Be Nice to the Barback
The barback in any bar is a lifeline to the bartender. Without the barback, bartenders make less money and that in turn makes the barback less money. It is a true synergistic relationship but at times it can get complicated. I have seen some bartenders treat barbacks like shit and I have seen some real lazy barbacks. It goes both ways.
If you finally get that first job behind the bar make it a point to get to know your barbacks name. Whatever you do, it is very important to establish a relationship with your barback. If the barback likes you and respects you it will make your time behind the bar a lot easier. After you establish a relationship with your barback it is very important to find out what tasks behind the bar are the responsibility of the barback. I can honeslty say that in every single bar I have worked at, the responsibilities of the barback have been different. If its the bartenders job to wash the glasses and you keep asking the barback to do it, he/she is going to get pissed off. Its vital to know what jobs are for you as a bartender and what jobs are for the barback.
I always make it a point to be nice and respectful to any barback I am working with. When he/she gets me something I always say thank you and when I need something I always ask in a nice way. You would be surprised how far this goes to establishing a great relationship with your barback.
I will be honest and say there are some barbacks who are lazy and don’t really like being told what to do. In my experience most of these types of people are the ones that want to be bartenders and are annoyed about being a barback. These types of individuals can be tough to deal with. When dealing with these types of people it is important to let them know the more money you make, the more money they make. It is essential to let the barback know that the more he/she helps you, the more money you will both make together. Remember, always be nice to your barback.