I am not going to identify the location of where this awkward encounter went down because I'm not actually trying to get this person in trouble. My hope is that on the off-chance he should see it, he might reconsider repeating this behavior with another customer sitting as his bar.

Dear Creepy Bartender,

My friend came in to sit at your bar. She was alone and just looking to enjoy an alcoholic beverage to kick off the weekend. At first, your conversation attempts were fine. You used flattery to tell my friend how young she looks, saying there's no way she could be over 21. She is, of course, of legal drinking age, and pulled out her ID to prove it.

You evaluated her license photo and noticed she was wearing makeup in the photo. She wasn't wearing makeup at your bar, so you decided to comment on that. "You look so much prettier without makeup", you said. My friend brushed off the weird compliment and said "Thanks". If you are reading this and thinking "What's so wrong with that? He is complimenting her on her natural beauty." Yes, maybe that's what it seems like on the surface. But in real life, he is a stranger giving another stranger unsolicited advice about her appearance. She would never say to him, "You look so much better with a hat on" or "You'd look so much better if you had hair". The compliment is also insinuating that his opinion has any bearing on whether or not she decides to wear makeup. Women decide to wear or not wear makeup for themselves, not creepy bartenders.

Now, creepy bartender, the events that followed were extremely problematic. You were chatting with a co-worker and shouted over to my friend "We were just talking about how you MUST be married". My friend responded that she is actually not married. Then you asked, "Do you like bartenders?" You and your co-worker had a hearty laugh over this. My friend, extremely uncomfortable by this point, told you that she didn't live nearby. She was in the area dog-sitting for a friend. Your eyes lit up with delight, and then you said, "Even better! So, nobody's home!" You found this even more hilarious than your brilliant "do you like bartenders" pick-up line.

My friend had enough of you shooting your shot over and over for the entertainment of your co-worker. She was clearly not interested, and you weren't taking the hint. She left without finishing her drink.

You should know, creepy bartender, that my friend NEVER leaves a drink unfinished, especially an Espresso Martini, which is her favorite. You should also know that despite your creepiness clouding up her experience, she really did enjoy the drinks you crafted. She wanted to go back on Sunday with a friend (me), but said she would never go back to that bar. Not only did your aggressive flirting and inappropriate behavior not score you a date with my friend, it also lost you business.

Creepy bartender, I'm sure your pathetic excuses for flattery were harmless. You didn't mean to make my friend so uncomfortable that she got up and left, but you did. And you can make excuses all day. "She was being too sensitive" or "No one can take a joke anymore!" You and I both know that when you work in a customer service role, there is a certain level of professionalism and respect that should be maintained with your customers. Somewhere along the way, you lost that.

I hope this letter somehow finds its way to your eyeballs and you consider changing your ways. I'm guessing it hasn't worked well for you so far. Perhaps it's time to try out a different approach.


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