JukeBox Etiquette 101



There is really only one rule when it comes to the bar jukebox — Be Considerate!

1. Consider your Audience and Consider the Time of Day

If you think the old woman in the corner table wants to listen to Master of Puppets while she laps up her French onion soup you are wrong.  Similarly, the group of kids doing shots of fireball don’t wanna jam out to Nights in White Satin on a Saturday night.  Any of these offenses will surely get your song skipped.  Sorry not sorry.

2. Do not Highjack the Jukebox

I guess a good rule of thumb is no more than 3 or 4 songs at a time, if the jukebox is busy with other people. If no one is biting, go ahead and play more.  Technology of today has made it really easy for jackassery to go incognito, as you don’t even have to get up and stand in front of the touch tunes anymore; you can just play The Best of Stevie Nicks in its entirety from your smartphone and no one will know who is responsible for their torture.


Never a good idea.

3. Tread lightly with “Play my Song Next”

We wouldn’t need this feature if everyone just observed rule #2.  If you are going to use this feature, it better be such a good song that it will melt everyone’s faces off.  I hate this feature because it gets people’s panties all in a bunch.  I once observed a jukebox showdown between a grown man and a girl in her twenties and it was the weirdest mashup of Led Zepplin and Duran Duran I’ve ever heard.  It caused a lot of animosity and it was just silly.  She was actually having convulsions because she couldn’t control the music of the entire bar.


It looked something like this.

Other bits of advice are this:   Try to stay away from the Top 40 playlist.  Dash it in here and there, but there is no reason anyone needs to hear another Maroon 5 song.. ever again.  Obviously, play stuff you like…but try not to go too off the deep end, save that shit for when you have your headphones on and you’re reading a book or something.  People like to hear fun, familiar songs.

I mean, no matter what you do..you will have some fans and some haters.  Just have fun, be considerate and branch out.




What’s with these young kids ordering weird, throwback cocktails?? This kid almost shit his pants because I told him I could make a Negroni for him.

Gross. Like, did you just graduate bartending school and you think you’re hot shit or something? I couldn’t help but notice that you nursed the shit out of it. Probably because it was fucking disgusting.

You WILL Mine The Gold

So, apparently, we all mean nothing to him and we are ALL replace-able. It’s not the fact that the chairs are falling apart on the daily, or that we are missing bricks from our wall, that the floor at the downstairs bar is disintegrating, various hooks have fallen off and are left with a dangerous peg jutting out, our drink specials haven’t changed since the place opened, our prices are high for the area, various new restaurant/bars have opened in the area recently or that our food is mediocre at best. Nope. The reason the restaurant isn’t soaring is because of us.

It’s our fault. We must badger our customers by asking what their name is, what they do for a living, if they live in the area and other various questions that no one wants to hear while they are just trying to relax and have a drink. We will now be known as the over eager creeper bar. #creeperbar

I was also told that no one’s shift is guaranteed and things will be moving around. I’m standing by, but I swear, if I get shit on.. the shifts won’t be the only thing moving around. And a lot of us feel that way.

Pink Slip

The owners recently fired one of my favorite people to work with on account of he just kinda didn’t like him much.  Never mind the fact that he was probably the most hard-working and honest people there.  Nah, lets keep the guy that calls out all the time, and the guy who gives away the bar every shift.  Yep, makes sense.

I’ve been assured that girls will rarely get the boot unless you are a thief or a crackhead, but it still doesn’t make me feel too warm & fuzzy if they can just let go a long-time employee with a smile on their face.

Fuck it though, there are a million other fucking restaurants in the world and a million other opportunities for someone like me.   I could be the most eager, best employee ever.  But, in situations like this, I have to ask myself…. why would I bother?