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Dublin: 17 °C Thursday 28 August, 2014

Column: What’s it like to work at a nightclub during college? Let me tell you …

Working in a club will give you a huge range of skills useful in later ‘grown up’ life, writes Roisin Curran.

Roisin Curran

AFTER THREE LONG, excruciating years of being “student” broke (which is the worst kind of broke) and having to skip out on all manner of social events in college because my wallet harboured paper-eating moths, I finally landed a part-time job in a nightclub. Yes, my motivation was to earn money so I could party and the only job I could find was one working the exact same hours, the irony was not lost on me. I had gone from penniless introvert to an earning member of bar staff but at the price of working unsociable hours – sometimes there’s just no winning in life. Now when I first started there, you can imagine the mixed reactions I got off friends and fellow students.

“Oh my god you poor thing do you even get any sleep?” No, as you can see from my high performing morning cocktail of red bull and coffee. “Oh wow they must work you like a slave in there” No, we aren’t a sweatshop for knock-off Michael Kors bags, we just serve you people drinks. “Ew do you get a bunch of drunk guys touching your ass?” No darling, they like to give it a good firm slap instead – they’re drunk college dudes what do you think? “Like, will that even count on your CV when you want an actual real job?” Oh I’m sorry, I forgot we cater only to nymphs and the odd Disney princess – this is a real job. And so the list goes on.

A window into how drunk and stupid people can be

The truth is, yes you get spilled on, yes you rise and fall at unhuman hours in the day and yes its minimum wage. But you know what? It’s fun. I’m by far one of the happiest people in my entire course these days because, despite dragging myself around on the floor of our lectures in the early mornings, I always have a hilarious story to tell about what happened at work last night.

Nightclubs really are the window into how crazy and stupid drunk twenty-somethings can be. Before I even manage to open with my daily line “you’ll never believe in work last night …” I’m bombarded with chants of ‘spill it!’ Before even the most mature of my colleagues go online to check their secret Tinder accounts, they turn to me first to hear the crazy stuff that went on in our club last night. And I can tell you some whoppers – both disgusting and heart-warming.

A huge misconception is that this line of work will turn you against your own generation. Understandable, seeing as you’re the first-hand witness to all their puking, crying and falling. That last sentence really made our generation sound like a bunch of five year olds didn’t it? But to be honest, we do get the really tough nights where it’s non-stop from the minute the doors push open and in the midst of our attempt to control chaos we’ll moan “I just HATE students!”

You learn a lot

Of course there are aspects you hate about it, that’s the case for every job. I have really learned to hate those idiots who believe that after buying a €4.50 shot they have therefore substantially contributed to the clubs profit and so can act like they own the place. Do not snap at our busy bar staff who barely have a second to breathe, do not get in the way of our cleaning staff when they are trying to wipe up YOUR mess. And if you would like to return home with clean (or semi clean anyway) undies, do not test our bouncers. But at the end of a long night, a long laugh is even better. And we could never turn on our own social group – and what is without a doubt our main source of entertainment. We really do love you drunken messes.

Working in a club will give you a huge range of skills useful in later ‘grown up’ life. You’ll learn to think quickly in a high pressure situation where even the smallest thing will send you into a code red. You’ll learn to defend yourself against creepy men – I find my back off me stare has tripled in power since I started work a year ago. You’ll increase your confidence with the number of drunken marriage proposals you’ll receive in a week alone. You’ll make great friends and even if you’re not now – or cringe at the mere clichéd phrase – you really will become a people person. Well, until 9 o’clock the following morning comes around and you revert back to a ‘don’t talk to me or face death’ kind of person. But all the same, it truly is a fun and worthwhile job to have in your twenties.

Roisin Curran is a fourth year journalism and new media student at the University of Limerick, working part-time at a local nightclub. Follow her on Twitter @RoisinCurran1 or check out her blog.

Read: Irish students with no money have made it to Singapore and San Diego in 24 hours

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