bartender reading paper with caption 'POV: bartending the well on a Saturday night' (l) bartender speaking with caption 'POV: bartending the well on a Saturday night' (c) bartender reading paper and speaking with caption 'POV: bartending the well on a Saturday night' (r)


‘I don’t have time for surprises. I’m gonna give you a beer if you don’t figure it out’: Bartender shares customer ‘icks’ on a busy shift

'I don't have time to think about that.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Feb 21, 2023

A bartender on TikTok is sharing their customer ‘icks,’ or pet peeves, in a viral video.

User Tessa Quinn (@itstessaquinn) posts a variety of bartending-themed content, and a recent clip of hers delineating what a typical rush period looks like behind the bar has racked up over 67,000 views.

In the video, she re-enacts the types of conversations she has with customers, servers she works with, and even herself, while on the job. Other users on the platform said that her gripes were spot-on, with many of them sharing in her ire over customers who ask bartenders to “surprise” them when the bar is busy.

@itstessaquinn Facts or nah ?? If you know you know LMAO 😂😅 #bartenderlife #bartender #bartendertiktok #server #serverproblems #servicejndustry #resturant #resturantlife #galveston #lol #comedy #fyp #foryoupage ♬ People Talking in Background (Version 1) [Ambience Crowd Mingling Chatting Talk Chatter Ambient Noise] [Sound Effect] – Finnolia Sound Effects

“Yes ma’am, you wanna shot? OK, what kind? OK, I don’t have time for surprises,” Quinn says, mimicking a conversation with a customer. “I don’t have time to think about that so I’m gonna give you a beer if you don’t figure it out, OK? Sorry.”

The camera then transitions to her talking to several more invisible customers. “Hey John, did you get your margarita already? Yeah, OK? Well, stab your ticket, OK?” She then speaks to someone else in another smash-cut scenario, saying “What? They wanted salt? Well, this ticket doesn’t say salt. Well, you’re gonna have to wait now.”

Take after take, the bartender went through a variety of different situations that pop up for drink servers during a heavy customer rush. “Hey Maria, OK. You said Gran Marnier on top? Yeah baby you have to charge for that. OK, that’s not how life works. Sorry,” she adds.

The next clip is of her angrily counting out tickets on the bar while grumbling to herself, “Son of a bitch.” She then addresses another mock customer: “What? You want me to skip your ticket? OK well, I have some spinach dip in the back if you can go—you don’t have time for that? Well, baby, I don’t have time to be unfair. No sir, I can’t take a shot with you. I’m sorry. Yeah, that’s how I lost my last job.”

The last is a very real struggle many bartenders encounter. “Hey. Hey, I need ice. I need ice, yeah,” she says from across the bar. Then the video transitions to her speaking to a server, “Monica, sweetie, your drinks been sitting up here for 20 minutes. Bring it to the table. What? They say it tastes watered down? I wonder why. It’s been sitting up here for 20 minutes.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Quinn via TikTok comment for further information.

Zippia calls bartending one of the most stressful jobs due to “on-shift pressure” along with “very low job security.”

Other TikTokers who saw Quinn’s post had some in-the-pocket responses to the scenarios she presented in her video. “When someone says ‘surprise me’ you always have to give them rumplemintz,” one commenter joked.

It turns out that there are several bartenders who loath the “surprise me” response when they are mobbed by customers. “Ugh…I snapped on a customer the other day when he gave me the ‘surprise me’ answer. like read the room bud I’m busy af and don’t have time fa this!” another user stated.

Other commenters who claimed to be servers addressed Quinn’s frustration with a forgetful waiter. “I always always always help my bartender cause soon as I run the food or do what they need me to, I come back and boom my drink is made first,” one said.

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*First Published: Feb 21, 2023, 2:14 pm CST