The Amercians, as a people, generally get ragged upon quite a lot if you're outside America. In most cases, deservedly so. One thing, I don't think they get enough credit for is their bar staff. Which is not to say they haven't got their share of shitty hospo people. And the whole paying people by tipping thing, I still regard as asinine. There is though, a certain tradition, though it might be considered somewhat old school these days, that stems from the golden age of booze. People who know how to take care of a bar. We appear to sadly lack these people in New Zealand. Seriously, the best bartender I've seen in the past year was at a bar called Sale St, one of the most god awful bars in the whole city. Get a good bar, great music, great atmosphere nice people, like Ginger Minx and you get bar staff who are quite happy to blatantly ignore customers in favour of their friends. Not a great way to win repeat customers. Then you get places on Ponsonby Road (not my choice of venue, but hey, I'm not the one leaving the country), the wait staff are great, but behind the bars you get 4 people manning a not particularly busy 6 meter bar and you still get people waiting 15 minutes for a drink. That, I'm sad to say, is just incompetence.