2011-9-23 18:10:46 Lucy
Amazingly for the British, who love queues, there is no formal line-up----the bar staff are skilled at knowing whose turn it is. You are permitted to try to attract attention, but there are rules about how to do this. Do not call out tap coins on the counter, snap your finger or wave like a drowning swimmer. Do not scowl or sigh or roll your eyes. And whatever you do, do not ring the bell hanging behind the counter---this is used by the landlord to signal closing time. The key thing is to catch the bar worker’s eyes. You could also hold an empty glass or some money, but do not wave them about. Do adopt an expectant, hopeful, even slightly anxious facial expression. If you 1ook too contented and complacent, the bar staff may assume you are already being served.
Always say "please" and try to remember some of the British bar staffs pet hates. They do not like people to keep others waiting while they make up their minds. They don’t like people standing idly against the bar when there are a lot of customers wanting for service. And they do not like people who wait until the end of the order before asking for such drinks as Guinness stout which take considerably longer to pour than other drinks.
One Dutch tourist who spent six months visiting 800 of Britain’s 61,000 pubs and interviewing 50 publicans and bar workers and more than 1,000 customers said :" I cannot understand how the British ever manage to buy themselves a drink." But they do, and if you follow these tips you should be able to do so, too.
Speaking of tips, you should never offer the bar staff a cash gratuity. The correct behaviour is to offer them a drink. Pubs pride themselves on their egalitarian atmosphere. A tip in cash would be a reminder of their service role, whereas the offer of a drink is a friendly gesture.