Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
54 views
54 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
66 views
66 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
59 views
59 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
92 views
92 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
37 views
37 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018
320 Views
2 Comments

Panic on the streets of Brighton? An anonymous writer reveals the alcohol-fuelled world of Brighton’s night-life

After finishing a whirlwind first year at Sussex University I found myself facing a difficult decision over my summer activities.

Do I return home and regress to an apathy-filled, nocturnal hermit? Or do I remain in Brighton, attempt to find work and actually meet people and do… things.

Whilst I shuddered at the thought of being forced into situations where one would be required to actually interact with other humans, it seemed clear to me that this was the mature and sensible route.

A few weeks and several uncomfortable interviews later and thus began my turbulent tenure in a busy nightclub.

Now, an important caveat; for several reasons I have to refrain from providing either my own identity, or my place of work. Primarily as name-dropping could be construed as promotion or, on the other hand, I don’t really want to get myself into trouble with the powers-that-be for the candid manner in which I will talk about the environment in which I work.

My first few weeks primarily consisted of what was comically referred to as “Customer Service Training”. Being of a certain cynical and jaded disposition, I took it all with a pinch of salt.

All the common-sense stuff aside, I learned more about the kind of company I was working for, than about customer service. I suppose it would be worth noting here that I had, much to my chagrin, extensive experience in the customer service industry. Those of you who share a similarly tragic vocational history would understand what drives me to lament the daily trials and tribulations of dealing with the general public.

Anyway, I digress from my original point: the training – reading between the lines I was beginning to understand that I was being conditioned for one thing, and one thing only: to make money.

This might seem completely obvious; after all we live in a capitalist society, companies are all about maximising profit, reducing expenditure, and so on, and so forth. I was (and remain to this day) actively encouraged to sell as much alcohol as humanly possible, with little, or indeed no regard for the duty of care over the individuals I would sell to. Hammering this into me from my first day was altogether unsettling.

Fast forward a few weeks: the Brightonian summer was in full swing. Hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the globe flock to Brighton over the summer, looking to enjoy the city’s vibrant and unique atmosphere. Invariably they also like to get a taste for the nightlife.

The streets of Brighton would be heaving with revellers every weekend, most notably the stag and hen parties looking to smash their livers into an unrecognisable mush in a blur of tequila and “light hearted japery”.

Over the summer, a regular working week would consist of the following: 3-4 night shifts (till closing time) and 1, perhaps 2 day shifts, if I was lucky. Shifts usually varied between 6-12 hours, but were prone to going over – the longest shift I worked was 20 hours. It’s worth noting (as I like to gripe) that after this 20 hour behemoth, I was completely devoid of all rational thought and rendered unable to form coherent sentences. I led a nocturnal lifestyle, rarely having time to see my friends and family who did not work in “the industry”.

It also aggravated my own drinking habits, as after finishing a gruelling shift it became routine to stay behind for one or two pints, or, on occasion, get wholly incapacitated.

As term loomed ever nearer I found myself wistfully yearning for the quiet solitude of study and the reassuring comfort of my books. I would reduce my hours to part-time in all but a few weeks. All I had to do was get through 3 night shifts in freshers week…

Day 1: I have never before seen, nor will I ever see again, such all-consuming drunkenness. Such mindless and wanton disregard for personal limits, safety and dignity. Students merrily hitting the figurative bottle with impressive ferocity.

I tried to consider my own first week at University; free from the oppressive shackles of living with parents … “the world is my oyster!” I gleefully cried. I had been so completely determined to thoroughly inebriate myself beyond any level of sanity.

So, I guess what I’m saying is “I understand”. I get it.

Coming to University is tough. Arbitrarily meeting new people and immediately being forced to live with these people is a tough situation. And as the Greek philosopher Aristotle once commented, before sinking a rhyta full of wine, “alcohol is a great social lubricant!”.

Day 2: I traipse to work, battered and bruised from the previous evening’s chaos. I pitifully reassure myself that “they can’t do it again tonight”, “it’s not possible…” I considered no human capable of such a feat.

I was wrong. I was thoroughly wrong.

My fears of a second evening of abject terror were immediately realised the second I came into work. “Pub crawl tonight guys, we’re expecting a capacity crowd”. I fell to my knees, threw my hands into the air (a la Willem Dafoe in Platoon) and screamed profanities into the wind.

It became entirely worse with the altogether hilarious news that I was lumped with “toilet duty”: this wonderful task involved all the joys that you could imagine, and more! I was no stranger to dealing with a ‘sneaky-vom’, a ‘tactical-chunder’, a ‘huey-lewis’ and… well, you get the picture. That I was asked to do this grim task without being given any real cleaning apparatus speaks to the company values which I spoke about previously.

Day 3: Why do I do this to myself? Why don’t I just give up, hunker down and live off the meagre funds that remain from last terms student loan and wait until the next instalment comes through?

This might sound contradictory to everything I have said previously: I kind of enjoyed it.

On a personal level, in my colleagues I have made friends that I will never want to lose, we shared a love of hating the workplace, an unbreakable bond. There was also unfathomable comfort and joy to be found in the sights of the drunk masses swaying in the venue. The hilarity of the sloppily attempted robot (the robot is still a dance, right?). I saw budding relationships established between strangers in the smoking area, as they drunkenly bonded over their mutual hatred of “some creepy bloke in there who keeps trying to get with me”. The undeniable beauty of young love, forming in a romantic entanglement on the dancefloor to the beat of “House Every Weekend” (side note: for the love of all that is holy, please make that song cease to exist).

Really, all you have to do is take out the worrying levels of consumption, the inevitable tears, the odd fisticuffs, the loss of self respect and/or all personal belongings, the financial cost, the complete and utter disregard for cleanliness and hygiene, the awkward next mornings “I’ll… just see myself out?”, the inevitable existential crisis that comes with each and every hangover, the fear of knowing you texted that one person you weren’t supposed to text saying that thing you weren’t supposed to say.

Yes, if you take all of that out, it’s really great fun.

Ultimately, all I want you to know is this: we, the bar staff – we are watching you. Always. Silently judging you from afar. That thing you just did? The weird, embarrassing thing? I saw it. We see everything.

Enjoy your nights out! Responsibly.

 

Image: Pixabay

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
54 views
54 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
66 views
66 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
59 views
59 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
92 views
92 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
37 views
37 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

2 Comments

  1. Is anyone actually surprised by this? Surely people aren’t naive enough to think that venue owners/mangers give a crap about their customers.

    Also, great way to take the moral high ground. Why didn’t you quit and get job elsewhere?

    Reply
  2. You raise a valid point Geoff.

    I mean, aside from missing this (wonderfully gifted and undoubtedly handsome) writer’s point about forming lasting friendships with his workmates which have no doubt given them cause to stay, one imagines it isn’t merely as simple as “getting” another job somewhere.

    Many of us young’uns rely on the income from part-time jobs to live and juggle our time between studying/working, thus having no free time for the more nobler pursuits, like joining you up on Jeffrey’s Moral High-horse.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
54 views
Arts
54 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
56 views
Film & Theatre
56 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Anonymous - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
66 views
Sports
66 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
59 views
Arts
59 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
92 views
Arts
92 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1149 views1
Campus News
1149 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats
News
37 views
News
37 views

Students’ Union Apologises for ‘Sexist’ Beermats

Jessica Hubbard - September 20, 2018

The University of Sussex Students' Union (USSU) has apologised after 'sexist' beermats were found in Dig-In Boxes in Freshers' Welcome Bags. The beermats were provided by Brush…

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018
News
95 views1
News
95 views1

Sussex Lecturer Accused of Making Transphobic Comments Ahead of Brighton Trans Pride 2018

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy Lecturer at Sussex, was accused of making transphobic comments in July 2018. This followed various interviews and blog posts by Stock. Stock told…

Welcome 2018 Freshers!
Campus News
98 views
Campus News
98 views

Welcome 2018 Freshers!

Billie-Jean Johnson - September 15, 2018

Ah, Freshers. You’ve no idea the amazing year you have ahead of you! As you read this now, you’ve probably met your flatmates and maybe even met…

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity
Opinion
104 views
Opinion
104 views

A conversation with Kathleen Stock on Transgender Identity

Jessica Hubbard - September 15, 2018

Kathleen Stock, a philosophy lecturer at Sussex University, met with controversy after criticising the government’s reform of the Gender Recognition Act (2004). The amendment would ‘de-medicalise’ the…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
401 views
Arts
401 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
403 views
Arts
403 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
376 views
Arts
376 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
437 views
Arts
437 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
450 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
396 views
Arts
396 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
370 views
Arts
370 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
565 views
Campus News
565 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
316 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
929 views
Arts
929 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
378 views
Arts
378 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…