This post is going to be the first of those new updates that I mentioned earlier. As the title states, this post is an article about why you should work in a bar during college. I originally wrote this piece to use as a sample of my writing for an internship application, but then I realized that it would be the perfect way to make those changes I mentioned about earlier to my blog. So here it goes. I hope you enjoy what you read. And if you do, please remember to like, comment, subscribe, follow, and share with all your friends and family. Until next time!
NOTE: The following is a writing sample that I am submitting to Shiftgig for the express purpose of applying for the Social Media and Content Writer Internship position. My goal is to demonstrate to Shiftgig that I can be a valuable asset to their team. This article will now formally begin as intended:
3 Reasons Why You Should Work at a Bar During College
So as the title of this article implies, I am about to tell you 3 good reasons why you should seek employment at your local college pub/party bar while you’re in college. Some of you may already think you know why ANY college student would love to work at a bar, and although you’re partially right there are some things in this article that you might be surprised to learn. This article is being written from and draws exclusively upon my own first-hand experience of working in a bar while in college. There will be no outside references or external sources cited. The reason for this is because I personally believe that, most if not all, of what I’m about to say will apply to pretty much any bar. That being said I understand that no two bars are alike much like snowflakes and if you are a service industry veteran, current or former employee, or are related to or otherwise possess insight into how the bar industry functions beyond that of the consumers, you may have had a different experience. If this is the case, please feel free to express your own opinion(s) about my content. Now, let’s get down to business.
Reason #1: Because it’s probably going to be the most fun job you’re ever going to have in college
Being at a bar is fun, period. Everyone likes to go out, socialize, kick-back, relax, party, dance, get drunk, hook-up, OK you get the point now, etc. And working at a bar is no exception to this rule. You are, in essence, being paid to have fun. In fact, at my bar we were always told that part of our responsibilities was to be the face and image of the bar. And part of that little tidbit right there is to look like you’re enjoying yourself while at work. Which isn’t too hard to do in an environment where entertainment is the primary and sole purpose of the business. Now if you want specifics I can give you some. Have you ever worked a job where you get to see people act totally out of character and say and do things that would be considered beyond inappropriate in other settings? Well you will if you work in a bar. During my tenure I’ve become witness to a 60 yr. old alumni swearing like a sailor at a frat boy from a rival school, and then taking a swing at the kid on a game day/night. I’ve also had the pleasure of watching a heavily intoxicated underage kid come running out of a neighboring bar like a bat out of hell and actually successfully ditch the bike cops who gave quite a chase (he was the ONLY one I ever saw or heard of doing that, everyone else usually got an unceremonious tackle from a uniformed officer wearing shorts and a bike helmet). And I think my personal favorite is watching one of our football players get into a few rounds of fisticuffs with a homeless man after his friend threw a few racial slurs at the guy only for the cops to show up and arrest all 3 of them, and finally…wait for it…wait…the football player shows the cop a fake ID and then hilariously attempts to show the officer a second fake ID, presumably as backup to the first one. Now where else can you find employment that will keep you so entertained at such late hours? By the way, these all are on top of your average run-of-the-mill stuff such as “this girl hooked up with that guy in the bathroom” or the “that fight was crazy” stories.
Reason #2: It’s a good way to make friends
So building up from my last point is that when you work at a bar you certainly get a lot of social interaction. And social interaction means meeting people. Which means that you tend to make friends, easily. No matter what position you work as. When I first started in bars I was the door-guy, a.k.a. ‘bouncer’, if you will. And even then, when it was just little old me posting up at the side door all by my lonesome self, there were still plenty of people who’d recognize me from class, at the rec, that party last week, etc. Except, now there was an instant connection and easy way for people to introduce themselves and there you go. You’ve just made a new friend. Remember that group of hot blonde sorority chicks that’s at the rec sometimes when you’re there. Well, they WILL remember you and when one of them comes up to you and starts a conversation, here’s your chance to make the right impression (NOTE, do NOT abuse this privilege I will explain why later, but for now just don’t get ahead of yourself). In addition, to being the de facto popular/cool (sort of) guy that all the patrons want to become friends with, you also have a good chance of networking for later on life. More than a few times, I’ve had fellow co-workers graduate and were able to get jobs based almost entirely on that one time when they made the right first impression on some big name alumni who happened to come through and order a few rounds of Coors Light and Maker’s on the Rocks at the right moment. Now onto the serious stuff.
Reason #3: It will teach you how to be a good employee
So this last one is arguably the most important reason, but it’s also one that’s not going to be as humorous in nature as the last two. This is because, the most important thing that I ever got out of my experience in the bar industry wasn’t the paycheck, it wasn’t all the new people I met that I never would’ve had a chance to know otherwise, but it was the good habits that my employers drilled into me. See my bar was run in a rather authoritarian manner. You are EXPECTED to show up on time, have your game face on as soon as you clock in, follow orders as given, and keep your mouth shut. And if you didn’t you can expect to be either fired on the spot with absolutely NO concern for your feelings or have the manager SERIOUSLY chew you out to the point that you will NOT make that mistake again. This might be redundant, but you’d be surprised at how many of your peers in college probably couldn’t practice these 4 central tenets of professionalism if their lives depended on it. I know that before I worked at a bar I didn’t have nearly as mature of an outlook on life or as responsible and accountable of an attitude towards work as I did once I got there. And I’m proud to admit that, I’m proud that I got to practice my skills at being a dependable employee who delivers exceptional performance all while doing it at a night job. Because few things teach you these skills faster than when you experience real-life consequences for yourself. The very first time you witness someone being fired for coming in 3 minutes late for the first time EVER, you will understand the importance of punctuality. The first time your manager takes you aside and reprimands you, HARSHLY, for not being fast enough on the floor or taking too long to change out kegs/the beer cooler/stock inventory is when you WILL understand that you need to hustle. And the first time that you are promoted is when you’ll finally understand that you are first and foremost an employee whom someone has TRUSTED to take care of the things that need to be done. Someone is paying you to do work, and it behooves you to accomplish it to the satisfaction of the powers that be. Lastly, the most satisfying thing about picking up these good habits is that first time when you finally realize that you can do a job that most of your friends, classmates, and peers can’t. That when everyone else is partying, having fun, and engaging in general debauchery you’re the guy that has the self-control to say “no” while also having the dedication and discipline to become successful at something no matter how big or small the task may be. This moment may come on your first day when cleaning up, after your first busy weekend, or even during the middle of a keg change during the best/worst game day of the year but it will come; and in that moment you will also come to realize that you’ll be just fine after graduation. Because when you get out into the real world, your employer will expect the same level of competence in you, and you’ll simply hold your head up high and say “let’s get to work”.
So I hope my little post here will at least have you consider doing a brief stint at a bar. If not, well come on, give it a try anyway. Believe me, it’s worth it. Also, please understand that this list is in no way, shape, or form a comprehensive list of all the perks of bar industry employment. It’s merely 3 points that I thought were notable, convincing, and entertaining. If you have any personal stories, experiences, or advice yourself, please share it with the rest of us. Lastly, before I end this article I’d like to go back to a point that I was about to make earlier.
Remember when I told you about how you might get random chicks walking up to you and introducing themselves at your bar? OK, now do you also remember how I might’ve implied that it would be a good chance to get some numbers/find your future ex-wife? Well, as I mentioned earlier you don’t want to abuse this so-called privilege. Believe me, at a bar you’ll have plenty of opportunities to pursue random hook ups, if that’s your thing. However, as I mentioned in my last paragraph, you are, first and foremost, an employee still. As such, you are expected to act professionally even though you are not in the most professional of industries. Sure you can get away with things that probably wouldn’t be tolerated at a Fortune 500 company, but there are limits. One of those limits is that you can’t OBVIOUSLY be chasing tail while on the clock. At my bar, we were definitely allowed to and even encouraged to socialize and talk with the patrons; even for more personal reasons such as maybe flirting with that girl who’s been just so serendipitously subtle about always making her way to your personal space, but the second the managers or owners sense that you were putting your own desires above the interests of the bar you can expect to be getting in trouble that night. When confused I always resorted to my general rule of thumb, which is to never let anyone even THINK that you aren’t keeping the bar’s interest as your number 1 priority. Just don’t make it obvious.
ENDNOTE: The football player’s identity will remain anonymous for obvious reasons. If anyone reading this knows who I am referring to, or even suspects that they might know. Please do not reveal your thoughts elsewhere. I am politely asking you to do this out of concern for the athlete’s reputation as well as for myself. I wrote this article to focus on working in the bar industry, not to start or spread petty rumors and hearsay or create unnecessary drama where there doesn’t have to be any. Thanks and take care, that is all.
MESSAGE TO SHIFTGIG: This article will also be posted on to my blog, which I sometimes use as an online portfolio of some of the work I’ve done in my own spare time.
DISCLAIMER: This article was written to be of a comic nature. The statements and claims made within are not meant to be interpreted factually or taken as literal truth. Everything I have written has been written to the best of my memory. Any inaccuracies are the result of unintentional mistakes and not of deliberate intentions.