By Jack Elliot
So you’re out at the bar and, being fed up with dating and mingling with the patrons, you decide to turn your eyes to the bartender. He chats you up, you end up having a great time, and next thing you know you guys are dating. I’m sure that many a relationship has started just this way. And as a bartender myself, I’ll admit that every so often a cute girl will try to chat me up behind the bar. But on a completely different note, a while ago I had an experience with one certain female customer that I would rather forget, but for the sake of the dating world and nightlife etiquette, I feel it my duty to inform you, my dear and concerned reader, about my experience with “the stalker.”
It started out innocently enough. Ms. Stalker would come to the bar every so often during happy hour and chat some of the other bartenders and myself up. We never really minded her presence or conversation, and she started to become a regular at the bar. Everything was all well and good, except she would begin to press my nerves by constantly singling me out and trying to hold conversation with me, despite my hands being full, quite literally, with numerous other customers.
As time progressed, this started to become more and more of a problem as Ms. Stalker would be at the bar nearly every night asking me all sorts of questions about myself and making it very clear that she was hitting on me. I made it very clear that I wasn’t interested in her and I’d figure that after awhile she’d finally take the hint, but she just did not seem to get it. At first in denial, what I soon came to realize was that what I had on my hands was a first rate stalker.
Even after being very brief and curt with her on many an occasion, almost to the point of fully shunning her, she still did not seem to get the hint that she was making me incredibly uncomfortable. Eventually, she very, very slowly started to get the hint, and her presence at the bar started to dwindle and eventually she stopped coming altogether (I can only guess that she must have found another bartender to prey on).
Which brings to mind the trade of bartending. Besides just making drinks, bartenders have a unique opportunity to get to know people and their lives. Where better to go and discuss your life and let some steam off than at a bar? And as a bartender, this is one aspect of the job that I greatly enjoy, and I’ve met some very interesting people while working behind the bar. But, it’s also important to keep in mind that while (most) bartenders actually do like to chat and get to know their customers, there is a big difference between being friendly and making conversation on a day to day basis and becoming a beloved “regular” and showing up every day to harass the bartenders when they’re trying to do their jobs. Just remember that it’s just like any other job, and that you probably wouldn’t want strangers coming up to your desk everyday while you’re at work.