My friends have told me that if I have a special ability with food and wine, it is not a gifted palate nor an especially deft hand in the kitchen; rather it is the treatment I receive in restaurants despite the fact I am basically destitute financially and not particularly good looking or well connected. Essentially, I receive the treatment restaurants give their regular customers, and that is achievable from your first visit to any good restaurant (a good place being one with a vision and a mission beyond making money.) This is a series about the behaviors I see as natural that some do not.
Say Please. I have done some time behind a bar; I believe everyone should. The one thing that makes me crazy, even today on the patrons' side of the bar, is the absence of the word please. I like to believe this is only a Northeast of America, greater metropolitan New York area, trait but no matter what, it is stupid and offensive. Orders preceded solely with a "let me get a..." and "yea give me a..." have become the norm, even in the nicest of establishments.
Setting aside the fact that the proper way to order a drink in English is "may I please have a...," any sentence that starts "let me..." or "give me..." must at very least be followed by a "please." No matter what you tip, if you don't say it, even if you say thanks, you are a dick and that is what the bartenders think. And dicks never become regulars.
If you can't be bothered to go the "may I please" route, it is actually better to just declare a drink i.e. "Vodka Soda," or "Sapphire Gibson." In a crowded bar this is efficient and, if done deliberately, with eye contact and an appropriate tip ($1 dollar per one drink made and/or $2 for every three drinks beyond, the exception being wine which should be tipped as food, 20% rounded up) will be very much appreciated. The bartender will seek your eyes out in the crowd next time you are looking. I have no idea how we devolved into a culture where one person will turn his back to a bartender and pass orders over his shoulder, one at a time, from his friends with nothing more then a "yea, I'lllll ahhhhhh have a....... annnnd aaaahhh...annnnd aaaaaaa..." but it is rude, it is inefficient for the rest of us, and it makes you look like a jerk. So cut it out... please.