Bartenders have to see humanity at its worst. They see us drunk, vomiting, passed out, and/or fighting with our friends. Truly, they are the silent witnesses to some of the worst moments of our lives. Not only that, they then have to deal with the gross stuff drunk people do. The bodily fluids, oh the bodily fluids! Bartenders also have to deal with people being absolute jerks. Not tipping well, treating them poorly, people throwing things at them, the list goes on.
But know that for every act of evil we inflict upon bartenders, they pay us back tenfold. Here are stories of the wildest, rudest, and most disgusting bar customers of all time, mixed with stories about the crazy ways bartenders get their revenge for good measure. Good cocktails are all about balancing their ingredients, after all.
23. Secret Ingredient
A club bartender had been stiffed and ordered around by this guy all night. The next drink he ordered, the bartender said he had to go get some limes, but instead he walked to a corner of the bar where nobody could see either side of him, unzipped his pants, and put his privates in the guy’s vodka tonic. He brought it back to him, and the guy chugged it. He might have chugged a couple of things that night.
22. Shove It.
One crazy bartender stuck the neck of a $1,000 bottle of Cognac up where the sun doesn’t shine on his last day. Proof that sometimes the biggest jerks have the most expensive taste.
21. Drink Before Dating
I once had a guy who came in already completely drunk. He stood up to greet his date, tripped over a bar stool, and face-planted. He just laid on the floor without moving or saying anything until she left.
20. Table Service
I was working at a nice restaurant in the French Quarter in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. I go back to a table and the girl is performing sexual acts with her date right then and there. She’s not even hiding under the tablecloth like in the movies. Bonus: This restaurant has floor to ceiling windows facing the street.
19. My Boyfriend’s Back
There’s this dude who always comes in who sold some crummy tech company Mark Cuban-style for a lot of money during one of the bubbles and talks about all his Teslas and crap, and how he could own this bar, and buy this and that. Literally, whenever he’s out at some Ted Talk or golfing with Marissa Mayer or whatever they do, I have sex with his girlfriend. Anyway, whenever he’s in, I always send them over shots and toast “to the things you’ll learn tomorrow,” which he thinks is some Zen bull, but I actually literally mean finding out that I’m having sex with his girlfriend.
18. Watch Your Mouth
One of the years that I actually had to work on St. Patrick’s Day, a guy came in, jacked up on steroids, alcohol, and tiger blood, wearing bead necklaces and a tight green shirt. His buddy ordered Irish Car Bombs while he took a phone call. I politely informed them that we didn’t do bombs, and I’d need to see some identification before we go much further. Buddy produced an ID, but the roid-monster ignored me until his buddy got his attention. Turns out it had just expired. I told him I couldn’t serve him as a result, and he flipped. He told me to come over here and say it to my face! Then he called me every gay slur in the book and asked me where my bouncer was. The bar just so happened to be occupied by six or eight very wonderful long-term patrons who happened to be gay men. He wasn’t there much longer.
17. Hit Me Twice, Shame on Me
I once punched a guy twice real quick and then had to confront him again. He got cocky, and I puffed up, and he said: “I’m not gonna let you hit me twice.” I said, “I already hit you twice.” And then I hit him again.
I’m trying to think of all the stuff I’ve done. I once convinced a guy he had too much to drink even though he hadn’t, and I wouldn’t let him in the bar because I didn’t like him. I ended up pushing him off our stairs when he still tried to come in.
15. Round for the Staff
Back in the day, I was working this club, and we were always four deep. There was a group of five guys going hard for one of their birthdays. By hard I mean vodka/Red Bulls and Patron shots kind of hard. By the time they got to the bar they had been waiting a while, mostly due to the fact that they kept on waving like jerks. When they got up, one guy threw his credit card at me across the bar and told me to pour them shots and to hurry the heck up. I made eye contact with security, and they came over. I poured 10 shots, five for them, and five for the bar staff. I apologized to them and we all took shots. Then I gave them the bill and ran the credit card that was thrown at me. I decided if they were going to act like jerks, then so was I.
14. Maxed Out
A customer ran my butt all day, and when he signed the card, he left me a dollar tip for a $50 tab. I pre-authorized the guy’s credit card up to the limit knowing he was traveling and knowing it takes a few days to clear a pre-authorization. He earned it.
A couple was in the dining room, and the kitchen dropped the ball on their order. They waited and never ate but got drinks. They complained to the managers and servers, but nothing happened. As they were walking out, they passed the bar. One male bartender thanked them for coming in, unaware of what they went through. The gentleman told the bartender off and started yelling and stormed over to the bar. He was going off for a good minute when the second bartender, who is a female, came up. She looks over at the screaming customer’s date and just says in the sweetest voice, “I am so embarrassed for you. I am so sorry.” You could hear a pin drop. The woman broke out in tears and started to let her date have it… priceless!
12. What a Waste!
My boss kicked a guy out for “wasting ketchup” with his onion rings. She jumped that guy’s butt and told him his parents didn’t raise him right, and to never come back into the bar if he was going to be wasteful. Needless to say, he hasn’t been back.
11. Watch Who You Mess With
Don’t go to strip clubs and make your cocktail waitress or bartender angry. They will take your money and maybe put a half ounce of liquor in your drink. That’s if they even put any at all. I’ve met many cocktail waitresses, and if you don’t tip even on one round they will tell the bartender to pour vodka into your straw to make it taste like alcohol, but not really put any in your drink. Strip clubs are soulless places.
10. Locked in
My college town was home to one of the most dive-y bars I’ve ever been to. It was also the only place in the zip code that served hard liquor after 10 PM, so it was reliably packed and never had any incentive to improve. My job there basically involved coming in the morning after big party nights and cleaning the bathrooms. In general, it wasn’t too bad—you desensitize yourself to most of the common smells pretty quickly—but I had a real “wow, forget you” moment when one aggressive imbiber threw up all over the place and then Houdini’d their way out of the stall, leaving the door locked from the inside. I had no way to get in, and wasn’t about to slide through a puddle of vomit, so I left it. Then I got fired.
9. Caught with Your Pants Down
At my first bar job ever—I was 16, hostessing and promoting for a venue in NYC—a girl passed out with her pants down, and since I was the only girl on staff, I had to go in and pull them up for her.
8. Two Girls To-Go Cups
I’ve found poop on the seat (how do you even do that?) and one time, after a private event, I opened the closet to put stuff away and there were two girls peeing in to-go cups. Seriously? The bathroom was across the hall.
7. Scene From a Horror Movie
One time, I found a pool of blood about a quarter- to a half-inch deep. It spread over the entire floor of the bathroom—like out of a horror film. There was enough blood that the person bleeding would surely need emergency-room treatment. The weird thing was, we had no fights that night, and no one came in or left the bar bleeding. It’s a small bar, so we would have noticed. My boss just raised his eyebrows and said “weird,” then went on closing up the bar. I also once found a dead hamster with a collar on it. No name tag, though.
6. Something on Your Shoe
I went into the bathroom and I realized I had stepped in gum, because with every step I took, I could feel my shoes clinging to the floor. I made my way to the bathroom stall and as I was squatting, I could smell the familiar smell of poop. I inspected the whole bathroom stall—there’s only one stall in there—and eventually, I realize it’s on the bottom of my freaking shoe. It was never gum; it was poop. And this wasn’t dog poop. I have six rescue dogs, so I know exactly what dog poop is like, and this wasn’t it. It was human poop. On my shoe.
So I started freaking out and trying to wash the poop off my shoe without touching it, but the poop was literally stuck like gum and it wouldn’t come off. Eventually, I left the bathroom and I see TWO LOGS OF POOP ON THE FLOOR. They were so discreetly pooped out, in the corner of the bar, where you’d never guess that anything was there. Horrified, I went to my friends, screaming, “I stepped in human poop! I stepped in human poop!” One of the bartenders realized it was this drunk guy, knocked out, who had pooped on the floor. She called the police and they came to pick him up.
I had to throw that freaking shoe away. And I couldn’t just wear one shoe, so I threw the other away and spent the whole night just wearing my socks.
5. Stalker Material
I found six different napkins taped to the wall of a toilet stall with beautifully intricate sketches of girls who were in the bar that night and poems to them that bordered on the mentally insane.
4. The Proposal
A guy asked me to help him propose to his girlfriend. He gives me the ring and tells me to put it on top of her drink. I bring the drink out and she has the “What the heck?” look when he drops on his knee. She throws the drink at the poor guy and runs out of the bar. Turns out, it was their second date.
3. Garbage Shots
I once worked at a bar with such a specific brand of cruelty that we named acts of evil like football plays. The Matt (or Mat) Damon was what we served to scuzzbucket customers who came in at last call wanting elaborate shots for him and his bros. You know those black mats that sit on top of bars and collect liquid and other various matter throughout the night? Well, why would we dump all of that precious goodness at the end of the night when so many bros need such elaborate shots?
2. Here’s a Tip
This bartender I knew in Westlake Village had this married couple come in all the time. The guy was loaded, and his wife was always decked out. You could tell she was way out of his league, but he had money. He was the kind of guest who would always berate waitstaff and tip like garbage. So, one day towards the end of the night, he closed his bill and said to the bartender in front of everyone, “I got a tip for you: get a real job.” The bartender replied with, “I got a tip for you. Pull your wife’s hair during sex. I did it to her last week when you were out of town and she loved it.”
The wife just kept saying “I am sorry” over and over again.
1. No Service
A guy at the end of the bar was pretty tipsy. He was talking a lot of smack and threw his glass at the bartender. The bartender turned up the lights and turned off the music. He stood on the bar and said, “Unless someone kicks this guy’s butt, I am not serving a drink.” Within a matter of seconds, the butt-whooping of a lifetime started. He was then dragged outside. The lights got lowered, the music came back on, and a round of Jager was ordered for the bar.
God bless Wisconsin.