A couple of weeks ago, after driving all day from Nelson, I walked into a pub in Vancouver and sat at the bar. There was only one other guy a few stools down, and he was busy working on his laptop, so I asked the bartender if he could put the ball game on, which he was happy to do. I began watching from the first inning, had my dinner there, and was enjoying a fine evening.
About the fifth inning, a couple came in and started talking to the new bartender, who had just come on shift, about football, and finally the guy asked why the football game wasn’t on. The bartender explained that it was because that guy over there (me) was watching baseball, and they groaned.
I knew what was going to happen next. About five minutes later, the bartender who had just come on shift stood in front of me, changed the channel, and said he was putting the football game on because everybody at the bar (two people) wanted that. I said not a chance, I’d been there from the first pitch, and I planned on seeing my baseball game.
The bartender then said that he would place me over at a table where I could watch baseball, and once again, I said not a chance. I said if anybody’s going to move, it should be the couple who just showed up. My voice got slightly louder, I said several times that this is complete bullshit, and I told the guy to put the ball game back on. Finally the couple got up, told me not to sweat it, and said they’d move to the table to watch their football.
So my game came back on, the new bartender kept his distance, and finally asked me if I wanted another beer. I didn’t really, but I said yes because I knew if I left now, he and the couple would have their football game at the bar, where they wanted it. And most importantly, when it came time to pay for my beer (I’d already cleared up the first bill with the first bartender), it made me incredibly happy to press the “no” button where it said tip or no tip.
This whole thing bugged me. I thought about it back in my hotel room, and I thought long and hard about it during the drive back to Powell River. When I got home I phoned the manager, who was apologetic and offered me a $25 gift certificate, and she assured me the bartender would be issuing an apology also.
Hey bartender, forget it. I’ve moved on.