FRIDAY HAPPY HOUR: The Art of Throwing Someone Out

Posted: April 30, 2010 in FRIDAY HAPPY HOUR, Uncategorized

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My wife is a small person with a soft voice who wants everyone to like her.

To put her way through college she tended bar during the day.And she was the best at throwing big drunk guys out when she was a bartender.

My wife, the bouncer

The bar owner one time told me that his roughest customer once gave him a compliment about Sue.

“That girl, she gives respect.”

That, my friends, is it.

Big tough bouncers and bartenders usually make things worse when it comes time to get someone out. They get dominant, they put their hands on the drunk or they do all their intimidation rituals. That hurts the drunk’s pride, causes them to want to push back and make a showing to reclaim some of their self esteem.

This is what Sue would do. The sloppy drunk would order another. Sue would gently frown and, almost imperceptibly, shake her head. If the guy didn’t get it, she might whisper “Uh-uh, I can’t.” Then, if he didn’t get up and leave, she would add; “I think you gotta go.”

Note, she didn’t waver. She didn’t say she was going to get someone else or call the cops. She stood up straight and looked the man in his eyes. But her words came with respect and without threat. She never had any problems despite working in a hard drinking place in a blue collar section of town with tough guys.

Tough, confident people come in different shapes and sizes.

  1. Kymm says:

    I completely agree – and actually did the same in tending bar while putting myself through school. I am 5ft 5″ and maybe not as quiet as Sue – but always respectful. Small niceties when people appeared at the bar – acknowledging I had seen them – small bits of respectful banter and chat – meant I got that returned 10-fold in having to ask anyone to leave. Even with the most rowdy customers – they seemed to instantly calm when I asked them to leave – normally with an apology to myself…’Okay Kymm love – sorry – going now – see you tomorrow!’
    Respect does gain respect – even if someone does not like you too much – most people will maintain a level of respect in response. Very much the ‘if you can keep your head when all around are losing theirs…..’ scenario.

  2. ginny says:

    Thanks – now I feel a bit better about my baby who is a bartender in San Francisco. She is about Sue’s size. Don’t know what the San Fran tourists dish out for her on a daily basis but I know she is up to the challenge!

  3. Maria says:

    So true, Tom. But it’s more than just respect. It’s respect tempered by kindness.

  4. Pasquale Palumbo says:

    I remember Sue’s days at the Pub fondly. She was (and is) a sweetheart. I wish she would’ve thrown me out a few times.

  5. You’re one lucky guy…but you know that already.

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