Actual Customer Interactions: So-Called ‘Good Customers’

The bar at which I work runs a happy hour special Monday through Thursdays, as is the case at most bars in the downtown area. Or anywhere, for that matter. At our establishment, we offer buy-one-get-one tap beers, tap wine, or rail mixers. As one can imagine, happy hour (shockingly) does not attract our finest clientele. But it does get a fair number of butts on the bar stools. So that’s something….

I hate this phrase so hard.

I hate this phrase so hard.

The two men in ill-fitting, J.C. Penney’s suits sit their corpulent selves at the corner of the bar at the stroke of 4:00 pm, when happy hour begins. I recognize them immediately. They are happy hour regulars. They will suck down three or four glasses of cheap wine apiece and spit at each other about their government jobs until the happy hour deal is over, at which point they will promptly depart after leaving a meager tip on the bar. I’m never inclined to spend too much time on these two.

“How’s it going, you two?” I say, tossing some coasters on the bar, along with a drink list even though they won’t use it.

“Tap red,” grunts one of the fat men.

“Make it two,” says the other.

“Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I’m out of our tap red till tomorrow.” This was not a lie. “What can I get you instead?”

“What?”

“I’m out of the tap red wine today,” I repeat. “What else can I get you?”

“You’re out of the red?” says the first man.

“Correct.”

“What else can we get, then?” the second man furrows his brow.

Indicating the beverage menu in front of them, I say, “I can get you a deal on the white we have on tap, our tap beers, or any rail mixed drink.”

“But you’re out of the red?”

“We are out of the red,” I confirm once more.

The two man look at me vacantly for a moment before one of them has an idea. “We’ll just have two glasses of your cabernet.”

“Great,” I say. “The bottled wine by the glass is not included in happy hour, but you guys look like you can afford it.”

The first man is not pleased with this. “Since you’re out of what we want, why don’t you give us the cab for the by-one-get-one?”

“Because the bottled wine is priced differently, and I’ve gotta stick to the rules or the boss’ll get upset. Plus, we’re basically giving the bar away during this happy hour thing anyway. There’s gotta be something else I can get you.”

“If you’re not going to give us a deal, then we’ll go somewhere else,” states one of the men. “We’re good customers.”

“Yeah,” agrees the other. “We’ll just go to the Argus.”

“I think they just made my point,” I mutter, turning to my co-worker.