A woman has added to the slew of videos of TikTokers showing their experiences in a customer-facing role. User Jemima June (@jemimajune_) has gone viral on the app after sharing footage of what it’s like to bartend at a bar on Nashville’s popular Broadway street.
As of Sunday, the video has been viewed almost 10 million times since it was shared Saturday.
Jemima usually shares videos on her account detailing her various experiences working at the bar, with her latest TikTok showing us how she navigates a situation where a customer’s card declines.
“Just a taste of certain situations you have to handle as a bartender on Broadway in Nashville,” the on-screen text reads.
In the video, Jemima attempts to charge a customer for shots he ordered, but the card declines. She proceeds to ask him if he gave her the right card, and the man hands her a new one while taking the shots. However, the second card declines as well.
“Well, I need $27 right now because you already took the shots,” she tells him in the clip. Jemima explains in the on-screen text that the bar has something called a “liquor count,” where every drop of liquor needs to be accounted for. She claims that if he doesn’t pay it, she will have to.
Eventually, the customer tells Jemima he will fetch his friend to pay for the drinks, but Jemima says since he was drunk, she couldn’t count on him coming back. The TikToker then asks for his wallet, explaining in the text overlay that she knew he would come back if she had his wallet.
“Go get me $27 and I’ll give you your wallet back,” she tells him while more customers start to line up at the bar. “You’re wasting my time, all these people are waiting for drinks.”
Fifty-six minutes later, the alleged friend shows up and pays the bill.
Jemima’s video resonated with thousands of viewers who left comments commending her for how she handled the situation.
“Being a bartender in a busy bar like that seems like the most stressful job ever,” a top comment read.
“Very professional!! customers have no right to get mad at the end of the day your doing your job and protecting the liquor license,” another commenter wrote.
Others teased the guy for being worried about his wallet.
“Two cards declined for a 27$ payment and he thinks you’re gonna take what out of his wallet??? Lint???” one user joked.
“What does he think you’re going to steal from his wallet? he doesn’t have any money lmao,” another viewer claimed.
Some viewers addressed the liquor count concern, claiming that it was illegal for Jemima’s employer to charge her for the loss.
According to the Department of Labor’s website, employers with tipped employees who are paid the minimum wage “may not take deductions for walkouts, cash register shortages, breakage, cost of uniforms, etc., because any such deduction would reduce the tipped employee’s wages below the minimum wage.” However, there is still a gray area when employees are paid above the absolute minimum wage or have a tipping pool arrangement in place. The outcome on whether or not it would be legal to ask the server to cover the losses would depend on the situation and how much their base pay is.
Update 12:14pm CT: Jemima told the Daily Dot via Instagram direct message that “You would be surprised how many just expect not to pay for their drinks when their card declines.”
“I’m some cases customers will offer their phone or wallet as collateral until they can get a card that works,” she said. “These situations only happen every now and then, Nashville is so fast paced normally I don’t interact with customers more than a minute or two”
Jemima clarified that the company she works for doesn’t make the workers pay for tabs, but she has “worked for other bars that have made us pay for walked out tabs.”
“If I’m providing a service, I expect to be paid,” she said before clarifying that the bar is “really strict on our liquor count.”
“Everything must be counted for and rung in, even our spilled drinks are counted for,” she said.
Jemima called the friend “nice and understanding” and said he tipped her $10 on $27 bill.