A New Year brings new hope and to help upgrade Beijing’s less-than-spectacular drinking scene, tbj humbly offers some resolutions for bar managers, employees and patrons. Of course, there are exceptions to (almost) every rule, but here are a few general habits that might make a night out a bit more enjoyable for all concerned.
For bar managers and employees
- I shall not ask customers to pay for my mistakes, such as the difference between the RMB 60 I programmed into the cash register for a pint of Guinness and the RMB 50 I errantly printed on the menu; instead, I shall accept the one-time loss of revenue rather than the permanent loss of the customer.
- I shall not remove, nor lay hand upon, a glass with more than a half-mouthful of liquid unless the patron has indicated that it be taken away; nor will I hover above said patron waiting for him/her to finish that mouthful; if I do so because of a shortage of glasses, I will take measures to have more purchased.
- I shall not insert my finger(s) into my nose or ears, knead my armpits or nether region, or engage in any other unseemly hand-related conduct before touching food.
- I shall not practice my Chinese, English, or other language ad infinitum with patrons, bore them with lengthy stories about a particular alcohol’s history, or make asides on what are obviously their private conversations.
- [For managers] I shall not chastise, denigrate or mock my employees in front of customers as it makes me look unprofessional and my customers feel uncomfortable; I will defend those same employees from patrons, drunk or otherwise, who are unreasonable, threatening or obnoxious.
For bar goers
- I shall not equate the intelligence of a bar owner or employee with his/her proficiency in my language and will thus refrain from voicing such things as “gin AND tonic,” “ginnnnnnnn and tonnnnnnic” or “gin… and… tonic,” nor shall I become incensed by him/her misunderstanding my pathetic attempts at speaking his/her language.
- I shall not assume that because I am in a boisterous mood, everyone else should be, and will thus refrain from hugging, giving high fives to, clinking glasses with at near-breakage speeds or inviting those patrons/strangers who are obviously uninterested to be members of my luge team.
- I shall retreat to a secluded area when I expect to be on my cell phone for more than three minutes, thereby sparing fellow patrons stories about last night’s “score,” pleas to an upset spouse, or the details of the soap opera about so-and-so’s co-worker’s boyfriend’s best friend’s sister breaking up with “some guy who totally is, like, soooooo lame.”
- I shall not take advantage of my position as a patron to fondle the bar’s owner, manager, bartenders, wait staff, cooks, cleaners, security guards or suppliers, or any of their relatives or pets that may happen to be on the premises.
- I shall never reach behind the bar to grab objects, such as knives or corkscrews, nor stand there in an attempt to appear as part of the “in” clientele as I am only being a nuisance to the staff and as interesting as a coat rack to the patrons; should I go behind the bar, I will either wear a disguise or claim to be Da Shan, which would defeat the whole purpose of being back there in the first place, so instead I shall sit on my bar stool, drink my beer and relax.