Bartending is a heckuva job! You’re a server, a mixer, a maid, a dishwasher, a confidante, a best friend, a teacher, a therapist, and probably more that we don’t know about. Female bartenders have it especially tough, because who wants to have their livelihood dependent on how men behave around them? Because let’s face it ladies, guys can be gross all on their own, but when they have some drinks in them, they can be much, much worse.
Harassment of female bartenders is something that’s being spoken about more lately, as more women come forward from the restaurant industry to detail their issues with bosses, coworkers, and customers. Anonymity is pretty much a no-brainer when you’re complaining about your job, which is why a site like Whisper offers the perfect avenue to air your dirty laundry without getting called out for it.
And boy, do these ladies have a lot to say!
We won’t spoil any of the juicy details for you right here, but these 18 women have spoken up about some of the craziest things they’ve endured behind the bar!
18 Keeping Tabs
When you’re going on a first date, you have limited options of what to do. A restaurant is usually pricey and can go on for too long, which is bad news if the date is a dud. Coffee is a quickie, no-commitment type of first date, but it seems like you barely made any effort at all. Something outdoorsy is a gamble, because of sweat, sunburns, and the possibility of injury. And then, if you choose to hit up a bar, well, you might end up with something like this!
We appreciate this Whisper user’s no-judgment take on the situation, but if you’re the same guy coming in every few nights to the same bar with a different girl on your arm, she’s bound to notice. Hey, at least you’re providing free entertainment for the staff (because you know they’re definitely talking about you)!
For a lot of people, math isn’t their strong suit, and that can get progressively worse the more inebriated they get. If you ask us, that’s why so many restaurants offer the option of adding a percentage for a tip, because math can be hard! Unfortunately for those who work in bars, unless a customer is racking up a big tab, they’re likely paying with cash, and when you’re supposed to tip a bartender for cracking open your bottle, those tips can add up!
That being said, this Whisper user is talking about a moderately substantial bill – at least in bar terms – and to get such a meager tip on top of it seems like a slap in the face. At least for now, tips are the norm, and to refrain from tipping if your service was good is just a jerk move.
16 Double Standard
With the recent #MeToo movement, more and more women in the service industry are coming forward about being harassed at work, either my coworkers, employers, or customers. Whoever does it, it’s not okay. Unfortunately, people assume that a bar environment gives them a free pass to be a creep (and the copious amounts of alcohol certainly don’t help matters). Clearly, though, there is a double standard happening here and that is not okay. From the sounds of it, a gay man simply hit on her coworker and he was booted, which sound like discrimination to us, meanwhile, this Whisper user is getting felt up by every Tom, Dick, and Harry, and no action is taken! We totally understand her anger and frustration at this situation and feel sorry that she can only use an anonymous secret-sharing app to express her feelings.
15 Her Eyes Only
After reading that last whisper confession, can you really blame this Whisper user for NOT wanting to have strangers ogling her assets every time she tries to do her job?
A lot of bars require their female staff to wear tight or revealing shirts, because everyone has to make money, right? Because of that required outfit – and the effort required to make a lot of mixed drinks – it would make even the most self-assured woman feel a little self-conscious! It’s not that she doesn’t feel proud of what she has, it’s that no one has the right to stare at her without her consent – even if her clothing says otherwise. Unless you’re hitting up a Hooter’s where jiggling is basically a requirement, try and be respectful. Bartenders are just trying to make a living too.
14 Fakin’ It To Make It
If you haven’t noticed a pattern here, it’s that guys can be major creeps when it comes to female bartenders, and since desperate times call for desperate measures, here we are!
When we were combing through Whisper, we actually found a lot of confessions similar to this one, which is pretty disheartening. Like giving that weirdo at the club the line that you have a boyfriend to get him to leave you alone, wearing a fake engagement ring seems to be a better deterrent than simply saying, “No”, because of course a woman needs a man to be linked to her for her refusal to be valid, right? The thing is, by saying, “tend to leave me alone”, this Whisper user is admitting that even a fake engagement ring only works some of the time.
13 Green Drink
Okay, truth time! Mojitos are a pain in the butt to make. You have to muddle lime and mint together with a bit of sugar before adding the rum and soda (shake first, of course), and when your bar is rockin’, it can really put a damper on your workflow. So, do everyone a favour and wait until the bar is dead to order something complicated.
With that out of the way, this customer must’ve not known what a mojito tasted like if he guzzled it down like he was dying of thirst! Also, why would a bartender have spinach lying around? Unless of course, they sent a server to snag some from the kitchen to pull off her sneaky little deed. Hey, maybe these two have simply discovered the latest health craze that’ll let you eat your veggies and drink some too!
12 You Get What You Pay For!
A good rule of thumb is not to anger anyone who handles your food or drink because they might just risk a reprimand or a firing in order to make you truly pay for it.
As we’ve already mentioned, female bartenders deal with a lot of crap from their job, and many of the complaints are regarding the behavior of their male customers, like this one. No woman likes to be called names like “babe”, “baby”, “sweetie”, or another version by someone who hasn’t earned the right to do so. It’s infantilizing and just plain disrespectful! At least this Whisper confessor is taking what little power she has and weakening up their drinks. Watering it down, pouring extra ice or mixer, or simply under-pouring a shot will make your drink weaker, so don’t be a jerk and you should be getting exactly what you’ve paid for!
11 Pros & Cons
Like we mentioned earlier, a lot of establishments require their female staff to dress somewhat provocatively. Heck, there are even cafés where the baristas wear bikinis as part of their work uniform! (Although we can’t imagine the burns that would come with handling scalding hot coffee and that much bare skin.)
This Whisper user admits that her workwear makes her feel objectified, but she’s not clear on if she thinks of that as a bad thing or a job perk. After all, she does say that bartending is her “dream job” (and, really? Shoot higher, girl!). We’re glad she’s happy doing what she’s doing, and acknowledge that every profession has its sacrifices, but when those cons outweigh the pros, that’s when it’s time to get out!
10 Cups Runneth Over
Life can be tough for a curvy lady. While we totally get why this top-heavy bartender might get a bit more money in tips if she’s playfully and flirtatiously using her cheat to knock things over, the practical side of us has us wondering about how annoying it would be to clean up the sticky mess of spilled drinks. First off, sure, she might be getting a little extra pocket change depending on who’s watching her performance, but also, she’s losing out on some cash by spilling the merchandise! If she has a manager or boss, they could take that cash out of her tips for being a repeat offender or, if she owns the place, then she’s spilling her own stash! Hey, we suppose you’ve gotta work with what you’ve got, and there’s no shame in that!
9 Playing The Field
Flirting just comes with the territory of bartending or serving. You’re trying to ingratiate yourself and charm your customers so that they feel inclined to leave you a little extra, and if they think they have a shot with you, that’s more their issue than yours, right?
This Whisper user clearly has it all figured out! Flirting with guys and girls doubles up her tips and she feels comfortable taking off her wedding ring to do so (rather than donning a fake one like a previous Whisper confessor). Then, with all that extra cash, she spends it on her wife, therefore alleviating whatever guilt she might have about flirting – however innocently – with the people that come to her bar. Sounds like a win-win if you ask us!
8 Wishful Thinking
Remember how we just said flirting is pretty much in the job description of being a bartender? Well, it can go both ways, as it turns out. Working in a bar or club can also be extremely destructive to a relationship that exists outside of it, because of the strange hours, the teamwork aspect, and the fact that most employee get-togethers involve copious amounts of alcohol. Even though this Whisper confessor isn’t lusting after a co-worker, she’s letting her fantasies get away from her when it comes to her customers. She’s expecting her boyfriend to screw up and maybe it’s because he has already, or maybe it’s because she can’t give him the benefit of the doubt. If you ask us, maybe she should cut her losses, lose the safety net, and just go for it – then she can decide if it’s everything she imagined.
7 In It For The Cash
We all take jobs we don’t want in order to pay the bills. They’re rarely glamorous, frequently demanding, and usually hot, sticky, sweaty, or some combination thereof. Bartending is no different, and while it might seem strange that someone who doesn’t drink would work exclusively with alcohol, it’s not really any different from a vegetarian working in a restaurant!
The thing with bartending is that the guys are pretty gross, depending on the bar, and they get progressively worse the more alcohol they consume, and so your shift is guaranteed to get worse the longer the night goes on. It’s a shame that this Whisper user is in such apparently dire straits that she needs to work at a job she hates, but that’s pretty much the definition of life in a capitalist society, isn’t it?
6 Beer Goggles
You can tell someone time and time again that they should only rely on themselves to boost their own self-esteem, but the reality is that that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, we do depend on others’ opinions of us to feel better, even if we know that makes us shallow or insecure because sometimes we’re just having a bad day.
We feel for this Whisper user, and we’re not judging her for seeking validation from men, even the men she serves drinks to at work. We think it’s sad that she considers the fact that it’s a reflection of her when they hit on her sober versus drunk, because some guys actually aren’t jerks, and won’t always hit on their bartender, and some guys are just as insecure as her and don’t feel confident without a little liquid courage.
5 A Problem Brewing
When you’re working with alcohol all day, you can get away with smelling like, well, like a bar. Binge drinking and alcoholism seem to run rampant in the bartending and service industry, simply because you’re in such close proximity to your poison and because you’re generally encouraged to go shot-for-shot with your coworkers. But how do you know when a wild night out becomes a problem of too many wild nights?
This Whisper user is smart enough – and honest enough – to recognize that they have a problem, but her work environment makes it almost impossible for her to get help. All that money going in your pocket at the end of the night is perfect for a no-holds-barred bender, especially if your booze is discounted. This probably happens a lot more than we think it does, which is what makes this confession double sad.
4 Strange Characters
Bars can be strange places and different bars will attract different people. We have no idea where this bartender works because, to be honest, it could be anywhere. She could work at a sports bar that caters to a lot of college dudes and get this request, she could be a bartender at a ritzy, high-end place where someone would pay for such a request, or she could be employed at a hole-in-the-wall that has an assortment of odd customers, which is how this request came about! (Seriously, people are strange pretty much everywhere,)
Judging from the fact that this oddity made it as a confession, we’re assuming she didn’t take him up on his offer, and probably didn’t know to be flattered, creeped out, or just plain confused!
3 Using Her Power For Evil
Okay, this is seriously messed up. Not only is this going against your training and certification as a bartender (for health and safety reasons that aim to prevent exactly this), but it also makes you a sleazy human being for trying to hit up a guy who is so clearly attached – his girlfriend is right there!
This Whisper user is the reason why so many women overreact to the flirtations of a server or bartender who’s just trying to make a tip. Over-serving a customer so you can flirt with her boyfriend doesn’t make a lot of sense to us, either, because this sounds like it’ll only end badly. The girlfriend could get sick and need to be taken care of or belligerent and try and fight the bartender. (And, to be honest, we couldn’t blame her for wanting to take the second option!)
2 An Offer Refused
Ten thousand dollars may be a nice chunk of change, but does this guy know that there are places that exclusively do what he’s asking – and for a lot cheaper? Sure, he might have just been hung up on this particular bartender, but if he’s gross enough to try and woo a woman with money to take her top off, then he’s probably not that picky.
We’re curious if this Whisper confessor ever took him up on his offer because her confession leaves a lot to be desired. We know that dudes can get plenty creepy when they’ve had a few drinks (and even when they haven’t), so we’re dying to know her response! We hope she would’ve gotten him kicked out but something tells us that a guy flashing that much cash could get away with almost anything.
1 Not All Heroes Wear Capes
Look, we don’t agree with this bartender’s choice to let some jerk roofie himself, and we know that the responsible decision would’ve been to alert a manager and called the police to get the guy to where he deserves to go but, with all of that being said, we can’t say this dude didn’t get what was coming to him!
It’s scary to think that, even at a bar, with a freshly poured drink in front of you, all it takes is a moment of distraction for someone to slip something in. Luckily for this girl, the Whisper user came to her rescue and prevented her from getting messed up. Unfortunately, the roofied guy might not remember what he did to get himself into such a state – when he finally wakes up, of course!