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Do bartenders really hear alot of peoples problems?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by emu!, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. emu!

    emu! Poster Extraordinaire

    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?
     
  2. jjkrause84

    jjkrause84 Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 28, 2009
    London, England
    Stereotype. In years of bar work I never had the Hollywood bartender experience (in any of the good OR bad ways).
     
  3. Rich_S

    Rich_S Friend of Leo's

    Dec 29, 2006
    Potsdam, NY
    For a brief, long-ago period of my life, the bartender (maid) WAS my problem.
     
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  5. shovelrider

    shovelrider Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 2, 2013
    Chicago
    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: Sep 4, 2013
  6. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity

    Feb 12, 2011
    Around
    Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives... and to the "good life", whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.”
    ― Hunter S. Thompson,
     
  7. Jupiter

    Jupiter Doctor of Teleocity

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    Why would you tell your problems to a bartender? You've got us.
     
  8. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    Please taking a spelling class first. Unless the novel was wrong to begin with. :lol:
     
  9. shovelrider

    shovelrider Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 2, 2013
    Chicago
    Oh no a typo. Please don't turn me in! :oops:
     
  10. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 26, 2003
    The North Coast
    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.:D
     
  11. SamClemons

    SamClemons Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 23, 2011
    Jasper, TN
    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.
     
  12. soulman969

    soulman969 Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO
    Happened all the time when I tended bar but you heard a lot of good time stories too so it balances out.
     
  13. Chud

    Chud Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 30, 2010
    New York City
    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.
     
  14. 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.
     
  15. purpletele

    purpletele Friend of Leo's

    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.
     
  16. maryjane

    maryjane Tele-Afflicted

    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".
     
  17. Big John Studd

    Big John Studd Friend of Leo's

    Sep 18, 2010
    DC
    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.
     
  18. sir humphrey

    sir humphrey Friend of Leo's

    May 3, 2011
    Bristol
    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!
     
  19. wow. well, nanny, it isn't a spelling error, it is a homonym error.

    some people's kids!
     
  20. Solrac Kai

    Solrac Kai Tele-Meister

    378
    Dec 14, 2011
    california
    Bartenders have been some of my favorite people. Cheers!
     
  21. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied

    Jun 21, 2011
    Bakersfield
    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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