Things You Didn't Know About Bartending

I only used this picture to trick you into reading this post. Thanks.
I am a man of experiences. I want to try everything that is possible in life, which is an unattainable goal, but worthy of pursuit. I don't think my mother feels that way, but that is something I save for my conversations with my therapist. Speaking of whom, I have not returned his calls in weeks. What he helps me see in the depths of my soul scares me. And I like to run away from my feelings. Plus, it always alarms me when I answer a question and he says, "I don't know who blackened your soul a long time ago, but may God have mercy on it."

I may be wrong, but I feel that statement is counterproductive.

Anyhow, the latest experience of mine may sound ridiculous. Especially for someone that is as accomplished as I am. Hell, I am a former 3rd place science fair finisher in 5th grade, for Pete's sake!!! Not many eclectic guys built like I am anymore. So, I'll just come clean, I have ALWAYS wanted to bartend. Ever since I discovered that alcohol lowers people's standards, I have been the bell of the ball! Which probably explains why I sleep throughout the day, so that I can thrive at night, when personality and intellect matter very little.

For the past few months, I have been bartending. I feel like this is a dream come true. Of course this is not something I openly broadcast, as the type of girl I want to date would probably not be impressed with this kind of occupation. In fact, she would probably think I was a loser, which is already debatable. Really, the only girls who are impressed with a guy who is a bartender are under 25 years old, struggling artists, or raging alcoholics. While I started doing this "for fun," I have to admit that the added cash is nice. Unfortunately, the owner has been scheduling me Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, which, for anyone who knows me, are my prime drinking nights. I, literally, go out every single one of these nights – I have perfect attendance – and wake up in the mornings with no recollection of where or who I am. It's my favorite thing to do. Now I have to go out Sunday through Wednesday nights, which is like the skank shift for girls without jobs.

I really am having a blast bartending though - and the extra money is helping bootstrap my startup, Girls On a Map. Like I said, I am a man of experiences and I have been savoring every newfound revelation. Here are some of my favorite moments, experiences, and observations:

- The first time I served a drink to someone and didn't take a drink myself, I just about burst out giggling. (Yes, giggling is what happens when you try and suppress outright laughter.) While I love throwing parties and being a host, I can't remember one time where I made a guest a drink and didn't have one for myself. I'll cherish the memory forever.

- Now that I'm not the drunkest person in a bar each night, I am able to observe the come-on techniques of guys. And it's left me wondering, "do I do that?!!? Surely my 'game' is much better...." In one instance, there was this guy who was standing at the bar ordering a drink next to a moderately intoxicated female. She was receptive, but not "all-the-way" receptive yet. You know that scene in Hitch, where Will Smith tells Kevin James that he should only lean in 90% for a kiss and let the girl come the other 10%? This guy, after like two minutes, goes in about 110% while the girl is about -20%. So he takes a short reprieve, and I glance back at them, and he's now about 120%, while she's -25%. The gap is closing! Finally, he places his hand behind her head so that she can no longer go back into the negatives and... it works!!! They're full-on making out!!! It was at that moment I thought, "well I'll be darned, is that how it works out for me as well?"

- Interestingly enough, even though I have more girls flirting with me than ever, I would say I'm more celibate than at any time in my life – including ages 5 to 12, which comes in a close second. Working on weekends really depletes the options I have each week, because, of course, I only like to meet girls at bars - where you know they have a solid head on their shoulders and good family values. I just don't like meeting girls at MY bar. I don't like the feeling that they may only be flirting to get something out of me – like a free drink or an extra lime wedge. I like to earn the affection of females through my own merits. That's why I always like to give off the feeling that I am poor, so I know no one is out for my riches. Just last month I made $27 in royalty payments on my book. That's a two-figure paycheck. That kind of cheddar really makes you question the intentions of everyone around you.

- In fact, I find drunk girls that flirt with me while I'm working rather repulsive. Maybe it's the fact that I've seen them go home with guys that bothers me. It's not like I assume girls I'm with have never been with guys before, but I don't ever witness it in action. Besides, I always thought the male bartenders who had a hoard of girls waiting for them at the end of the bar were sleazy and pathetic. Not because they were sleeping with customers, but because they just looked sleazy and pathetic. You know who I'm talking about. Those greasy, cocksure bartenders, whose best thing they have going for them is that they're a bartender - and they hang their hat on it. I don't ever want to be that guy. I yuck it up with both girls and guys equally and humbly. And I will only sleep with either for the right amount of cash tip.

- I'm embarrassed to say that I used to order Amaretto and Midori Sours at the bars when I first turned 21. I honestly cringe at the thought now and it explains a lot of the looks I received, which I had mistaken for looks of intrigue. Little did I know that they were looks of, "what a b*tch." I blame my college roommate, Marcie, for sending me down this misguided initial path. Now I only order alcohol straight up and on the rocks, because I'm on a new misguided notion that it might put hair on my chest (or on my face) – no luck yet. But, if you're over 22 and order a drink with more than two ingredients in it after 11pm at a dance club, I will assume you're a virgin. On Thursday evenings, I get a lot of young kids who order Adios Motherf*ckers (AMFs) all night and don't tip me at all. I want to kill these kids. Especially the ones who ask me my name and then use it later to get my attention, as if exchanging name pleasantries without tipping me is A-OK in my book. I now tip about $5 a drink when I go out and I feel good about it. I like to give the bartenders that look, like "hey, I'm in the fraternity now. We should have a potluck dinner at my house or play Words With Friends sometime."

Okay, well, I have way more thoughts than these, but I'll save them for another time. Or, bury them deep in my blackened soul. Remember, tip your bartender. That statement should be made repeatedly to the oblivious, along with other simple things that people should do, like: "slow drivers stay out of the left-hand lane," "re-rack your weights," and "always pay attention to expiration dates." That last one is the worst! Who knew those numbers carried significance?!?!

Kevin L
The Silicon Valley Bartender

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  1. Where do you bartend?

  2. Redwood Underground Pub! Come in and see me. If you've ever seen the movie, Cocktail, I'm about 800 levels below Tom Cruise. But I'm really good at putting ice in a cup.


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