I hope Evernote never has a security breach. If so, I’ll probably be blacklisted by half the service industry in Fort Worth. While writing this column, I prevent the Hawthorne Effect caused by oldschool record keeping and type my notes into my phone. I’ve dropped into more than 60 different locations over the last year, which is as cool and exhausting as it sounds. Scanning back through my notes, they sound like love letters or a burn book, depending on the day. But without naming names, I cherry-picked a few highlights from times I got pissed off faster than Applebee’s $1 margaritas will give you heartburn. 

“It’s raining on my head, but I’m not on the patio.” There I am, sipping a crappy mimosa, and your air conditioner decides to dump its dirty water contents on my head and open glass. If you’re a server, perhaps you offer to grab a bar towel and a new drink instead of saying, “Oh, it’s condensation from the A/C unit filtered through the roof tiles. Happens all the time.” Then why, pray tell, did you seat me here? I’m not a houseplant. 

“Needs a psychoanalyst and medication.” I must have a face that makes people want to serve me up a sidecar of super-personal information the minute they meet me. I’m sorry my vodka-cranberry order triggered emotions about a raging urinary tract infection caused by shagging the bassist of *Fake Band Name. Yes, that sounds miserable. Can I have my drink now? *Band names have been changed throughout to protect myself. 


“Three Coors Lights = $82.” The only person that goes on my tab is me, unless I laser focus into your eyes and say, “I’m buying this round.” Some people are notorious for leeching onto other people’s bar bills. “That redheaded chick that left said you’ve got this one!” doesn’t cut it. That’s theft by her and attempted thievery by you for buying into bullshit.  

“I’m super[hyphen]hungover. Can you just serve yourself?” Don’t be the strung-out dude who showed up for work at the bar nearly dead and handed a perfect stranger the keys to the kingdom in trade for a nap – especially a stranger who likes expensive scotch. Sadly, my sense of honor outweighed the urge to teach this drink slinger a very pricey lesson.

“Just swipe right for online dating fiascos.” If you are a bartender using the internet to find a series of hookup-and -dumps in a short period of time, do not mention where and when you are working happy hour. They will stop by to “say hi” all at the same time. Drinks will be spilled, and harsh words will be hurled. It’s your duty to provide the innocent bar patron who ends up as collateral damage with a shot on the house, but skip the awkward conciliatory hug and hitting on her afterward.

Lastly, covering so many situations of racism, sexism, and ageism I’ve witnessed in the last year, “Your job doesn’t give you license -to be a discriminatory jerk.” Full stop.

Truly, I try very hard to not judge a place if I have a bad experience with a singular person. When pieces of a story hit the cutting room floor, it’s usually because I don’t want to get anyone canned for having an off day. Or possibly, I’m just terrified of any retribution articles because, let’s face it, I’m not perfect either.