Can I Pour It For You?

I’m behind the bar, it’s busy.  The thing about Noce is, everyone comes in at once.  Boom.  We go from two people in the house, to 90 people in the house, in a span of four minutes.  They all sit down, then they want a drink NOW.  I’ve got cocktail servers out there rocking it, and I’ve got customers at the bar in front of me.  I’m taking the customer’s orders, and I’m taking the cocktail server’s orders.  It gets hectic.

I approach a woman at the bar, what can I get you?  She says, with what I want to say is a German accent, I vahnt a Budveiser.  Excellent.  I can do that RIGHT NOW.  I run, get the Bud, pop it open, put it in front of her.  I’ve got the bar lined up with customers, I’ve got orders coming in.  She says, I VAHNT a glass.  Ok, let’s get her a glass.  Usually, I offer the glass when someone asks for a bottle of beer.  We’re classy like that.  But a Bud can go either way.  It’s not the classiest of all the beers.  But, sure, absolutely, let’s get this woman a glass for her beer.

I get her the pint glass, go back to her, her back is to me.  USUALLY I then will ask, would you like me to pour it for you?  Again, with the class.  But I’m in a bit of a hurry here.  I’m going to ASSUME, hey, she asks for a glass, she wants the beer in it.  Her back is turned, why don’t I save the 3.5 seconds it takes to ask the question, and just go for it?  So I grab her beer, and pour it oh so professionally in her glass.

I set it down, go help another customer.

A minute later German lady waves me over as I’m working an order for a cocktail server.  Huh.  What now?  I go to her.  Yes, what can I help you with?  The music has begun, so she leans in, and says, sharply,

Do you always pour in zee beer when they ask for a glass?

Ok.  Here we go.

I say, I’m sorry…I’m pretty busy right now.  Usually I do ask, but I assumed you asked for a glass, you wanted me to pour the beer in it for you.

She says, no.

I DID NOT want you to pour the beer in my glass.  I want to pour zee beer in my glass myself.

I take a second to breathe.  In.  Out.

I’m sorry, I just assumed…

She is staring me down with what seems close to anger.


I look around.  Still, yeah, crazy busy.  The tickets are multiplying.  The customers at the bar are growing impatient.


I grab the full glass of beer, put it down by the sink.  I go grab a new Budweiser, a glass, set them down.

I say, with as much magnanimity as I can muster,

I do apologize for that.  I should’ve asked.

She nods.  Yes.  I should have.

I watch her during the course of the night.  She pours two fingers of the beer in the pint glass, then lets it sit.  Then she drinks it.  She waits, then pours another two fingers of beer, lets it sit, drinks, and so on, and so forth.

And I learned a very important lesson from this woman.  NEVER pour zee beer before you ask if they want zee beer poured.

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