by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
July 31, 2005
CONFESSIONS OF A BARTENDER
SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Dear Patrons: This letter is a little late in coming. About 12 years too late.
And for that, I apologize.
In fact, I need to apologize for a lot of things.
When I was your bartender at that little bar in northern Indiana, there were things I said and did, or things I didn't say or do, that I should apologize for.
First, I'm sorry for not being a smoker. I know that's a strange thing to apologize for, but when you're -- literally -- the only non-smoker in an entire building full of half-drunk smokers, you tend to make people feel self-conscious. So I apologize if I made all 20 or 30 of you feel uncomfortable by being concerned about my lungs and my overall health. I also apologize for any second-hand smoke lawsuits that show up at your house in the coming years.
I'm also sorry I called all of you a bunch of cheap, non-tipping tightwads. A couple of you were actually quite generous. But to the rest of you, I'm sorry I didn't make it clear that this was how I made my living, or that I had a new family to support. I'm also sorry I didn't try to better understand why you tipped our female bartender twice as much as you tipped me. So when I pull my BMW into your filling station and don't tip you for pumping my gas, I hope you'll understand.
Burt, I especially hope that you accept my apologies. You told someone that you didn't tip me because I was a guy and you were afraid people would think you were gay. In retrospect, signing you up for subscriptions to "Out" and "Hot Young Men" magazines to your workplace was probably a little harsh. So was telling your co-workers you were seen frequenting a well-known gay club.
Eddie, I'm sorry I yelled at you when I threw you out of the bar when you called your mistress the "b-word." You didn't speak to me for two weeks afterward, so obviously your feelings were hurt. At least that's what your wife said when I explained the situation to her. The entire situation.
For you Bud drinkers, I'm sorry I served you Bud Light when we ran out of Budweiser one night. I'm especially sorry that I never pointed out the switch to you, especially since you never caught the error. I also feel very badly that I continued to serve you Bud Light to see if you would ever catch on.
The fact that none of you did was no excuse for my continued experiment. You asked for Bud, you paid for Bud. The fact that you couldn't tell the difference between it and a glass of water is no reason to perpetuate a four month hoax.
I also apologize for wanting to leave each night at 1:00 am. I know you were having a good time, and that it was wrong of me to want to do selfish things, like catching some sleep before I went to my substitute teaching job the following day. I realize you had your own jobs, but if your bosses don't mind you showing up half-drunk on three hours of sleep, who am I to call them and tell them?
Abby, I'm sorry I called you a poor excuse of a boss behind your back several times a day. It was uncalled for. The fact that everyone thought you were a nagging shrew is no excuse to even think such a thing, let alone tell anyone who would care to listen.
In addition, I'm also sorry I poured a little extra alcohol for my favorite customers. I should never have let their friendliness and tipping generosity influence the fact that they were getting more than you wanted me to pour. If you tell me to short all the drinks after a certain time of night, who am I to expect that we treat our customers fairly? This was a frequent discussion I had with many of them, which may have been the reason most of them started going to the bar down the street instead. But I'm not a mind reader, so I can't actually be sure.
So, let me summarize by saying I apologize to each and every one of you. To make it up to you, I should probably work a free shift at the bar and buy drinks for everyone. No, really, it's Budweiser this time. Would I lie about that?