ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A Florida woman thanked a bartender on social media last week for helping her avoid a potentially awkward situation.
Max Gutierrez, who works at the No Vacancy bar and restaurant in St. Petersburg, used a note disguised as a receipt on June 13 to protect the two women from harassment, the woman told the Tampa Bay Times.
According to a woman, whose Twitter handle was @trinityallie, Gutierrez approached her table and handed over a clipboard, which looked like a receipt, the newspaper reported.
The note read, “If this guy is bothering you, put your ponytail on your other shoulder, and I will have him removed. He’s giving me the creeps.”
After the man left, Gutierrez posed with the note while one of the women took a photo for the tweet.
More than a week later, Gutierrez and @trinityallie reunited at the bar for the first time since the incident, WFLA reported.
Gutierrez said he noticed the two women were being bothered by the other customer, the television station reported.
“You get hit on and whatnot but some people won’t take no for an answer,” @trinityallie told WFLA. “No bartender has ever stepped in for me and that’s why I thought it was so great and everyone should hear about it.”
When the man began brushing up on the women, Gutierrez asked him to leave, the television station reported.
The hidden message was a twist on a code between restaurant staff members and customers, the Times reported. One version is for a customer to order a fictitious drink, called an “angel shot,” the newspaper reported. Order a shot straight into a glass, or “neat,” and a bartender will escort a customer to a car, according to the Times. Order it with ice and someone will call Uber or a taxi, or order it with lime if the customer wants the police to be called.
Gutierrez later posted a note on Reddit, saying he has learned how to read people’s body language from his mentors, the Times reported.
“I honestly don’t like yelling at customers or embarrassing people,” Gutierrez wrote. “But I find it’s one of the best ways to handle creeps.”
Gutierrez later tweeted that the customer returned four days later, but the bartender refused to serve him,
Gutierrez said all the praise he has received on social media has been humbling.
“I see all the ‘hero bartender’ messages but I’m not a hero, I was just doing my job,” Gutierrez told WFLA.
“Take a page out of Max’s book. This is what it’s about,” Guiterrez’s boss, Stephen Schrutt, told the television station. “You’re not just selling food and drinks, you’re making sure people are safe.”
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