I’m sure I’d make a terrible barman, and I’m sure my first night on the job would be a disaster, but I’m also sure I’d be nowhere near as bizarrely inept as the girl who served me after work last night. ‘I’d like a Carlsberg, a Carlsberg shandy, a Grolsch and a Shires’ was met with a panicked look, so I decided to go through them one by one. The Carlsberg turned out to be a pint of export, which raised my suspicions; but I really wasn’t expecting the blank look that greeted the request for a shandy. Fearing that she was having trouble with my pronunciation (she had something of an American accent) I hesitated to explain that I wanted half a lager and half a lemonade in the same glass, but she was relieved rather than insulted by my explanation. The inevitable beer followed by lemonade followed by fizz everywhere disaster over, she proceeded to fill a pint glass with head from the Grolsch pump.

I didn’t find this strange ‘ perfectly understandable on your first night behind the bar ‘ but her attempts to pour me Young’s rather than Shires made me begin to wonder if she’d been given any training whatsoever. When a request for a packet of ready salted crisps was met by a blank look and then, following further explanation, a packet of mini cheddars, I began to suspect she’d never been in a pub before. Finally, she glanced around for a couple of seconds before requesting ‘5.45, which seemed suspiciously cheap; when my ’10 note resulted in ‘6.55 change I really should have said something, but the round had taken 10 minutes already and I feared I’d never make it out.

Bar managers ‘ for pity’s sake, give your staff some training before you put the poor souls out to work on a Friday night.