Have you ever tried to pick up a bartender while you were out for a night on the town? Every bartender or server will tell you, being hit on at work comes with the territory. The first thing people say to me when they find out I’m a bartender is “you must get hit on a lot eh?”
Now, please understand I am in no way gloating about this, but yes, I do get hit on a lot. When you work in a busy, male dominated bar in downtown Toronto it is bound to happen. Here are the top five pickup lines ever said to me while I was bartending:
5. “It is ok to cheat on your boyfriend, I once cheated on a math test.” Well, that is one type of logic. I had to laugh, he really did see the connection there!
4. “You would be the most beautiful excuse to get a green card ever.” Ummmm thanks? That is one of those compliments that leaves you feeling more than slightly uncomfortable.
3. “I will take you on a date anywhere you want to go.” Well let’s see, I’d like to have dinner in the finest restaurant in all of Narnia! What? Narnia doesn’t exist? Well then I guess there goes our date!
2. My personal favourite is when kids who are barely legal start pulling out the moves. I once had a kid tell me “I lost my train of thought because you walked by.” Unoriginal line… hilarious from the mouth of a child.
1.”Are your lips made of alcohol? Looking at them is making me feel drunk.” This one takes the cake! A customer who barely spoke English blurted this out one day. He had a face that I suppose was supposed to be seductive, mostly it was creepy. While it was sort of sweet he practiced his English to tell me that, I had never heard something so funny; serious points for originality.
Every time my coworkers and I get a number slipped to us, we post it on what we have affectionately named “the wall of shame.” Whenever asked if I will actually call a customer, my response is generally the same: “I might call you, but you won’t know its me.”
Now just a tidbit about myself I find relevant: I don’t scare easily. It takes a very seriously offensive statement to get me upset. I am able to laugh at almost anything said to me by the drunken idiots on a Friday night downtown. This list is just a hint of what I’ve heard the last year and a half working in this industry.
That being said, male customers can be very obnoxious with their statements. There are even times where I walk away feeling like I need to take a shower to wash off the crude feeling something left me with. Once I had a woman hit on me as the conversation was happening I remember thinking “Is she hitting on me? Oh my God she’s hitting on me!” While situations are hilarious in hindsight, living them can be awkward. Guys a word of advice, check this article out for some pickup line dos and don’ts http://ca.complex.com/pop-culture/2014/04/pick-up-lines-overheard-by-new-york-bartenders/.
Now that we have laughed at the idiots who actually say these lines, let me take a moment to be serious. Just because I laugh these statements off does not by any means say I am okay with them. The feeling of listening to a truly gruesome line is really like no other. Let me attempt to describe it for those who have never been there. You are left thinking did that actually just happen to me? and “I need a shower” all at the same time. The feeling lies in the intersection of amusing, creepy, confusing and repulsive. Other women describe the feeling of hearing bad pickup lines at: https://www.quora.com/Whats-it-like-to-hear-or-be-the-recipient-of-a-really-bad-pickup-line.
I will leave you with two messages. Boys: stop hitting on the bartender. I promise they are there to work and that is all. Actually going out with you would probably get them fired and it isn’t worth the job loss. Girls: you are not alone! Stay strong and stand your ground. If all else fails just do what I do – smile and nod, walk away, and laugh about it later with your girlfriends.
Merrill Flynn is a bartender in downtown Toronto and a public relations student at Humber College.