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Aug 8, 2006 01:14 AM

Drinks "Rounds" Protocol

Here's something that happened a few weeks back. We usually meet the same people for drinks every now and then; sometimes we'll eat afterwards (once everyone's arrived) but on this occasion I was only gonna stay for one, maybe two drinks.

Now, I didn't wanna get into the whole "rounds" game, primarily because I knew I was leaving early. So, I got to the bar first, bought my drink and sat down at a table. As people came, they got a drink from the bar and joined the table.

After a while, one of the party gets up to get drinks. I decline the offer (as I've still got plenty and don't wanna then hang around to buy one back, as I'm pressed for time).

It takes him ages to get drinks, so by the time he returns, I'm done with my drink but still have some time before I leave. So, I go to get a drink, knowing that everyone has just got theirs, only to have the dude (who has just come back with a full drink) say "while you're there, get me one!"

I guess my question is, am I entitled to ask for money? I mean, if I'm making a point of NOT getting involved with the rounds system, what right does someone have to try to make me?


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  1. Asking for money would probably cause a tiff that would extend throug to the next time you all went out.

    I would go to the bar and get only my drink. upon returning to the table and the other guy asks where his drink is I would slap my forehead and say "sorry, I forgot to get it." Smile, sit down and have a converation. Finish my drink and adios.

    1. That's exactly what I thought, so I went ahead and got it anyway, but next time, I'm gonna say I forgot!


      1. oh come on, just buy the guy a drink. Unless.. has he finished his drink at this point or is he doubling up?
        If he genuinely needs a drink and it's way expensive then just tell him to get you back next time. If he's doubling up on your tab that's just rude.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mbe

          Seriously, just buy the drink. What goes around...

        2. Well I did, but I won't again.

          I know it sounds petty, and really I'm quite generous, but he really was doubling up. He knew I was leaveing, I had already declined the offer from anyone else, just so I didn't have to buy drinks, and he'd just come back with a full drink.

          Under those circumstances, he seemed to be taking advantage.


          3 Replies
          1. re: TexasToast

            If this is a person you drink with regularly than you should just get him the drink and forget about it. These things tend to work themselves out over a long period of time.

            1. re: KTinNYC

              That's what I was thinking.

              It all evens out over time ...

              1. re: PaulF

                Agreed. Get him the drink, and if you are really concerned with making things even just be sure to ask him for a drink next time.

          2. I know, I know, and I usually do, as I did that night, but it just seemed like he was taking advantage, that's all.