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Old September 4th, 2013, 10:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Do bartenders really hear alot of peoples problems?

Or, is this just a stereotype situation? I have never been a bartender, but I have visited many bars...and I never have told my problems to the bartender.

Any bartenders here to verify?

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Old September 4th, 2013, 10:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Stereotype. In years of bar work I never had the Hollywood bartender experience (in any of the good OR bad ways).
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Old September 4th, 2013, 10:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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For a brief, long-ago period of my life, the bartender (maid) WAS my problem.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 10:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by emu! View Post
Or, is this just a stereotype situation? I have never been a bartender, but I have visited many bars...and I never have told my problems to the bartender.

Any bartenders here to verify?
As a former bartender for many years in the city of Chicago, I can tell you that it is absolutely true.

Not only speaking of problems but also anything else you could imagine. I would have people tell me about crimes committed, marriage infidelity, confidential corporate information, everything imaginable really. This was from all walks of life, not just drunks or barflies.

There are a lot of people be it young, old, rich or poor that spend a lot of time in bars that feel a kinship towards their bartender. A lot of people romanticize the position, and will open up completely after a shot of liquid courage. With the stories I have heard, characters I have met and unbelievable experiences I've had as a bartender, I could write a novel.

Edited to fix a typo that Middleman so graciously pointed out.

Last edited by shovelrider; September 4th, 2013 at 11:29 AM.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 11:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Old September 4th, 2013, 11:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Why would you tell your problems to a bartender? You've got us.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 11:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I could right a novel.
Please taking a spelling class first. Unless the novel was wrong to begin with.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 11:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Please taking a spelling class first. Unless the novel was wrong to begin with.
Oh no a typo. Please don't turn me in!
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Old September 4th, 2013, 11:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelrider View Post
As a former bartender for many years in the city of Chicago, I can tell you that it is absolutely true.

Not only speaking of problems but also anything else you could imagine. I would have people tell me about crimes committed, marriage infidelity, confidential corporate information, everything imaginable really. This was from all walks of life, not just drunks or barflies.

There are a lot of people be it young, old, rich or poor that spend a lot of time in bars that feel a kinship towards their bartender. A lot of people romanticize the position, and will open up completely after a shot of liquid courage. With the stories I have heard, characters I have met and unbelievable experiences I've had as a bartender, I could write a novel.

Edited to fix a typo that Middleman so graciously pointed out.
Yep. People will tell you anything, and everything. I have no idea why people think a bartender is a free therapist, but they do. I only did it a short while. Short stints in Iowa and Wisconsin, then about a year in New Mexico, but I heard it ALL. For some reason there are people in this world who think if you're on the other side of the bar, they can tell you ANYTHING in complete confidence. If I were an unscrupulous character, I could have had a really good time with all of the dirt I had on the citizens of those small towns. Lucky for them, I'm a nice guy.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 12:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Not a lot, but even as a land surveyor, I have had a lot of confidential stories and intimate conversations with people. I think folks like to open up to a stranger once you break the ice with them. Probably just as thereputic as spilling your guts to a psychiatrist or at a confessional with a priest. A bit more dangerous.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 12:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Happened all the time when I tended bar but you heard a lot of good time stories too so it balances out.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 12:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've definitely heard my share of stories that I had no desire to hear, and given my fair share of armchair advice to folks at my bar. It really depends on the bar you're working at and the level of interaction with the crowd. The last bar I worked at was just way too busy all night and too loud to afford that level of interaction. Eye contact was made strictly for the purpose of getting an order from someone and then you had to move on.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 12:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I was trained in a profession that involves a lot of having to listen to people tell stories.

The first thing to know is, the stuff the person may be telling you doesn't need to be true. A lot of it is just pathological lying, fantastic made up nonsense. For those worrying that you're being burdened with confidential information, possible crimes: Please consider the possibility your chain is being pulled.

A lot of peoples' problems are just made up bullschidt. People are practicing their lying skills on you.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 12:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It's not just bar tending.

Any occupation where the public gets to have any face to face time with you draws this sort of thing. Some people need as much attention as they can get. If you're stuck somewhere where your ear as open, then you gt to be the victim. Sometimes you're lucky and it's a nice experience and you meet some cool people, sometimes you're the toilet in a bad case of verbal diarrhea.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 12:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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i was a "professional" bartender, in a variety of settings for about 12 years.

the stories you hear can be lies, or the same things you'd hear on a softball team.

the only advantages to the job are: great money, if you're in a high volume place;

and lots of "adventurous" women....not a job for older married guys;

but a very good job for a single young man, if it's a busy place.

working in topless bars for four years put quite a bit of money in my pockets and

it was fun having a new "free spirited" girlfriend every week....too often though,

their stories were sad; and it is heart breaking to have to fire a single mother after

she's exhausted all of her chances at work and never seems to "get it together".

once in awhile, you know you're talking to a dangerously unbalanced person, and you

need to be able to finesse the conversation to keep him from "going off".
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Old September 4th, 2013, 01:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I bartended for years in one of the big downtown Atlanta party bars. Looking back on it, I'd say you hear as many personal tragedy stories from the bar/restaurant staff as you do the customers.
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Old September 4th, 2013, 01:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I worked as a barman in the Bigg Market in Newcastle - which is probably the closest to Soddom and Gomorrah you can get in the UK.

I got it all - people's problems, people planning crimes, drunken propositions, threats, fights, armed robbery, protection rackets, you name it. Was an eye-opener for a naive 19-year-old!
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Old September 4th, 2013, 02:01 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Please taking a spelling class first. Unless the novel was wrong to begin with.
wow. well, nanny, it isn't a spelling error, it is a homonym error.

some people's kids!
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Old September 4th, 2013, 02:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Bartenders have been some of my favorite people. Cheers!
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Old September 4th, 2013, 02:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I used to stop off at an Elks Lodge almost everyday after work back in the eighties and have a drink or two and shoot the bull with a guy named Danny who was a school teacher, but loved bar tending. He really didn't need the money he just liked the job.

Another guy an older gentleman also used to come in about the same time, and Danny would have a drink with us, (Danny didn't usually drink with the customers) we'd all buy a round and shoot the bull for a while. One day the guy was talking to me and Danny and he kind of zoned in on talking to me, asked me questions about my financial well being, how I planned on sending my kids to college, did I own my home and a lot or sort of personal things. Since when you join the Elks you are supposed to have your financial house in order, I was reluctant to tell him I lacked 47 dollars having 15 cents.

A couple of days later, I came in and Danny had a somber look on his face I asked what was up and he related that our old drinkin' pal had committed suicide. He left no will, he was pretty well off, and I suppose the state got it all. One day Danny and I got to talking, and both of us realized, the guy who had been asking me all those questions was probably trying to tell me something and I didn't have sense enough to know it. Never know for sure, but we both thought the guy was trying to offer me his estate. I wish I had understood, and above all tried to talk the guy into hanging around, since I really liked him. I guess since I didn't pick up on it, I wasn't supposed to get the estate, but I think I learned the lesson when someone is talking to you, try and pay attention.
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