Bar and restaurant regulars, please don’t break the rules.

The Regulars. To constitute, you have to frequent a bar so often that you become enveloped in the lives of the people in it. You have to know things about the staff, like their names and if they’re married. You have to have stories that start with sentences like, “remember that night when…” You can’t just be on a first date, you can’t be from out of town. Regulars don’t make reservations or ask where the bathrooms are. Most of the time, they don’t even order a drink. The bartender knows their drink, hell, it’s usually already being made when they see them coming in. They are staples of the building, like a bar stool that has a creaky and uneven leg, or some crappy piece of art that hangs from the walls.

Form the staff, we love you, you keep us going when times are slow. More reliable than the sun rising we will see you, and we enjoy seeing you. As long as you don’t break the rules.

These are a few of the rules that the regulars will often times over look.

First and foremost never use the fact that you know my name to your advantage. If I’m busy and you yell my name and say the girl behind you wants a drink, you have broken a rule that common decency says never to break. I get it, you’re trying to look cool to the chick, you’re a local, you know people, maybe she’ll let you take her home. What you’ve just done is not only attempt to do my job for me (I know who’s next) but you have also just announced my name to the entire bar. When all the drunks know your name, your life behind the bar is living hell.

Second, be comfortable, but never get too comfortable. You’re here every night so you feel like you’re at home. Always remember that no matter how often you frequent somewhere, you’re in public, you are a guest, not a resident. Don’t assume that your favorite stool will always be open, don’t assume that the bartender knows your order. If they do, great, just don’t expect it. Never say the words “I know the owners”. We know them to, they write us a paycheck every two weeks.

Third, don’t tell me to smile, or ask “why aren’t you happy today?” If I’m not in the exact same mood as I was the last time you saw me there could be 1,000 reasons as to why that is. If you say this to me it makes me feel less like a person and more like a clown that you come to see dance.

Forth, be nice to the new people, I know you aren’t used to them but this isn’t a kennel, you don’t need to piss all over the bar to mark your territory. They’re just people working a job, treat them with respect.

Fifth, if usually we have a great relationship but I just got hit by a rush of people and I’m pissed off at you for ordering something blended, muddled, or overly complicated…. come on!

Sixth, please don’t stare at me, that’s a weird one, but I’m a guy and I still have to say it. I can’t imagine what female bartenders have to go through.

I think that’s it, for now, might be more to come. Really, just use common sense. I don’t consider myself a religious man, but I think it’s in the Bible somewhere “treat others as you’d like to be treated.”

Or maybe that was from Bambi.

I don’t remember.

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