Danielle (toodani) wrote in bad_service,

bad bartender

I went to a moderately busy thai/sushi restaurant friday night at around 7:30pm. It was my first time at the place and it was pretty popular so I was excited to be there. The hostess tells me there is about a 25-30 minute wait and gives us (my boyfriend and I) a pager. Then she informs us that the pagers don't work beyond their doors, so we couldn't go stand outside to wait, and there was virtually no lobby, save for a bench behind the bar seats that was already full. While i wandered around looking for the bathroom i noticed two empty bar seats at the edge of the bar and headed over. The space in front of the seats was dirty, glasses, a crumpled cloth napkin, some dirty paper napkins and used silverware, but no plates, no keys, nothing to indicate that the person using those things was still there. I sat down and my boyfriend went off to the bathroom. There were two bartenders behind the bar. This bar probably seats about 10 people, and they also make drinks for the rest of the restaurant.

Now at this point it helps to know that I also work in a restaurant, and I know how bars work. At our place that seats roughly 3-400 people we have three bartenders, one to handle server drinks only, one to handle people seated at the bar only, and one in the middle doing work for both. And we have total, 12 bar seats.

So back at the ranch, I'm watching the thai bartenders, one is mainly serving the left side of the bar, the other is wandering, half serving, half straightening and cleaning and rearranging glasses and bottles and such. Finally I get his attention and ask "excuse me, is anyone still sitting here?" He glances over, says "I don't know" and then gets on the computer.

*blink blink* uhhh. ok. if YOU don't know if your customers are here or not.. wouldn't you at least try to find out? See if their tab is closed at the very least? but i got nothing. At this point my boyfriend has returned from the bathroom so I hop down to take my turn. When I get back there are four women crowded around my chair/end of the bar. I squeeze my way through them and back into my chair to find... a STILL dirty countertop, and the bartneder comes over with four martini glasses... to serve the four women! I asked my boyfriend if he has gotten our drinks yet.. he says no, the guy hasn't even acknowledged him. the ladies giggle and flip their hair around and generally annoy me for another few minutes and then leave. The bartender is now back standing at the computer and calls out to us "are y'all eating here or at a table?" well when I first sat down I had intentions of eating at the bar, but after ten minutes of shitty service i wasn't so sure, so I turned to my boyfriend to discuss it. five seconds later when I turn back.. he now has his back to US, doing who knows what at the other end of the bar. so by this time i'm pissed. When he wanders back down to our end I said "I would like a drink though" I asked for a raspberry martini and my boyfriend orders a beer. the bartender raises his eyebrow at me and says "The raspberry martini is a very strong drink" I've had them at two other restaurants and loved them, so I said "ok" and he says "have you ever had one before?"

I gave my boyfriend a look like "why the hell am I getting the third degree over a damn drink?" and I look back at him and say "not here, but i've had them other--" and before i can even finish my sentence he says "I need your ID". I give it to him and he starts mixing my drink.

unfortunately at this point our pager goes off (yes, we waited 20 minutes for the bartender to acknowledge us AT THE BAR), so I can't stop him from making my drink. I should've told him to just forget it, and make him waste the alcohol and not pay for it.. but alas, we always think of revenge too late. He filled the martini TO THE BRIM. So now here I am... tottering away with my drink like a two year old, because if a mouse sneezes I'll spill it everywhere. And every martini I saw him make was full just like that so it's a trend there, but anyway.. that's my story. HE PISSED ME OFF.

So if you eat in Birmingham in Five Points South, Don't eat at the bar at Surin West! Our waitress was mediocre. She never actually introced herself, just put water in our glasses and took the order, but she was so busy she never had a chance to make a personal touch at the table, that hurts your tip.

Oh, and the martini WAS strong, so strong that I couldnt' take more than three sips. i like martinis, but i want a flavored martini to have.. well.. flavor. The manager worked with me and got me a martini that was more in tune to what I like, but this one was so full that I couldn't drink it either. I was scared of spilling it everywhere and we had somewhere to go afterwards. ugghhh.
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