A bartender is telling his side of the story after being blasted by his general manager for giving away water bottles to performers, dancers, and security staff.
In a viral TikTok, Edgar (@chibitattedguy) explains that he was forced to walk out on a bartending job. “So I walked out on my job at a bar this weekend, and I’m going to tell you guys what happened and why I did it,” Edgar says in the video.
Edgar explains that he’s a tech worker in between jobs and he accepted a position at a Chicago bar called Fantasy. This is Edgar’s first-ever bartending gig;. “Anybody who’s ever visited the gay bars in Chicago, you know of a bar called Fantasy,” Edgar says.
Although Edgar entered the role with no experience, he says in the video that he was very transparent about this fact with his new employer. He says that was not a problem and that he was trained over the course of a weekend.
“Anybody who works in gay bars you know that it’s actually fairly easy, because a lot of it is two-ingredient drinks,” Edgar says.
Edgar says he worked for several weeks without incident, but this weekend turned out to be different. That’s because the GM, or general manager, called an all-staff meeting. Everyone who attended received an envelope with their name on it.
According to Edgar, the paperwork showed the bar inventory and the amount of items each employee handled.
“He says, ‘What I’m reading is showing that you guys are giving away more than half of the inventory that we order for the bar for water bottles and beers,’” Edgar says. “And then he continues to explain it’s unacceptable that we’re giving away all of this product, and how it’s a sh*tton of money, and how we should be charging for every single thing.”
According to Edgar, one of his co-workers pointed out that stated policy is all performers are entitled to free water.
“We give away water bottles to performers at the bar,” Edgar says. “This bar, just like many other bars in Boy’s Town, has a lot of drag performers that perform there. They also have a drag queen competition that happens every Thursday where there’s multiple drag performers that perform. And many others that just come and watch. And like I said, it’s been told to me that performers get free water bottles.”
Not only that, but Edgar also understood from his training that go-go dancers and security also get free water bottles. Additionally, Edgar notes he has in the past been asked by this very GM to provide drinks to VIPs—sometimes without drink tickets in exchange.
“My mindset is very much ‘show me the paper trail,’ and basically show me where I did something wrong,” Edgar says. “I go very much by the book when I start a new job. That means I wasn’t giving any product away because I didn’t want to get in trouble.”
Edgar learned that the manager compared the weekend’s sales figures to the bar inventory in order to identify the discrepancy. However, Edgar pointed out that this method wouldn’t help the GM identify which bartender may have been “giving away” inventory for free.
“He basically goes on to explain how he’s taking the amount of product that’s been placed in our freezers and basically took the number of things that were sold and subtracted and that’s the amount of product that’s missing,” Edgar says. “Which makes sense. I get that. But how do you know that I gave it away? Because I didn’t.”
Ultimately, Edgar says his GM said the bar would either charge the bartenders for the lost inventory or face three-week suspensions.
“So at this point, I lose my sh*t,” Edgar admits. “I don’t give stuff away, so for you to sit here and tell me hey I’m going to charge you this insane amount of money … that’s not fair. I’m taking this job as a side hustle to make extra cash. You’re not going to have me sit here and pay you for product that you can’t allocate.”
Edgar continues, “He immediately cuts me off and he says, ‘You know what? That’s how it is. If you don’t like it you can walk out.’ So guess what I did? I grabbed my paper and I gave it to him and I walked out. I cannot believe this is something legal that he’s doing. The reality is if you can’t prove who’s giving product away you can’t just charge everybody who’s working there to make up for the product that you lost.”
@chibitattedguy Some people are not made to be people managers. . . . #bars #bartender #bartending #fantasybar #walkedout #quietquitting #badmanagement #jobstory #jobstories ♬ original sound – Edgar Torres
The video has amassed more than 111,000 views as of Monday afternoon. In the comments, users expressed agreement with Edgar’s decision and pointed out best practices for bar management.
“The management should have a comp tab to keep track of the items that they are giving away,” wrote one user.
A second user said, “This is a standard move done in a lot of bars where management is a bit too liberal with the comps. Mngt and friends are likely drinking after close.”
“As a bartender, yep unfortunately this is all to familiar. Bars/restaurants get away with a lot of illegal and unethical treatment of workers,” wrote one user.
“When you said show me the paper trail I screamed YASSSS BABYYYYYY,” another user wrote.
In terms of legality, Edgar’s management may be in the clear. According to FindLaw, federal law doesn’t prohibit an employer for charging an employee for lost or damaged inventory. “The only rule that applies to all states is that a deduction for loss can’t bring the employee’s hourly pay rate below the federal minimum wage for the work week,” reads its website.
The Daily Dot reached out to Edgar via TikTok and Fantasy via email for comment.