Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Book Doesn’t Run Out Of Batteries

I’m serving tables at the hotel restaurant, I approach a table, there’s a woman, sitting at the table, reading a book.

A real book.  With a cover, and pages, and a lick of the finger to turn the page.

I say, I love when I see someone reading a real book.

She sets it down for a moment, gestures to her laptop, and says,

It doesn’t run out of batteries!

-Clint

 

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Whistling At The Bartender

I’m behind the hotel bar, server just left, group of seven come in, sit down at a table.  When the server makes their exit, It’s time for me to bartend, and serve, which I don’t mind.  Another opportunity to make a little extra money.

I go up to the table, take their drink order.  That’s all they’re having.  Seems to be a family.  Two 20-something kids, a couple parents, a couple grandparents.

I get their drinks, some beers, a margarita, a Captain Coke, deliver them to their table.  They all say thank you, seem friendly.

It starts getting busy at the bar area, but I check in on the table from time-to-time, get them another round.

After a half-hour in, I’m at the register, placing an order, I hear this loud, piercing whistle.  That BETTER not be for me.  I turn my head to the table where the whistle originated from, and GRANDPA is waving me over.

Hold on, hold on.  Did you just WHISTLE AT ME?!?  You want your JAW BROKEN, Grandpa?  There is NOTHING RUDER than the whistle.  I go up to the table.

Yes?

Grandpa says, we’ll have another round.

I just stare at him, without saying a word.  I want to SO BAD say something.  Did you just whistle at me to get my attention?  DO I LOOK LIKE I HAVE A DOG COLLAR AROUND MY NECK, ASSHOLE?!?

I get them another round, deliver it to them.  Very quietly.

I understand, you’re thirsty, you want more drinks, you want to get the bartender’s attention.  I really get it.  But THE WHISTLE will piss off the bartender.  Unless that’s what you’re going for.

How about this?  You see the bartender is busy, not able to be attentive to your needs.  Get up from your chair, walk to the bartender, say, when you get the chance, we’ll take another round.  That’s not THAT difficult, is it?  I mean, we live in society, people!  Where we should RESPECT OTHERS, whether they’re your maid, your server, or your bartender.  There’s a right way, and a wrong way to get what you want.  And I’m here to tell you:  there will NEVER BE A TIME when THE WHISTLE is an appropriate way to get ANYONE’S attention.

-Clint 

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Boujee Money

It’s Friday night, I’m bartending, group of six come in, three guys, three girls.  We get to talking, they’re in from Chicago for a wedding.

After serving the first round, six beers, one guy nods his head to me, says, I’ll take the round.  Everybody else is busy talking.  I grab his card, run it, give him the receipt to sign.

One of his buddies exclaim, DUDE.  What are you doing?!?  We’re not DOING that, you paying for the drinks.  We don’t want your BOUJEE money.

He smiles, says, dude.  Don’t worry about it.

Later on, the group leaves, except for Mr. Boujee.  We get to chatting, I say, I can kind of imagine what the word boujee infers, but where does it come from?

He says, ya know, bourgeois.  Bourgeois money.

And that’s the thing right there for all you haters.  If you just give in to the notion, you really can learn something from Millennials.

-Clint

 

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I’m Not Judging You

I’m bartending the hotel bar, woman comes up, says, I’d like a glass of your house Chardonnay.  And can you put some olives in it?  

I imperceptibly make a face.

But she notices.

Says, I know, I know.  it’s weird, but I like olives!

I say, hey, hey.  (Shrugging my shoulders).  I’m not judging you.  I’d never judge.  Who am I to judge?

She smiles, says, thank you.

I get her glass of Chardonnay, put some olives in it.

Just FYI:  If anyone ever says to you, I’m not judging you, most of the time,

There’s some serious judging going on.

-Clint

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An Easy Way To Remember How To Make A Manhattan

A Manhattan is a beautiful and simple drink.  You really appreciate it when you have to start making cocktails with more than three ingredients.  Here’s a sure-fire way to make a delicious Manhattan, and an easy way to remember how to do it.

Start with 2 oz of Bourbon.  If you’re at home making cocktails, don’t be afraid to buy/use a jigger to get things precise.  For starters, I would use Bulleit Bourbon, or Makers Mark is always a good go-to.  I also like Woodford Reserve.

Next, use 1 oz of Sweet Vermouth.  This will smooth things out with the drink, and sweeten it up.

After that, 2 dashes of Bitters, and you’ve got yourself a Manhattan.

2 oz Bourbon, 1 oz of Sweet Vermouth, 2 dashes of Bitters.  (And a cherry).

And do you know what the Area Code for Manhattan is?  

Drum roll please…

212.

-Clint

 

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Revenant

Young guy comes up to the bar, sits down. I’d say he’s mid-20’s, kind of on the preppy side. He orders a drink, I make it, set it down, we get to talking. On the TV at the bar, The Revenant is playing. We get to talking about movies. He tells me he likes Rom-Com movies, which is my least favorite genre. He says, I’ll watch any kind of movie, except for horror. I say, I LOVE horror movies! Why don’t you like them? He says, I’ve been possessed by the devil nine times, starting at age 9. I’ve been to Hell. Actual Hell. If you don’t believe Jesus Christ was here, died for our sins, and is our Lord and Savior, we’re not talking anymore.

I open my mouth to respond, think better of it, turn back to the TV to see my old buddy Leo getting mauled by a bear. 

The bear looks so real. 

-Clint

 

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My Starbucks Moment

I’m serving at the hotel, a group of six come in to the restaurant, sit down.  I go up, introduce myself, set some menus down, take their drink order.  Young group, I ask what they’re doing in town, they tell me they’re in Des Moines for a convention.  I go get their drinks, set them down, we get to talking.  There are three young men, and three young women at the table.  I ask them, so what are you guys up to tonight?  One of the young ladies says to me, we don’t know.  What should we do?  I say, what are you looking to do?  She says, have some cocktails here, then find another bar, somewhere close by.  I say, great.  I know the perfect place to go.  There is a bar literally 36 steps from the hotel.  She says, oh really?  I say, ok.  Don’t hold me to that number.  I haven’t actually counted the steps, but it’s somewhere around there.  You go out the back door of the hotel, turn right, and the bar is in the next building over.  Cool bar, has a 50’s apartment feel to it, with a great selection of craft cocktails.  She says, awesome!  We’ll check it out!

About a month ago, to prepare for the re-opening of our restaurant/bar that was recently renovated, the hotel set up a training session with a company called the Ellis Adams Group.  A man named Ezra did the training.  To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first whether I would learn something from the training, but I was pleasantly surprised with Ezra’s bar and restaurant knowledge.  At one point in the training, Ezra talked about his “Starbucks Moment.”

A number of years ago, he was working at the Ritz Carlton, and happened to be in earshot of some guests in the lobby when he heard them say, you know what would be great?  A Starbucks coffee.  The guests didn’t know Ezra heard them, and after they left, he walked up to the shuttle service, and said he needed to borrow a car.  They were reluctant at first, but then gave him the keys.  He drives to a Starbucks nearby, and buys two cups of Starbucks coffee, takes them back to the hotel, finds out what room the guests were staying in, and knocks on their door.  They open the door, and he says, I was in the lobby, and overheard you saying how much you’d like a Starbucks coffee.  I took the liberty to go out and get you a couple.

They were understandably surprised and impressed.  The next day, Ezra comes in, and the manager asks him to come to his office.  He says, one, we’re going to have to talk about you borrowing a car from the hotel, but we’ll discuss that later.  Secondly, the guest you got the Starbucks coffee for left you an envelope.  Ezra opens it up, and there in the envelope, was a thank you note, and a crisp $100 bill.  And every day after that, an envelope was waiting for Ezra with $100 bill in it, for as long as the couple stayed at the hotel.

In the training, he described this as his “Starbucks Moment.”  It is a moment you find the opportunity to go above and beyond the expectations of a guest.

Getting back, the table of six sat in my section for a good hour, enjoying each other’s company, and some tasty beverages.  I would go up to their table, and entertain them with stories I thought they would enjoy.  Some tables you just instantly have a rapport with, and this was one.  

Upon leaving, they thanked me for my service, and told me they were going to check out the bar I recommended.  I said, don’t forget to count the steps, and get back to me.

When they left, upon cleaning up their table, I realized that one of the ladies had left their to-go food.  I approached my manager, and said, hey, can you do me a favor?  Deliver this drink order for me I just put in.  I gotta do something.  I’ll be right back.

I grab the to-go bag, make my way to the back door of the hotel, and exit.  I start counting my steps.  1, 2, 3.  I reach the front door of the bar, go in, look for the group.  Hey guys!  They’re sitting at a table, lounging with drinks.  CLINT! One of them yells.  I said, I just wanted you to know, if you didn’t already, that it was 90 steps to the bar.  They laugh.  One of the young women says, you know what, Clint?  I left my to-go food at the table.  At this point, she hadn’t seen what was in my hand.  I say, oh, this one?  And hand it to her.  The crowd goes wild.  CLINT!!!  Stay, have a drink with us!  I say, sorry guys, I gotta get back to work.

And with that, I left the bar, and found my own “Starbucks Moment.”

-Clint

 

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