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BARTENDER’S TIPS #2 “The customer is always right…especially when they are wrong.”

March 15, 2020 1 comment

“The customer is always right,” is truly one of the requisite cliches of any and all forms of customer service.

“And we’ll be right back to the NorthGarden where the Celtics are leading the Cleveland Cavaliers 72-61, after this word from our sponsor.”

“Hey, you know Kevin Love is the son of one of the Beach Boys.  Someone said that his uncle played in the NBA.  You know everything about basketball..,”

“Well, I don’t know everything but Love’s uncle played for the Baltimore Bullets..,”

“Huh?”

“The Baltimore Bullets became the Capitol Bullets, who became the Washington Bullets and are now the Washington Wizards.”

“How did that happen?”

“Well the NBA thought that ‘Bullets’ was too violent so they changed..,”

“And now they are named after the Klan!?”

“Well..but… yeah, Kevin Love is the son of Mike Love of the Beach Boys.”

https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Kevin_Love

Actually Kevin Love is the nephew of Mike Love of the Beach boys and the son of ex NBA player Stan Love…but let’s just move on.

“The customer is always right,”…

As an adult beverage distribution engineer my experience is that customers often offer this bromide to evade payment, leave with cocktails and initiate conflicts with security staff.

There ARE some things that aren’t right, refusing to pay for a drink is actually the crime of “defrauding an innkeeper,”

Section 12C. (a) An innkeeper may refuse to admit or refuse service or accommodation in the hotel to a person who: while on the premises of the hotel acts in an obviously intoxicated or disorderly manner, destroys or threatens to destroy hotel property, or causes or threatens to cause a public disturbance, or refuses or is unable to pay for the accommodations or services.

I will spare you, gentle reader, further links to MA law.

“The customer is always right …especially when they are wrong!”

In 1985 I was tending bar at Our House East under the supervision of Henry Vara III.  I had already worked at Our House(West), Cornwalls and Narcissus so I was well versed in the policies and folklore of Kenmore Management as headed by Henry Vara Jr; indeed, this was one of the reasons I was hired.

Board games, in this pre-smartphone era were offered in many of the pubs of 1985, Cornwalls among them.  Trivial Pursuit was the best of these for bar sales as Trivial Pursuit tended to prompt interaction among the players who often invited the bartender to join in.

It was a warm Monday spring evening without the blessing of Monday Night Football, a thing at the time.

I was trying to keep my guests at the bar so passers by would see folks at the bar and wander in without feeling a tad of guilt about entering an empty Our House East.

So I hauled out Trivial Pursuit and performed a cursory examination of the contents to make sure there were sufficient cards so that all 3 of us could play.

I timed my introduction of the game 1/2 way through their 1st. pints of Rolling Rock which was $1.50 a pint at the time.

Obviously, this was a long time ago!

Hey, we’ll play.  Wanna join in?”

“I thought you’d never ask,” I replied with the usual mix of camaraderie and con that characterizes a good deal of bar side bull.

Job #1 was easily accomplished with 2 more beers being ordered and change piling up alongside the board.

These guys were actually pretty good and U.S. History and Movies were strong categories for the 2 of them.  After a while it became apparent that they were pretty good friends who did not have plans that involved anything later in the evening, or for that matter, early the next morning.

However, they were competing with each other and with myself.  I did well in U.S. History and O.K. in Movies but got whipped badly in Television and Fashion when in walked Henry, I always called his son and my supervisor HV 3; the major domo of Our House East.

Unlike many of my co-workers I wasn’t petrified by the presence of my owner.  Indeed, I had been on Henry’s more or less good side since he had witnessed me grabbing money from guests with a degree of intensity that crossed the line into abrupt.

“Hi, Steve G.”

“Hello God.”

A 3rd. round of Rocks were served as the 2 gents broke into an animated conversation about the glory of GILLIGAN’S ISLAND, which I didn’t know much about.

Henry gave a bemused smile to my guests and your narrator and ordered a screwdriver with precisely a 1.25 oz. shot of Vodka City bar liquor and puffed on his cigar.

Obviously, this was a long time ago!

Trivial Pursuit regained my attention once the next 2 categories turned out to be Alcoholic Beverages and Baseball; 2 subjects that were and are close to my heart.

I decided to win.

“A Brandy Alexander is made of..?

“1 part brandy, 1 part white creme de cacao, 1 part milk, shake and strain,” I proclaimed to the slack-jawed gaze of my contestants.

“Who was the very first baseball Rookie of the Year?”

“Jackie Robinson when there was only 1 Rookie of the Year for both leagues,” I yelped.

“How do you remember all of this stuff, Why remember all of this stuff?” one of my opponents asked while staring into the dregs of his Rolling Rock.

“Wanna play again?”

“Nah, that’s O.K;” the more talkative of the 2 said while standing up and pushing an Honest Abe to me.

“How much did you get?” Henry asked with a conspiratorial glint in his eye.

“5 bucks.”

“I would have gotten 10!”

“Huh?”

“I would have thrown the last question and let them win,” Henry said with a devilish grin.

“Huh..but I’m right!”

“THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT…ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE WRONG!”

Henry proclaimed with a vehemence that I didn’t know was part of him.

Henry seemed taken aback by his own intensity.  He put his cigar back into his mouth and chewed upon it reflectively.

“It’s good to be smart but nobody likes a smart ass.

Who do you think you are?

“JOE GENIUS”

I have learned much in the 7600+ bar shifts I have worked but this may be the most important thing I have learned from my most frequent employer.

“Joe Genius” indeed.

 

Patriots Parade, February 5, 2019

February 6, 2019 Leave a comment

“So you’re a Pats fan?”

“Actually I’m more baseball and basketball.”

“What are your favorite sports?”

“Bicycling and lifting weights”

“No, I mean to watch…”

Ugh.

Nothing could have dampened the good cheer of Tuesday’s 1.5 million fans lining Boylston St. for what has come to be almost an annual ritual; the Duck Boats carrying another Boston champion team to be cheered by adoring fans.

However, not to put too fine a point on it but I found the inquiry by my fellow reveler a tad disquieting in that he assumed, always a risky proposition, that “favorite sports,” referred to watching rather than taking part.

Once upon a time I was an awkward chubby, pre-pubescent rooting for the Mets, Jets and Rangers, transfixed by the low definition grays of our trusty General Electric 12″ black and white.

Watching a Mets game before bedtime inspired the next day’s self-hitting 3-on-3 baseball game on the dead end of North Bayles Ave. in the Port Washington, N.Y. of my boyhood.

The time I spent watching was greatly exceeded by the time spent I playing.  I wanted to BE a player.

Today’s fan wants to LOOK like a player as in one of the innumerable Patriots’ jerseys that cloaked the masses along Boylston St.

My fandom inspired activity rather than sloth.

It seems to me to me that we have a classic case of ‘wag the dog’ when watching  comes to mind rather than doing when it comes to all manner of activity and sport.  The soft, bloated bodies of young folks seem to be the mainstream of today. 

This comes in spite of, or maybe because of, the wide availability of sugarless, low fat and vegan products and the easy availability of instruction in all manner of sports and fitness.

Life is doing. 

Fandom is fine as an inspiration and motivation.

What is not so fine is that young folks are more sedentary than folks of earlier generations.

 

 

 

HAIKU 5*7*5* October

October 16, 2015 1 comment

Drunken Pats’ fan heaves

Baseball is the summer game

Browning of the leaves

SUPER BOWL XLIX: New England Patriots 28, Seattle Seahawks 24…passing the test

February 11, 2015 1 comment

Q:  Why did the student wear his Seattle Seahawks N.F.L. gear to his test?

A:  Because he wanted to pass.

Thank you, you’ve been a wonderful audience!

 

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