They Have A Fifty-Fifty Chance Of Succeeding

, , , , , , | Working | April 8, 2019

(I’m the assistant manager at a pub, working the Christmas party night. We’ve got 150 people, drinks flowing, both a marquee and the main pub open, and a Rod Stewart tribute. Carnage. After a recent scam with £50 notes, we’ve been told by the bank that we can no longer accept them. I’m working the main pub making drinks for a man when I notice the note in his hand.)

Me: “Oh, sorry, love; we’re not allowed to accept £50 notes. Banks—“

Customer: *staring in complete disbelief* “What?”

Me: *internally, “maybe let me finish?”* “We don’t take £50s anymore, mate.”

Customer: “Well, I’ll just go back down and speak to [Owner].”

(I’ve had enough; we’re heaving and I’m already sick of dealing with pretentious assholes when this customer decides to stare into space and ignore everything coming out of my mouth.)

Me: “[Owner] will just tell you the same thing… Sir? Sir, do not ignore me… Sir. We have been told by the bank after a recent slew of scams not to accept £50s… aaaaand you’re walking away.”

(My colleague catches my eye, as do a number of regulars after my outburst — I’m known for being the welcome party and having a smile ready for everyone — as the customer proceeds to bump into the other manager, a person notorious for bending the rules, and inform him that I’m “refusing to serve” him. I don’t hold my breath; I know what’s coming after many years of customer service and on Not Always…)

Other Manager: *accepting the £50 note* “Well, we can’t accept these; if we put this in the till it’s breaking the rules.”

Customer: *smiling happily as he gets his own way* “That’s what she said, but it’s a good note.”

Other Manager: *aka the one who got scammed by the fake £50 which wouldn’t have fooled a toddler* “I can see that. Here you go.”

(I watched in calm fury as the £50 was exchanged — not from the till, but the safe where the money from tonight’s tickets was being kept — before returning to making drinks. In total, the bill came to less than £10 and I bit my tongue. It’s common for customers to buy staff drinks, and I’ll admit I took no convincing in accepting multiple drinks tonight. Proof that even managers get screwed over by management.)

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Doesn’t Avocado What She’s Talking About

, , , , , , , | Friendly | March 28, 2019

I was enjoying a beer with my husband at a local pub near a well-respected university when we overheard two local, college-age girls discussing languages. One girl was from Israel and her American friend was asking which dialect of Hebrew she spoke. The Israeli said, “Just Hebrew.” Her friend kept repeating her question and went on to explain how folks in different countries, like Mexico, have different dialects. My favorite example she gave was the “Guacamolans” and how they speak differently from other Mexicans. It took everything we had not to laugh out loud.

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Drunk Discussions Should Be Tabled

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 27, 2019

(Some friends of mine have gotten together. One of the group is American and is visiting the UK for a few days. As the evening goes on, and drink has been drunk, one of the friends drunkenly starts telling the American friend all sorts of “facts” about his own country, resulting in this gem.)

Drunk Friend: *to American Friend* “…and America is big, you know? It’s bigger than this table!”

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Putting The Tender Into Bartender

, , , , | Working | March 20, 2019

(The drinking age in the UK is eighteen; you’ll sometimes get an establishment with its own over-twenty-one rule, but this is rare. My friends and I — all age twenty — head to a gig and afterward fancy a pub visit. We head to a pub in an area I’ve never been to before. It’s completely empty for a Friday night and the bartender looks like he’s about twelve years old.)

Bartender: *aggressively* “IDs, guys!”

(We all hand them over.)

Bartender: “No, no, strictly over twenty-five only! GET OUT!”

Me: “Are you serious? The age here is eighteen; there’s not even anyone else here.”

Bartender: “NO! Strictly over twenty-five and we can refuse service. F*** OFF OUT!”

(Knowing that establishments are fully within their rights to refuse service to people for any reason regardless of how nonsensical it is in a business sense, we decide not to argue and leave to find somewhere else, but before we leave…)

Me: *to Bartender* “Just out of curiosity, are you able to drink here?”

Bartender: “Yes, of course. All employees can.”

Me: “How old are you?”

Bartender: “Fifteen.”

Me: “Huh…”

(It is highly illegal to serve alcohol as a minor, as he was so rude I ended up reporting the pub. We came back for another gig a month later and the pub had closed down. Not sure if it was because of the illegal activities or cash flows, but good riddance.)

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, , , , , , | Friendly | March 17, 2019

For several years I lived directly above a pub. It was incredibly noisy, but I loved being able to watch people coming and going. There were frequently stag dos dressed in elaborate fancy dress, such as blue body paint to look like Smurfs or mascot costumes.

Around midday on a Saturday, I suddenly heard a very loud horn blast followed by cheering from the pub. I looked out my window to see a man in a full fox costume, including a giant head and tail, sprinting down the street. He was soon followed by a yelling group of men, half dressed as dogs and half wearing tweed suits, high socks, and caps and running with children’s toy stick horses between their legs. One man carried a bugle and repeatedly blew on it as the group ran down the street after the fox, presumably going to the next pub.

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