Do not, under any circumstances, frantically fidget at a busy bar waving money around. Please, you will look stupid. Not just stupid, but the worst kind of person. The worst kind of stupid person. Your server is there to prepare drinks and facilitate good times, not to provide lap dances (unless they genuinely are there to offer lap dances, in which case I retract my earlier statement).
Believe it or not, servers will give you the benefit of the doubt that you own money. Maybe not to warrant a mortgage, but at least enough for a round of drinks. You do not need to display it as evidence. They are not thinking: “I would serve him next, but I am not convinced he will be able to pay”.
Nobody needs to flash notes in the mistaken belief they are somehow discreet. Your presence alone alerts servers to your drinking requirements. A bar is not an auction house, and servers are not auctioneers. They are not surveying a sea of blank faces, looking out for a suavely raised card.
If this money waving sounds familiar, next time open your eyes to the swathes of people who were at the bar before you dragged your knuckles to the front of it. You were more than likely waiting because others had been waiting longer. You didn’t miraculously turn invisible; nobody had a vendetta against you, and the server’s had good eyesight.
The infuriation this caused was illustrated by a manager of a high-end cocktail bar in Leeds, who suffered from a customer waving £20 notes around. He responded by calmly taking it from his gesticulating palm, dropped it in a blender, and coolly served £20 worth of confetti in a Collins glass. I sincerely wish he asked him if wanted ice.
Admittedly there is nothing more infuriating than being ignored by servers. Especially over louder, bolshier customers who are all elbows, mouth or silicone implants. In Concert Square this is likely to be all three. I suggest bars directly serve the quietest most polite person next. If only libraries served alcohol, I’d have somewhere to go mid-week.