A Fond Farewell from your Resident Student Bartender

Tonight is my last Thirsty Thursday, as next week I’ll be on the other side, probably passed out by 11 o’ clock. Nevertheless, I just wanted to take a minute to sum up my time at 202 and recognize the friends I’ve made and what I’ve learned.

I know you. If you think about it, I’m probably the one person that has seen you at your worst most often. I’ve held back your hair, I’ve closed your tab, I’ve held your wallet while you went off to dance on the stage. I’ve seen you through breakups and makeups, make outs and fist fights. But at the end of the day as I prepare for my last Thursday throwing beer at you all, I would like to say it’s been an honor.

We’ve all grown up a lot, whether we want to believe it or not. We’ve done some dumb shit, myself included, but we’re on our way to adulthood. I’ve made so many friends working at 202, but my coworkers have become family. Brook, you’re an amazing mother and Brice will grow up to be an intelligent, funny, and beautiful young lady just like yourself. Sydney, I’m excited to see how 202 and Dojo grows under your management. You’re an amazingly patient and capable boss, and an even better friend. Amanda, you’re ready for bartending. You’ve been trained to take over after me and you are beyond ready. I’m very proud of how you’ve progressed. Issac and the rest of the door guys, thank you for being my sworn protectors for three years and being great at your jobs – and a constant laugh.

Everyone take it easy on the new girls next semester. It’s hard being out there. And for the love of god do not block the hallway.

And then there’s the customers. Some people were just regulars, but some became friends. There are too many to recognize all here, but in particular a big thank you to the girls on the ASA hall of the Weyanoke, my SPE housemates & co., Cristi Mallia & Lauren Maners, Brandon Gross, the crew from Macado’s, the crew from Charley’s, Willie Wood, Chris Cooper, Matt Cochran & co., and so many more.

My heart overflows with love for my job, and love for the people I’ve met behind the bar and on the other side. You are all wonderful people and will go on to do great things. Quite frankly I’m proud of you.

So I’ll see you all tonight. I’ll try not to cry, though it’s likely. It’s been a pleasure. Tip your servers.

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We Have Lives Too

There’s this weird thing about having a job. It’s just a job. You go to it for a certain amount of hours each week, clock in and out, wear a uniform, get paid. But this is something that I’ve found a lot of people at Longwood seem to overlook – we are not our jobs. We’re people.

When we leave the bar, we go home to our apartments and our pets and for some of us our families. We are students and mothers and siblings and spouses, but this is something the majority of the clientele we encounter seems to forget. For instance, bartender Brook has a three month old beautiful baby girl and bartender Jake just got married last week.

This isn’t to say that I expect each of you to find out everything about your server/bouncer/bartender before interacting with them, but there’s some times where it’s nice if you remembered that we’re living breathing individuals not pitcher robots. On Thursday nights when you refuse to leave after last call, you’re making it harder for our waitresses to go home so they can go to their Friday morning classes.

And we can come to the bar, too. And walk to class and go to Wal-Mart and Macado’s and fill up our cars and go to parties on Buffalo Street. Some of the looks I’ve gotten from people on campus that I’ve served you would think I was wearing a feather boa and a headdress on Brock Commons. We dwell among you. Our lives are not reduced to our jobs. They’re a significant part of it, but it’s not all we are.

And that hilarious thing that people do where they ask if they can get a pitcher when you’re off the clock? It’s not funny anymore. We’ve all heard that “joke” ten thousand times. It’s not funny, it’s embarrassing to yourself and us. If we bother to get cute with our friends and go to a party or something, treating us like beer wenches is ridiculously disrespectful and we’ll remember it.

All I ask is that you treat us like you’re peers, because we are. We were Lancers before we were waitresses. We were Farmville citizens before we were bartenders. Our existence stretches beyond the bar.

Other Updates:

  • I’m enjoying bartending. Sorry for those regulars of mine who I threw off. I promise I’m just as wonderful on that side of the bar as I am on the other.
  • Our old bartenders Jim and Nash Osborn are opening a restaurant up where The Tavern was called The Fishin’ Pig. They’ll be open in a month or so, so be sure to go check it out.
  • BIG NEWS Sydney is opening a comic shop near where that weird pet shop is on Main Street called Dojo Comics & Games. They will be opening in the coming months, but keep an eye on the page for updates.
  • The door guys got walkie talkies! I have a feeling they mostly use them to relay messages about which patrons have the shortest skirts on, but it still feels fancy to have them.
  • The new owners of the Weyanoke are making some nice changes to the building. We have a new fence to the right of the patio if you’re standing at the front door, they just trimmed up the free, they’re making some changes to the back parking lot area, and more to come. The bar will be making some changes, too, and sprucing up a little bit.
  • Thursdays so far this semester have been fun. Keep it up.

If You’re Going to Hit on your Waitress…

If it’s one thing that my co-workers and I see a lot of, it’s failed attempts of young men (or not so young men) trying to get our phone numbers, cheesy pick-up lines falling on jaded ears, and passes made that pass the line of appropriate. So if you’re really interested in sincerely making a move on your waitress, here are some tips to ensure you that you maybe have a slight chance.

1. The Pick-Up Line – Really though, does this ever work for anyone? From what I’ve observed, the concept of the pick-up line has evolved from something that used to be seriously used to something that is used ironically or humorously. Regardless of which way you’re using it, it’s still weak. Why? Because we’ve heard them all. Not only do we tote around treys of shooters and wipe beer off the back of our shins, but most of our job is observing how people relate to each other in a bar atmosphere. Therefore, whether they’ve been told to us or not, we’ve heard the majority of all pick-up lines. You think you’ve got one we haven’t heard? Lay it on us, because regardless of how clever or original it is, it will still result in eyes rolling and walking away.

2. The Ass Grab – Generally one thing that all men have in common is that they have mothers, so I find it funny that men still think that grabbing a waitress’s ass is going to get them anywhere. You’re communicating two things when you invade a waitress’s space like that 1) you have absolutely no manners or respect for women, which really just ruins any sliver of potential you had for an actual dating interaction and 2) you see the waitress, the woman, as an object undeserving of personal space or respect. Just as it is a rule for most people in general, don’t put your hands on your waitress. Nothing pisses us off more and it is sure to have its repercussions.

3. The Big Tipper – This is the guy who tips wayyy more than he should in hopes that the waitress will favor him. We are not strippers. We are not prostitutes. We are nice and maybe flirt a little for better tips, yes, but when you tip obviously way more than you should for a couple of Natty pitchers then wink at your waitress, it really just creeps us out and makes us assume that you think we really need money that bad. If you think that being a big tipper is going to impress us and make us attracted to you, you’re wrong. That big tip will be going toward drinks out with our girl friends.

4. “Here’s My Number” – This is really more of a chivalry issue. If you leave your number for a waitress and tell her to call you, she more than likely won’t. Maybe this is sexist and bending toward traditional gender roles, but if you want a girl to call you, ask for her damn number. Don’t make her put in the extra effort. This rule goes beyond just customer and waitress, but if you’re giving a waitress your number, you already know she works probably pretty often so why make her put in the extra effort to call you? Ask politely for her number then maybe, just maybe you have a chance.

5. The Stare Down – This is the creepiest of the creep. If you see a waitress you find attractive don’t just stare at her all night. It’s weird and distracting when we’re trying to get drinks out to people. And if you’re using the fact that it’s weird and distracting in your favor hoping it prompts them to come over and ask you why you’re staring at them, then, well, that’s just weak.

6. “Daaaamn Girl…” – I wish I was your jeans. You should bring that fine ass over here. The things I would do to you. This one should be self-explanatory. In conjunction with The Ass Grab, this is degrading and actually sexual harassment. Sure we may “put up with it”, but that really isn’t an excuse for you to do it. There is literally a 100% chance that you will not get a positive response from this tactic, and if you do, then that girl has bigger problems than just you.

These are just a few ways to make sure you never get a date with a waitress, but it’s not impossible. Be nice, don’t chat her up when she’s working (she’s probably busy), ask if you can help at the end of the night, leave a reasonable tip, don’t cross her boundaries, and ask if she’d like to hang out on a night that she’s free. Because being a gentleman always has and always will go a long way.

Side Note: I start bartending on Thursday. Super exciting for me, but just a heads up if you regulars of mine come looking for me I’ll be back there. I intend to keep up with this blog and twitter account (@wrywaitress), it just may get a little infrequent. Never fear, I’ll still be here. Come out and see me!

Clearing Up Rumors

The bar is not closing.

The Weyanoke has been for sale for six years. There have been several offers and it has yet to be passed off to a new owner so that Mr. Ken Brumfield can finally move to California and write his book. But on December 19th, the building is going up for auction.

For those of you who don’t know, nothing in real estate happens quickly. The Weyanoke is still under a lease from its current owner, and the bar is under lease from it. Ken is our landlord as he is the landlord for the ladies living in the Weyanoke. And like any lease/landlord agreement, that lease would not be broken in the middle of it.

In other words, there is no chance the girls upstairs will be homeless next semester or the bar will no longer exist.

That being said, I’ve been told that all of the highest bidders intend to keep the bar here. There is some 10% that we will close, but that is “very highly unlikely”.

This space is where the bar lives, no matter what name is has, how business is, or who owns the Weyanoke. The bar is save and we are not closing.

“You’re Doing a Great Job. Keep It Up.”

I wasn’t forced into waiting tables. I wasn’t living in poverty or unable to support myself. It wasn’t a last resort. I wanted to be a waitress, therefore I am.

Accepting a job at 202 is signing a consent form for anxiety, stress, and unbelievable irritation with the human race for at least one night out of the week. If you can’t handle it, then you’ve gotta go. We’ve had girls burst into tears in the kitchen cracking under the sheer stress of Thirsty Thursday. The weakest links are eliminated. Once a girl was hired who said that she has anxiety attacks when she’s in a large mass of people. She quit a week later.

Knowing that we are there by choice, I don’t really understand why people, mostly girls, console me on Thursday nights like I’m being water-boarded. Especially when they stop me and rub my back or something like I was just horribly wrong. “Just a couple more hours. You’ve got this.”

It really makes me laugh when people do it now, after I’ve been working there for over two years. And it’s usually the ones who just turned 21 or have never been to the bar.

And then they’re shitty tippers, like consoling me with their pity is going to make up for a 10% tip. I don’t really know how those two things connect in people’s brains as being considered okay.

This is not to say that I completely hate any pity on Thursdays or that I will snap at you. I won’t, I’ll just nod and know that generally it’s in good taste and sincere interest for my well-being. But on the other hand, when someone comes up to you at 10:30 and says, “God you must be miserable. I know this is absolute hell for you guys, but you’ve got this. Be strong.” I have four hours left of this and you just reminded me. That is all I got from what you said.A reminder that this is not ending any time soon.

If a waitress is doing a good job, tip her well and ask for her the next time you come back. We don’t need pity, we don’t need reassurance, we just need appreciation from time to time.

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SPOILER ALERT: They’re potentially promoting me to bartender next semester. We’ll see how I do over break, but chances are good that I’ll be the back bartender come January.

Thursday Night is Bar Night

Tuesday night is bowling. Thursday night is bar night. This is how it has always been. As soon as 10 o’ clock hits you have to elbow your way through the hoards of people, the whole bar filled with hot breath with the bass ringing in your ear. This is how it has always been, so what’s so different about this year?

Numbers are down. We aren’t exactly going to go bankrupt or in any sort of financial trouble, but it’s not as good as it has been in the past. I’m not asking you all to develop alcohol problems and I’m not asking you to spend more money or buy more shots. I’m asking you to walk in the footsteps of your bigs, littles, and alumni by making bar night fun again.

Bar night is where everyone comes together from all the different organizations on campus and has fun together in a low stress environment where they’re somewhat out of their element. There’s no pressure and no expectations.

Honestly I don’t get it. You get in for free, we have good specials, and it’s probably within walking distance of wherever you live. Even if you have classes on Fridays you can leave before it gets too late or before you drink too much.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ll be the first one to complain about elbowing through hoards of people and sweating and getting beer spilled on me on Thursday nights. But without all of that chaos and annoyance of drunk frat boys spilling pitchers all over every surface, jello shots stuck to the wall, and girls crying in the corner because their boyfriend was dancing with someone else, Thursday nights are boring. And Thursday nights should never be boring.

So step your game up, Lancers.

A Fond Farewell to Dr. B: The Man Who Pushed The Wry Waitress

I didn’t want to blog. I hadn’t blogged since freshman year, and I had no real desire or inspiration to do it now. But, I was in Dr. B’s summer session for Computer Mediated Communication and I had to blog.

I had no idea what to do. He told us to look at different aspects of our lives and go from there on a blog idea. I’ve always played it safe with writing about music, movies, and calm editorials about everyday annoyances. But the idea I had for this blog came to me when I wasn’t paying attention, and was just doing what I’ve done three nights a week for over two years – working.

I’d always complained to my roommate and friends about my job and talked to my coworkers about the right and wrong ways to interact with alcohol, our employees, and just bar etiquette in general. So why wouldn’t I start a blog about waitressing?

It wasn’t as easy as I anticipated. Like I said this class was a summer class, so the most of the kids were home for the summer. Farmville was a ghost town. And so, I took this opportunity to write some basic posts about how to act at the bar, what to do and not to do, and some short anecdotes about the summer crowd.

But still, I was struggling.

On one of my first blog posts, Dr. B said the following:

“Wow! This seems like a combination of “high school janitor” (who observes all, and therefore knows all) meets “Fight Club”. We wish 202 and our intrepid heroine all the best. We have wondered what it takes to kill the only bar in a one-bar town. Clearly, the “Thursday only” buisness model does (did) not suffice. I hope that at least some of your young charges realize that life is about relationships, and do not treat you as a reported-headed Pez beer dispenser. In my younger days, I rarely paid cover and rarely waited in lines, because the 1 – 2 places I was a regular, I made sure to take care of the door and bar staff (you know you’re a regular when they have you work the door during the door guy’s dinner break). Other key rules: don’t order a drink with more than 3 words in the title a) if your bartender has visible ink or b) it’s a blues bar. Also, don’t buy wine or cigars where they also sell gasoline. I look forward to more pearls/perils of bar wisdom.”

This made me look at my blog, and quite frankly my job, in a different light. My job is pretty neat, and I enjoy it. It’s interesting and people will want to hear about it. The wait staff at 202 hears all and sees all, and I will always have something to say about the ridiculous things that go on at my job.

And so this is a thank you to Dr. B. Thank you for pushing me to make this thing happen. What has now evolved into not just a blog but also a Twitter, The Wry Waitress is taking off slowly but surely. The blog may not be getting much traffic but the Twitter grows in followers every day. This has become something that I enjoy instead of just a school assignment, and I have Bill Stuart to thank for that. He taught me that you have to be confident with your writing and it will be well-received. I may not be a “blogging superstar” quite yet as Dr. B would call me, but he made me proud of my job and proud of my writing. I will always have him to thank for that, and The Wry Waitress will continue, carrying his words of wisdom in her beer-stained apron with her credit slips and abandoned IDs.
Peace.