Keeping in mind that one is not supposed to enjoy their student job and one should not expect to make millions out of it, last term I decided to stop the process of parasitism on society and my family and get myself a part-time student job instead.
Finding it was enough of an effort. After ten thousand application forms, all disturbingly keen on the same question: ‘What is so special about our company that makes you want to work for us so desperately? Please write that we are great, get on your knees and beg!,’ and after tons of essays on how much I like working in a team and am eager to take up new challenges and learn new things bla, bla, bla, I managed to break into one of the most familiar of student-centred professions, bar work. Four and a half squid per hour looked like a fair deal for pouring pints and opening some bottles. The harsh reality was about to come upon me soon.
After a few shifts I realized that the typical clientele of the aforesaid bar consisted of middle-aged (aged rather than middle) locals with unattractively dirty mouths and a disturbing fetish for lycra. Still, I repeated in my mind: ‘Student job’.
However, something snapped when I was faced with an overweight 50-year old (obviously lots of lycra) picking up a straw from the bar and licking it in an dubious manner, while looking at me and expressing quite loudly: ’Give your mummy as sloppy kiss’. Incidents like that occurred much more often than they should. Really.
However, nothing was near as bad as glass collecting. Try getting squeezed through approximately 600 drunk people with a glass-basket full of glass. Real fun, especially when half of the customers decide to grab you arse or express their discontent about a pint you served them three hours ago. I know it’s all calculated risk, but it can get quite excessive.
If you can, it is perhaps best to look for a job in a non licensed establishment. As students, we all know what it’s like to be drunk, lairy and foolish; but somehow, it’s not so much fun when you’re on the receiving end. In any case, the novelty wears off pretty quickly. No, I’m not just being a cynical, bitter and twisted individual. Just imagine being stone cold sober in Ziggy’s or Toffs. However, think carefully about the alternatives. Only the most hardcore of us can survive countless hours on the checkouts without losing the will to live.
Do look for jobs, earn money and be independent. All I’m saying is go to the place you want to work in beforehand and see if you can hack it. There’s lots of places in York (huge exaggeration) that offer nice and friendly atmosphere and where the clients keep to the required minimum of social skills. It’s all common sense. For God’s sake, if it’s says: ‘The Eighties Bar’ on the window, at least have second thoughts.