Culture

The 20 Worst Things About Being A Bartender 

Casey Cavanagh
Updated June 14, 2019 3k votes 381 voters 43.9k views 20 items

If you need a job that brings in some quick cash on a weekly basis, bartending is a great choice. But there are some downsides to being a bartender that can make loving every second of your job nearly impossible. After all, it is not every job that the majority of people you have to deal with are consuming copious amounts of alcohol and, therefore, making clear, concise communication rather difficult. 

While not all nights are bad, there are a number of things that most bartenders, or anyone who has worked in the hospitality industry for that matter, can relate to. If you don't tend bar, it will probably be useful for you to keep these things in mind, so you know how to NOT behave if you want to get on the staff's good side next time you are out on the weekend.

Below are some of the worst things about bartending and bartender horror stories. Which do you hate the most?
1
Dealing With Incoherent People
Dealing With Incoherent ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 20 Worst Things About Being A Bartender
Photo:  Doug Bowman/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
No matter what your profession is, you are bound to deal with an unhappy customer from time to time. It is just a part of life. But these unhappy customers are a lot harder to deal with when they are eight drinks deep.
Is this the worst?
2
Friends Expecting Free Drinks
Friends Expecting Free D... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 20 Worst Things About Being A Bartender
Photo:  JoeInQueens/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
Of course it's okay to slip them a beer here and there. But for them to expect you to do it on a regular basis is pretty unfair. Your boss wasn't born yesterday. And, even if he or she was oblivious to your generous ways, you're there to make money!
Is this the worst?
3
People Reaching Over The Bar To Get Something
People Reaching Over The... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 20 Worst Things About Being A Bartender
Photo:  Bernt Rostad/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
This is not a free for all! I don't come into your office and help myself to your paperclips, do I?!
Is this the worst?
4
People Snapping At You/Waving Money
People Snapping At You/W... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 20 Worst Things About Being A Bartender
Photo:  frankieleon/Flickr/CC BY 2.0
I know how to do my job. I see you standing there, and I know you have been patiently waiting for a few minutes, but snapping at me like I am an animal or waving money at me like you are the only one in here willing to pay for your drinks isn't going to entice me to get to you any sooner.
Is this the worst?