The Curious Case of Sumjamin Barback

Happy Holidays weirdos...I have a horrendous case of gas, so please keep me away from the egg nog.

In other news, every once in a while, I'll get a call or a text from one of the bartenders at Saints asking if I'd be down to barback. Barbacking has several appealing aspects for me. The obvious is that I get to potentially make double the scrilla and so does Malk...so we both win. Some others are that I get to work a little more closely with the bartenders who have become friends over the years, talk shit with them, and stand a little closer to the sweet booze and ever-flowing beer taps.

On top of that, I get to move around, which is a HUGE plus over just standing in that 4 X 4 DJ booth, which is akin to being in a musical glass closet playing tetris with your best friend for 10 hours, getting progressively drunk while people knock on the door asking for shit.

Another reason I dig it is because service jobs keep you humble. I think that America would be a better place if instead of getting a some office or creative job, going to college or starting a family with a dog named Clark after high school, people were required to serve tables, bartend, bus tables, drive taxis, check luggage, wash dishes, bag groceries or mop floors for at least a year. People's ears would open up to each others stories, they'd become more patient with each other, and learn how to speak to each other intently and with respect and humility. Plus they'd know how to work with their hands, which always comes in.....handy. Over the course of my young life, I've done just about all of the jobs I just listed (including working at a cotton mill; we'll talk about that in another blog entry), which is a big part of the reason you rarely hear me complain about jack shit. Because in most cases, I've seen or been on the receiving end of worse.

I've had angry grocery shoppers throw 2lb bags of uncooked rice at my chest.

Anyway, Malky and I will occasionally split off like Han Solo and Luke on the separate mission , and it always shocks folks to see me behind the bar. It's hard work back there, and having had the esteemed opportunity to work extensively on both sides of it....here's some tips you can benefit from to have an even more enjoyable time as a patron at Saints, or any other bar for that matter.


1-Call your bartender by name every chance you get. Don't shout it though. Random screams of "Ay!! YO!!!!", or that guilt trip look of "don't ignore me motherfucker, whatever your name is", are going to get you slower service, watered down drinks with nasty liquor and less hookups. The bartender sees you, and they know you need a drink. Let them do their job and chill the fuck out.

2-Offer to buy your bartender a shot. Even if they don't take you up on it, they won't forget that.

3-If you see somebody that's ONLY washing glasses and looking down at glasses and towels 90% of the time, it probably means they're a BARBACK dude. Don't ask them to make you a dirty martini and pour four Jack and cokes for you. They're too busy, and they don't get paid to do that. Plus you probably wouldn't want them pouring your drink anyway, they've been wiping up boogers and spit all night, and their fingers are covered in lipstick and glass cuts. You'll be lucky if they can pour or pop a beer for you.

4-If you're a regular, or you work at the bar,...tip your ass off. Overtip. You build credit with your bartenders, and they'll look out for you when the chips are down. And wait until they aren't busy to put in your order. You already get preferential treatment, so wait until shit calms down and they aren't cutting lemons or serving somebody else.

5-Unless you've got the Silver Tongue of Cairo, save that flirting with the bartenders shit for when its less busy, homeboy. The ladies of SNS have been doing this shit for years and have heard everything you could possibly think of. Truck's been at this for like, 15 years. You aint got shit she aint heard. Sure, they'll smile at you and make you feel good, but just know we're clowning everything you said after the bar closes. Do everybody else a favor and keep it moving.

6-Tip your DJs, they can be your bridge to the bartenders hearts. Or at least they'll play some good music for you while you wait for your chance to get past Jorge and gaze into Cooper's eyes like the 12 mohons in front of you. Or, if you prefer to show titties to hear what you want, we're all good with that. I'll be sure to turn away when you do, because you know...I'm married and everything. But thank God for mirrors.

Put some of these into practice, and I promise you that Saints and any other bar will open itself up to you in untold ways.

See you next time from behind the bar....

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