couple of magnums of Lanson champagne, at your persuasion,  just to try to prove they’re more loaded. You’ll be the real winner in this situation when you secure that free, all expenses paid trip to Paris, oh, courtesy of Lanson – for selling the most champagne that month.

19. You will open a bottle of Champagne that will explode in your face drenching you from head to toe. You won’t be allowed to go home early, instead you’ll have to finish your shift in some less than desirable chefs clothing.

20. On days when you’re particularly hungry and/or poor (damn that tip-sharing pot!) you’ll purposely put through a double order of chips or sandwiches to the kitchen and loudly exclaim “OH NO, I GUESS WE’LL JUST PUT THEM BEHIND THE BAR FOR STAFF.” Except really you’ll hide them in the stock room and only tell the colleagues you like where they are.

21. While working in the bar you have the fantastic realisation that you can eat as many chips, as much bread and drink as much beer as you god-damn like and not put on a pound of weight. This is because you spend in excess of 10 hours a day on your feet, running around a bar.

22. Every fourth wine glass/fork/spooon/knife that you polish will be licked before it’s put away.

23. Eventually you’ll agree to a date with one of the city boys except what he doesn’t know is that you’ll bring your sister with you too. He’ll end up buying you both dinner at one of the most expensive restaurants in town before breaking down in tears when he realises neither of you are going to sleep with him. To say sorry for crying, he’ll follow-up with another dinner at an equally posh and expensive restaurant. You begin to understand why the credit crunch may have happened with people like him in charge.

24. Sanitizing the customers without their knowledge fast becomes your favourite game. You appear to be cleaning the table but really you’re dowsing their Saville Row suit in cleaning product. The funniest is a spray and duck situation.

25. During one shift a city boy will stroll in without his usual suit attire. When quizzed it will materialise that his loving girlfriend cut all his suits up after he failed to return home from a night out. This will be the 7th time this has happened…that month.

26. Although technically you’re not allowed to drink on shift you find yourself downing shot after shot with the evening’s patrons. When eventually you’re too drunk to work you turn on the crocodile tears, feign some bad boyfriend breakup and convince your manager to send you home early…at which point you head out to another bar and carry on drinking til 6 in the morning.

27. After most Thursday/Friday night shifts you wake up with a makeshift watch drawn on your wrist that only has one time on it…SHOT-O-CLOCK.

28. You finally realise that your destiny doesn’t lie in bar-work so you leave the service industry for a sensible, 9-5 office job. At no point in your new role will you ever have as much fun as you did when you’re a barmaid.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Harry x

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