15 painful things that only people who work in bars will understand 5 years ago

15 painful things that only people who work in bars will understand

Patrons are rarely right but these are.

I've been lucky enough to have some great jobs over the years but there's one line of work that easily ranks as the busiest, working the bar at music festivals like Glastonbury and Reading.


Much like the people who work in retail, there are certain things that only people who work in a bar will understand.

1) There's drinking and then there's bar staff drinking

I've been around some serious drinkers but people who work in a bar are a law onto themselves because of the hours that they work.

When most people are winding down, bar staff are only starting. God's honest truth, a friend of mine once started his shift at 3pm and ended up hungover on the bench at the local supermarket at 9am while families were doing their shopping.

2) Requests to make strange drinks

It's alarming how little some people know about the pub that they've just entered. If it's an 'old man pub' then it's very unlikely that they serve Mojito's or your favourite latte that has a sprinkle of nutmeg and some wheatgrass.

All bartenders know that this is the exact look on people's faces when you tell them that you don't stock their drink.


3) People holding out their money/clicking their fingers at you to get served

Gremlins of the highest order. These people are the absolute worst and should always get served last.


4) You meet all of the following people


Most patrons are incredibly sound but there are always a few people that are 'unique'.

Likeable old lad

Paper in hand, causes no fuss, talks to everyone but doesn't like it when people take his spot.



Suspicious coke orders

A group of 12 students arrive into your bar and only ask for Cokes. Mmm, wonder what's in their bags?

Naggin Cork

Early morning queuers


These sauce merchants are actually counting down the minutes before the place opens.

Barney Light

Drink nursers

They sit on one pint for the entire evening and refuse to buy another.

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Ticking time-bombs

As soon as you see them, you instantly know that they're just one drink away from doing something stupid.

Del Boy

The lock-in requests from strangers

Yeah, you don't know me so don't ask that.

Pub clamped 1

Whingers, weirdos and winos

I'm certain that most barmen/barmaids have thought to themselves, 'I'm not a psychiatrist. Why the hell are you telling me all of your problems?

Don't Care

Most barmaids can also probably relate to some guys that are drooling all over them.

Rachel Suits

5) The panic when the dishwasher is broken

It's worse than anything else that's imaginable in the pub. So, who's going to pull the short straw and have to physically wash them?

6) Those cheers when a glasses breaks

Yeah a glass broke, it happens everyday. Ugh!


7) People that closely look at their coins when paying

Ah drunk people. I do love when they closely stare at their hands when it's time to actually pay for their drink. It's almost like they're hoping that the €1.27 in the palm of their hand somehow magically turns into a €50 note.

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8) Cleaning up quickly to get to the club

When the bar is just about to close, one member of staff always cleans the place faster than Superman and Mary Poppins combined. Why did they do this? Because they want to make the last 30 mins of the local nightclub and get a drink in.


9) Your bodyclock is all over the place

Have a day-off? It's spent sleeping. Nothing else.


10) Everyone is out when you're working

Bar staff really should have no mates because you're always busy when people want to do something social.

11) Working the floor is like Jurassic Park

You never know what you might see, find or hear in your own pub . Every staff member has their own horror stories and scars when collecting glasses in the lounge.


12) People think you're lazy when you sit down

I hate this one. Have you ever done a busy stretch on your feet and felt almost every inch of your soles killing you while you get those pins and needles down the back of your knees?

There's only one thing that you want, a decent sit down. If you do it behind the bar though then there's always some fecker that thinks you're being lazy and rolls their eyes at you.

rolling eyes

13) People that expect their drinks to be brought over to them

It's an incredibly busy night and yet some people are so lazy/rude/stupid that they're unable to see that you're a barman, not a lounge boy. Carry your own pint.

14) People closely look at you pulling pints as if you've never done if before

Applies mostly to Guinness drinkers.


15) Round toppers

The conversation goes like this:

Patron: "Yeah I'll have two Heineken's, 1 Guinness, a vodka and coke, one G&T...and....wait...what's that Laura..no what do YOU want....no I'll get this one...no put that money away would you....no I'm serious it's my round....no remember last week you bought that sandwich for me....how much was it? 


Despite all of these painful things, there's still nothing better than having the satisfaction of saying these words, 'the bar is closed folks'.

Just don't tell everyone that you were secretly putting shots of vodka into your pint of Mi-Wadi during your shift.