Salty, I recently discovered a wonderful bar near my house. I am usually shy, quiet, and reserved. One of the bartenders is a wonderful young lady—let’s call her “K”—who has gotten me to talk to her and the manager about whiskey mostly. I have made some comments about my mental health issues like PTSD and depression. She has gone out of her way, in my opinion, to get other patrons to include me in conversation and has otherwise been very considerate. I tip her well, but would like to give her a thank you note or a print of my photography, as my way of saying extra thanks. Is that appropriate or acceptable?
It sounds like you found yourself a fabulous bar, and I understand why you’re wondering if a thank you note is too forward and will screw things up with your bartender. Part of a job of a bartender, besides slinging drinks, is to provide hospitality. But sometimes customers misinterpret this as personal friendliness, especially if the bartender (or server) happens to be a young lady.
But, on the other hand, people like to hear that they’re good at their jobs! I mean, hell, we can actually live off the big tips you leave us, but it’s still nice to hear, “You were great!” especially in the middle of a really crummy shift.
There’s a line, though. I love my Salty Hairdresser, and she’s heard all my salty rants. But she and I both know she’s my hairdresser, which means she’s my BFF for approximately the hour it takes to stack up this bouffant, and then I’m out the door.
So here’s what you do, Shy. Go ahead and slip K a note if you want, but keep it short and sweet, something like, “Thanks for making me feel so welcome here at K’s Bar.” And then keep the big tips coming.
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