At one time or another, plenty of young people end up slogging away for minimum wage in a pub or bar job. It’s not glamorous work, but someone’s got to pull those pints.
To the innocent pub customer, we’re a jolly bunch of beer-pourers who you can always rely on to laugh at your jokes, dote over your toddler, and put up with your embarrassing drunken antics without batting an eyelid.
But to those in the know, there’s a lot more to working in a bar than your average punter might expect. These are the secret tricks of the trade pub workers don’t want you to know, as told by former pint-pullers.
1. Your cutlery has been polished with oil and vinegar. If your dinner is tasting a little on the vinegar-y side, someone got a little vinegar happy when mixing up the combo.
2. Sometimes we make up prices for drinks or accidentally charge you the wrong amount. To be honest, it’s your own fault for ordering something like a hot toddy/baby Guinness/white Russian on a packed Friday night when we don’t really know how to ring it up on the till. On the plus side, there’s a 50/50 chance you’re getting an unexpected discount.
3. We really, really, really resent the fact that you brought a pack of screaming, messy children into the pub, but chances are you might tip us for the inconvenience so we’re forcing a smile and cooing at little Jimmy while he smears ketchup up the wall.
4. If you’re the sort of person who makes a big deal out of the fact we don’t sell your favourite craft beer, the entire bar staff hates you.
5. There’s not really such a thing as “minimum card spend”. The card machine works whether you spend £2.50 or £10.00, we’re just under strict orders to tell you it’s real. Sorry.
6. If there’s no one at the bar, there’s a possibility we’re secretly sleeping somewhere (the toilets are a popular napping spot) or if it’s really hot, we are most likely standing in one of the huge walk-in fridges.
7. We may have poured ourselves *samples* of the ales, beers and ciders on tap a few times. To help advise customers, obviously. Multiple samples make our advice even better.
8. You might think taking out the bins or clearing glasses were the crap jobs, but nothing beats trying to unload the dishwasher when it’s just finished. Who knew glass could get so HOT?!
9. We are literally only flirting with you on the off chance that you might be kind enough to slip us a tip.
10. We’ll laugh off your seriously cringeworthy drunken antics, but we’ll always remember that time you insisted on hugging every member of staff.
11. We have served you drunk at one time or another. You probably got an unexpected discount.
12. We’ve got pet names for all the regulars, including you. The overweight guy with questionable hygiene? He’s Stinky Ian. There’s also Ten Pints Paul and Creepy Mark… the list goes on.
13. Sometimes, on a really long shift when there’s no time for a break, we might have been known to eat customer leftovers.
14. And we may or may not have snuck a few chips off your plate before we served you, because they just looked so damned good.
15. Your “surprise” shot might not be as fun as you thought it would be. Five minutes before closing time is not the time to expect us to find your kooky orders funny.
16. If you’re pissed as a fart on a regular basis and we think you might cause trouble with that extra double whiskey and coke you just ordered, we might have just served you a coke. You were too hammered to notice anyway.
17. We’d never spit in your drink but we might have been known to under-pour or give you the old, manky looking piece of lemon if we know you’re a total jerk. Moral of the story: be nice to the people in control of your alcohol.